Simple Headphone Setup.

I traveled frequently in 2016. At least a dozen times from western NC to Hampton Roads VA. I'm forecasting that I'll probably make the same amount of trips this year. That's too much time spent away from controlled quality sound in my life. So I have decided to build a small and simple headphone rig.

I have already purchased a Schiit Fulla (the name still makes me chuckle) DAC/headphone amp. They're considered a close out item. from $79 to $59. Has any one experienced one of these guys headphone amps? If so what did you all think?
http://schiit.com/products/fulla

Another thing is headphones. There is a tight budget I'm setting for them (~$150). I have looked at several but only one keeps drawling back to them. The AKG K92. The stats to price ratio seems to be the best bang for the buck. I am interested in everyone's option. Do you all know of any headphones that not only sound great for music but would also sound natural when watching a flick on my laptop?
http://www.crutchfield.com/S-cyZUbf20Kl0/p_854K92/AKG-K92.html?XVINQ=DST&XVVER=G15&awcp=1t1&awcr=164110156055&awdv=c&awkw=_inurl:_custom_label:574&awmt=b&awnw=g&awug=9008525
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Comments

  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 372
    Today my mailbox was Fulla Schiit. >:) sbylbzijp4q5.jpg
  • agfrostagfrost Posts: 1,877
    Post your impressions. I've got Asgard and Vali amps. Schitt all over my house.
  • ken brydsonken brydson Posts: 6,308
    I'm offended
  • agfrostagfrost Posts: 1,877
    I'm offended

    Rub some peppermint oil under your nose. Should help.
  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 372
    So far I have more than two hours of listening experiencing with this little amp with extremely incompetent headphones; but I have to say with proper Cans It will only further empress me. With that being said I'll continue this thread when I experience it, & I'm Still open to Suggestions as far as HPs go.
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 6,839
    Philips Fidelio X1 or X2's. Trust me. Buy them on Amazon, you can return them and have not much to lose.
  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 372
    [quote="Nightfall;c-2284019"C or X2's. Trust me. Buy them on Amazon, you can return them and have not much to lose. [/quote]

    The Philips X1/X2's are impressive, but a bit out of my reach $$ I'll have to continue to tolerate the Schiit headphones I have now in order to save up. Any other suggestions?
  • NightfallNightfall Posts: 6,839
    edited January 12
    Audio Technica ATH-M50x

    Have you been on http://www.innerfidelity.com
  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 372
    Reviews and stats look great. Thanks for suggestion Nightfall. I'll let you all know what I think of them.
  • DaveHoDaveHo Posts: 1,395
    The m50's are nice for an entry level can. I used them for some time.
  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 372
    I have ~two hours of usage on the Audio Technica ATH-M50x now, watching my new favorite show on Amazon "GT" (Grand Tour). I'd have to say these cans are great for dialog. I hardly have to use any volume and I'm amazed by how clear I can hear the host.

    This test brought up a flaw in the Fulla though. The problem is from zero volume to ~ an 1/8 of the way turned up (still very quite) sound is only emitting from the left side? This was discovered last night.

    I still need to do some critical listening to get the full experience of what these headphones are capable of.
  • agfrostagfrost Posts: 1,877
    HzTweaker wrote: »
    This test brought up a flaw in the Fulla though. The problem is from zero volume to ~ an 1/8 of the way turned up (still very quite) sound is only emitting from the left side? This was discovered last night.

    yes, you've found one of the common flaws in a (budget) analog volume pot. My Schiit Vali 2 amp has the same condition, as do most/all of the units. A problem only under quiet listening with very sensitive headphones.
  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 372
    agfrost wrote: »
    yes, you've found one of the common flaws in a (budget) analog volume pot. My Schiit Vali 2 amp has the same condition, as do most/all of the units. A problem only under quiet listening with very sensitive headphones.

    ^^Makes sense. This wasn't noticed when using my less capable headphones.
  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 372
    ^ Right on. How often do you use them? How effective is there noise cancelling? @RamZet
  • RamZetRamZet Posts: 776
    HzTweaker wrote: »
    ^ Right on. How often do you use them? How effective is there noise cancelling? @RamZet

    I use them at my office on lunch breaks.
    The noise cancelling kills the lows, not even close to a set of Bose QC.
  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 372
    Still working on this setup. I Just got this cable today. I have to say, so far the low end is more present then before and the separation in the stereo imagining has greatly improved. Not to mention the headroom. For the money this cable from WW is pretty impressive.
    k2q9b695s5x5.jpg
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,012
    I just got a new pair of cans (Grado SR80E) and was curious about buying a headphone amp or tubed dac/amp. I can do my listening plugged into the headphone out on my vintage marantz, does that actually amplify the sound as well or act as a more precise pre amplifier?
  • MrBuhlMrBuhl Posts: 1,775
    I swear I'm not chasing you around Cody... just bored before the work day starts LOL! I run mine at home off a piece of Schitt... (sorry, had to go there) - a Schitt Valhalla and it's great. I'd say it depends on the headphone out on that Marantz and I can't say how good or not that is.

    My Audible Illusions pre has a great headphone out, as does frankly my Eastern Electric MiniMax CDP. So I think this is a your mileage may vary question.

    I feel like the Schitt gives me a bit more control and precision, but the difference on the two high quality options I have, is probably not that great. OTOH it is light years better than the old phones out on my old Harman Kardon receiver.
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,012
    MrBuhl wrote: »
    I swear I'm not chasing you around Cody... just bored before the work day starts LOL! I run mine at home off a piece of Schitt... (sorry, had to go there) - a Schitt Valhalla and it's great. I'd say it depends on the headphone out on that Marantz and I can't say how good or not that is.

    My Audible Illusions pre has a great headphone out, as does frankly my Eastern Electric MiniMax CDP. So I think this is a your mileage may vary question.

    I feel like the Schitt gives me a bit more control and precision, but the difference on the two high quality options I have, is probably not that great. OTOH it is light years better than the old phones out on my old Harman Kardon receiver.

    Stalker... I figured there would be more variables in play than a simple yes or no could answer.

    I have been thinking about a nice little tube pre for my headphones but i'm not sure I want to start dealing with tubes just yet. I would hate to buy something then turn around and spend more money getting it up to snuff (get better tubes).
  • MrBuhlMrBuhl Posts: 1,775
    Here's a thought, picked up one of these for a buddy a while back and he seems to enjoy. It's a simple but pretty well reviewed headphone amp that will run about a Benny or less depending.
    Only uses one 12au7 (which are plentiful and as tubes go, cheap as dirt to try) so you can do plenty of experimenting. Just an idea - you can dip your toes without getting your pants wet!

    https://www.head-fi.org/f/showcase/bravo-audio-ocean.13734/reviews#review-12882
  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,012
    I was looking at their v2 ($59) but might just drop the extra cash on the ocean ($115) just to see what happens. Thanks for the link to the article it was very helpful!
  • msgmsg Posts: 2,844
    Cody, curious, what kind of music do you like?

    I'm just starting headphones, too. Been playing with a little AudioEngine D1 I picked up from a member. I use this at work. It's not bad. Home setup I just plug in to the AVR 507, but I don't think it's as nice as the D1. I'd be using the tone controls on the 507 if it made some difference to bump the bass, but it doesn't seem to do much. With the D1, and another DAC/Headphone Amp combo, I don't feel the need. The 507 seems to sound a bit thin in the bottom end, whereas the headphone amps seem a little fuller. Mids and upper range seems good on both, maybe a touch sweeter on the headphone amps.

    MistaB - on that Bravo Audio Ocean, does your friend use a separate DAC with it, or simply 3.5mm Line In? I used to want to check one of these out, but put all my HP curiosity aside for a while.

    I'd say try to resist the urge to jump into headphone amps right away and try to take some time to research a bit to get a sense of what's out there, and spend some ore time with your headphones to see what you want to improve. If you manage this, let me know how you did it :)

    As goes without saying, HPs and HP Amps are a separate leg of the rabbit hole I never even realized was there. Until I did.
  • MrBuhlMrBuhl Posts: 1,775
    msg wrote: »
    Cody, curious, what kind of music do you like?

    MistaB - on that Bravo Audio Ocean, does your friend use a separate DAC with it, or simply 3.5mm Line In? I used to want to check one of these out, but put all my HP curiosity aside for a while.

    As goes without saying, HPs and HP Amps are a separate leg of the rabbit hole I never even realized was there. Until I did.

    My friend is just running straight - no DAC. When I "auditioned" it for him... ahem... prior to giving it to him... I ran it through a simple Flio and my phone - maybe a better DAC/source would have made more difference but i thought they were about the same unless you used some of the processing/EQ services of the Flio.

  • codycatalistcodycatalist Posts: 1,012
    msg wrote: »
    Cody, curious, what kind of music do you like?

    I'm just starting headphones, too. Been playing with a little AudioEngine D1 I picked up from a member. I use this at work. It's not bad. Home setup I just plug in to the AVR 507, but I don't think it's as nice as the D1. I'd be using the tone controls on the 507 if it made some difference to bump the bass, but it doesn't seem to do much. With the D1, and another DAC/Headphone Amp combo, I don't feel the need. The 507 seems to sound a bit thin in the bottom end, whereas the headphone amps seem a little fuller. Mids and upper range seems good on both, maybe a touch sweeter on the headphone amps.

    MistaB - on that Bravo Audio Ocean, does your friend use a separate DAC with it, or simply 3.5mm Line In? I used to want to check one of these out, but put all my HP curiosity aside for a while.

    I'd say try to resist the urge to jump into headphone amps right away and try to take some time to research a bit to get a sense of what's out there, and spend some ore time with your headphones to see what you want to improve. If you manage this, let me know how you did it :)

    As goes without saying, HPs and HP Amps are a separate leg of the rabbit hole I never even realized was there. Until I did.

    I listen to EVERYTHING. For EDM, Hip hop/rap or general bass heavy stuff I break out my sealed Harman Kardon CLs (Bass down to 18 hz) but when I go with jazz, rock, classical, folk etc I have been loving the Grados.
  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 372
    Sorry Friends for my absences.. I'm still recovering from the Texas trip. >:)

    Cody The Bravo Audio Ocean Headphone Amplifier looks intriguing. That's all I have to say about ^ considering I'm still pretty new to headphone rigs myself. I can say the Schiit's Fulla 2 appears a great upgrade to the slandered Fulla (still available for $59); and for $99 (for amp with a built in DAC) seems like it can't be beat. I'd like to mention that I was listing to my setup on the plane today (until my laptop died!) at a volume that wouldn't bother the person sitting next to me and considering that my phones are open back everything else seemed to melt away and I was completely involved in the listening experience. I was listening to (on JRiver) Garbage's Garbage album in 96khz/24b & Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 40th anniversary in 96 KHz/24b. The DAC feature is worth it for sure!
  • msgmsg Posts: 2,844
    Man, you guys really like that Schitty stuff.
    Seems like some pretty good stuff.

    I've been enjoying a little AudioEngine D1 for work listening still evaluating some Senn HD 598cs headphones. They're not bad, though seem just a touch thin in the lows to me, but that's most likely a notion I've not yet gotten over due to listening to Bose TP-1As for the better part of 10 years.

    I've been warned that headphones and headphone amps are another obsession, and to exercise caution, but between the stuff I'm reading about the Schitt, and some stuff I'm hearing about FiiO stuff... slippery slopes...

    Where do you get 24/96 media?
  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 372
    msg wrote: »

    I've been warned that headphones and headphone amps are another obsession, and to exercise caution, but between the stuff I'm reading about the Schitt, and some stuff I'm hearing about FiiO stuff... slippery slopes...

    Very slippery!
    msg wrote: »
    ...

    Where do you get 24/96 media?

    HDTracks.
  • DSkipDSkip Posts: 12,901
    Buying Wireworld and not even talking to me. After being around me the entire weekend? I'm disappointed man.

    Not really. Their stuff is nice. I'm happy to see you get into it man!
  • HzTweakerHzTweaker Posts: 372
    No worries Skip, after this weekend in Texas I have more of an interest in cables now. I have to say though I was talking to some really cool Cats about em' and mite sway in another directions. Talking about the mane rig of course. There's always room for improvement with the headphone set up though.. . o:)
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