02 Amp/ODAC with Sennheiser 650


I recently purchased a used pair of Sennheiser 650s from E-bay. I blogged about them recently, so check it out. I originally powered them through a little mixer and it actually did really well.


I’m now powering the headphones from a designated amp/DAC from 02. It makes a nice compact desktop setup. Overall, they’re a little better than my mixer, but only by a tiny bit. They sound even better when you turn up the volume, but since I’m at work with open headphones, I have to go easy.

I would say, if you have a mixer like mine, you may not need to power it much more unless you listen to your music really loud. The 02 is a nice design, however, my only complaint is that the power input is in the front. I think this is a really poor design decision.

Other than that, it’s a nice setup. Next thing up, a headphone stand. Right now looking at a couple options. Anyone have any recommendations?

New Headphones


I just picked up a new set of headphones. I used my bose triports for a long time, and it was time for an upgrade. While they were good, I had to get a pair of Sennheisers after hearing Patrick’s.

I tested out a pair of Sennheiser 598, 558, and 205’s. I also tried the Bose QC15, Ultrasones, and many more. For whatever reason, the open back Sennheisers had a superior sound. Many people describe them as “neutral”… and I agree.

I ended up picking up a pair of used Sennheiser 650’s. Currently I’m powering them through my mixer, but I have an 02 amp/dac coming in the next few days. Really looking forward to the way it’s going to sound when they’re properly powered.

The first thing I notice with the 650’s are their clarity. These headphones sound awesome with most music, but they really shine with acoustic music. While they have bass, they won’t be the best headphones for dub step, rap, or anything with heavy synthetic bass. Also, you’ll need to start playing uncompressed music. Since you can hear more stuff, you can hear songs with file compression (like MP3s). I’m going to have to rip all my CDs now as uncompressed music. I’ve been going through all my favorite music, and I’m hearing things I’ve never experienced before.

Ps. The best feature is that they’re comfortable around the ears. These win by a long shot.

Audiophile Gear at Best Buy in Springfield VA


I didn’t have a chance to take any photos, but man, the Best Buy in Springfield VA was pretty impressive. They had high end headphones as well as pretty sweet speakers. They had the Bowers and Wilkins 800 series speakers in there. The full standing speakers were just insane. I heard a 2 minute demo before they shut down. I’m going to swing by there again in the future just to listen to them. Sorry I don’t have many photos this time… they were literally closing as I walked in yesterday.

Home Theater and Music

As I set up my living room, I’m looking to upgrade a couple of things. I recently purchased a Pioneer VSX-1121 receiver to connect all my devices and upgrade my sound.


Long story short, I bought a Pioneer Elite VSX-50 from Best Buy but found a better deal/model on Amazon. The VSX-1121 has more features, inputs, and puts out a better sound. You can see the difference between the two receivers. Foo gave me a little tip: The heavier the audio equipment, the better.

So now I’m in the market for new speakers. I’m currently interested in getting a couple of Orbs. From most of the reviews, this seems like the best solution for me—it’s a balance of sexy looks and sound. I’ll be watching 80% movies and listening to 20% music with my setup.


I’m not an audiophile, but some of my coworkers are… and one of them recommended a Bowers & Wilkins. From the looks of it, they’ll have superior sound… but I’m a little worried about the price. The 805’s are waaaaaaaaaay out of my price range… and honestly, I might not have the right environment to enjoy them.


Other friends have recommended Polk, Paradigm, etc. I’m not sure exactly which one to get yet, but I’d like something that puts out a great sound and doesn’t take up too much room.

Perhaps in the future, I’ll have a designated room like this, just for listening to music…


But until then, I’m going to need something that doesn’t break the bank.

Any recommendations?