My budget is $600 for a portable set. I need a pair of headphones and an amp and dac. I’m looking for something like a slightly bass boosted neutral kinda sound. But I’m not a bass head so not that bassy. I need it to be really good at noise isolation.
Things I’ve been looking at are the Drop Panda and the Neumann NDH20. But as to amp and dacs I’m not sure. Any recommendations would be appreciated and my bad for not explaining what I like to well.
Last thing is that I need to be able to buy everything on amazon.
Have you considered IEMs? Mangird Tea + BTR5 is a good combo. I like the BTR5 because it’s decently powerful, supports all of the BT codecs (including LDAC), can be used as a desktop DAC, and basically has no noise floor. Or if you want more isolation you can get an ER4XR.
I do currently have a fiio btr5. I had the fiio fh5 that I used with them but the left side isnt as loud as the right side anymore. I’ve used iems for a long time and I wanna try using a good headphone instead for once. I’m currently leaning towards the Drop Panda but any other recommendations would be nice
Ah, well damn. I haven’t looked into portal, closed, good headphones. My good headphones are open and not portable. My portable headphones are not good (besides IEMs, Sony XM3, Bose QC35 II, Anker Q10s). I’ve heard that the Pandas are better than all of my headphones sound wise, but that’s a low bar.
I would strongly consider the Beyerdynamic DT177x. They were designed with a low impedence to work well off portable sources and they should give you good isolation. I haven’t owned them but I’ve owned a couple Beyers including the little brother DT770 and I’ve enjoyed them. They are well built, quality headphones. I believe the DT177x is supposed to be a mild V or U shaped headphone. Someone correct me if I’m wrong. I would still have the DT770 except I upgraded to the Focal Elegia. (Another great closed back if you can find it used.)
As for portable sources the big thing I would ask is how you want to use it. Do you want something to carry around in your pocket? Or something you can take easily from place to place and set up on a desk? Because those are two very different use cases. My favorite pocketable source I’ve found is the Lotoo Paw S1. It has a nice rich sound and has power to drive low impedence headphones through its balanced 4.4 output. It also doesn’t have an internal battery so you don’t have to worry about charging it. It is in a similar category to the BTR5 though so it might be redundant for you. Honestly the BTR5 probably has the juice to drive most portable headphones. If it were me I might just invest in headphones and run the off the BTR5 portable and then invest in a desktop rig to compliment it. Just my 2 cents.
I’m very happy running my neumann ndh20 off of my btr5. I got a shorter cable for it so I wrap the btr5 around the headband and clip it on. Xduoo xd-05 is also a good option if your willing to be portable with a brick in your hand.
The neumann has elevated bass with neutral kind of sound, good isolation, and can be powered off the btr5.
If you can find one, I’ve seen the Neumann’s go for used a little over 300 if your willing to buy used. Another issue could be comfort for your particular head. I personally don’t find the comfort bad for a clampy set of headphones but that’s for me with medium sized ears that just fit in the cups and big head.
I also had the drop pandas and they were very nice for what they are. Don’t need an amp/dac, Good isolation, clampy headphone comfort, bass is nice, mids are more forward sounding, and treble isn’t sibilant and sounds a little rolled off. It’s enjoyable but different from the ndh20.
I’ll stick to my btr5 if it can run what I’m looking for and invest everything into getting the headphones instead. As for the DT177X I have had a chance to try them. They do sound very nice but I felt like they didn’t isolate good enough for what I’m trying to use them for.
Does the Neumann’s ever get like shouty to you when listening at higher volumes? I personally like to listen to my music loud and sometimes when I do that with certain stuff I have it gets too like shouty for me if that’s the right way to explain it. I’m not necessarily sensitive to treble either.
If the Neumann’s don’t kill me at louder volumes then I’ll end up going the Neumann route.
And since you use the Neumann’s with the btr5 then I’ll stick to the btr5 no sense in buying another amp then.
Not on the Neumann’s but def on the panda. I found that I was able to get the mids too shouty on the pandas at louder volumes because they are more prominent compared to the ndh20 but those are really loud volumes for me and id normally wouldnt go so high.
For myself, with the btr5 attached, I get to volumes that are too loud for me past 50. I usually have the volume at 40 for a listening volume. If you listen really loud, I think a seperate dac amp would help you drive the ndh20 better. Also, the ndh20 does benefit from better amps and tube amps. So if you do find the btr5 lacking, an upgrade to something else is an option for a different flavor in amps/dacs.
I also really like the dan clark audio aeon 2 closed. its a great neutral but slightly vshaped sound sig. My favortire closed back but goes over your budget and benefits from a better amp.
Neutral, bass emphasis, closed back, comfy (for me), also not expensive, AKG K371…
Very interested in more expensive portable closed backs with similar soundsignature,
so I just leave that here and see what people come up with.
edit: the Neumanns might just be that