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Old December 6, 2012, 05:08 PM
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With the Christmas season right around the corner, I figured I might as treat myself to some new cans and a soundcard. I'm sad to say it, but I have no experience w/ high end cans and soundcards. I have used onboard audio and cruddy headphones my whole life.

I am pretty much set on my soundcard, the Xonar Essence ST. (I am limited by the PCI interface, as I've used all of my PCIE slots.)

As for the cans I have a 250 USD dollar budget, although nothings wrong w/ spending less. My list so far - very open to change - (Headset must be new, just one of my silly things.)
AKG Q701's
Sennheiser HD 555
Sennheiser HD 558
Sennheiser HD 598

Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks.
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Old December 6, 2012, 06:56 PM
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I personally use a HD558 the hd500 line is very comfortable and from my experience durable. And for added bonus they use a thicker cable which a zalman mic1 attaches to perfectly.
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Old December 6, 2012, 10:33 PM
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Good choice on the Xonar ST. I have the STX but the ST is said to have ever-so-slightly better sound quality. You will not be disappointed!

Dumb question but have you had the opportunity to test-drive those headphones? Judging by the choices, you're gravitating towards a certain sound that is offered by the Senn's and that AKG set.
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Old December 7, 2012, 05:03 AM
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I, sadly, have never been able to actually sit down and listen to music on any of those, but I was able to briefly try on the 555s and the 701s. I have heard from forums that for music that is heavily accoustic and vocal (modern folk), Sennheiser and AKG are the way to go, correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old December 7, 2012, 11:07 AM
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I've found Grado's to be quite decent for acoustics and vocals, especially female vocals. However, they colour the sound in such a way that's undesirable for other types of music. I love mine but I love them for the music that they're suited for. Plus, they can get uncomfortable to wear over long periods.

What I'd suggest is to see if there's an audio store in your area that will let you sample products with your music. In Vancouver for example, there's Headphone Bar which carries all sorts of products that you can demo with your own CD's or an amped MP3 player. If you're spending a couple hundred on a set of cans, you want to make sure they're comfortable and sound good.
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Old December 7, 2012, 11:27 AM
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If I tend to listen to various kinds of music, would you sill suggest Grados, if so, what kind? I'm completely lost w/ Grado. I have not done any research into them and have no idea what to look for in terms of Grados.
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