My sound setup

Since I find myself linking to this frequently enough (and because it’s been a while since this had a post), I figured I’d just write it up somewhere.

Portable set

1x Hardshell case
1x Sennheiser HD558
1x FiiO E10K
1x Shorter cable

The carry case isn’t amazing, but it gets the job done, and I got it delivered in something like a day during one of my recent US trips.

More stationary/”used in study” set

1x FiiO E10K
1x Sennheiser HD598

What I’d change

At some point I might get a Maverick DAC (or one of the other ones you can find these days), and maybe a set of HD650 cans.

What I like

My phone has enough juice on its output to be able to drive the HD558 set reasonably, but does have a noticably lower maximum compared to the DAC. If I were to try go past that, I’ve eyed the E6 and E12 as possible options. No major reason for the FiiO units above anything else, they’ve just not let me down yet and they’re cheap enough to be reasonable (which factors in on shipping things to .za)

What sucks

Both the headphone models above are open-back, which have issues being used in more crowded places or alongside busy roads or on the train, etc. I used to use a set of Sennheiser CX200 instead during those times, but mine got lost somewhere before the move. One friend has recommended the NVX XPT100 as an option, and another the Allesandro MS-1s (which are basically a re-release of the Grados or somesuch). I prefer over-ear over on-ear, so I expect I’d probably try something like the XPT100 set first.

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