Headphone / Amp budget split.

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Stephen Cann, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. Stephen Cann

    Stephen Cann New Member

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    Hello there!!

    Title says it all really.

    I'm just starting to do the research before taking the plunge and it looks like i've found the right place.

    I'm looking for the most high end listening experience i can get listening to Spotify and streaming sights such as Mixcloud (only 128 kb/s bit rate i think), CD's too actually played mainly from my PC in the comfort of my man cave!

    Mainly, but not only, listen to electronic music so bass response is important.

    So with a budget of say £2000 do I go for a cheaper DAC/Amp such as the Oppo HA2 and pair it with a more expensive set of headphones like the Oppo PM 1's (or better) or do I punt more for the DAC/Amp, like the Chord Electronics Hugo with a cheaper set of headphones, or split the difference more easily!!

    Or should I be spending that much money at all when I'm only listening to low bit rate streams and Spotify?

    All help and advice greatly appreciated.

    Many thanks Steve
     
  2. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    The item you put the priority on, for a "once-only" purchase, you should spend up and get what you'll keep. The Chord or the PM1 are each excellent choices. The lower priority could be an Oppo HA-2, and it might be useful to someone down the line, or even yourself when traveling. But if you want the Hugo and a cheaper headphone, I highly reommend the Philips Fidelio X2, which I just reviewed (see the reviews section), and which is on discount now in some places.
     
  3. Stephen Cann

    Stephen Cann New Member

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    Many thanks for the reply. Will heed your advice.

    Steve
     
  4. Steve-HiFi

    Steve-HiFi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I got myself a Hugo and justified the expense as I'll be enjoying that item for many years to come! I reckon it does well with lower bitrates, but this is dependent on how the encoding was done (some MP3/128kbps files are better than others) and also the presence of a lot of percussion might make any flaws more noticeable, for instance.

    The Oppo HA-2 is really nice too, if you get either of these AMP/DACs and say, an Oppo PM-2 then you're in a good place. Also the Final Sonorous VI is amazing; it's closed back but it does things so well.
     
  5. dalethorn

    dalethorn Active Member

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    I bought the Sonorous VI here, and it's an amazing sound.
     
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