Yet another headphone thread

Citizen86 wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:

Probably dumb question: With the E07K, will Windows still control the volume? So my keyboard controls will work?

I assume it's like external speakers that have volume. You set that, then Windows controls still work to that set volume.

Nearly all USB DAC/amps have volume control on the device. The computer doesn't control volume because it's sending an unmodified digital stream.

So in short, no generally you can't.

Um.. all but one of my USB Dacs allow Windows to control the volume. The one that doesn't is a Dac/Amp combo unit with an analog knob.

Now the E07 is a combo, so it may or may not, but it might support letting Windows control the volume. I shall attempt googling on my phone.

*Multiple Head-Fi posts say the E07k does not bypass the windows audio mixer so the windows volume control will be functional... but moving that slider does not actually control the volume setting on the E07k. You just have two independently functional volume settings.

You could set the E07k to a good middle ground volume and just handle the rest with the windows setting if if you really wanted to, thought that's not an "ideal" setup.

Thin_J wrote:

*Multiple Head-Fi posts say the E07k does not bypass the windows audio mixer so the windows volume control will be functional... but moving that slider does not actually control the volume setting on the E07k. You just have two independently functional volume settings.

You could set the E07k to a good middle ground volume and just handle the rest with the windows setting if if you really wanted to, thought that's not an "ideal" setup.

Thanks for the leg work. I should have dug around there myself. That's exactly how I hoped it would work. I would like to use the volume roller on my keyboard 90% of the time. On my laptop, I'd probably use the volume buttons on the amp.

Amoebic wrote:

Sony MDR 7506's for everything forever, my bias is so acute I can't wrap my head around the possibility of anything else. They've been like $100 since forever and I could want for nothing else. If I still had a pair, and my apartment was burning down, I would probably consider grabbing them on my way out.

My last pair literally fell apart after a decade of use and I have yet to replace them.

I was that way about my MDR-V600s. I had 2 pairs, and both eventually fell apart. Oh the sadness. I know they still make the V6s, but it's not the same, darnit.

Thin_J wrote:
Citizen86 wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:

Probably dumb question: With the E07K, will Windows still control the volume? So my keyboard controls will work?

I assume it's like external speakers that have volume. You set that, then Windows controls still work to that set volume.

Nearly all USB DAC/amps have volume control on the device. The computer doesn't control volume because it's sending an unmodified digital stream.

So in short, no generally you can't.

Um.. all but one of my USB Dacs allow Windows to control the volume. The one that doesn't is a Dac/Amp combo unit with an analog knob.

Now the E07 is a combo, so it may or may not, but it might support letting Windows control the volume. I shall attempt googling on my phone.

*Multiple Head-Fi posts say the E07k does not bypass the windows audio mixer so the windows volume control will be functional... but moving that slider does not actually control the volume setting on the E07k. You just have two independently functional volume settings.

You could set the E07k to a good middle ground volume and just handle the rest with the windows setting if if you really wanted to, thought that's not an "ideal" setup.

That's good to know. I thought that USB DAC's always took a bit-perfect stream that was unmodified. But in my limited experience with it, the E7 is a DAC/amp combo, so that is probably why mine does not.

Hmm... I just realized it's been a while since I used it on Windows as well. But on Linux the volume control happens all on the amp. OS volume control does nothing.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:
MannishBoy wrote:

Grrr. Still don't like the icons on the redesign :)

Schiit audio has one of those now, I noticed. Might be worth checking out.

I got a good amount of hands-on with the Fulla at a headphone meetup.

It pales in comparison to the Bifrost+Valhalla combo sitting next to it (using Senn HD650s), but it was about 70% of the way there. Great little unit if you want a portable DAC/amp for your laptop.

I personally would go for a FiiO E10K, but they are more or less comparable price/performance wise.

Citizen86 wrote:

Hmm... I just realized it's been a while since I used it on Windows as well. But on Linux the volume control happens all on the amp. OS volume control does nothing.

Even using foobar2k to output in either ASIO or WASAPI for bitperfect stuff the windows volume control is still functional on my Bifrost.

It's considered less than optimal to use it because, as the theory (?) goes, if you're attenuating the signal before it even makes it to the DAC you're actually dropping some of the information being sent. So people insist that for any kind of critical listening you want windows at 100% on the output to the DAC and then use whatever external volume control you have instead.

I guess it makes some sort of sense but even using super high quality recordings A/Bing both methods I couldn't tell a difference.

Man, I came hear to read up on headphones because I'm thinking of buying a new pair and it was like stepping into another reality. I'm not sure I understood half of what I read on this page alone. I have so much to learn before I go shopping.

Skiptron wrote:

Man, I came hear to read up on headphones because I'm thinking of buying a new pair and it was like stepping into another reality. I'm not sure I understood half of what I read on this page alone. I have so much to learn before I go shopping.

Easiest place to start is put out a budget and what purpose you're going to use the headphones. People on here will give you a few good options to consider.

The headphones I am currently using are open and in loud places I can barely hear what I'm listening to. Is something like a FiiO E6 going to make the headphones louder when plugged into my phone or tablet?

OK, I'll give it a whack.

I'm looking to spend no more than $200 and I plan to use these primarily for PC gaming. I'd prefer they have a mic attached, but it's not critical. I don't have a dedicated sound card, if that matters. I'm open to getting one, but it would cut down on the head-set budget. Any opinions or advice would be great.

EverythingsTentative wrote:

The headphones I am currently using are open and in loud places I can barely hear what I'm listening to. Is something like a FiiO E6 going to make the headphones louder when plugged into my phone or tablet?

Open-backed headphones are going to be a questionable choice for loud or noisy environments. They can be especially bad for irritating people around if you're sharing that space. An amp isn't going to help much, you'd be better off with another pair of headphones for travelling or whatever.

Skiptron wrote:

OK, I'll give it a whack.

I'm looking to spend no more than $200 and I plan to use these primarily for PC gaming. I'd prefer they have a mic attached, but it's not critical. I don't have a dedicated sound card, if that matters. I'm open to getting one, but it would cut down on the head-set budget. Any opinions or advice would be great.

I'd go for either the Sennheiser Game Zero headset or the Audio Technica A700/AD700 plus a modmic.

babakotia wrote:
EverythingsTentative wrote:

The headphones I am currently using are open and in loud places I can barely hear what I'm listening to. Is something like a FiiO E6 going to make the headphones louder when plugged into my phone or tablet?

Open-backed headphones are going to be a questionable choice for loud or noisy environments. They can be especially bad for irritating people around if you're sharing that space. An amp isn't going to help much, you'd be better off with another pair of headphones for travelling or whatever.

I know the audio from open can bleeds outside. When I am at my daughters basketball games and practices I like to have my headphones on so the game has a soundtrack instead of screeching, banging, screaming, whistles, and horns. Since I have a hard time hearing it, I doubt anyone sitting around me would hear it if I amplify it a little bit. I know, "Wear your earbuds or your noise canceling headphones". I have gotten used to the open headphones and the ability to be aware of the world around me while wearing the,. I've gotten so used to them I feel blind when I am wearing the others in public.

You'll kill your hearing before you amp an open pair enough to drown out that kind of outside noise.

complexmath wrote:
Skiptron wrote:

OK, I'll give it a whack.

I'm looking to spend no more than $200 and I plan to use these primarily for PC gaming. I'd prefer they have a mic attached, but it's not critical. I don't have a dedicated sound card, if that matters. I'm open to getting one, but it would cut down on the head-set budget. Any opinions or advice would be great.

I'd go for either the Sennheiser Game Zero headset or the Audio Technica A700/AD700 plus a modmic.

Yeah. That's what I would do. If you're almost always going with online chat, go with the Sennheiser. If you're a little more interested in music with some online gaming on the side, go with the Audio Technica AD700Xs (latest and most available version of that headphone). I'm not 100% certain the AD700Xs are at least as good or better than the previous models, but the reviews seem good and there wasn't any mention of them being inferior.

Edit: There is an Amazon review mentioning the AD700X's have some cheaper parts here and there, so maybe get the AD700s if you can still find them. I wouldn't be all that concerned since they go for just over $100 on Amazon. At that price you're going to get some plasticy elements.

I think I'm going to take the plunge on the Game Zero. I do much more gaming and chatting than listening to music. When my PC is playing music I'm usually across the room at my mini-painting setup and it's more background noise. I appreciate the help guys.

Skiptron wrote:

I think I'm going to take the plunge on the Game Zero. I do much more gaming and chatting than listening to music. When my PC is playing music I'm usually across the room at my mini-painting setup and it's more background noise. I appreciate the help guys.

They'll be great without a DAC/Headphone Amp, but if you want to improve the sound a bit, you could get a standalone DAC/headphone amp. Schiit used to have each for $50, but they're now $100 each, so that's hard to recommend. You could always go for one of the laptop type combo versions which run under $100.

Try it with your system initially, though. If you're happy with it then don't worry about it.

Edit: If you have a little patience do the AKG K7XX massdrop @200. They're the headphones I use along with the AKG K702s. They're both wonderful headphones, and I have zero desire to upgrade ever. You'd have to get a modmic, though, so that's the big downside.

How long do those massdrops normally take to fufill/show-up?

Skiptron wrote:

How long do those massdrops normally take to fufill/show-up?

I think the longest time I've personally experienced between the drop ending and the actual ship date was between 3 and 4 weeks.

On the other hand, the last couple drops I went in on shipped within 2 to 3 days.

It depends on whether it's a drop where they already have the item(s) on hand or if they're communicating with a supplier who will first ship them the total allotment for the drop which they then have to individually package and ship on their own. The AKG drops have all been the latter type so far, which increases the shipping time. Given that the drop ends in 5 days but the estimated ship time is late February, I'd say that's still the case.

FWIW, I also have a pair of K7XX's and they are indeed really, really good.

I would go G4ME One over G4ME Zero myself. Unless you really want to block out everything around you. I prefer open headphones to closed for most situations, and the sound positioning I think is probably better.

I can see how you guys get into this. I've been spending way too much time reading up on options. Now I'm really looking into these K702's on the Massdrop. I could wait a month or so if it means a much nicer set of headphones.

EverythingsTentative wrote:

I have gotten used to the open headphones and the ability to be aware of the world around me while wearing the,. I've gotten so used to them I feel blind when I am wearing the others in public.

I do know what you mean by this - I have good isolating 'phones for my commute but I don't wear them while walking because I feel far too cut off from my surroundings.

The only thing I could suggest is that, if open headphones are at one end of the scale and closed over-ear headphones are at the other, you might find on-ears give you better isolation without being too isolating. Ideally if there's a store near you that would let you try a few pairs to see.

Skiptron wrote:

I can see how you guys get into this. I've been spending way too much time reading up on options.

Yup, this thread is dangerous. Happens to all of us, I think.

Got some brainwavz earbuds off massdrop for the bus.
These things f*cking bump.

boogle wrote:

Got some brainwavz earbuds off massdrop for the bus.
These things f*cking bump.

The ones I got after the Wirecutter recommendation just aren't comfortable for me.

Well, my Maverick Audio headphone amp and DAC have too many problems to deal with now. There's just too much fiddling with channel dropout.

Had some extra money, so I ordered the Schiit Audio Bifrost DAC (regular version) and a Valhalla 2 amp. I actually just moved and had to put all my vinyl and other audio equipment in (temp controlled) storage. It's gonna be a year or two until I'll have a place for that, so I might as well enjoy all my digital audio to the fullest.

Do you have the Bifrost and Valhalla or just the Bifrost, ThinJ?

Edit: FWIW, I feel like I got my money's worth over the 3 years or so I had the Maverick Audio stuff. I wouldn't have recommended them after using them awhile with issues, but I definitely got my money's worth out of it. The setup does sound great when it works.

MannishBoy wrote:
boogle wrote:

Got some brainwavz earbuds off massdrop for the bus.
These things f*cking bump.

The ones I got after the Wirecutter recommendation just aren't comfortable for me.

So, I went looking for that review and then found an updated one. I'm going to be commuting regularly now and want to have some iems for my 3DS, Vita, and phone. Since I'm a big AKG fan, I jumped on these right away. Got the grey version.

tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Do you have the Bifrost and Valhalla or just the Bifrost, ThinJ?

Bifrost and Asgard 2.

Were I to go tubes and with Schiit I'd have just saved up for a Lyr 2.

Thin_J wrote:
tuffalobuffalo wrote:

Do you have the Bifrost and Valhalla or just the Bifrost, ThinJ?

Bifrost and Asgard 2.

Were I to go tubes and with Schiit I'd have just saved up for a Lyr 2.

What's the specific reason to go with the Lyr 2? I could go with that instead even though it might be troublesome order-wise.

Edit: Is it the option to use solid state instead of the tubes? That's really cool now that I'm thinking about it.

Edit 2: Well, I sent an email to switch the order to the Lyr 2 with the LISST and 6BZ7 Tubes option @ $529. Hopefully it won't be too hard for them to change it.

The Lyr is kinda like having all the advantages of the Asgard and the Valhalla without the (admittedly small) downsides of either.

They're pretty good about customer service. I wouldn't think it would be a big deal.