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Help with Headphones and HPA


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I know these types of threads are a dime a dozen and perhaps I’m being a little lazy too but, well, here goes.......

So, I’m a complete and utter novice at headphones. So much so I don’t even have a headphone jack in my house (oh, there’s one on the kids PS4 controllers so not completely without) but am thinking of adding headphone capability to my system. Assume it’s as simple as connecting in a HPA between my pre and power amps. Correct? 

 

So the big question is where to start? My music listening is fairly varied but staples are rock/alternative, but also into male vocal stuff like Jack Garrett, also Massive Attack, even Sigur Rós when the moment grabs me. I began looking at headphones but there’s so many types and styles, impedances, wired vs unwired etc..... I think I’m aiming towards over ear, closed back ones. Assume the usual suspects would be Sennheiser, AKG, Sony (along with a plethora of other Japanese brands) etc etc. I have a shortlist that maybe are good, maybe they are not, I really have no idea. They include:

 

- AKG K240 Mk2 or K612

- Sony WH-1000XM3 or XM4

- Sennheiser Momentum

- Hifiman Sundara

 

Headphone amps I have even less of an idea obviously, I know jack about Schiit, or any other brand or even what models are compatible with what headphones or specs of headphones. 

 

 

So here’s where you come in. Say if you had an even $1k for some headphones and an amp, what would be your preferences or a tried and true combination? 
 

Also, where can I go to try any of your suggestions out east of Melbourne? I know of really only one place from my searching that seems to have a good selection and that’s Addicted to Audio in Kew. 

 

Oh and also, while I said above I was looking at closed back it is only that I have read that open back designs ‘leak’ sound so everyone nearby can hear what you are listening to, so figure they might not work on every situation with the lady friend and children. But if you can shed light on how much leakage there is I may be able to be swayed to open back as I have read generally they lend themselves to better quality of sound. Things like the Grado SR325s....like that retro look........ if you have these please tell me your experiences with them. 

 

Thanks for any assistance you can give. 

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Okie dokie. $1000. Assuming you have the DAC sorted. Amp and closed headphone.

 

Focal Elegia $600 used but mint sold on these forums every second week.

Schiit Asgard 3 $350 AUD delivered direct from Schiit.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Bengineer said:

Okie dokie. $1000. Assuming you have the DAC sorted. Amp and closed headphone.

 

Focal Elegia $600 used but mint sold on these forums every second week.

Schiit Asgard 3 $350 AUD delivered direct from Schiit.

 

 

 

  •  

Why do I need a dac? (I told you I was a beginner!) 

 

Ok I’m only thinking if using these cans at home on my system. My system has 3 sources: streaming, vinyl and CD, fed to a pre, then from there to a stereo processor and two 5 channel amps, 1 amp for left stereo channel and one for the right. Outputs of the amps are connected to 3 drivers and a dual voice coil sub each. So I figured if I get a headphone amp with a single ended input and output I’d simply connect it into my system where the full signal from each source would be ie: at the output of pre. 

 

 

Edited by shaky
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Yeah ok. So your CD player and Streamer have the built in DAC essentially.

 

Ill stick with my suggestion. The Focal Elegia in the 600-700 range is a revelation in value. It should be a lot more 

 

I personally don't like it, but most do. Clear. Punchy. Built well.

 

Most headphone amps have their own preamp / volume control built in.

 

Asgard 3 is a excellent amp for the price. Really would suit.

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18 hours ago, Bengineer said:

Yeah ok. So your CD player and Streamer have the built in DAC essentially.

 

Ill stick with my suggestion. The Focal Elegia in the 600-700 range is a revelation in value. It should be a lot more 

 

I personally don't like it, but most do. Clear. Punchy. Built well.

 

Most headphone amps have their own preamp / volume control built in.

 

Asgard 3 is a excellent amp for the price. Really would suit.


 

Thanks for the info. Would like to try before I buy though so any comparisons might be problematic with preowned gear. But I have more to think about, and research, now too. 
 

 

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I needed a pair of closed backs as my girl gets sick of the bleed from open backs.

 

+1 for the Focal Elegias, I got a pair on sale. Love em. Pair real well with a Mojo.

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