Headphone first or amp

So I’ve bought the 58x for about three months and I feel pleased about it, but it doesnt sound right when i listen to orchestral music, I would like a headphone with a bigger sound stage, l’ve been looking for the 880 6xx and Helios, I also mostly listen to acg and female vocal. But I’m not sure whether the x6 can run these well enough, I have a budget about 500 usd and which should I get first?

Hi! Welcome to HFGF!

For 500usd you can actually get both. Since wider Soundstage is a priority, I would not recommend the 6xx but would steer you toward DT880 600ohm or even a Hifiman Sundara. For amp, Asgard 3 is your best bet for either of those headphones. Do you have a DAC? If not it will help some too. If you go DT880 (200USD), Asgard (200USD), you have 100 left for a DAC. Any of SMSL M100 or Sanksrit 10th Anniversary Edition, JDS Labs Atom dac, EarMen Donald DAC, or Monolith Liquid Spark dac are solid options.

Happy hunting!


I personally think V signatures sound better for orchestra music so I would throw the DT 990 in there too if he wanted some bass alongside that. Granted 990 is quite sharp it still sounds beautiful if you have the right setup going for it. I used to listen to it before upgrading when it came to my own orchestra music and gaming like the nier soundtrack which is an orchestra opera mix. Though 880 and Sundara are also nice, just not very good for someone who appreciates the bassier tones as well imo.

Throw the Topping D10 into that as well in the really good $100 margin for dacs

Thank you for replying. But the thing I’m thinking about is that i would get a amp like A90 so I dont have to upgrade in the future because I dont want to buy a beginner amp and upgrade it in the future also schitt product are like twice the price in my region so that’s a no.

Well i dont like bass that much when listening to music, so maybe a no for 990. Also is there a difference between topping E30 dac and D10/s?

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You’re welcome!

E30 has USB, optical, and coaxial inputs and a handful of digital filters. D10 has only USB input but has optical and coaxial outputs (which can be handy depending on situation) and is a little cheaper.

I understand your thinking here. I picked up an SMSL SP200 awhile back thinking much the same thing. It was a mistake, IMO. The A90 and the THX amps are measurement champs in a narrow window of things that can be measured but are not particularly good at soundstage and imaging. Unfortunately, we don’t have a reliable way to measure soundstage and imaging, either. Since you’ve stated you want better spatial re-creation I would recommend looking for a Lake People G111. It’s similarly priced to the A90 and will also have the power and performance to give you some future-proofing. You could also consider a Monolith Liquid Platinum amp if they’re available in your region for a comfortable price. Now, with that one you’ll lock yourself into headphones that can be driven balanced (which eliminates the DT880 if you’re still interested in that, unless you plan to balance mod it), but it does a really fantastic job with spatial re-creation.

Feel free to ask more questions. Cheers.

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I second this. The Asgard and a $100 dac will get you pretty far and is a solid foundation to explore headphones and discover your preferences. The dt800 is a different flavour than your 58x and ticks your boxes for orchestral, wide and vocals :ok_hand:

Wise words wave.


Well that throws a wrench in it. L30 E30 would be a sweet foundation as well most likely as they’re getting good reviews. (I haven’t heard them)

Buying an endgame amp is good in theory but I think you’ll find synergy to be an important factor moving forward so it’s just not that simple if you want the best experience unfortunately.

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what do you mean

Are you asking what I mean by synergy?

If so, headphones, amps and dacs have characteristics that can work well together or work against one another depending on personal sound preferences.

Amp for 880?

One thing to consider is, apparently, ten years ago a JDS Atom dac + amp “stack”, for example (200$) probably would have cost 1000$. So… definitely don’t be “scared” by 100$ amps and dacs.

Also, it’s… quite easy to beat 58Xs soundstage lol. Some closed-backs headphones got more soundstage than these.

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So which headphone would you recommend?

My personal preference for $100 was the Liquid Spark, for $200 was the Asgard 3 and for $300 was the Darkvoice (probably need to stretch your budget for this one and factor in tube rolling as well)

I was about to recommend tubes as a possibility for added soundstage too (but yeah, that’s… different heh).

All of them are hard to get in my region…

What country? International can be tough.

Taiwan, so its easier to get topping stuff than stuff like schiit

What “doesnt sound right” when you listen to classical music, except the lack of soundstage? Too much bass, mids, treble? :man_shrugging:

Edit: Taiwan, nice. Greetings from Quebec (Canada). :slight_smile:

Can you get iFi there? Zen DAC + Zen CAN amp should be pretty decent for DT880 too.

Im not sure how to answer but i think its the soundstage.
(thx the internet is a good place to know people)