Does it make sense to buy high end headphones for listening to music on Youtube?

I’ve been thinking about buying HD 600s with FiiO K5 Pro AMP/DAC however I’m worried that my new pair of headphones won’t really make that much of a difference because of all the compression on YT.

What is your take on this?

Edit: I also forgot to mention that I listen to a wide variety of genres but mostly classical and rock.

Hey Snowslide,
What sort of headphones/setup do you currently run/own? If the question is, would a pair of HD 600s sound better than dirty buds, etc. then unquestionably, even with YT. And of course, you would certainly want an amp to power them as the HD 600s are notoriously power hungry.

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I currently own HyperX Cloud Stinger gaming headset.

Have you heard/ had experience with open back headphones before?
I ask, as this can be quite a revelation if you have only experienced closed back headphones. Be aware that they leak sound like crazy, and thus you will hear any noise in the room, and anyone in the room will be able to hear your music very easily. However, the soundstage and live feeling you can get from music is incomparable to closed headphones in my experience. If you want to see if it is ‘your thing’, you could always try something like Koss KPH30i with some Grado replacement pads (see Z reviews for this.) You could also try a pair of Grado SR60s/80s for something that is easier to drive, less expensive, and that would give you the flavour of an open back. Once you have something like this, I’d say try an online ABX test and see if you can even hear compression or not (ABX High Fidelity Test list) as the results tend to be quite surprising (and upsetting for those of us who have spent too long chasing the audio dragon!)


I’d invest in a pair of Audioquest Nighthawks. They are very forgiving to bad recordings. I actually have a pair up for sale in the buy/sell thread lol.


No I haven’t.

I listen to music at a low volume so I think sound leakage shouldn’t be a problem?
I’ve put the headset I currently have to my normal listening volume and placed them on a table in front of me and I couldn’t hear a thing. I’ve heard (link to that reddit thread) that others will be able to hear the music I’m listening to at that volume.
If that’s true then sound leakage shouldn’t be a problem.

Thanks I will check those headphones and the test out.

Also do you perhaps have any recommendations for closed back headphones?

Unless there’s people around you frequently, I’d go with open backs. The HD600 is a big upgrade over the gaming headset. But whether you like it will depend on your preferences and music selection.

A couple other good starter headphones are the HD58X and HE-X4. If you have zero experience with higher end stuff, it’s usually best to start off with stuff that’s a bit cheaper


Thanks for the recommendations!

If you want a very cheap way to experiment with upgrading your sound try the kph30i. $30 and there are many cases where I enjoy them more than the hd600 or hd6xx. As always, YMMV, but if you don’t like them the Amazon return policy is great. Plus they don’t need an amp! :upside_down_face:

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Since so many of you guys are recommending the KPH30i headphones they must be really good huh.

Sitting on my desk right now, $30 kph30i plugged into $500 RNHP amp. :joy: Of course you don’t need the amp, but kph30i headphones scale nicely from cheaper amps to higher end.

In some cases I’m enjoying them as much as the hd660s and Sundara sitting next to them. And at 10% of the cost!

There’s no magic, the higher end headphones sound better, but that takes a much larger overall investment to achieve.


Or the ksc75.


What do you need so many amps for?

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I will check them out.




Did my wife put you up to this?

[edit] now that I’ve composed myself…

The Schiit Jotunheim 2 is my main desk amp, powers anything, runs balanced and single-ended, and has nice pre-outs for powered monitors.
The RNHP is a one-trick-poney. It’s a very clean, clear, detailed headphone amp. Most of my headphones sound best here, but it has limited power delivery.
The Loxjie P20 is a hybrid tube amp, it is my first step into playing with tubes and tube sound.
The other stuff in the picture is my DAC (Soncoz LA-QXD1) and an XLR switch box to rout the balanced DAC output to each amp.

Beware the rabbit hole of headphones and speakers…


No she didn’t I swear.


Read reviews/opinions of kph30i vs ksc75. There are plenty on this forum and others. But, down the line you should get the HD600, and a Schiit Asgard 3 with DAC card. The you will have “arrived” in hi-fidom. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not but we all seem to be stuck here.



Excellent setup!

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This hobby is great! And this forum makes it even better. Lots of nice people who have experience with equipment at all price levels and many different use cases.

Sit back, enjoy the music, and wave good bye to your $$$! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


You don’t say that until after they’re hooked :wink:

You’d make a terrible drug dealer.