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Need help finding a good pair of headphones and dac/amp

Vlad.

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Nov 12, 2022
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I really hope this is the right place to ask and hopefully I'm not asking for too much as a new member...

Here I am at 5am still trying to figure out what are the right headphones/headsets/configuration. With what is left of my brain, I'll try my best to explain where I'm at and be as concise as I can possibly be at this hour, and hopefully someone can help me. I also have to apologize for my english, not my first language.

Anyway, this is where I'm at. I currently eye the Sennheiser hd560s because of the good reviews it seems to get about everywhere I read and I found them at $115 on a local online store. I previously also wanted to buy the Sennheiser hd599 but I instead went for *and please don't judge* with Steelseries Arctic Pro + GamerDac (rtings.com reviewed them better and the headband made it look way more comfortable). 2 years later the headband increased in size by about 50%, the cable is about to break and one of the ear cup covers just broke today... Long story short, I hate them and I regret ever buying them. I'd have to pay around $40 to replace those things and I'd be suffering for another 2 years? I'd rather not!

Instead, since it's Black Friday in my country, I guess it's about time I do the right thing and upgrade...A bit of digging on reddit I stumbled on this forum, a few hours later trying to figure out for myself reading reviews I ended up with even more questions. Anything to do with sound output/input makes me even more confused the more I read.

My daily use would be mostly gaming and it needs to be comfortable. Other than gaming, everything else is what you'd expect from a daily use (spotify, youtube etc). I don't travel and it won't be used with anything but my PC.
If Sennheiser hd560s is indeed the right fit, my second question would be...do they require an amp/dac/both? I don't know what either of those really do.
If they do, what would you suggest? Here I heard it pairs well with Fiio E10k Type C ($78) but I did less digging since I don't know what to really look for. I can go over budget if needed.

My current motherboard in case it matters is a rog strix z370. The audio specs are this (to save you a click). No idea what any of this really means.
Code:
- Sonic Studio III
- Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback *5
ROG SupremeFX8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220A
- Dual Headphone Amplifiers
- Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
- High quality120dBSNR stereo playback outputand113dBSNR recording input
- SupremeFX Shielding Technology
Audio Feature :
- SupremeFX Shielding™ Technology
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- Dedicated audio PCB layers: Separate layers for left and right channels to guard the quality of the sensitive audio signals
- Premium Japanese-made audio capacitors: Provide warm, natural and immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity
- Sonic Radar III

The gamedac specs if I'll use it for anything I buy next (but I don't know if it has any real value other than a few gimmicks)
Code:
Frequency Response 5 - 40,000 Hz
Audio Formats 44.1 - 96 kHz, 16 - 24 bit
THD+N < 0.0032%
Signal to Noise Ratio 109 dB
Output Power 49 mW into 32 Ohms
Recommended Headphone Impedance 16 - 80 Ohms

Now its 6:30am so I'll probably get some sleep. Again, I apologize if this breaks any rules (It's been ages since I last used an actual forum).

Thanks a bunch!
 
OP
V

Vlad.

New Member
Joined
Nov 12, 2022
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I like the Schiit Fulla.
Also the IBasso DC05.
Thanks for the replay. Sadly, I can find Schiit brand in my country and amirm seems to not recommend the Schiit Fulla. Maybe I'm looking at something else?
As for IBasso DC05, isn't that for a smartphone? I don't really need the portability. ^^'
 

asorle

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2022
Messages
18
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11
These are relatively easy to drive so I would say that you don’t require an amp with crazy amount of power, but it would be nicer than onboard audio if you want to listen louder. I would just get the hd560s if it is a good deal right now, try them and see for yourself if you need more power or just want something nicer to drive them with.
 
Last edited:

Leiker535

Active Member
Joined
Jul 7, 2020
Messages
210
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248
For the HD560s you don't need crazy amounts of power unless you are trying to add in a ton of bass with EQ. Any dongle that can output 2V will drive them to pretty high levels:
1668278929725.png

The iBasso Dc03 (and their siblings) for instance, offer the sufficient amount of power, is pretty transparent and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Another very nice headphone option for you would be the Hifiman 400SE's, which have been reviewed by ASR here , with the only caveat being that they're relatively inneficient while also having a low impedance, i.e, you'd need a source with a more ample supply of current rather than voltage if you want to play at high levels or use digital EQ. There I'd recommend getting a dedicated amp like the Topping L30 to drive them; their price on Aliexpress is a bargain right now so it might not exceed the 560s by much.

Sonically they are both neutral and somewhat similar, with the 560s being a bit brigther (and might have better imaging due to angled drivers, which might be better for gaming). Comfort and build wise I think the Sennheiser run circles around the Hifiman: although it is too plastic built, it is way more sturdy, the headband feels way better (YMMV) and they have oval and angled earcups vs. the hifiman donut shaped, which are more anatomically correct.
 

Roland68

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Jan 31, 2020
Messages
655
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485
Location
Cologne, Germany
I really hope this is the right place to ask and hopefully I'm not asking for too much as a new member...

Here I am at 5am still trying to figure out what are the right headphones/headsets/configuration. With what is left of my brain, I'll try my best to explain where I'm at and be as concise as I can possibly be at this hour, and hopefully someone can help me. I also have to apologize for my english, not my first language.

Anyway, this is where I'm at. I currently eye the Sennheiser hd560s because of the good reviews it seems to get about everywhere I read and I found them at $115 on a local online store. I previously also wanted to buy the Sennheiser hd599 but I instead went for *and please don't judge* with Steelseries Arctic Pro + GamerDac (rtings.com reviewed them better and the headband made it look way more comfortable). 2 years later the headband increased in size by about 50%, the cable is about to break and one of the ear cup covers just broke today... Long story short, I hate them and I regret ever buying them. I'd have to pay around $40 to replace those things and I'd be suffering for another 2 years? I'd rather not!

Instead, since it's Black Friday in my country, I guess it's about time I do the right thing and upgrade...A bit of digging on reddit I stumbled on this forum, a few hours later trying to figure out for myself reading reviews I ended up with even more questions. Anything to do with sound output/input makes me even more confused the more I read.

My daily use would be mostly gaming and it needs to be comfortable. Other than gaming, everything else is what you'd expect from a daily use (spotify, youtube etc). I don't travel and it won't be used with anything but my PC.
If Sennheiser hd560s is indeed the right fit, my second question would be...do they require an amp/dac/both? I don't know what either of those really do.
If they do, what would you suggest? Here I heard it pairs well with Fiio E10k Type C ($78) but I did less digging since I don't know what to really look for. I can go over budget if needed.

My current motherboard in case it matters is a rog strix z370. The audio specs are this (to save you a click). No idea what any of this really means.
Code:
- Sonic Studio III
- Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback *5
ROG SupremeFX8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220A
- Dual Headphone Amplifiers
- Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
- High quality120dBSNR stereo playback outputand113dBSNR recording input
- SupremeFX Shielding Technology
Audio Feature :
- SupremeFX Shielding™ Technology
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- Dedicated audio PCB layers: Separate layers for left and right channels to guard the quality of the sensitive audio signals
- Premium Japanese-made audio capacitors: Provide warm, natural and immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity
- Sonic Radar III

The gamedac specs if I'll use it for anything I buy next (but I don't know if it has any real value other than a few gimmicks)
Code:
Frequency Response 5 - 40,000 Hz
Audio Formats 44.1 - 96 kHz, 16 - 24 bit
THD+N < 0.0032%
Signal to Noise Ratio 109 dB
Output Power 49 mW into 32 Ohms
Recommended Headphone Impedance 16 - 80 Ohms

Now its 6:30am so I'll probably get some sleep. Again, I apologize if this breaks any rules (It's been ages since I last used an actual forum).

Thanks a bunch!
It would be good if you put a budget for the headphones and amplifier, as well as DAC.
The amplifier drives your headphones and needs an analogue signal, e.g. from your computer/sound card, CD player etc.
The DAC takes a digital signal eg computer/USB, digital output CD player etc. and converts it into a high-quality signal for the amplifier.
HiFi-Express and Amazon currently have unbeatable offers for the Sabaj A10h headphone amplifier under $100 and the two DACs A20d (not the 2022 version) and A10d (not the 2022 version) each under $150.
 

Berwhale

Major Contributor
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3,573
Location
UK
I really hope this is the right place to ask and hopefully I'm not asking for too much as a new member...

Here I am at 5am still trying to figure out what are the right headphones/headsets/configuration. With what is left of my brain, I'll try my best to explain where I'm at and be as concise as I can possibly be at this hour, and hopefully someone can help me. I also have to apologize for my english, not my first language.

Anyway, this is where I'm at. I currently eye the Sennheiser hd560s because of the good reviews it seems to get about everywhere I read and I found them at $115 on a local online store. I previously also wanted to buy the Sennheiser hd599 but I instead went for *and please don't judge* with Steelseries Arctic Pro + GamerDac (rtings.com reviewed them better and the headband made it look way more comfortable). 2 years later the headband increased in size by about 50%, the cable is about to break and one of the ear cup covers just broke today... Long story short, I hate them and I regret ever buying them. I'd have to pay around $40 to replace those things and I'd be suffering for another 2 years? I'd rather not!

Instead, since it's Black Friday in my country, I guess it's about time I do the right thing and upgrade...A bit of digging on reddit I stumbled on this forum, a few hours later trying to figure out for myself reading reviews I ended up with even more questions. Anything to do with sound output/input makes me even more confused the more I read.

My daily use would be mostly gaming and it needs to be comfortable. Other than gaming, everything else is what you'd expect from a daily use (spotify, youtube etc). I don't travel and it won't be used with anything but my PC.
If Sennheiser hd560s is indeed the right fit, my second question would be...do they require an amp/dac/both? I don't know what either of those really do.
If they do, what would you suggest? Here I heard it pairs well with Fiio E10k Type C ($78) but I did less digging since I don't know what to really look for. I can go over budget if needed.

My current motherboard in case it matters is a rog strix z370. The audio specs are this (to save you a click). No idea what any of this really means.
Code:
- Sonic Studio III
- Supports up to 32-Bit/192kHz playback *5
ROG SupremeFX8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC S1220A
- Dual Headphone Amplifiers
- Impedance sense for front and rear headphone outputs
- Supports : Jack-detection, Multi-streaming, Front Panel Jack-retasking
- High quality120dBSNR stereo playback outputand113dBSNR recording input
- SupremeFX Shielding Technology
Audio Feature :
- SupremeFX Shielding™ Technology
- Optical S/PDIF out port(s) at back panel
- Dedicated audio PCB layers: Separate layers for left and right channels to guard the quality of the sensitive audio signals
- Premium Japanese-made audio capacitors: Provide warm, natural and immersive sound with exceptional clarity and fidelity
- Sonic Radar III

The gamedac specs if I'll use it for anything I buy next (but I don't know if it has any real value other than a few gimmicks)
Code:
Frequency Response 5 - 40,000 Hz
Audio Formats 44.1 - 96 kHz, 16 - 24 bit
THD+N < 0.0032%
Signal to Noise Ratio 109 dB
Output Power 49 mW into 32 Ohms
Recommended Headphone Impedance 16 - 80 Ohms

Now its 6:30am so I'll probably get some sleep. Again, I apologize if this breaks any rules (It's been ages since I last used an actual forum).

Thanks a bunch!

Firstly, welcome to ASR!

You're requirements are somewhat similar to mine when I discovered ASR over 3 years ago. At the time, I still gamed (mostly PUBG) and was looking to improve my audio experience. My initial purchase (before finding ASR) was a pair of AKG K712Pro and a Fiio K3 DAC/amp. The AKG 701/702/712 are relatively light, comfortable and known to have a wide 'soundstage'. They are often recommended for FPS gaming as the wide 'soundstage' helps with locating enemies. It was a very nice setup (I still own the K3, but i've given the K712Pros to my brother - there's nothing wrong with them, but they were surplus to requirements)

Fortunately/Unfortunately (depending how you look at it), finding ASR re-awakened my passion for audio (i'd invested a fair amount of time and money in the hobby in my 20's) and I stopped playing PUBG quite as much (eventually giving up entirely) and began my mid-life audio journey.

With respect to your requirements, the HD560s are a great headphone and I think you'll like them a lot. You might also want to consider a closed back headphone like the AKG K371. For the DAC/Amp, I would get a Topping DX3 Pro+, this will meet your requirements and likely all future requirements (unless you get into some fairly esoteric headphones which is not out of the question if you stick around ASR).

HD560s: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/sennheiser-hd560s-review-headphone.29603/
K371: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/.../akg-k371-review-closed-back-headphone.19657/
DX3 Pro+: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...pping-dx3-pro-review-dac-headphone-amp.27148/
 

twsecrest

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Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
754
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246
Location
California
Thanks for the replay. Sadly, I can find Schiit brand in my country and amirm seems to not recommend the Schiit Fulla. Maybe I'm looking at something else?
As for IBasso DC05, isn't that for a smartphone? I don't really need the portability. ^^'
That xDuoo TA-01 vs Schiit Fulla review is over four years old, Schiit has done several changes to the Fulla, over the past 4 years.
iBasso is designed to work with smart phones, but work fine with any PC (comes with USB adapter).
The ibasso is just a lower costing option, would still recommend the newest Schiit Fulla E.
 

Dunring

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Feb 7, 2021
Messages
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Go with the HD560S and plug it into your onboard sound. I have the Asus Z270a with the exact same 1220s and if you disable enhancements, but keep the bundled software in order to set the gain mode manually if you need more power then you''ll be all set. In stereo mode it's actually really good if you avoid the "extreme" settting for high gain and just use the low or medium. The Hifiman HE5XX would be another excellent choice if you can get a good price in your country. I assume you're talking about Singles Day and Hifiman is made in China, so you're local price might be really good. They don't need more power than you have already and they're like the Tom Hanks of planar magentic headphones, versatile and good for most everyone. I have a pair and the DT880 600ohm I'm switching between to compare. Gaming on the HE5xx has nice sound stage and good enough imaging. The HE560S uses the HD700 driver in an angled position so it's well worth buying.
 
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