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  Reply # 1087032 11-Jul-2014 12:00
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Technofreak: I've decided to get myself a better over the ear headset, mainly for use when playing my keyboard but also for use with my stereo system, laptop and very occasionally, travel.  What ever I choose it needs to be able to work well with a low power, low output impedance amp.

I'd set myself a budget of $400 to $500 after initially having a lower limit ($300 - $400). I raised the limit to allow the Bose Quiet Comfort 15 to be considered.

I've had a pretty good read of this thread though not end to end, and it's sent me off to other places to look at reviews as well. Now it's down to picking from a few headsets, but then as you look around the shops looking at them, other models come to light.

Models I like the look of are:

KEF M500, look nice and good reviews, fold away nicely, however not keen on-the-on the ear as I prefer over-the-ear.

Blackbox M10, I have the C20's noise cancelling ear buds for travel which are very good and expect the M10's to be the same.

NAD Viso HP 50, looks a well designed unit with good looks and reviews.

Sony MDR-1R. Good looking and good reviews.


I went looking around today here in Hamilton, though only had time to check out HN and JB HiFi.

There were none of any of these at HN that I could find. 

JBH had the Sony MDR-1R though I wasn't able to try them out. They also had the Sennheiser HD 380 pro which weren't on my list. Another one I hadn't considered but was able to try was the Bose Quiet Comfort 15.  While I wasn't able to really checkout the audio comprehensively, the noise cancellation was certainly very impressive.

I'm not sure about the availability of  the Blackbox M10s as they seem to be either out of stock or perhaps discontinued.

While the Bose sounded impressive with the noise cancellation I don't know that I need a noise cancelling headset for what I primarily need this headset for, and the need to have to change batteries. There's conflicting info as to whether they work without a charged battery.

At this stage the Sony MDR-1R and NAD Viso HP50 are probably my top two choices. They both appear to work well with a low power output and are in the right impedance range.  One feature they both have is the detachable cord, which I like. The Sony MDR-1R has one slight edge in that I can buy them locally. It looks like I'll have to go for a trip out of town to check out the NAD Viso HP50. Having said that I have no problem buying sight unseen via the internet if I'm convinced that's what I need/want.

I'd appreciate any comments in comparing any of the headsets I've mentioned above. As well as the audio qualities, How well are they made? How comfortable are they? Any known design deficiencies? etc etc

Is there anything that I should be thinking about or looking at?  Is the bluetooth version of the Sony worth it? I understand you can still operate them in the wired configuration.  Could be handy for moving around the house.

Thanks for any feedback.


I have the Sennheiser HD 380 pro for work, great isolation and really nice sound. For travel I use the Sennheiser PXC 450 which is based on the 380 pro but has the noise cancelling, not quite as affective as the Bose but the sound quality is a lot better IMO. They also have talk through function so you don't have to taker them off to hear the pilot announcements etc.




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My thoughts are my own and are in no way representative of my employer.


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  Reply # 1087060 11-Jul-2014 12:47
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Decided to buy a pair to try myself. I'll probably have a pair to sell in a few weeks if I don't love them.

If I wanted to use them as headphones for my TV, anyone know how I would connect them to the headphone jack? Is there a 3.5mm to bluetooth adapter or something equally strange?



 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1087441 11-Jul-2014 19:31
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networkn: Decided to buy a pair to try myself. I'll probably have a pair to sell in a few weeks if I don't love them.

If I wanted to use them as headphones for my TV, anyone know how I would connect them to the headphone jack? Is there a 3.5mm to bluetooth adapter or something equally strange?




You mean something lime this?

http://www.amazon.com/iClever-IC-BTT01-Bluetooth-Transmitter-Audio-out/dp/B00FLKW0JI/ref=pd_cp_e_1 




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  Reply # 1087444 11-Jul-2014 19:32
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geekiegeek:

I bought the NAD Viso HP50's.  Very happy so far.




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  Reply # 1107748 13-Aug-2014 15:48
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I asked this in the DAC thread but no joy so trying here:

I'm looking for a portable headphone DAC/Amp for use primarily with my Note 3, and also with a PC or any portable source. Have been looking at the FiiO E18 Kunlun Portable Headphone Amplifier & USB DAC, but haven't found anyone who carries them in stock so I can test drive it first. Does anyone know of a stockist in Auckland (South of Central would be preferable, but not essential) that carries these? Computer Lounge don't carry them in stock.

Alternatively, does anyone have one and able to comment or offer any pros/cons?

Any other suggestions of similar products would also be great, thanks!

Cheers!




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  Reply # 1107753 13-Aug-2014 16:03
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BigHammer: I asked this in the DAC thread but no joy so trying here:

I'm looking for a portable headphone DAC/Amp for use primarily with my Note 3, and also with a PC or any portable source. Have been looking at the FiiO E18 Kunlun Portable Headphone Amplifier & USB DAC, but haven't found anyone who carries them in stock so I can test drive it first. Does anyone know of a stockist in Auckland (South of Central would be preferable, but not essential) that carries these? Computer Lounge don't carry them in stock.

Alternatively, does anyone have one and able to comment or offer any pros/cons?

Any other suggestions of similar products would also be great, thanks!

Cheers!


I've owned an E7 (USB DAC and amp), an E9 (desktop amp) and now an E07K (USB DAC and amp plus works with USB out on iPhone 5/5S).

The FiiO gear is all really good for the price. I'd recommend it.




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My thoughts are my own and are in no way representative of my employer.


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  Reply # 1107801 13-Aug-2014 17:15
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Sounds good, thanks. If they are good bang for buck then that's great. I don't have a DAC for my desktop or notebook so kinda looking for something that will do the trick without breaking the bank. Having the DAC and amp in the one unit makes it even more palatable. 

Unless there are gotchas I haven't picked up, I can't see many reasons not to get one!

Cheers and thanks!




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  Reply # 1107948 13-Aug-2014 20:44
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BigHammer: Sounds good, thanks. If they are good bang for buck then that's great. I don't have a DAC for my desktop or notebook so kinda looking for something that will do the trick without breaking the bank. Having the DAC and amp in the one unit makes it even more palatable. 

Unless there are gotchas I haven't picked up, I can't see many reasons not to get one!

Cheers and thanks!


Is it needed for Spotify etc on the phone? If just local playback is enough I'd easily recommend the Audioquest Dragonfly 1.2 over the FiiO stuff. If compatibility with other players required the E18 not a bad choice at all.

Depending on budget the HeadAmp Pico DAC/amp is good, the iFi gear also good, Leckteron make some nice ones too. There is a huge amount of choice around in the portables segment.




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  Reply # 1107953 13-Aug-2014 20:59
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If you are looking for "deals" I have a subscription to Massdrop and every day I see portable DACs and Amps going pretty cheaply. Portable isn't really my thing, but there certainly is a lot of choice in the market.

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  Reply # 1107967 13-Aug-2014 21:50
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I see Avalon audio have just started selling a newly released DAC/amp from Onkyo. At $400 it's a bit pricey, but feedback seems to be quite favourable.

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  Reply # 1108004 13-Aug-2014 22:49
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NZtechfreak: Is it needed for Spotify etc on the phone? If just local playback is enough I'd easily recommend the Audioquest Dragonfly 1.2 over the FiiO stuff. If compatibility with other players required the E18 not a bad choice at all.

Depending on budget the HeadAmp Pico DAC/amp is good, the iFi gear also good, Leckteron make some nice ones too. There is a huge amount of choice around in the portables segment.


Thanks Murray. The overall specs, features and flexibility of the E18 over the likes of the Dragonfly does appeal. As for iFi, Leckerton etc though, I'll need to do a little more research.

I guess I'd like to find a store with a range of products to test (I guess with the Note 3 more than the computers), and I'd prefer to buy locally if I can. In saying that, I will be in Melbourne later in the year and may hold off if there's a supplier with a better range of products in store there.

Whilst I like the pricing of the E18 and I don't need anything high end, I don't mind going a little higher if the added expense makes a difference. Especially if it could mean not needing to upgrade so soon down the track

Cheers!




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  Reply # 1108006 13-Aug-2014 22:52
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networkn: If you are looking for "deals" I have a subscription to Massdrop and every day I see portable DACs and Amps going pretty cheaply. Portable isn't really my thing, but there certainly is a lot of choice in the market.


Cheers networkn I'll keep that in mind!




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  Reply # 1108014 13-Aug-2014 23:16
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alasta: I see Avalon audio have just started selling a newly released DAC/amp from Onkyo. At $400 it's a bit pricey, but feedback seems to be quite favourable.


Might have to call in and see them as well. Cheers!




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  Reply # 1113187 21-Aug-2014 22:56
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I spent some time talking with Billy at Computer Lounge on Tuesday afternoon (whilst test driving some very expensive headphones and associated gear). Based on his recommendation I've decided to forget the portable DAC completely for now. I'll be heading back in the next couple of weeks to pick up the NAD HP50 (now in stock at Computer Lounge). I had a quick test drive of the HP50 at the headphone meetup in May, but on Tuesday they seemed even better than I remembered. 




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  Reply # 1113208 22-Aug-2014 06:29
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BigHammer: I had a quick test drive of the HP50 at the headphone meetup in May, but on Tuesday they seemed even better than I remembered. 


Meets are awesome, but they're not the ideal conditions for closely evaluating headphones, that's for sure. We're becoming quite the little HP50 fan club in here!




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