When becoming an audiophile (a person who is addicted to sound and sound devices), beside of the best studio headphones, you have to consider very much about other support devices such as Amplifiers, DAC, bitrate… Therefore, this article would have a good influence to the ones who are new to the world of Audiophiles.
Rule no.1: Be patient: Headphones prove their value through time
Speakers and headphones share a common same effect: after using for a long time, the speaker’s special urethane and some electric links would change a lot and provide warmer and more detailed sounds. This effect is called “burn in” (or “break in”). That means you’ve unlocked some good points of the product, and it just appears after hundreds of hours utilizing.
Therefore, if you notice that your new set has worse quality than the sample one, don’t think immediately that it’s a fault product. Just spend more than 100 hours playing music with this new headphone, you will see a big difference between the sounds before and after “burn in”. The sounds have developed very much with the help of “burn in” effect. Moreover, some headphone models are well – known with a very long burn in process. The champions in this field are AKG: K701, K702 and Q701. However, you won’t regret any dollars spending to those headphones as well as the time you take to burn them in because the sound provided by them after the effect are tremendous and unbelievable. That’s why they have very long “burn in” time but still top sellers in headphones for audiophiles.
Rule no.2: Invest money on Amplifier and DAC
Use your money to buy an Amplifier some good DAC is one of the most important rules of audiophiles, and usually you can’t underestimate the rules of these devices to the sound quality.
Some headphone models, especially the ones used in studios, could have the resistance up to hundreds of Ohm. By increasing the value of the resistance, the headphone could recreate more creative and live sounds with many details. Using these headphones with iPhone, iPod and other standard sound ports just makes those sounds to be smaller and worse than their potential.
As the matter of fact, investing in an amplifier is vital, especially with high resistance headphones such as Beyerdynamic DT880 (250 ohm/600 ohm version) or Sennheiser HD600/HD650 (600 ohm). Low resistance headphones such as Grado samples, Sennheiser HD 449, 558 or other Audio Technica versions don’t need the amplifier too much, however this device still boost up the sound quality, creating larger and more powerful soundstage and reduce the pressure to the signal emitting devices.
While listening to the speakers on PC, choose DAC (changing digital signals into analog signals for headphones and speakers and the most often is the USB sound card) with the best quality. The sound card integrated in the PC would still help boosting the sound volume, but provides noisy and dark sounds. Those sounds don’t have much information or details. Good DACs and amplifiers don’t just help bursting out the advantages of headphones but also bring new and exciting experiences about sounds which are different from each other though they are provided from the same headphone.
DACs and Amplifiers play very important parts in burn – in process, high – end DACs and amplifiers have higher frequency bands that give a golden chance to better sound on headphones.
A personal advice in choosing amplifiers and DACs is that you should put handmade and DIY products on the first priority (DIY means do – it – yourself). Ibasso and JDSLab are two names that have quite large effect on DIY DAC world. These products bring better functions in comparison with other commercial products in terms of their prices. On the other hand, you can easily look for some amplifiers and DACs which are mass produced with the brand Filo or Creative… Those goods have fair productivity, just enough for your headphones in medium and low – budget product lines.
Finally, using DAC and amplifiers is the best way to invest for the future, in case you want to upgrade your collection by purchasing more modern headphones. Think about it carefully before purchasing something related to your hobby.