Friday, 25 Jan 2013

Mobile Photos: Headphone gear

So it’s been a while that I’ve picked up a proper camera…sadly. Hence no photos to speak of as life progresses and I haven’t been anywhere interesting. However I have taken some photos using my new toy, my Samsung Galaxy S3. Here are a few snaps from the phone of my headphone gear with a few thoughts.

All these photos were taken and cropped/edited with my Samsung Galaxy S3.

Audio Technica ATH-AD900 on a Audio-Technica AT-HPH300 ā€˜Gā€™ Clamp type headphone holder. Good sound from these head phones, great soundstage but not too great for bass lovers. Perfect for any other type of music. They are quite open though so the person next to you better like the music you’re listening to.

Very tight bass and good overall surround sound. Great for playing games so I leave it at home if I am playing an immerssive game. Good for music too but since it’s open, it may disturb the people around you a little.

So once I got the good headphones, it led on to I needed a good source as well as a good DAC/AMP to power these headphones. However I also wanted portability as I figured once I heard these sounds, I can never go back. So I checked up a small company brand called Fiio and they have this great little product called an E17 and it acts as a very good amp/dac and just for the hell of it, I got the E09K with it so that when I’m at work, I get that extra little boost.

So on the run, I was thinking about getting good sound from my E17 as I had just normal earbuds that came with the phone and I was wondering which one would be best to look at and from the reviews and of me already being a fan of the Audio Technica range, I picked up these ATH-M50s and splurged a little for the limited edition. They sound great, a little heavy on bass however that may be a good thing for some people. But definitely not for being worn for a long period of time as the top presses against the head a little too much.

My latest purchase was picked up at a Harvey Norman which was closing down. I got these Sony EX Monitor headphones (MDR-EX310SL) for $40 (retails at $69.95). These are by far the most crisp ear phones I’ve ever used especially when it comes with foamed noise isolation earbuds which completely blocks out sound. A great travel alternative if you don’t want bulky headphones. They have now replaced my M50s and they reside in my drawer at home now and this is my go to travel sound.

After all these purchases, I was tired of always having something around my ear so I considered getting a speaker set up at home where I can just sit and listen to music. So after research, I was contemplating between the Swan H4s and the AudioEngine’s A5s. A5 seemed to be the go according to forums however when I went and listened to the sound, I liked the H4 more and plus, they were on special with the H6 subwoofer so away I went and bought that. And then I had to buy an AMP/DAC to drive these bad boys and I considered getting another E09K at home. However I had mulitple sources which I wanted to hook up the speakers to, namely my SqueezeBox, Computer, Media Centre and TV. So most AMPs had only 2 inputs and you would have to get a huge rack if you wanted up to 5 inputs. Along came the Matrix i-Mini after all the research and it’s been a god send. It’s cheap, has 4 inputs and best of all, it can be manually upgraded. So I called up an audio store and got it ordered and they agreed to upgrade the resistors and other components in there and it produces the sweetest sounds ever.

So there you have it, my complete sound system. Hopefully it’ll last me a while before I have to invest more into it…

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