Audiophiles, assemble! I'm looking at the Sennheiser HD598.

Discussion in 'Hardware & Software' started by Stigmata, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Stigmata

    Stigmata The Freeman

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Messages:
    15,914
    Likes Received:
    326
    It seems like it's a nice middle-ground between good build quality and good sound quality. I'm totally okay with, and actually prefer, open-ear designs when in public, and in private it lets me hear my kittens if they need anything.

    Are there better alternatives within open-cup designs for the price? This will be a headset used primarily for music listening in public, but equally/semi-secondarily for gaming with mic usage. Ultimately all I know is the basics of impedance, and the fact that Sennheiser is a good brand. Any recommendations are welcome.

    The 598s are about $250 on amazon.ca.
     
  2. Viperidae

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,996
    Likes Received:
    60
    Hard to go wrong with Senns. Very popular, middle-of-the-road sound quality, good durability. Too bass heavy for my taste.

    I have a boner for Audio Technica despite never owning them (would love some ATH-A900s), but these will definitely have better sound (unsure about durability): http://www.amazon.ca/TECHNICA-ATH-AD900X-OPEN-BACK-AUDIOPHILE-HEADPHONES/dp/B009S331VU

    For complete and utter unfiltered sound, and for price, I could recommend: http://www.amazon.ca/Sony-MDR-V6-Professional-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B00001WRSJ I own these, they're awesome, they will make you realise how much upper range (14-18k) hearing you've lost, and are perfect for monitoring, but not necessarily listening. If you're making music, there is no excuse not to own these.
     
  3. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    Dude u shuld totes get beats by dre phones man. Dey tha primo shit.

    It still astounds me that people can justify multiple hundreds of dollars on a headset. I used a friend's expensive Sennheiser set (possibly the ones you're talking about) and noticed no appreciable difference over my Sennheiser PC156 set I bought for like $70 on amazon. Seems like another e-peen status symbol, like SLI graphics cards to get those extra 4 fps when you're already getting 60+. YOU TOTALLY NOTICE THE DIFFERENCE BRO.

    My recommendation is to not spend more than $100 on a headset, the difference will not actually be noticeable. If your e-peen is too small, then it may be worth the investment of a higher priced set.

    Argue me Vegeta, I know its coming.

    He wants one with a mic Viper.
     
  4. DEATHMASTER

    DEATHMASTER The Freeman

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    12,759
    Likes Received:
    118
    I have the A700X, they do the job well, but they're much better with a good dac/amp than on just an mp3 player.
     
  5. Tacoeaterguy

    Tacoeaterguy Party Escort Bot

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2009
    Messages:
    859
    Likes Received:
    81
    I need a new pair of headphones too pretty soon. I've been using this Microsoft LifeChat LX-3000 headset for about a year. Really great for only about $30, but you really get what you pay for. The microphone died a couple months ago and it kept getting in the way, so I tore it off. The whole thing is just falling apart now, but somehow they are still working.

    I'm done with headsets, and I recommend you give up on them as well. Just pick up a nice, decently priced set headphones and buy a separate mic to put on your desk. The idea of having the two separate discouraged me for awhile, but I eventually got tired of being mic-less and bought a $20 microphone and it's honestly just as good.
     
  6. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 Banned as all fuck

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    26,146
    Likes Received:
    767
    You're basing this off of one expensive headset from one brand that you tried, and probably didn't listen to a wide range of different types of audio.

    Higher end headphones are usually purchased for their flat response, not "how good it sounds" to a casual user. Like Viper said. But this is not usually a desirable thing for most people playing games and listening to music.

    But more than sound quality, you can trust the build quality of higher end headphones from a trusted brand. I hear about people's headphones ****ing up all the time after a year or two. My Sennheisers are relatively cheap (about 100) and have this annoying vibration at certain frequencies sometimes. Not often, and not deal-breaking, but it's there. And I won't be surprised when it craps out eventually (had them for 1.5 years now)

    I can relate with Taco's plight. It's so damn hard to find a good headset, really. As convenient as they are, if you really actually want high quality phones, you may as well give up trying to find one with a mic. Get yourself a snowball or something (I know, more money..)

    Edit: As far as recommendations, many people on Gearslutz have good things to say about these: http://www.amazon.com/AKG-K-701-Headphones-White/dp/B000EBBJ6Y
     
  7. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    Well, I played the new Deus Ex game with them, and listened to some music that was in flac format downloaded from the band's site. Granted it was only a day's worth of testing, but he claimed I'd notice the difference immediately. His bragging fell on deaf ears.


    badum-tish.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 Banned as all fuck

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    26,146
    Likes Received:
    767
    Still though it was only one pair and you don't even remember which ones. Maybe he said they were expensive but they were low-mid range ($100-200)
     
  9. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    He said $300.
     
  10. Viperidae

    Joined:
    May 5, 2004
    Messages:
    3,996
    Likes Received:
    60
    The word audiophile is relevant here. It's for obsessives. When I really want to test a new pair of headphones I pick a song I've listened to thousands of times--the kind of song I'll have in my head on my deathbed--because I've listened to it so many times on one pair/system I will notice all the tiny differences (oh hey the bass is slightly lighter but also a little clearer etc.). People with musical training/experience are also much more sensitive to sound differences and consciously listen for things that annoy them with certain cheaper brands. Hell, they know what to listen for, which is more than 99% of the population. Again, obsessives. Dumbasses use audiophile status for penis measurement, true, but IMO it's much closer to a shoe collector spending 5 hours picking a pair of shoes--they've worn countless shoes, they know what they want and can find tiny little flaws in the feel of almost all of them. It's not that their experience is superior, they just notice things you might not and have a preference for certain differences.

    In my defense, I was drunk and didn't notice. Also in my defense, there is no such thing as quality headset outside of a pilot's headset.
     
  11. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 Banned as all fuck

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    26,146
    Likes Received:
    767
    WELL THAT'S GREAT THAT YOU DIDN'T NOTICE ANYTHING SPECIAL ABOUT THE ONE PAIR YOUR TRIED KRYNN R. DOGGY
     
  12. Stigmata

    Stigmata The Freeman

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Messages:
    15,914
    Likes Received:
    326
    In my defense, I don't need an integrated mic, I was drunk when I made the thread and I don't know why I mentioned a mic or used the word "headset".
     
  13. DEATHMASTER

    DEATHMASTER The Freeman

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    12,759
    Likes Received:
    118
    I'd definitely recommend spending some of your cash on an amp/dac. Provided I've only listened to one, the one I have (mine is black but some reason the silver is $15 cheaper right now, no difference otherwise). I spent about $120 on that and the headphones each. I use them at my desktop only so it's not an issue of portability for me but since you're wanting to use them on the road, you might want to look at the portable kinds.
     
  14. Stigmata

    Stigmata The Freeman

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Messages:
    15,914
    Likes Received:
    326
    That DAC is running $155 on amazon.ca for some reason which makes me sad, but it's not that much of an increase. And I do need an amp, so I'll keep it in mind.

    Speaking of, does anyone have an opinion on the HT Omega Claro series? I have an anti-hardon for Creative these days, and I feel uncomfortable buying an Asus sound card despite the quality of their motherboards and monitors.
     
  15. DEATHMASTER

    DEATHMASTER The Freeman

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    12,759
    Likes Received:
    118
    If you buy an amp/dac, don't get a sound card unless you're hooking speakers up to it (the amp/dac would override the sound card).
     
  16. Stigmata

    Stigmata The Freeman

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Messages:
    15,914
    Likes Received:
    326
    Oh yeah, I only ask because it's a sound card with an integrated headphone amp (with selectable impedance), and it's $180 on Newegg. Sounds like the drivers and support are much better of other soundcards too, which is nice. It's one or the other, this or a DAC will do the trick.
     
  17. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 Banned as all fuck

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    26,146
    Likes Received:
    767
    I feel DAC is being used inappropriately here. The thing deathmaster linked is just an external usb soundcard. A DAC takes digital input (spdif or aes) and converts it to analog. A sound card is actually used by your system on the software level and can output both digital and analog (which the thing deathmaster linked does). I wouldn't call it an amp either since it's bus powered and, again, doesn't actually take any input.

    You're basically just looking for an external soundcard that has a volume control with enough power to suit your needs.
     
  18. DEATHMASTER

    DEATHMASTER The Freeman

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    12,759
    Likes Received:
    118
    This is what practically everything on amazon is like when you look up DAC or amp. Perhaps there's more than one kind, physical like for actual wires and software based for files. And aren't amps basically anything that can raise the volume? Maybe they're abusing the terms more than what you're used to them meaning, but it does state "headphone amp."
     
  19. Stigmata

    Stigmata The Freeman

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Messages:
    15,914
    Likes Received:
    326
    But the product description specifically states it's a DAC. I must be missing something about how these things actually function.

    Anyway I don't need anything external per se, and I might upgrade to some higher-impedance headphones in the future, so I feel like a Claro Halo suits my needs pretty well. I can use the RCA out for my speakers or S/PDIF out if I upgrade them, input my PS3/4 audio through S/PDIF (assuming the console audio would get mixed down to 2.1, I don't know these things :V )., and set the headphone amp to a bunch of values up to 600 ohms. And people rave about the drivers and sound quality in reviews, placing it above pretty much any other card in the price range.

    Keep trying to convince me to get a USB external though, I want to make sure I'm not missing anything about alternatives to the Claro.
     
  20. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 Banned as all fuck

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    26,146
    Likes Received:
    767
    Of course amplification is happening, but I mean, every sound card does that already. I guess the fact that it has its own hard volume control makes it more like a headphone amp. But it's first and foremost an external soundcard. And yes, technically DAC is happening. But calling it a DAC device is just misleading. All sound cards are DAC.

    As far as what to get (external soundcards) I've only ever looked into ones used for recording/music.
     
  21. DEATHMASTER

    DEATHMASTER The Freeman

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    12,759
    Likes Received:
    118
    There are headphone DACs sold separately from amps, with no volume control, which is probably why it's explicitly stated. I mean they could probably call it an external sound card, but it's more of a block so they don't? I can't say I'm too privy to naming schemes.
     
  22. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 Banned as all fuck

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    26,146
    Likes Received:
    767
    I don't understand this at all. What's the shape got to do with it? Replace "card" with "device". I only say card because it does exactly what a sound card does but it's external and connects via USB. You could say external interface too. It is the device that interfaces audio between your computer and your speakers/headphones/mic/etc
    All audio generated from a computer is digital, so any interface with an analog output has DA converters.

    When you say there are "headphone DACs", are you still referring to USB sound devices? If so, those are still just external interfaces, just without a volume control. They could be just as amplified as one with a control.

    The typical meaning of an amp is something that takes an audio input (analog) and amplifies it. The amplification process is just the last step in the device you linked, and in any computer audio interface (unless it has only digital outs)

    In summary: An amp and a DAC are specific devices with specific functions. Since both of these things are part of any computer audio device, I think it's silly to use these terms in the name of a computer audio device. It's just misleading, since it doesn't even take any digital or analog input to convert or amplify. It's just a computer audio device with a volume knob. It would be like advertising speakers as having amps in them. Well shit, it's a speaker system, I would hope it has powered amplification.
     
  23. Krynn72

    Krynn72 The Freeman

    Joined:
    May 16, 2004
    Messages:
    26,073
    Likes Received:
    710
    Semantics: Important Business.
     
  24. Vegeta897

    Vegeta897 Banned as all fuck

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2004
    Messages:
    26,146
    Likes Received:
    767
    Education in a thread asking for help: Krynn's gonna be a bitch.
     

Share This Page