Headphone Audio System


Technology Mentor
Staff Emeritus
I'm looking for a good headphone audio system for my desktop that incorporates a USB DAC to plug into my computer, an amp and a comfortable pair of headphones.

The amp should use transistor technology and be class A or AB. In terms of the headphone I'm looking for a closed design that is insulted enough to cancel the fan noise from inside my pc and the one on my ceiling.

Does anyone have any suggestions or recomendations for a resonably priced system.


you might wanna check out head-fi, but don't buy into fanboy stuff that goes on over there.


Well, these are the ultimate headphones..
But you knew that.

I think it needs a laser sight though.

I don't know what class A or B is for amp transistor technology :confused: but I like the ones I use everyday. Got muh cheap SONY headphones I got for my birthday, from Thailand. They are very light, no cups around your ears, sound quality is great, and you forget they are on you head. Except of the cord. Soon enough all headphones will be wireless... hopefully soon. :cry: I hate wires!!
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Technology Mentor
Staff Emeritus
mugsby, the head-fi forum looks good. I'll check it out.

Mk, I'm looking for a wired solution (no batteries). I want an external dac/amp because I have a poor audio card and there are no linux drivers available for the higher end models.
I would HIGHLY suggest a good pair of sennheiser headphones. I bought my HD 590's at a really good price, $99 over thanksgiving weekend. Normally they cost 180ish.... Most comfortable headphones EVER and extremely good sound quality.... BTW, the head-fi forums are great.


Technology Mentor
Staff Emeritus
Headroom (http://www.headphone.com/) has some good reviews and also includes the frequency response plots. For example check out the HD580:


If you look at the mid frequencies the gain is a bit higher than the rest and in the higher frequencies it is a mess.

Now look at the HD595:


It has a much flatter response and handles the higher frequencies better.

I can't find the reponse for the HD590, but i'll assume it is somewhere in the middle. Although it isn't closed I think that is the best choice.


Staff Emeritus
Science Advisor
Gold Member
I second a good pair of Sennheisers. You may also want to look into getting a specific-purpose headphone amplifier, but they get pricey. Avoid Bose like the plague, of course -- they're just marketing fluff and have been far outdone by other companies.

edit: I should mention that I've tried the true audiophile headphone systems, and have come to the conclusion that I'm no purist. I personally really cannot notice much improvement of the $1500 headphone systems over the $100 headphone systems, even though I often listen to music that (supposedly) should show marked improvement. I have a decent pair of $60 Phillips noise-cancelling headphones that have been more than pleasing (to me) while listening to music in the relatively quiet environment of my office.

- Warren
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