Advice for Headphone (+ dac/amp)

Hello everyone!
I would like to buy a pair of headphones and a dac/amp.
I thought of buying a pair of DT990 Pros and a dac/amp but i read that they’re not that good as i knew so i’m here asking for your advice.
I would like to spend 300€ (maybe 30€-50 extra if it helps to get something much better) for the combo of Headphones, dac and amp (or dac/amp) {Or only headphones if dac/amp isn’t needed}
I will be using them only in house, while gaming and listening to music.
I tried the 990 Pros from a friend and i really like their comfort, so i would like something comfortable and it can be both open or closed back (even tho from what i read, open is better for my usage - soundstage)
I’m from Italy and i would buy everything from
Thanks in advance to everyone!

the HiFiMan HE 400 would be good and pair it with a Zen DAC v2, which is a combo DAC / Amp.


If you like the comfort and sound of the 990s just go for it. Most common dislike is probably the “Beyer Peak” which can be fixed via EQ. I would recommend going for the non pro model though because it has less clamp force and a straight cable. As for dac/amps I would go for the Fiio K5 Pro or the Zen Dac V2. You definitely want one if you’re going for the 990s.

Marzipan gave superb advice. :slight_smile: Slight edit: You want the HiFiMan HE-400se.


For combo with Zen I would suggest buying balanced cable. Openheart from AliExpress for 17$ would do, just received that for my HE-400i 2020 and it is amazing value for the money.

Curious, Not sure what you mean by “not as good as you read” they are good headphones just not for everybody. Depends on what your looking for. What did you read stating otherwise?

^ works fine btw bit too much bass about it. Just bright as hell

what kind of gaming, what games in question, what genres of music? What kind of headphone are you really looking for here? I see your looking for soundstage but theres not enough info here on your own preference and what your using them for in particular.

If you tried the 990s, and you liked the 990s… I don’t see why you would stray otherwise. Beyers are very good headphones.

Suggest the SE if going this route, better low end, not so shouty in the mids… just regularly better in most cases when I sat with them, just my opinion of course.


Not completely ^. EQ can alter other traits and screw things up too. Some minor - moderate EQ is fine though.

Do not do this if you go to the 600 ohm. K5 may drive them but its not really to the fullest extent of their capability… zen dac will not drive 600 ohm beyers at all… you need a stronger amp(never tested balanced with the amp that may do it… but I feel it may also lack a bit beyers also cannot be balanced less modified through sodering)

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I wasn’t sure which 400 variant would be best and left it for you all to fill in for me. now I know it’s the se, so let’s hope I remember!

Fair point never had any 600 ohm Heaphones but you’re probably right. He’s interested in the 990 Pro though which is 250 ohm afaik.

I would take the 250 Ohm version of the DT 990 Pro, do you think it would be a good match with the ifi zen?

Personally, not a big fan of the 250 pro… it was my very first headphone of this hobby but 600 ohm kicked the hell out of it imo. However, if you have decided on that particular headphone, yes the zen dac will work perfectly fine and even help a bit with the treble. Granted, I would advise against the bass button on zen dac lol its a bit much for the 990 which is V shaped

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I’m pretty new to the topic, so i’m sorry if it’s a dumb question, but what are the difference between the 250 or 600 ohm or even in general between same headphones but with different impedance? (Other than the power needed to pilot them)

The higher ohms require more power, beefier amps and dacs to push them, can respond better to things such as Tube amps, Naturally have a different signature between one another, pro and premium have a different design, cable, and clamp force as well as one has a case.

250 ohm in blue there of the 990 vs its 600 ohm counterpart taken from diyaudioheavens charts… you can see the 250 ohm has more bass but also has quite a harsher peak on its treble. the 600 ohm sounds smoother and more balanced in signature tonality in comparison provided its driven accordingly. However, a zen dac will not drive 600 ohm beyers

Oh, thanks, and i imagine that with my budget i can’t get the 600 ohm (+ an adeguate dac/amp), right?
What about the 990 edition 32ohm? Is it ‘‘better’’ than the 990 pro 250?

low ohm variations are subjectively quite a lot worse than the higher.

Headphone is around what… $200 ish? maybe cheaper for you? Entry level units such as monoprice spark, jds atom, toppings l30 and E30 will run the 600 ohm. Not particularly to the “best” considering how heavy they scale but will still get the full power you need.

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Thanks, today came the ifi zen paired with the 990 250Ohm, and i’m now trying, i will let you know!
In case what are the alternatives with the same budget? Something comfortable, possibly with velour pads, since i have glasses and when i use leather pads i fell much uncomfortable.

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Depends on what your looking for or if you feel somethings off with 990

I like the comfort for sure , but I don’t feel nothing special with them.