Originally Posted by greenman9
First, thanks for all the great advice and reviews. I am looking to make a headphone plunge, mostly for playing games after my 18 month old is in bed. However, I also want to use them music and movies on occasion, and I want a pair to grow old with. My headphone collection currently consists of a 10-ish year old pair of Grado SR-225s, which I use at work plugged into an old portable cd player (would a headphone amp be worth looking into for this setup?), a pair of iGrados that I use with my iPod when working outside (mowing lawn mostly), and a pair of Etymotic ER-6is that I use when flying.
I’m pretty into music. For my home stereo rig, I recently got a Krell KAV-400xi Integrated amp that I use with an older Pro-ject turntable and Bellari phono stage, along with an older pair of NHT 2.5is. This might not be the best matched combo of stuff in the world because I usually just get one nice upgrade for this system every 5-10 years. The reason I mention this setup is to convey that I appreciate good stereo sound and when compared to my home theater setup, this stereo system is my priority. I also would like to use any set of cans I get with this system as well as with gaming/movies.
Regarding my home theater/gaming setup, I have a Denon AVR-3803 (no Dolby Headphone :-() that drives a set of 6 Paradigm in-wall speakers, along with a Paradigm sub. My 360 is connected to the 3803 via the optical-out of the 360. In the next year or so I plan on getting a PS3 as well – mostly for the blu-ray drive because I can’t bring myself to buy regular DVDs anymore. I play a lot of Rock Band, all the Guitar Hero games and decent FPS games (CoD4, Halo3, Bioshock). I play online sometimes, but not that often, so I figure I will do the clip-on thing at some point, but it is not a priority.
So there is the background, now onto a set of questions I’m hoping one or more of you might be able to help out with.
1. I am interested in the JVC surround sound Dolby Headphone adapter, but not really sure how to hook it up. My 3803 does have an optical out, however; the manual (typical crappy Denon manual) implies the optical out only passes out 2-channel audio. If I were to hook the JVC to this optical out, I assume I would only be getting stereo and thus not inputting all 5.1 channels to the JVC and therefore the JVC would not be able to create simulated 5.1 sound for the headphones, correct? In other words, does the JVC need 5.1 input in order to work correctly?
2. Assuming I can’t use the optical out on my 3803, I would then need to hook the optical out from the 360 to the JVC. But then when I want to use my speakers, I would need to swap the cable – a big pain. I know there was a mention in this thread of using an optical splitter to solve this issue, but I have read elsewhere that they don’t always work. Anyone actually use one of these with success? I’m surprised more people don’t have this general issue.
3. If I were to add a PS3 to the mix, or for that matter, just use my DVD player, how would I feed the JVC with multiple sources? Would I need to pull the cable out from my receiver from the other component (DVD, PS3, or whatever), and then plug it into the JVC? Or perhaps an optical switcher of some sort?
4. Now, onto the actual Headphones. Based on all I have read in the thread and elsewhere (thanks again for everyone’s thoughts) I have narrowed it down to a group of cans that I realize vary quite a bit. I’m thinking HD595, DT880, AD700, or AD900. The DT880s are on the list due to statements that they provide the best SS, however, I worry about the statements that they are not very musical due to them being a bit too accurate (but you will notice I have a Krell integrated and I preferred it to a Mcintosh when I choose to buy it), and the need to also get an amp for them. The HD595 are on the list because they seem pretty popular, and gamers seem to dig them. The AD700s are on the list because they seem like a great value for how well reviewed they are. The AD900s are on the list to counter the DT880 because they are similar in price and performance, and sounds like they don’t need an amp. I’ve also gathered they are more musical than the DT880s (but I can’t really pinpoint why I think this.) Regarding comfort, I have heard mostly good things regarding all these choices. Any advice regarding these statements?
5. My last question has to do with headphone amps. If I went with the DT880s and the JVC, would another headphone amp be required? If so, would the mini^3 be sufficient? And one more dumb question about this setup; would adding an amp to use along with the JVC just require you to turn the volume on the JVC all of the way down, run the headphone out from the JVC into the amp and then hook your cans up to the amp?
I should also mention that all the headphones I considering are open because I am really jumpy, like when my wife comes over and taps on my shoulder and scares the hell out of me when I’m playing a game over the speakers. I figure a closed headphone would make this problem even worse than an open one will.
I do not believe that most of these questions have been answered, and my apologies if they have been and I missed them.