Aside from the most obvious feature of the w1000x’s beautiful wooden earcup, I didn’t enjoy auditioning them as much as I love the hd650s but that’s just me I guess. Also could be that I prefer open VS closed style headphones for the wider soundstage. With the w1000x I could hear a little hiss in the upper midrange, treble region and a slight emphasis of definite sibilant in the vocals in the upper ranges but that could have been the recording to some degree. That said, it did have very good resolution.
With a $300.00 budget it would be hard to get a top-tier portable amp and higher end headphones like the w1000x, for example one of my favorite portable amps is the headamp pico
which has a built in DAC but they go for $499.00. I wrote a review about the one I like best, the Pico here
and also about the Pico Slim here
. Heck even the hd650s now go for around $479.00 compared to when I bought mine a few years back for $285.00. But they’re open style so you probably wouldn’t want them for cubicles. Just below the pico I like the Headstage Arrow
but it does not have a DAC and is still over your price range.
Back to reality, in your price range you can look at the The FiiO E10 USB DAC/amp
which is around $80.00, I've not tried one but I’ve read some good things about it. Or Ibasso
makes some nice amps also, but they're a little more expensive than the FiiO. You could also look at a very good DIY amp like the O2
, but that may run you around $100.00+ to build or around $200.00 already built.
I don’t like recommend headphones without knowing as much as possible about the sound signature one is after and it sounds like you want something really good but have a lower budget. I also like to know things like below before making suggestions … as this is the basic information that people here would need to know in order to help you with headphone/amp recommendations:
- Price Range: Your budget, minimum to maximum spend.
- Type/Design: Full size headphones, portable headphones, in-ear monitor (iem), earbuds or custom monitors.
- Preferable SQ or Sound Signature: Try to describe the sound signature you prefer, descriptive words can be found here. Do you like warm tones, neutral sound or balanced sound? Do you prefer boomy bass heavy lows, rich across the sound spectrum, focused midrange for vocals or even bright piercing highs? Try your best to describe your preferences so we can make recommendations.
- Media: Genre or typical media you will use on said phones that you listen to would help to suggest something that fills your sound signature needs.
- Open Style (full size headphones): Leaks sound out of the grills, typically have a wide soundstage, do not isolate the user from ambient sound and can be heard by others. Open/closed style typically refers to full size headphones or portable headphones. While some IEMs or buds may have an open design, we are referring open/close here towards full or portable headphones. If you want earbuds it is understood that they will leak sound and not provide any isolation, no need to state open style …
- Closed Style (full size headphones): have a sealed housing, tighter soundstage, isolate ambient sound, stronger bass and possible negative effect of distorting sound in certain frequencies due to resonances within the housing.
- Circumaural (full size headphones): Circular or ellipsoid housing with earpads that completely surround around the ears. This applies to full size headphones or portable headphones only, not IEMs.
- Supra-aura (full size headphones)l: Pads that sit on top of the ears, rather than around them. This applies to full size headphones or portable headphones only, not IEMs.
- Primary location of use: At home, portable, on the go? How are you going to use said phones'?
- Source: What will be driving your headphones? Portable player, computer, etc.
- Location: Some headphones or IEMs are hard to find in some countries, so if you tell us where you live, others that live in your general area can help from prior experience.
Yes I know you answered some of those questions already but the more info the better responses you'll get from other members here ....
Edit: I forgot to mention, if you're stuck on the w1000x, I've seen them for sale used on headfi, also some nice used amps can be found too.