How to get proper sound on headphones ?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by sa5150, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. sa5150

    sa5150 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I have been meaning to get this right for awhile just have not gotten around to it .

    I have a new pair of Sony MDR -7506 headphone rated at specs are
    63ohms at 1 khz
    rated power 0.5w
    power handling cap 1 w
    freq 10-20,000
    sensitivity 106 db/mW

    I just picked up for $70 brand new , List is about $100 ,They sound really good so far .
    I'm not sure what I should be looking for in spec ratings if they really matter .

    I'm wondering what are better headphones wired or wireless $150 or are these really good ? I need them closed so no one can hear them . (Don't need anything with noise canceling )
    I'm using a AV Denon AVR-3803 receiver (one of the made in japan ones from the 90's )
    Panasonic DMP-bdt220 (bluray player for playback)

    Few issues , I can only get sound while my tv is on , I don't want it like that because it's a plasma and no need for it to be on . The Denon sounds best in Stereo or Matrix (at least at the moment) mode with bass at +4 and treble +0 with these phones and when using a non brick-walled cd to crank it up I have to go to -10db . Is that normal ? This receiver seems not to make much volume at all till about -40db . It suppose to be a good receiver but I hate having to turn the dial up so much .

    One separate issue , I can't get a dts dvd /bluray to play in DTS on this receiver ? I mean the red light will not come on and no sound for DTS .

    Is there a different connection to add from the bluray player so I do not have to turn the tv on ?

    What should I be doing for proper playback for headphones and speakers using cds . I don't really want to buy new stuff for this bedroom setup . Is the DAC in the bluray player not that good or is it a whole combination . We don't use it much in the summer because everything gets too hot . The Plasma can't be turned on at all in the summer . In the winter this room does not need heating LOL .

    I have a Yamaha from the late 90's and a new Sony led (for now) in the living room and neither gets hot at all .
    I would switch them but the sony tv would be way to big for the bedroom .

    Any help would be appreciated :)
  2. Dillydipper

    Dillydipper Sultan Of Snark

    Drop the volume "a little" as you get used to them. I've used and loved them half my life, but there are those who find that extra top-end lift a bit fatiguing at first.
    Also, order a set of ear cushions made for a Byerdynamic pair (which one slips my mind, but their softer than the Sony cushions that can get a bit brittle over time)(easily googleable).

    Youo've got your player wired two ways into the receiver, right? I mean, PCM with an HDMI cable, and 6 separate rca connects between the two as well? Only one of them sends the DTS to the Denon, IIRC.
    And of course, you can't get DTS into your phones, because that's a multichannel signal, only route-able into separate speakers.

    Anybody else available to help straighten this fella (and correct me) out...?
    sa5150 likes this.
  3. sa5150

    sa5150 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    On my PC a pair of old Bose tripoet tp-1a sound much better , think were about $70 new .

    The Sony headphones (bright) which also have a very heavy cord i'm not liking so much , I think the Sony are going back .
  4. Gramps Tom

    Gramps Tom Forum Resident

    Here is a link for the Owner's Manual in pdf:

    Denon Stereo System AVR-3803 User Guide |

    I know nothing about your exact equipment, yet I suggest boosting your bass by that much seems excessive. Either you are asking more of your headphones than they are capable of, or their sonics aren't optimal for your taste. I own a set of SONY MDRV-600 cans, and they are notorious for weak bass response. They sound beautiful and airy otherwise, so I use them for the type of listening where I don't want lotsa bass....
    sa5150 likes this.
  5. Folsom

    Folsom Member

    Eastern WA
    I use an iPad to burn in headphones with a free pink noise generator. I start fullrange and decrease into the bass. After 200hrs they should be pretty good...

    Then I have a tube amp I plug my phono preamp into when I want to listen with headphones and records.

    I recommend getting a real amp of some kind. Tubes really are nice on headphones. The Woo WA7d is a pretty nice compact package you can plug vinyl into from a preamp and use its DAC, too. It's even on sale now. You can run your disc player right into it, so you won't have to listen to the disc players horrible DAC.

    The Pass Labs headphone amp seems promising, too, for a reasonable price that is probably higher than you're considering though.

    The best way to save money would probably be to get a Bottlehead Crack 1.1. You have to put it together but it's simple enough for a first timer that practices soldering a little first after some Youtube video watching - but you need to have the soldering gear.

    Receivers are pretty much worthless besides old tube ones, but how many vintage ones have a tube section for headphones?
    sa5150 likes this.
  6. stanley00

    stanley00 Forum Resident

    The Sony MDR-7506 are designed for studio use, not for listening to music for pleasure. Take them back. I bought a pair based on reviews and recommendations and they do not sound musical at all. Pretty much any consumer oriented headphone for $100 will sound more pleasing. I like the NAD HP50 for under $200.
    razerx, Whay, rodentdog and 2 others like this.
  7. Folsom

    Folsom Member

    Eastern WA
    Fair point Stanley. If he gets a good amp, it'll be good for pretty much all headphones he tries.
    sa5150 likes this.
  8. sa5150

    sa5150 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Thanks for all that guys , I have to check the manual out on the Denon , No hdmi .

    Every post made a very good point and that's was what I needed . The headphones and the receiver are really not going to give me what I want . Regardless the headphones I will return , I'm not too crazy about them .
  9. sa5150

    sa5150 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Those look to be very nice headphone , Anything as nice at a little lower price point ? I'm going to look into some amps later this weekend .

    How about this into ?
    AudioQuest - DragonFly Black USB DAC/Headphone Amplifier

    into my pc instead , Would be much easier and I have endless amount of music on my hard drives .
  10. molinari

    molinari Forum Resident

    new york city
    The 7506’s are on the bright side - but I’ve been using them with the Sonarworks plug-in and they sound great. The NAD’s are the opposite - zero treble, and weird fit...

    For $100 a lot of guys like the Audio Technica ATH M40...
    sa5150 and David Campbell like this.
  11. sa5150

    sa5150 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    As another post said which made a lot of sense I should probably avoid studio type headphones . I think I tried the AT m40 and had to return them a few years ago , They were almost the same like the Sony's . I don't think those kind of headphones will work with my setup for now .
    I Nad are out of my price range so I would not be able to get them anyway .
  12. A Saucerful of Scarlets

    A Saucerful of Scarlets Commenter Turned Viewer

    I think you should get the DT250's. They're cheaper but sound better to me. Wayyy smoother.
    rodentdog and sa5150 like this.
  13. sa5150

    sa5150 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Which ohm version ? How about the DT252 , They have some good deals on this right now .

  14. A Saucerful of Scarlets

    A Saucerful of Scarlets Commenter Turned Viewer

    The 252 only has one earcup. As in one headphone.
    I've got the 80ohm version and love them. The 250ohm is subtely from what I hear and obviously takes a lot to run it so you'd need the right equipment. I've heard the Sony's on the OP and although the stereo seperation of the 250's aren't nearly as good I find the sound to be infinitely better to my preference. Much less bright. More natural.
    sa5150 likes this.
  15. A Saucerful of Scarlets

    A Saucerful of Scarlets Commenter Turned Viewer

    Actually I just went back to the store and tried them again and the studio separation doesn't even sound any better. In fact, listening to one track, the clear guitar on the right channel sounded like it had more detail on the 250.
    sa5150 likes this.
  16. stanley00

    stanley00 Forum Resident

    I have the DragonFly Red that I use with a laptop when I travel and it sounds great. I also use the iFi Nano iDSD Black Label at home and it sounds very nice as well. My suggestion would be to expand your budget for headphones to at least the $200 point, even if you have to save for a little while longer. The difference in sound quality between the $100 and $200 and under price point is pretty significant. Just make sure you research phones that were made for music listening and not the studio/mixing type at Guitar Center and the like. While they're may be a few studio types that sound good, that's not what they're made for generally speaking.

    Also try to determine which sound signature you prefer, unlike studio phones, most that are made for music listening aren't neutral. For example, some say the NAD HP50 lacks treble. They sound great to me, especially since I use them in the late evenings when I travel. My ears are fairly tired and sensitive to high frequencies at that point. Some like the bass to be emphasized, I like it to be more natural. I bought a pair of the new Sony MDR-1am2 "Hi-Rez" last month and they have a noticeable V tuning. Lots of upper end and bottom, but not much in the middle. They sounded impressive initially, but grew tiresome eventually. Unfortunately there aren't many brick and mortar retailers left in my area. I have to rely on the forums for reviews and opinions and order from the net. I have a pair of Hifiman HE400i arriving today based on the positive info out there.

    Hopefully this advice isn't discouraging, but I'm speaking from experience: it's pretty easy to waste $100 on headphones that sound "as good as anything in the $400 to $500 range". The giant killers are pretty rare these days. Most audio products seem to be priced pretty much where they should be for what you get in performance, especially in the "mid-fi" category. Good luck!
    Ham Sandwich and sa5150 like this.
  17. sa5150

    sa5150 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Oh yeah , lol. I was up really late and thought maybe amazon just had the wrong picture .
  18. sa5150

    sa5150 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Yes there are so little places to try stuff , It's amazon for me with there easy returns , I was eyeing a pair of the Sony MDR1A from Amazon warehouse for $182 , usually it's returns and I have found some really good stuff and if they are not good or look really used I can return them . I hear you about the v-tuning . I'm not sure maybe that is ok for me .
    The Beyerdynamic DT-250 are a little more but they sate for recording and broadcasting . Not sure what that means , Are they for music or studio ?
    The Nad are over $200 so might be too much . There are Audio Technica and AKG but most say studio and I'm trying to stay away from that since it's just for playing back all kinds of music with cds or on my pc flac/wav files .
    I might consider one of those external dacs .
  19. stanley00

    stanley00 Forum Resident

    The Dt 250 are designed for studio application, you can buy them at Guitar Center. That doesn't mean they won't sound good, but they're not designed for hifi music enjoyment. The Dt 880 Premium would be a better choice in my opinion:

    Also, you can get the NAD from Amazon for $179. Those Sony's get pretty reviews also. Check Crutchfield, Audio Advisor or Music Direct for headphones that are made for music listening.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2018
    sa5150 likes this.
  20. rodentdog

    rodentdog Forum Resident

    I have the DT-250/80 for closed cans. Easy to drive, neutral, better than the price point.
    I am really on Team Grado. Get a pair of SR-80's and don't look back. You don't need a dedicated amp to drive them, but sound better with one.
  21. sa5150

    sa5150 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    we actually have a guitar center like 10 miles from here , do they have many kinds to try out for music use ? or are they all just for the pro's ? Thanks .
  22. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Forum Resident

    The NADs can definitely be had for less than $200 new on Ebay, as well as b-stock on audio sites. They’re absolutely the best bet for sub-$500 closed headphones. My open recommendation in that range would be the Fidelio X2. Check out the Innerfidelity measurements and reviews of both. I’ve owned dozens and dozens of cans in the sub-$1,500 range, and those are two pairs that consistently stand out as best bang for your buck, unless you’re willing to go above $500. The other obvious recommendation in that range is the HD6XX from Massdrop, but you really need a powerful amp for those to sound their best.

    I own both the Dragonfly Red and the iFi Nano BL mentioned above. The iFi is significantly better, IMO. Only go with the Dragonfly if you need ultra portability. (If you don’t require portability at all, I’d recommend a Schiit stack.) No matter what route you go for DAC/amps, consider buying used. Head-Fi classifieds is the place to go for that. (You can do the same for headphones, if you’re open to used headphones.)
    head_unit and stanley00 like this.
  23. stanley00

    stanley00 Forum Resident

    All the headphones they sell are meant for studio or professional monitoring/mixing, not for listening to music for fun. I wouldn't bother.
    sa5150 likes this.
  24. sa5150

    sa5150 Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I was thinking of Grado but I need something that can't be heard . The Grado look to be open cans , Just curious what's the point of open cans when they would annoy people next to you .
    I thought the main purpose for headphones were used for privacy . Unless of course your a professional music tech .
    Do open cans sound better then closed .
  25. rodentdog

    rodentdog Forum Resident

    IMO open cans generally sound better than closed. Privacy is relative, my wife goes to bed earlier than I do and the bedroom is away from where I listen to music.
    Linto and tin ears like this.

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