Audiophiles, audio & stuff thread

I’m probably the least qualified person to make this thread, but I figured there are a good amount of people who are into audio stuff as they are into keyboard stuff.

Here’s what I’m rocking:

Headphones:
Hifiman HE-400i

DAC:
Micca Origen G2 USB DAC & Preamp

Speakers:
Swan M10 2.1 Bookshelf Speakers

Other:
Yamaha AG03 Channel Mixer - for mic input and streaming

Honestly I really like my setup, although I think it needs improvement.

What’s everyone listening on?

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Computer

Headphones
Sennheiser HD598

DAC
Undecided - still looking for good offers. Was looking at some Schiit. I had the Creative Gigaworks T40 II but decided to sell them and just switch to headphone use only. One of the reasons is that between the home office and my sons bedroom, there’s just an open staircase but no door. He can apparently play a games on his PS4, listen to music and watch a TV series episode all at the same time. So the headphones were the most sane choice for me :wink:

Other

Speakers

AVR
Marantz AV7011 - 7.2 Channel 4K & 3D Pass Through AV Preamp/Processor

Amplifier
Marantz MM7055 - 5 channel power amplifier

This is by far a true audiophile setup but I think the Boston Acoustics warm character is a perfect match with the smoothness of the Marantz. Ideal setup to listen to jazz. I’d invest more in the stereo side of things, but the compromise with my wife was that it had to be surround.

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Headphones: ZMF Auteur, Audeze LCD-GX (won in a giveaway),Sennheiser HD6XX (likely to be sold soon), Modhouse Argon MkIII (would link, but their website was attacked and appears to still be down)

I also sold some other cans prior to purchasing the Auteur (Aeon Flow Closed, DT1990, X2, 1More Triple) and I’m thinking about selling the LCD-GX and Argon to fund a ZMF Eikon or Atticus.

DAC: Topping D50

Amp/Preamp: Burson Fun w/ 2x Sparkos opamps

Speakers: JBL 305p Mk II x2 at my desktop. I was also recently given a pair ofThiel CS1.2 floor standing speakers that I don’t have an amplifier or receiver for yet.

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No degree in audio engineering here, I just know what I like:

Headphones
Sennheiser HD598
Fostex th-x00

DAC:
Sabaj D5

Speakers:
Yamaha HS8 + HS10 sub

No amp (since speakers are powered)

Most things are set to defaults, with a few decibels of room trim on the HS8s.

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I am not super into audio but I currently use and really enjoy:

  • Sennheiser HD6XX headphones
  • Project Head Box DS (Amp & DAC Combo)

Regarding desktop speakers I am currently only running a Teufel Rockstar XS because I tend to wear my Sennheisers 99% of the time.

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I’ve got a pretty standard setup, AKG K7XX with a shiit stack for headphones, and Alesis M1Active 520 USB my dad got me for me for my dorm when I went to college. Those bad boys have been with me for a long time, and although I probably could get something better I use them primarily at my desk and they’re great for that, and somehow still in great shape.

I’ve been eyeing the Sennheiser HD6XX for a while, but my 95% of my music listening happens on a pair of Bose NC700s (and QC 35s before that). As such, I have no idea what to look for in a DAC or what it even does to the sound. In the spirit of thread, any advice would be much appreciated!

We should separate the concepts of “DACs” and “amplifiers”. Some headphones need an amplifier to get up to proper listening volume. Most would say the HD6XX is best used with an amp. A DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) pretty much just does what its name implies and isn’t always necessary to have. Often they allow you to configure multiple inputs for you to switch between (e.g. I have my PC connected to my DAC via USB and my TV connected via optical so I can listen to my TV with headphones when needed). You can find an amp and DAC together in a combo unit like the JDS Element, or sold separately like the JDS EL Amp and EL DAC. If you’re satisfied with your audio source (I’m assuming onboard audio from a computer) then you don’t really need a DAC, but many of us give in to buying one just for the peace of mind in knowing we’re getting a cleaner audio output that isn’t being distorted by the internals of the computer. The DAC and amp can slightly color the sound, but it’s typically not by a very big amount, and DACs in particular are the subject of much debate on whether human hearing can even perceive the differences between many of them.

For the HD6XX you do not need a ton of power, but some argue they scale better with higher end amplifiers and OTL tube amplifiers - it’s probably best to stay away from that stuff for now. It’s a bottomless pit to throw your money down for diminishing returns. What you should get is up to your budget. The default entry level amp these days is the JDS Atom, and maybe pair it with a Topping D10, D30, Khadas Tone Board, or Schiit Modi if a DAC is needed.

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Yeah, I have a Sennheiser HD6xx, too, fitted out with Dekoni lamb skin pads powered by a Grace M9xx, thanks MassDrop.

I have a Boston Acoustics alarm clock which I purchased out of frustration years and years ago. It was 500 bucks, but it is built like a freaking tank and wakes me up with surprisingly good sound. I have to walk across the room to turn it off, so it beats my phone which is too close.

I have two Klipsch sound bars for the TVs, and that’s all good, perfectly fine. Off hand, without checking, I think they’re the SB 5. They’re the SB3. Klipsch makes horn loaded stuff, which requires minimal amplification, and these are self-amplified with a separate woofer, a good buy highly recommended. They pound, which is good for Blu-ray’s with a high dynamic range. Also I’m too lazy to set up a true surround sound system, so there ya go. I figure if a sound bar can rock with a stereo signal, it’s good enough, and these things can rattle the foundation.

What I’d like, if I won the lottery, is a multi-hundred thousand dollar audition rig, but that’s never going to happen. LOL. We all do what we can in a reasonable manner. I used to subscribe to Stereophile magazine which extolled the virtues of crap you’d need a special listening room and be a millionaire to afford. Eventually I realized, I’m never going to be rich; nonetheless, I appreciate good sound where I can afford it.

Meanwhile, I’m over here with a pair of passable Logitech gaming headphones that my cat is chewing and trying to unplug the DAC as we speak.

Anyone got recommendations for decent enough wireless headphones? You know, to avoid the whole cat issue.

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Honestly, the Apple wireless EarPods are pretty good. I was impressed, they’re probably overpriced, as everything Apple branded is, but I bought a set from Amazon on sale, and spent a fair bit of time wondering how they did it.

I’m particularly honest-to-god wondering why they don’t fall straight out of my ears when everything else does. Plus, as opposed to Chinese IEMs, there’s no fiddling for a tight fit. I have weird ears. YMMV.

Again, if I won the lottery, I’d happily spend the time and money getting a perfect fit from a company that does casting for IEMs for musicians. The real world kind of sucks, all things considered, and good enough is good enough. I’d love a couple of sets of Etymotics (backups, lol).

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I’d have a set of Stax electrostatics for the yacht, natch.

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I’ve heard good things, and listened on, the Sony WH-1000XM3. They’re more musical than the Bose, and their ANC (active noise cancelling) is on par or just below that of Bose. Quite expensive piece of gear though.

I use AirPods at work and I’m quite satisfied by them. They lack the noise cancelling I sometimes wish they had, but they do a pretty decent job and since my trackpad and keyboard are wireless, it adds to the clean desk feeling. But in the end, the sound is decent enough so that it doesn’t annoy me.

The Sennheiser momentum 3.0 wireless is also an option, but again quite expensive.

Glad I’m not the only one without expensive audio equipment!

Headphones:
Plantronics BackBeat Pro 2 (given to me by my employer when they moved me to an open office :unamused: so I don’t actually own these)
Koss PortaPros
Audio Technica M50 (rarely ever used)
No DAC or amp

Home theater (main way I listen to music):
Cheapest Yamaha 5.1 receiver I could find at Best Buy 5 years ago
Pioneer Andrew Jones 5.0 setup (currently configured in 3.0 because the walls in my apartment are thin)

Other:
Logitech Z207 speakers at my computer
A bunch of different Google Home/Chromecast devices set up as a speaker group so my music plays evenly through all of my rooms

I’ve also been looking at getting a pair of bone conducting headphones but the only good ones are kinda expensive…

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I have a pair of Sennheiser HD650 with an ODAC/O2 combination. At home I have some older Bang&Olufsen speakers and an ancient yamaha amp. Both sounds great, and the B&O are my parents old which they in turn bought from a friend working at B&O in the early eighties.

I’ve realized that I can’t tell the difference between the finer details in things (I tried some blind mp3 320 kbps/flac etc, and I’m 33 so my hearing isn’t going to improve…) so I’ll probably be happy with my current equipment from now on. Going from more basic stuff to this was a lot of bang for bucks but wasting money on more homeopat…expensive stuff is probably meaningless :slight_smile:

Fun fact: my first real job after school was in GSM and measuring end-user speech quality at an R&D site. My team (“a panel of experts in speech quality” as stated in some standards) all had HD650, paired with some crappy HP laptops. We listened to (at best) 12.65 kbps recordings with these.

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Headphones: Oppo PM-3 with Vesper Audio pads/cable, I also have the Sony WH-1000XM3 for travel / not at my desk.
DAC/Amp: Chord Hugo 2

I’m looking forward to the day I can get a real setup at home again. Right now I just use my Sonys when working and I’ve got a Sonos system in the rest of the apartment.

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Headphones: Hifiman HE-4XX, Sennheiser HD 6XX, and others, but those are my mains.
DAC: SMSL M300
Headphone Amp: THX AAA 789
Speakers: KEF Q100
Speaker Amp: Micca OriGain

Thinking about some higher-end planars, and maybe adding an audio interface like the UA Apollo.

I’ve got far to many pairs of headphones to list, but I drive most everything with my iFi iDSD, iCan and iESL stack.

Current two headphones I listen to the most would be ZMF Verite and Audeze LCD-4.

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Headphones: Sennheiser HD660S, Fostex TH900mk2, Mr Speakers Ether 2 & Ether C Flow 1.1,
IEMS: Campfire Audio Solaris & Andromeda S
Source: RME ADI 2 DAC

I’ve had a few other DAC/AMP’s but i’m quite content with the ADI-2. Especially its IEM output which is dead clean.

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Uh oh, my hobbies are merging…

Currently in a pretty happy place for the last year or so with no desire to upgrade further (at least on the headphone side…).

PC --> ADI-2 --> Amp of choice (far too many) --> ZMF Aeolus/Arya + Philharmonic Audio BMRs



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