spicing up the "headphone sound" [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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06-21-2007, 08:24 PM
Im an independent music producer, and im looking into getting a pair of the sennheiser hd650's. I've heard good things, but have also become confused on some of the more technical aspects of getting the headphones to reach there maximum potential. What do you guys suggest i buy with the headphones so i can get the most out of them? Keep in mind, im using these headphones to produce music. Cords, pre-amps, sound cards, etc... Also, im not much of an expert when it comes to these things so keep the technical jargon to a minimum.. or at least explain yourself =D.

Thanks, -Jared-

06-22-2007, 06:13 AM
I think all you need is a headphone jack. If you have the gear to produce music you don't need anything else but the headphones.

I also think that the HD650's are overkill. You could spend half that and still have headphones that are more than adequate for a beginning music producer. The HD580’s, for example, are generally considered to be very good headphones. They are open construction. If you need to block out room noise, you might want to think about headphones that are closed construction.

But, you really need to clarify the kind of production you intend to do and how you’re going to do it. What are your needs that lead you to believe you need to get the most out of what’s already a very good set of cans (HD580). “The most” can cost a lot of money; some of that money will only purchase a tiny tiny improvement.

But, I’m rambling. I don’t know diddly about producing music.

06-22-2007, 06:52 AM
I'm not sure if I understand the question. Do you mean something like software upgrades? I think the ones you picked out would sound incredible as is. I have a cheaper set of Sennheisers that I just love. Do you need them to cancel the noise, or do you want to be able to hear what's going on around you while you are listening?

06-22-2007, 09:11 AM
senn's are great high end phones, i don't really like the cheap construction of their cheap models though. Yes, i like the 580's suggestion, or maybe some Audio-Technica's? they're great cans too.

for a sound card, i'd go for an external Creative X-fi and the I/O console upgrade kit. perfect for mixing. i dunno about software, look around for some professional stuff. oh, and you'll want a mixing board too.

another way to do it: get one of those computerized sound boards, they usually have a small built in touchscreen, but you can add a nice big LCD to it too.such as the Roland VS2480CD 24-Track Digital Studio Workstation, the only downside is the $3000 price tag. but you be the judge
edit: the roland i mentioned comes with a nice big lcd, as well as a built in one.

just my 20 cents.

06-22-2007, 07:15 PM
ya I'm using the m-audio mobile pre atm, it gets the job done but I'm looking into getting a new external sometime here soon as well. When i was on the site, i noticed that you could buy a cable for it as well. http://www.sennheiserusa.com/newsite/productdetail.asp?transid=092885

Would it be worth the wopping 12 dollar price tag! ^-^ , if not .. are they any other cables out there that would be worth taking a look at? Also, im under the assumption that a good cable can help in overall sound quaity.. in regards to these headphones.. is that true?

06-25-2007, 09:50 AM
I'm not a big believer that a cable upgrade is going to make much of a difference (even if it was a lot more than a $12 upgrade). The Senn's have a cable; I'm sure it conducts as much juice as you need. That's my bias.

But, you could conceivably get a better signal to your headphones by taking the DAC/AMP functions out of your computer and using an external.

Something like the Headroom MicroDAC might be good. I'm going a similar route with the Zhaolu D2.5 (on clearance in preparation for D3.0 @ http://ifiaudio.com/d25.html). Take the digital out from your computer. The Zhaolu is sitting right here next to me, driving me crazy, as I wait for the backordered mini-optical to toslink adapter to arrive.

The supposed advantages of going external with the DAC/amp are to move the signal from the electronically noisy environment within the computer. Plus, a little more oomph for the amplification for some cleaner dynamics over my laptop's headphone jack. We'll see.

Headroom also has a pretty good page with info on types, quality of headphones and related gear.