Reddit mentions: The best headphone amps
We found 2,122 Reddit comments discussing the best headphone amps. We ran sentiment analysis on each of these comments to determine how redditors feel about different products. We found 208 products and ranked them based on the amount of positive reactions they received. Here are the top 20.
1. FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)
- Easy to Operate Design: The refined E10K-TC is tiny enough to carry with you wherever you go but is also right at home on your desk to make your music sound great anywhere, the small yet easy-to-operate design makes it a perfect companion for listening
- Impeccable XMOS Decoding: The E10K-TC comes with the flagship XMOS XUF208 for better USB decoding. Compared to the original E10K, the USB Audio class has been upgraded to 2.0, and PCM is now supported up to 32 bit/384kHz sampling rates to better capture the details in your music
- Quality Chips to Delight your Ears: The DAC is the PCM5102, with improvements to the flatness and delays of the internal digital filter meaning better sound quality and less audio delay. A high current amp circuit ensures good output power with great transient response
- 2 Gain Levels and BASS Boost: The E10K-TC comes with high/low gain adjustment as well as a bass boost. High gain is for higher impedance headphones that may need the extra volume, while the bass boost satisfies different listener's preferences when listening to various types of music
- Low Noise Floor: Optimized active low pass and BASS circuit design ensure low noise floor in any situation, so your music is truly played back faithfully
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2. Behringer Microamp HA400 Ultra-Compact 4-Channel Stereo Headphone Amplifier,Silver
- 4-channel stereo headphone amplifier for use with all types of headphones
- 4 high-power stereo amplifiers
- Highest sonic quality even at maximum volume
- Output level control for each channel
- DC 12-Volt adapter included
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|Release date||March 2008|
3. EarStudio ES100 MK2-24bit Portable High-Resolution Bluetooth Receiver/USB DAC/Headphone Amp with LDAC, aptX HD, aptX, AAC (3.5mm Unbalanced & 2.5mm Balanced Output)
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4. FiiO E17 Alpen Portable Headphone Amplifier USB DAC
- Standard mini USB interface: Connect to your PC for digital audio transfer and/or charge of the 1500 mAh internal battery
- 3.5 mm stereo headphone output: Suitable for 16-150 ohm headphones; MAX output current > 80 mA; THD <0.003%@1KHz
- 3.5mm SPDIF input (optical, coaxial) digital connector to receive PCM signals up to 24-bit/192kHz
- 3.5mm Analog Line-In for use with other audio sources, 18-Pin multi-functional interface to connect FiiO's L7 and E9 docks
- Digital Bass, Treble, Gain, Volume Controls
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5. FiiO A1 Silver Portable Headphone Amp A1
- Compact design
- Durable anodised aluminum Chassis
- Self powered amplifier
- Can be charged during use
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6. Creative Sound Blaster E1 Portable Headphone Amplifier with Integrated Mic and Dual Headphone Jacks for PC and Smartphones
Powerful 600 Ohm headphone amplifier supports high performance headphones for a studio-grade listening experience106db SnR output that is vastly superior in fidelity to standard USB, motherboard, laptop, and standard smart device outputHigh-quality powered headphone splitter lets you share music wit...
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|Release date||May 2014|
7. SMSL Audio M3 USB Powered Audio Decoder, Black
- M3 first USB-powered Audio decoder and charging treasure switching power supply technology computer or mobile phone USB direct power supply to improve The ease of use rechargeable power supply
- M3 Super fever power mode you have purchased M3 can have in the case of Mobile phones and at the same time charging power pod M3 will automatically switch off the power supply using USB power charging treasure
- M3 Flexible and convenient mode of operation The completion of a single bond and input select switch Plus a headphone volume knob allows the operator to look convenient and science Industrial intuitive power switch
- Volume knob allows the operator to look convenient and science Industrial intuitive power switch
- M3 Flexible and convenient mode of operation The completion of a single bond and input select
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|Release date||October 2018|
8. Fiio K1 Portable Headphone Amplifier&DAC and USB DAC, Titanium
- Portable Headphone in-Ear Earphones
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|Number of items||1|
|Release date||May 2021|
9. AudioQuest DragonFly Black v1.5 Plug-in USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp
- 32-bit ESS 9010 Sabre DAC
- Offering tremendously enhanced sound, higher value, and significantly lower power consumption than the original award-winning DragonFly
- Works with Apple and Android phones and tablets when paired with a simple adapter
- This versatile DAC improves everything detail, transparency, immediacy, richness, tone associated with your music
- Plays everything from MP3s to 24-bit/96kHz high-resolution files
- Connector type: USB 2.0
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|Release date||June 2016|
10. HIDIZS Portable Headphone Amplifier USB Type C DAC Headphone Amp for Android/Windows/MacOSX System Smartphone Laptop (Mark II)
- ♪ HI-FI LOSSLESS SOUND & PLUG AND PLAY: Built in high resolution DAC chip, our portable DAC Amp fully enhance the sound quality of mobile phones while providing excellent headphone drive capability. Ultra-low power dissipation extend the playback time.
- ♪ LOWEST NOISE & HI-RES DAC PERFORMANCE: It improves the signal-to-noise ratio to 114DB, and the sound quality is improved 3 times than your ordinary mobile phones. Delivers an THD+N down to -114dB for you to enjoy matchless hifi sound and maintain original sound quality of headphone.
- ♪ HI-RES AUDIO OUTPUT CAPABILITY: HIDIZS Sonata HD DAC cable passed the Hi-Res certification. Its DAC chip helps your mobile phones achieve 24bit/192kHz Hi-Res output capability.
- ♪ ULTRA PORTABLE & DURABLE DAC: With lightweight design, you can put our Hi-Fi headphone cable anytime anywhere. Pure quad-core copper wire, precision construction and quality materials let the Hidizs Sonata HD cable provides wide-frequency and high resolution sound.
- ♪ GREAT COMPATIBILITY & SATISFACTORY GUARANTEE: A perfect audio solution for all your type C phones, Laptops, Macbook, Speakers, like Google Pixel 3/3 XL/2/2 XL, HTC U 11/HTC U Ultra, Essential phone, LG, Xiaomi Mi Mix 2 and more usb c devices. Compatible with Windows/MacOSX/Android system.( iPhone&iPod excluded) ❤6 months warranty and 24 hours friendly customer service.
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11. 4-Channel Portable Stereo Headphone Amplifier - Professional Multi Channel Mini Earphone Splitter Amp w/ 4 ¼” Balanced TRS Headphones Output Jack and 1/4" TRS Audio Input For Sound Mixer - Pyle PHA40
POWERS 4 HEADPHONES: The Pyle Stereo Headphone Amplifier is a monitor distribution system that powers practically any headphones - up to four pairs at the same time. This allows four people in your studio to listen to the main mix while recordingINDEPENDENT VOLUME CONTROLS: Each listener can determi...
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|Release date||June 2010|
12. Audioquest DragonFly USB DAC Preamp Headphone Amp Version 1.2
Connects directly to headphones, powered speakers or an amplifier for stunning audioUser-selectable for either a Variable or a Fixed outputSophisticated Asynchronous USB Audio Data Transfer24-bit/96kHz capability64-position analog volume control
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13. FiiO K3 Type-C USB DAC Headphone Amp
- Usb Type-C DAC: supports up to 384kHz/32bit
- Power supply via the USB port: convenient and safe
- Various ports: lineout single-ended/ balanced headphone output coaxial and optical
- High-performance discrete headphone drive and circuit protection
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|Release date||September 2019|
14. Bravo Audio V2 Class A 12AU7 Tube Multi-Hybrid Headphone Amplifier
Includes high-quality Shuguang 12AU7 tubeParallel 3.5mm and RCA stereo inputsGain control with Japanese ALPS potentiometer
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15. FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier (Black)
Suitable for headphones ranging from 16 to 150 Ohms. Gain switch for matching output to headphone power needs.Superior sound quality through expertly selected components and design, utilizing OPA1642 preamp and AD8397 amp section.Fully discrete bass boost circuit increases output by 3.5dB at 60Hz, w...
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16. FiiO Q1 Mark II Native DSD DAC & Amplifier for iPhone, iPod, iPad and Computers
- AUDIO QUALITY: Being equipped with the XMOS platform allows the Q1 Mark II to support decoding of more formats with outstanding performance – it is capable of decoding up to 384 kHz /32 bit PCM as well as up to DSD256 (the latter is indicated by a green light)
- TECHNOLOGY: The Q1 Mark II employs a clever ADC volume adjustment mechanism – by accurately reconstructing the ADC curve, problems such as volume imbalance between the left and right channels and noise when adjusting the volume are all avoided while also greatly enhancing volume adjustment accuracy with each turn of the knob
- DESIGN: The fully metal exterior is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also effectively protects the Q1 Mark II's innards from electromagnetic experience, ensuring sound quality is not compromised when it is used together with an iPhone
- VOLUME KNOB: The volume knob employs a unique obconical design, which allows us to maximize the knob's diameter to make it easier to rotate while still fitting it into a limited spac
- SWITCHES: The Q1 Mark II features a switch for adjusting gain as well as another switch to fine-tune bass levels. Change the amount of gain depending on how sensitive your headphones are, and tailor the bass level to your liking depending on the music you listen to
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17. FiiO Q1 Portable USB DAC Amplifier
- Output power: Greater Than190mW (320 loaded)
- Recommended headphone impedance: 16-150Ohms
- Max.supported sample rate (USB decoding): 96kHz/24bit
- Battery capacity: 1400mAh
- Play time: Greater Than30 h (320 earphones, normal listening levels)
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18. Creative Sound Blaster E5 High-Resolution USB DAC 600 ohm Headphone Amplifier with Bluetooth
A DAC with 120dB signal to noise ratio (SNR) that supports up to 24-bit/192kHz can deliver bit-perfect, true-to-original audio reproduction, just as it was mastered in the studiosAudiophile Grade, Best-in-class headphone amplifier enables you to power all the headphones in the market with clarity an...
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19. Little Dot I+ 6JI X2 Tube Standard Hybrid Headphone Headphone Amp Pre-Amp Tube Amplifier (LDI+)
Little Dot I+ 6JI standard is a hybrid transistor-vacuum tube headphone amplifierLittle Dot I+ 6JI standard offers versatility and incredible sound quality in a tiny footprint
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|Release date||September 2018|
20. Creative Sound Blaster E3 Portable USB DAC Headphone Amplifier with Bluetooth and NFC
- High quality headphone amplification for headphones up to 600 ohm and 112dB DAC
- Connect the Sound Blaster E3 to your smart phone or tablets via USB for incredibly high audio streaming quality
- Conveniently connect to smart phones or tablets via Bluetooth
- Users with NFC-enabled phones can pair and connect to the Sound Blaster E3 by simply tapping the two together
- Up to 8 hours of Bluetooth audio streaming or 17 hours of analog audio playback (varies with use, settings and environment)
- Connectivity: Dual Headphone-Out, Mic In (applicable on desktop mode Only), Line In, USB
- Built-in Microphone
- Buttons Control: Power/Bluetooth, Volume, Next track/Forward, Previous track/Rewind, Call Answer/Play/Pause
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🎓 Reddit experts on headphone amps
The comments and opinions expressed on this page are written exclusively by redditors. To provide you with the most relevant data, we sourced opinions from the most knowledgeable Reddit users based the total number of upvotes and downvotes received across comments on subreddits where headphone amps are discussed. For your reference and for the sake of transparency, here are the specialists whose opinions mattered the most in our ranking.
Total score: 133
Number of comments: 80
Relevant subreddits: 5
Total score: 79
Number of comments: 50
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Total score: 35
Number of comments: 25
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Total score: 27
Number of comments: 10
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Total score: 23
Number of comments: 14
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Number of comments: 21
Relevant subreddits: 2
Total score: 18
Number of comments: 14
Relevant subreddits: 4
Total score: 16
Number of comments: 11
Relevant subreddits: 1
Total score: 16
Number of comments: 8
Relevant subreddits: 1
Total score: 6
Number of comments: 15
Relevant subreddits: 1
And yes, people are complaining because it simply is not up to par with other similar priced units available. So I hope you'll eventually stop recommending these PSUs. I've seen you recommend them very frequent and just really don't like it.
JonnyGuru is an awesome PSU reviewer for sure, it's my go to reviewer for sure.
But he's not the only reviewer out there that really looks into a PSU it's inner details.
Here is a review from TechPowerUp, that states the exact reason why a lot of people do not suggest the EVGA NEX G1 650/750W units.
> "Voltage regulation was not so good. Only the 5V rail did well. The other rails registered relatively high deviations that exceeded 3%. Also,the performance on Crossload tests is disappointing; the propriety group-regulation scheme that the FSP used on the secondary side of this unit is to blame for this. Finally, the 5VSB rail had a problem keeping its voltage above the minimum limit that the ATX spec sets during the 110% load test, but we won't take its 5VSB failure into account seriously since we operated the PSU out of its specs on that test; besides, a full load at 5VSB is hard to reproduce during normal operations. Nevertheless, most units don't have a problem here."
Here is an other review from PCPer, that states the exact same.
> "Ideally we would like to see no AC ripple (repetitive) or noise (random) on the DC outputs – the cleaner the better! But in reality there will always be some present."
> "The EVGA NEX750G power supply exhibited acceptable AC ripple suppression on all of the primary outputs but was overall higher than we would like to see on a premium grade, enthusiast power supply; particularly on the +3.3V and +5VSB outputs."
Hopefully this clears it up!
As for sound cards, most people will be extremely happy by the on-board sound that's available on motherboards these days. The sound quality improved dramatically over the last 2 years.
If you do want to get a sound improvement, the first place to start is with your headphones. Almost all "gaming" headsets that you buy these days are pretty much not great for music (unless you love high base styled music, then you might enjoy it well enough), movies & anything else than explosion sounds.
Positional sound stages on most gaming headsets are also not great. Because almost all of them are closed back designs, which reduces the 3D effect obtainable with open back headphones. Closed vs Open back headphones explained.
Now quickly adding the whole Gaming vs "real" headphones discussion that often pops up.
This whole 5/7.1 surround sound is hopefully done by software and can help to position the sound if it comes from your left or right, but open backed, 2.0 headphones are the best for positional sound stage and don't require any additional software. Turn of all the surround sound software that you have and listen to this clip with your eyes closed. To understand how "surround sound" works on headphones.
The Sennheiser HD598 & AKG K701/2 are one of the best out there for this. This is great for games like CS:GO.
If you have great headphones and still want to get more out of them, I recommend to get an external DAC/AMP. Over a sound card!
This means that you remove the audio signal completely away from the noisy PC that causes EMI. This video is a broad explanation of it and not just related to audio & PC units. But you can trust me, the inside of a PC got lots of it.
So an external DAC/AMP unit will remove the EMI completely. Since you use an USB cable to connect it to the DAC (digital to analog converter) which transforms the digital sound (10010100101) into an analog signal that we humans can hear.
The AMP or Amplifier makes sure that the headphones, earbuds or speakers get enough "power" to produce all the sound waves.
Sound card, DAC & AMP explained is the video that explains the EMI much better.
This quickly becomes expensive, but there are a lot of great "value" options available these days. The most famous one is the FiiO E10K but I'm personally also a big fan of the Schiit Fulla
In terms of sound difference, I bet you that almost nobody is able to really tell them apart, aside from probably the people that made them. So in theory, the FiiO is the better value.
I just personally really love the Schiit company and thus support them. Their customer support is also very amazing.
Sorry for the wall of text, if you have any more questions. Don't hesitate to ask!
Here I have my current setup. The headphones are my Beyerdynamic Custom Studios, the DAC is an Audioengine D3, and the AMP is a Fiio A3 Portable Amp. The entire setup cost me $268, but as of now I believe the Custom Studios are discontinued, so you could replace the headphones with some alternatives in that price range (Audio Technica M40x/M50x or Philips SHP9500.) Anyways, here’s a review for everything.
Beyerdynamic Custom Studio (80 ohm)
Used to be $163, now they are [$250] (https://www.guitarcenter.com/Beyerdynamic/Custom-STUDIO-Headphones-1392652270585.gc)
I bought these headphones around July of 2017 as my first pair of “real” headphones. Initially, I was disappointed, but this was only because I was not used to the sound of these headphones at the time. After about a month of listening to them, I went back to compare them to some old Apple Earbuds and at first, I couldn’t believe the difference. Everything about these headphones was amazing. There’s a great amount of detail in them, the imaging is absolutely amazing, but soundstage is very narrow due to them being closed back headphones. As closed back headphones, they do a fantastic job of not allowing sound to leak about and making sure outside noise stays outside as long as the volume is higher. I use these at the library in my school when I write papers and never get complaints. I’ve tested them before by placing them on my friends’ heads and playing music at a loud volume, but nothing leaks out.
I found the comfort to be alright, but the fault was due to the velour. I really do not like velour as I find it to be very itchy, however, many other people praise the earpads, so it just comes down to preference. I instead replaced the pads with some [Brainwavs HM5 Sheepskin earpads] ( https://www.amazon.com/Brainwavz-Sheepskin-Leather-Memory-Earpad/dp/B01J53KM32) and fell in love with the comfort. The pads increased bass a little and made them incredibly comfortable. I use a [V-Moda Boom Pro] ( https://www.amazon.com/V-MODA-BoomPro-Microphone-Gaming-Communication/dp/B00BJ17WKK/ref=sr_1_1?s=industrial&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1524357476&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=vmoda+boompro&amp;dpID=41WfbQw%252Bp8L&amp;preST=_SY300_QL70_&amp;dpSrc=srch) with it when I game and these never become uncomfortable, even after playing for hours on end. The clamp on these is very strong, but I like it that way as it prevents them from falling off my head.
The unique thing about these headphones is that it has bass sliders on each cup, which allows you to adjust the bass from (Low bass, neutral, vibrant bass, and max bass.) I tend to keep it on neutral and the bass there is more than enough for me (and I love bass.) I use these for just about everything, including gaming and I never have any issues. I wear glasses and these are fine for anyone who may wear glasses.
After trying out different headphones at CanJam this year, I now know where these headphones can improve, but these still manage to keep up with everything else above its price range. You can run these off a phone and get some good volume, but I like music loud, so I use them with an amp at all times. Overall, I’m glad these are my first pair and I plan on keeping them as my closed back pair of headphones after I move on to more expensive headphones.
Audioengine D3 DAC+AMP
[$45 Refurbrished] (https://audioengineusa.com/shop/factory-refurbished/d3-24-bit-dacheadphone-amp-2/)
I bought the Audioengine D3 as the last piece of the puzzle in terms of headphones, amps, and dacs. It is a USB DAC that comes with a ¼ inch adapter and a sleeve to carry it. This is actually what motivated me to listen to music on my laptop as I used to listen to music on my phone. I really have no complaints about it. When it released, it was priced at $200 and was one of the few USB DACs that could compete with the Dragonfly DACs, and from what I’ve read online, a lot of reviewers actually prefer the D3. I saw it on Massdrop a month back for $70ish and wanted it, but I wanted to read reviews about it first. That’s where I found that you can get it for $45 straight out of their website with free shipping included. There really is no reason to look for another DAC when this one is available for such a steal. There is no kind of sound when music is not playing and it is driverless, meaning you can just plug it in to your computer and it’s ready to go. One thing to note is that it gets really hot, but it isn’t a problem, so long as you keep your fingers off of it. I felt like I noticed an improvement in songs, but it could just be a placebo (A B test your gear and see if you can notice a difference.) However, I really like having it around and I don’t listen to anything on my laptop without it.
Fiio A3 AMP
I bought the Fiio A3 when I bought my headphones because I read that an amp was almost required for anything at 80 ohms and higher. Since then, I’ve loved this little beast of an amp. It has a low and high gain switch to control volume (I keep it on high gain when connected to my phone and low gain when connected to the D3.) It also has a bass boost switch which I really like when I feel like being basshead (The bass boost here + max bass setting on the Custom Studios = Madness.) It has a life of about 16 hours before needing to recharge and it has a blue led that blinks when it needs to charge. It makes headphones very loud very fast. It is also built like a tank. I tried carrying it around in my pocket when I walked on campus and it slipped out. It only took a cosmetic hit, but in terms of functionality, it is untouched.
The only reason I still use it is because I like being able to control audio through a knob as opposed to a digital slider. The only annoying thing about it is that it has a hissing noise when the knob is turned up without any music playing, but when music starts to play, the hiss disappears. Overall, I absolutely recommend this amp if you want something to start with as it will do nothing but impress you every time.
This is my setup and being a broke college kid, I could not be happier. In terms of the things that this sub shows off, I find this to be a very budget friendly setup. Even when I upgrade everything, I still plan on keeping it as I do not want to forget where I started in terms of this hobby. For anyone that may be wanting to jump into the world of audio, I absolutely recommend these products as places to start. I’ve provided straight links for anyone that may want to check out the products.
First, everyone saying you won't hear a difference, is full of it. Not a difference from 24/48 to 24/96 mind you, but you WILL hear a difference going from whatever DAC and amplification your monitor is supplying your headphones, to equipment designed solely to perform these tasks. The jump from the monitor to even a dragonfly will be huge, but the jump to end game level equipment like THX AAA amps and a high quality DAC like a Geshelli labs, or SMSL SU-8 will be life changing, and you'll go down a path that will lead to you spending way too much money on headphones. I'm currently on this path, and it's glorious, but your family/friends might think you're insane for spending thousands on headphones.
You need a DAC and amp. I don't know how seriously you are taking sound quality, but there are a number of combo units that are fairly cheap, probably best for your situation if money is tight, being a student I know the struggles, so you should get the Audioquest Dragonfly. It's a DAC and amp in one tiny USB stick sized device, supports 24/96 (I think that's its highest supported quality) and it's only $99. There are other versions that are better, and more expensive, but if you're gonna spend more than 100$, or want some reference for the future then.....well, read the rest of my comment.
Audioquest Dragonfly https://www.amazon.com/AudioQuest-DragonFly-Black-Preamp-Headphone/dp/B01DP5JHHI?th=1
If you are willing to spend a little more, and are a little more serious about headphones, I recommend the JDS Labs atom headphone amp, it's VERY good especially at the 100$ price point. As far as dac just get something like a Schiit Modi 3, also 100$.
JDS Labs Atom amp https://jdslabs.com/product/atom-amp/
Schiit Modi 3 DAC https://www.amazon.com/Schiit-Modi-Converter-Delta-Sigma-DAC/dp/B07KWHWV1M/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=schiit+modi+3&qid=1569914940&sr=8-1
If you're really serious about headphone quality, and want end game level equipment, and money is no object I recommend the THX AAA amps, they are superb and vastly outperform anything else on the market in terms of harmonic distortion and noise floor. They are a bit hard to get right now because of demand, massdrop isn't shipping their 789's out until late November, and Monoprice isn't getting their new model 887 in until around the same time. The only option is to buy used, but everyone is asking for a small premium because of the scarcity, and demand. They're 400$ MSRP, used it's like 420-450. Monoprice has another model however, it's the one I currently have and I LOVE it, it's a balanced DAC and balanced AMP in one unit, and it's 500$, the Monolith THX AAA 788. With it you don't need anything else, and it sounds....well it sounds like whatever you're listening to, because it has such low levels of distortion (well below what is even noticeable by human hearing), it's truly source perfect.
As far as DAC to pair with something like a THX amp, there are a number of options, but Geshelli labs makes a good balanced DAC that's only $180 I believe (if you go balanced amp, like the THX, you'll need a balanced DAC to get balanced output, and you'll need a balanced cable from your headphones to the amp)
The Monolith THX 788 DAC/AMP https://www.amazon.com/Monolith-124459-Headphone-Amplifier-Technology/dp/B07KQW1WFX/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=monolith+thx&qid=1569914858&sr=8-1
Drop THX 789 AMP https://drop.com/buy/drop-thx-aaa-789-linear-amplifier
Geshelli Labs balanced DAC https://geshelli.com/shop?olsPage=products%2Fenog2-pro-dac-purple-case
Not OP, but I very much enjoy the sound of the HD600's. super easy to listen to and not harsh at all. Kind of expensive, since you need an aplifier to get the best sound of them, which just adds to the price. I have a few recommendations for under 150 dollar headphones.
If you're looking for some great open back headphones, I recommend the AD-700X. Very open, with an airy sound. I enjoy them the most for vocals. not much bass, however. I also really enjoy these for gaming. the design of them is a odd for headphones so they might not be the best fit for your head.
Another option is the SHP9500. also open and similar to the HD600's in that they handle almost all music well. Can't really complain on how they handle most things, except for maybe bass heavy music. All around good headphones. Super comfortable to wear too.
If you want some closed headphones, I recommend the DT-770's 80 Ohm. not as easy to drive as the 32 Ohm version, but still should be fine with almost anything. If you plan on getting an amp, get the 250 Ohm version. I love these because the bass response is absolutely fantastic. If you enjoy EDM, hiphop, or any genre that is bass heavy, these are a no brianer. these have fantastic sub bass that doesn't muddy up the vocals. Maybe not the best for all genre types, as the higher frequencies can be fatiguing for some people.
If you're looking for a AMP to start off with, I recommend the FiiO E10K. cheap, and powerful enough to drive most headphones, unless they're very power demanding like the HD600's. If you want to go all out, getting a Schiit Stack like OP, or an ODAC combo works too. that's gonna be like 200+ though, so I recommend starting with something smaller.
Also, be sure to use Amazon's warehouse deals to get a "used" pair of any of these if you can. save some money on it, and if they're broken or damaged, amazon will gladly refund you. really is a money saver.
I'm /u/whitefeather14's friend. If it's solely for headphones and you're not looking to spend a lot, then I would strongly recommend something by Fiio. I have an older one, the FiiO E7. They don't sell this one anymore, but they have a newer one called the FiiO E70k. I haven't personally used it, but I can only assume it's like mine but better.
If it's a little more than you want to spend, then I'd look at the Q1. I've heard good things about these as well.
These are nice, because they double as a USB dac and a portable headphone amplifier. Which means if you're traveling or something you can plug your phone into it and still get the amplifier out of it, no need for a USB source.
If that doesn't interest you, then there's the FiiO K1, which is just a USB DAC, and does not have an analog 3.5mm input, only the micro USB.
Now, understand that any of these aren't going to be the greatest DAC ever. Sub $100 is pretty cheap for a DAC, and I'm pretty sure these are all 24-bit, with 32-bit being more or less the best you can get (There's some debate on whether or not you can hear a difference, but that's entirely a different conversation.)
If you do want something a little more pricey and nice, the Schiit Modi DAC and Magni amp are really quite nice. They also have a Amp/DAC combination for $80 which I haven't heard anything about, but Schiit is pretty good.
The one /u/whitefeather14 said is a PreSonus AudioBox USB. You probably don't want this, as it is primarily an audio interface for recording instruments and microphones, and isn't a dedicated DAC, though the DAC is pretty nice, and as a bonus has a 1/4in headphone out as well as two 1/4in outs for L/R powered speakers, such as studio monitors, if that's of any benefit for you.
As for the SMSL one you posted, I have also heard good things about that one, though it's a desktop unit and does not have an analog 3.5mm input.
Let me know if you have any questions, I'm happy to help.
I'm not experienced enough to offer a full end to end answer, but I'll try to fill in some gaps.
The first thing to consider is the DAC side. You computer's soundcard has a DAC, but depending on the model it may be pretty poor, and a much better DAC can be had for fairly cheap. For example my Dell XPS 13 is a very nice laptop, but the headphone jack has TONS of noise. I personally use a Fiio E10 which is a big improvement for $70, and has a very good headphone amplifier built in. That might not be a good option for you, but is an example.
The next step is amplifying the sound. You have to general options.
The general thought is for a given amount of money active speakers will often sound better because the speaker and built in amp are designed together, but discrete amplifier and passive speakers have more flexibility and room to upgrade piece by piece down the road.
An amp might have a good DAC built in, saving you from that step, and even a small number of active speakers do.
An example off the top of my head is Audioengine. They are know for having very good components in your price range and make for a more apples to apples comparison:
Passive with amp
I've never heard any of this stuff before myself, so these are examples, not recommendations! but reviews have said the N22+P4 sounds a little better. However the A5+ is all in one, and a little cheaper.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around what is better for near field or not. It seems like many of the powered speakers you see are "near field studio monitors" meant for mixing and mastering, meaning they have flat response and sound good on a desk, where many of the passive setups are designed for enjoying music at a distance.
Why are there still fake-real knobs and such? Because.....
There was a long time where analog was it. It's all there was. 4, 8, 12, 16 track analog recorders. Behemoths of recording consoles. If GWA existed somehow in that day, we would all own little 2-track recorders, a small mic pre-amp unit, and a microphone. And you'd maybe have an analog EQ and compressor, big physical units that looked like this.
So when everything went digital, a decision was made. To preserve brand identity and user familiarity, they copied the physical unit into a digital VST application. Compare This real world Shadow Hills Compressor unit with The Shadow Hills Compressor Plug-in.
There isn't any reason beyond that. There is reasons to choose analog or digital, but not to have a UI reminiscent of analog units.
As far as heaphones go, I'll take you through what I own, and what I use most.
Sennheiser HD 650
Sennheiser HD6 MIX
These were gifts through a brief endorsement deal I had, and I run these through this headphone amplifier
For higer-end earbuds, I use Sennheiser IE 60's and Sennheiser IE 80's. These I primarily use for simple editing on the go, giving to performers to use on stage or using myself on stage, or for women tracking vocals or instruments who don't want to mess up their hair with big over-the-head headphones.
But, my most used setup, what has become my dream setup, and the one that I will always reach for first, is far from the priciest.
Sennheiser HD 280 Pro, run out of the computer through a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2.
This is my favorite setup. The 280 Pro's are $100, the Scarlett is around $150. The headphones are crystal clear, have tight response all through the spectrum, are rugged enough to get chucked the fuck around, are comfy, and come with a great quality screw-on adapter so they able to be used into a 1/4" connection or a standard 1/8" headphone jack. Their impedance means they don't need an amp and can be used as normal headphones. They sound JUST as good as pairs ten times their price, and they have a certain special something to their super-low end and high-mids that I haven't found. Go get these today. Trust me.
The Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 isn't used as an amplifier in this case, since the 280's don't need it. It serves as a USB feed out, with a nice little volume knob. USB out will always trump 1/8" headphone jack out audio. Plus, the 2 inputs are nice to have. I own two of these units, and one always travels with my laptop for an easy, portable solution for HQ audio monitoring, easy L-R in recording from a sound board, or easy audio out from my laptop.
Together, these things have a certain magic, and I don't have to break my bank or handle them like china dolls. They're both rugged and sound AMAZING.
EDIT: I forgot my in-ear molded earphones. I own a pair of Alclair Reference IEM's. They are a great price, sound incredible for stage or studio, and I got mine with wood backs and DAMN are they sexy.
I have a few, but it depends on your budget. If you are looking for all in one DAC and Amp combos, the two I would suggest are:
FiiO E10K and the NuForce uDAC3
Both of those would be great options for a budget solution, and they are tiny so they double as a portable or mobile Dac/Amp. They get power from USB, but it should be enough to drive 50ohm headphones. The Fiio is going to be the cheaper of the two, around $75, and the Nuforce will be around $100. Sometimes the Nuforce uDac3 will be around $70-$80 on amazon, but it's usually around $100.
If you have between $200-$300 budget, then I would recommend the Modi 2 and Magni 2 by Schiit Audio. It is usually referred to as the 'Schiit Stack" (because you literally stack them on top of each other lol), but you don't have to stack them.
If you go to their site, it will lists all of their amps, and all of their Dacs. The Magni 2 is the Amp, and the Modi 2 is the Dac. There are the basic versions (which is what I have), and they run $99 each if you order directly through Schiit, which comes out to $200 for the set. They also make an "Uber" version of each, which runs about $150 bucks per unit, which is $300 total. The differences between the standard and Uber version or sort of minimal, but the Uber version of the Schiit stack is regarded by many audiophiles as the best "budget" audiophile Dac/Amp setup. For the price, it rivals many solid state and tube amp and dacs that cost $500+ dollars.
I have the Standard version, and it sounds great with my AKG K612's. There is a list somewhere of all of the headsets that sound great with the Schiit stack, and what kind of sound signature you get out of each. The best thing to do if you already know what kind of sound signature you like out of your headphones, is to find the Headphone + Dac/Amp combo that produces that type of sound, and pic that. But I would say that the HD598's + the Schiit stack will be perfectly fine for you, but of course that will be up for you to decide if you were to go this route.
I would recommend the budget route, at least until you know what kind of sound signature you like. Some people want flat sounding cans, others want bright highs (probably really good for hearing gunshots and footsteps), others want a more warm sound, where the mids really break through the track and the bass really kicks.
The budget option will be a cheap way for you to determine if the HD598's produce the type of sound you like. If they do, then you can upgrade your Dac and Amp in the future, OR just change to a different headset if you decide that you want more highs, or more low end.
I've heard of their 3020, but supposedly the Concept 20 is the same driver in a different cabinet? The What HiFi review makes it sound like the cabinet alone is worth the price difference. That could be true, but I am not going to rely on their word for it. I think it would be best if you could arrange for an audition or, better still, buy them with a good return policy so you can send them back if you are not satisfied with them. This is the most reliable way you could test out 2 speakers because you know best what is important for you. As for bass, it is also part of the music and I feel a faithful reproduction is essential to the experience. I do not own a subwoofer myself because I am satisfied with my MB Quart 490 and their 7.5" woofer. The bass is present but not overpowering at all and it makes all the difference when listening to Pink Floyd or The Coup.
Anyway, what I meant was the audio files will be converted from digital to analog at one point. In your case, it would be the PC's onboard solution. Now, depending on your PC, your onboard solution could be great or it could suck (distortion/constant hum etc.) ! To get around this some people use the digital output on their PC (USB/HDMI/Optical) and the conversion is performed using another device. Since usually stereo amplifiers do not have any way of accepting digital input, the go-to choice is a separate DAC like Fiio D03K / Behringer UCA202. Some people also a get a headphone DAC like Fiio E10K because they need a portable amp for their headphone in addition to a DAC. Others may need more than just a DAC - for example there could be a need to take the HDMI input and send the video to a TV and the audio to speakers. This is where a receiver comes in. A receiver is basically an amp + many more options for inputs, but it could be overkill if you only need a DAC. Used receivers could be cheap, though, and they are quite popular because of the input options you get. Goes without saying that you may not need a separate DAC at all, but just something to consider.
Phew! Hope that helps! :)
This will be my second time typing this out, since I hit the fucking Browser-Back shortcut on my mouse.
I wouldn't recommend the Koss Plugs as a set of mixing phones, even while travelling. The clarity is simply nonexistant. My suggestion is just to use them as a second pair to check out your bassline before you finalize a track. For something more balanced, you might want to set aside an hour or two and drag your eyeballs over this thread over at head-fi.
As an off-the-cuff recommendation, Velodyne vPulse have gained quite a reputation in the under-$150 category. they have plenty of bass output, but it's much tighter than the Koss, no muddiness. They also get plenty of compliments on the detail in the midrange/treble.
/r/Audiophile is a great resource, as is /r/Headphones, but to save yourself from shame, I will tell you ahead of time, anything called a soundcard will almost certainly get you laughed out.
Puts on top hat and monocle, raising a cup of tea with the pinky out
>A gentleman uses a DAC with a seperate Headphone Amplifier.
In all fairness a soundcard is nothing but a DAC with a built-on amp, though the integrated amp circuits are terrible, in terms of audio reproduction.
You can get a DAC and feed an amp with it, or you can get a DAC/Amp combo, which is a popular place to begin, and is a great solution for a personal digital studio, especially if you use your laptop as a creative device away from home. The most recommended (for good reason) is the FiiO e7. It performes both the DAC and amplifier functions, as well as including an input jack and a battery so you can stick it in your pocket and connect it to your ipod/phone/whatever and increase the quality of your portable listening as well (This bypasses the DAC and only uses the amp). The only drawback to the e7 is that the amp is kind of puny. Mind you it is still more powerful than whatever is built into your devices, but it can leave you wanting if you have some high-end, high-impedance headphones. To solve that, you can either get a FiiO e9 amplifier to leave on your desk and dock the e7 to when you are at home, or you can pick up a FiiO e17 which is almost identical to the e7, but with more juice to the amp. You mentioned a speaker setup at home, so you would also want a FiiO l7 line out plug so you could run the un-amped output of the DAC to your speakers. Keep in mind, none of this passes as "Audiophile grade" hardware, but it's certainly (digital) studio quality.
All in all, an e7 and a pair of vPulse IEMs would set you back about $150, give you the low-end you need, a full-up system you could pack in your pocket while you're on the move, and also boost the quality of your 8400's, and whatever monitors you choose at home.
I'll get off my soapbox now. Hopefully that gives you a head start on your research.
^tiny ^disclaimer: I don't work for FiiO, I'm not trying to sell you FiiO stuff, I don't even use FiiO myself. They just have a great reputation, and market at a reasonable price-range.
Ok, Thank you. Here is a similar setup to what I use. My personal one is a bit more sophisticated but nonetheless, these items will certainly get you started and aim you in the right direction.
Let's start with the Mixer:
Your mixer will be your new interface. Rather than plugging one microphone into your computer you'll plug all your microphones into one mixer which then will be connected to your computer via USB.
Microphone - Mixer - Computer
Here is a good starter at a decent price. It'll be your most expensive single piece of equipment (unless you decide to get top tier microphones). You'll be able to EQ and set levels to each microphone hooked up to the mixer before sending it to Audacity (or Audition, Reaper). You can also hook up more than 3 mics, a guitar, your phone, maybe you want to hook your computer up to it to play a sound, basically anything that sends one signal to another, you'll be able to do it with this and record it.
If you're able to hook up a mic cable (XLR) to your Blue Yeti, you can still use that microphone, too. Obviously, switch your polar pattern to cardioid that way it's more directional and doesn't pick up as much room noise. Also, try to point it away from your AC unit. Regardless, since the Blue Yeti is a condenser microphone, it'll pick up more room noise because it's much more sensitive. That's why in broadcast situations you'll always see dynamic microphones such as the Electrovoice RE20 or Shure SM7b. For your own sake, I would do some research on condenser vs dynamic but any website you shop at (or if you go to Guitar Center in person) you can filter microphones by condenser or dynamic. I highly recommend buying yourself 3 dynamic microphones to reduce room noise.
Here are my microphone recommendations:
Finally, your Accessories:
You'll need 3 XLR's to hook 3 microphones up to the mixer. I recommend purchasing them from monoprice.com - very cheap cables that last a long time if you learn to wrap your cable correctly.
Same with your microphone stands:
Most microphones you buy will come with the mount for it. If you get the Behringer XM8500 or the Shure SM58 you might need one of these if it doesn't come with it:
Also, for both of those mics I definitely recommend buy either a pop filter or wind screen to put over top to reduce plosives. If you don't know what plosives are, google it. You wont need to worry about plosives if you purchase the Rode Procaster or RE20.
One very last thing to mention is headphones. Through the mixer, there is a headphone jack where you can plug headphones in to monitor the mix. However, there is also something called "Main Out" or "Control Room Out" - you can send your vocal mix to an external Headphone Amplifier/Splitter that way you and your friends can all listen to the mix in real time.
Audacity is a good program but I recommend getting familiar with Reaper The trial version is free version and I think after the 60 day evaluation you're still allowed to use it although it may press you to buy it. I personally use Adobe Audition but that requires a subscription. If Audacity works fine for you, then by all means.
I apologize for the long post and I hope it's not too overwhelming. Mixer, Microphones, Cables, Stands, and headphone splitter is basically what this whole post is about! Feel free to ask questions.
If all else fails just find a podcasting kit to purchase from somewhere and go from there http://www.bswusa.com/Podcasting-Packages-BSW-Internet-Radio-Going-Pro-Kit-Dual-P10534.aspx
My three main considerations now are: ATH AD700x, Sennheiser GAME ONE, Sennheiser PC363D. Although I do not have USB 3 will that matter at all? I do not need 7.1 sound. The AKG K612 Pro seems around my price range and is reviewed quite well. It seems like the ATH-AD700xs are the headphones to go for as they are about half the price as the rest of the options I suggested. Is it worth spending the extra money on any of those headsets? Also do I need to consider an AMP of any sort for these headphones? I was recommended something such as the FiiO E10k earlier. Not sure if I need an amp or not, I would be willing to purchase one if it allows for me to unlock the full potential of my headset. But not just to spend money on another toy and eek out another 1% or 2% of performance.
Thanks a ton for reading! Any insight is more than welcome.
I'm finally ready to take the plunge.... I am going to buying a portable DAC/Amp and new headphones.
Budget - $200 total with DAC/Amp and headphones. I will also be selling my gen 1 Dre Beats Studio's (B+ condition) in case anyone is interested.
Source - These will be daily drivers. I will be wearing them at work, plugging the DAC/Amp into my work computer, as well as on transportation to/from work using a DAC/Amp plugged into my android phone.
Requirements for Isolation - Not that necessary. I currently listen to music at work at a decent volume without issues and my walk home won't bother anyone. I don't fly or ride the bus very often, but I'm sure I may regret open headphones when I eventually do haha
Preferred Type of Headphone - Full sized. At this point, I don't care how big they are, I just want them to sound amazing. I'm not a huge fan of "on-ear" headphones, as I've had issues with long term listening because they tend to clamp on my head.
Preferred tonal balance - I love bass, don't get me wrong, but I don't listen to much Hip-hop or EDM. I would say mids but honestly, I'm not 100% sure.
Past headphones - I have only ever had Dre Beats studios (first gen), and a shitty $15 pair of Sennheisers.
Preferred Music - I like to listen to a pretty wide range of music. Anywhere from classic rock, electronic, progressive metal, world fusion, to trance.
Some of my favorite artists:
What would you like to improve on from your set-up - For years now, I've just been rocking my Dre Beats studio's and they've served their purpose. I am now finally getting into downloading and listening to higher quality audio. I want to be able to listen to these high quality songs that Trent Reznor and others put out and hear the little details that I know they spent the time on. I want to listen to Pink Floyd flac files and be blown away. I have also been doing some home recording as of late with a Presonus Audio box and various pedals. It would be an added bonus to have better headphones for that as well.
So far, I've been leaning towards the Fiio Q1 portale DAC/Amp and either Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones or maybe Sennheiser HD 558's. I will also be selling my current gen 1 Dre Beats Studio headphones so if anyone wants those for a quick sale let me know before I post them on ebay then I will have more money for even BETTER headphones. Special reddit discount.
EDIT - Holy crap I just found AudioTechnica's what appears to be ATHM50X's with extra interchangable ear cups on Massdrop for $124! They look like ATHM50's and the description says that it comes with three interchangable cables so wouldn't this be the ATHM50X's? If so, these are my top contender atm.
> need an amp for voice chat purposes
This is a strange statement. Voice chat is typically easier on headphones than music is.
But nevermind, let me answer your actual questions:
> I have heard good things about the Fiio E17
So have I, but I've never used it myself. It is battery powered, which may prove inconvenient. There are also cheaper options in the same price range: Monoprice has one (probably a white-labeled FiiO). The FiiO E10K is a USB AMP/DAC. Schiit also has one... but read on.
> would it be better for me just to buy a soundcard instead of the amp
A sound card is nothing more but a DAC/Amp. I prefer external DACs and Amps, as its easier to mix and match as I acquire more pieces. Sound cards tend not to be as high quality as external devices... but it really is just a matter of preference.
> Which amp would you recommend?
Don't get an amp right now. Get the Q701s, listen to them, then decide if you need an amp.
An amp is one of the most expensive ways to improve your sound, and the Q701s don't really need it. The dac/amp in your computer should be more than powerful enough for them. Heck, I just plugged my pair into my phone and it got ear-splittingly loud.
Instead of getting an amp, figure out if you need one:
Line noise: Turn the volume up to max, but don't play any music. Plug in your most sensitive headphones (in-ears, most likely). You should hear silence. If you don't hear silence, a good dac + amp will remove that line-noise.
Overall Power: Turn the volume all the way down. Plug in your listening headphones (Q701 in this case) and start up some music. Now turn it up until the music is playing at a conversational volume. This is the level at which you should be listening. If the volume dial is < 50%, then you don't need an amp. If it's between 50% and 80%, you may benefit from an amp. If it's past 80%, get an amp. (my rule of thumb)
The most important thing though, is that the headphone is the most cost effective way to improve your sound. The amp/dac is a supporting cast ONLY. Collect them if you want (it's fun after all), but don't expect the same level of improvement that you got by getting your first headphone. In fact, today's integrated dac/amps are so good, that any benefit you hear from an upgraded dac/amp may actually be the placebo effect.
It's not 50% faster, it just has 8 GB VRAM versus 6 GB VRAM. Games today don't even use that much so you're really talking about future gaming. Yes, if you keep raising your budget, you will get a faster computer and GPU. If you want to spend the extra money, then go for it. It's really not that big of a jump from 6 GB VRAM to 8 and definitely not worth the extra $400 in my opinion, but that's up to you. Remember, the mobile versions of GPUs are slower than the regular ones in desktops. You're looking at a 1060M 6 GB and 1070M 8 GB. I would save the money for a larger SSD, more RAM, good speakers or a good headset instead, and get the Asus GL502VM-DB74.
If you game and want good sound and use a headset/headphones check out the Sennheiser PC 363D headset (Amazon link) or the other Sennheiser gaming headsets. If you use speakers, check out the Micca MB42X (Amazon link). Make sure you use a DAC like the Schiit Modi 2 or DAC/amp like the Schiit Fulla 2 to get the best sound possible. (Fulla 2 is very new and not yet on Amazon, but you can still get the original Fulla from Amazon and other retailers. It's better to just buy the Fulla 2 from the Schiit website.) Some other good options are: Micca OriGen+, FiiO E10K, AudioQuest DragonFly / AudioQuest Dragonfly v1.2, Audioengine D3, SMSL M2, etc. Check out /r/BudgetAudiophile /r/Audiophile /r/Audio and /r/Headphones if you want more info. The great people there taught me a lot about quality audio. You can also check out /r/AVexchange for good audio deals.
I hope this is the right place to post this, but I'm looking to buy my first DAC/amp. I've only ever used desktop/laptop/phone outputs and want to upgrade. I wanted to buy a DAC/amp combo rather than a dedicated DAC and dedicated amp for a few reasons: (but I'm open to being convinced otherwise)
Budget: ~$100 max, preferably less
Source: Almost exclusively my desktop.
Current Headphones: ATH M40x and SHP 9500s. I know that these are super easy to power, but I'm looking to gain some improvement while also future proofing for when I buy something more demanding.
I'm currently looking at a few devices, but open to other suggestions:
I like that this one is small (and therefore easily transported). I became interested in it after watching a rave review by Zeos. The only negatives I see are a lack of output options (not currently an issue, but might be in the future) and the fact that it uses 3.5 mm headphone out (I much prefer 1/4").
I've seen mixed reviews for this one, but it's currently on sale and seems like a great value. Not sure how great it would do with my current low impedance headphones. I like the design and output options.
Like I said, I'm open to other suggestions in the $70-$100 range.
>Are "good" expensive headphones, like Sennheisers for getting loud sound? Because doesn't an amp make things loud? Are good headphones worth it if I'm going to be listening quietly?
Well louder isn't technically the right word even though amplifier have that effect.
See headphones drivers in the earcups are what actually produce the sound, and the quality of those drivers is what determines the quality of the sound.
Inside the drivers you have something called the voice coil. As current is pushed through the coil, it creates a magnetic field, which reacts with another magnet inside the driver and finally produces sound. Now to simplify a bit, the thinner the coil is and the less air between individual wires, the better sound you generally have. The design is much less prone to distortion and produces more natural bass. However as other have said, the gains can be pretty marginal.
Now having longer and thinner coil, means that for certain physics reasons I'm not going to go into here, you'll need to push more power into that coil in order to produce a loud sound. This is generally referred to as headphone impedance. The higher the impedance the more power the headphones need, impedance is measured in ohms. For some comparisons;
Personally I'd say that you'd want an amp at around 60-70 ohms, but that's just me.
Now all of that aside, there are tons of great headphones out there that don't need an amp at all. Like the excellent Audio-Technica ATH-M50's or Sennheiser HD 598/599's.
However for desktop use you don't really want to get an amp by itself, you want to get a Digital Analog Converter as well. See the actual sound setup in most PC's is less than ideal. It's really easy o cut costs with motherboard audio while still making it sound at least decent. If you slap an amp on that, all the distortions and crap that your motheboard audio produces is going to be amplified by your amp and will ultimately make your new high end headphones sound like shit.
So you want a DAC. A DAC takes the digital signal from your PC, does some fancy techno magic on it and outputs an analog signal that can be fed to your headphones. This completely bypasses the horrendously bad soundcard on your motherboard and gives you a lot better audio.
For a simple and pretty cheap entry level DAC/Amp check out the FiiO E10K. It's a nice little piece of gear that's going to be enough to drive almost anything up until 250 ohms. Obviously there are a lot better options out there as well. But the E10k is a great entry level device that'll improve your sound significantly. Pair that with some Sennheiser HD 599's and you're set for a long time.
Also if you want more advice check out /r/headphones/
Hey there, I posted yesterday too and need some more advice in deciding for a headphone+mic combo
Budget: $300, flexible
Source: My PC, so I guess standart audio output/USB
Requirements for Isolation: I'm currently using Sennheiser PC 360, which are completely open. I love this design because I don't like being cut-off from the world when I'm sitting at my desk
I will not use them in public, maybe a lan-party or two a year but thats it
Type of Headphone: I have very sensitive ears, so nothing that touches my ears.
Tonal balance: Balanced
Past headphones: Sennheiser PC 360. I've had those for over 5 years now and I love them. I can wear them for long gaming sessions and the microphone is usually pretty good. I use my headphones 90% of the time for gaming
Preferred Music: I listen to everything, EDM and classical music is what I hear most of the time
What am I looking for?: I'd love to hear where exactly enemies are, crystal clear sound and comfort even when wearing it for 5 hours+
I want a headset that I can have on my head for extended periods of time without any loss of comfort.
I looked into the Sennheiser HD 598 and into the Phillips Fidelio X2/27
Friend of mine also recommended me this one: http://www.amazon.com/AKG-701-Studio-Reference-Headphones/dp/B000EBBJ6Y
Same friend also recommended this Amp DAC
Top Priority for me is comfort and sound quality.
Thanks in advance!
> ... how do you get the best possible quality out of a set of PC headphones for gaming and streaming services like Netflix? Say you had a budget of $200. Do you spend it all on headphones? Is a sound card important here? Is a headphone amp? I'm interested in how each of these work with a PC specifically.
That's a good question. For under $200 for an entire setup you're likely not going to need a separate amp. Most headphones in this price range will be low impedance, so they won't need much power anyway. Depending on your PC you might have a decent onboard DAC on your motherboard. If you built your PC and the motherboard cost over $50 your sound should be quite good, so I wouldn't recommend eating into the budget of your headphones. However, if you feel like you get any background noise from your headphone ports or want something with slightly better sound, you could get a fairly cheap DAC/amp like this one. (Keep in mind this will take away from the budget of your headphones). If you do buy a DAC, make sure it has some kind of built in headphone amp or that it doesn't require extra amplification.
For $200 this is what I would recommend buying for movies/tv, music and gaming:
Personally, I wouldn't buy an internal PCI sound card for a few reasons. For one, they are in close proximity to high voltage/amperage components which can introduce EMI and noise into the signal. Also many internal sound cards aren't as good for the money as an external DAC/amp and they often have really iffy driver support and need updates. External setups usually don't need to be touched and are pretty much universally compatible since it's just USB or optically connected. The biggest benefit of an external DAC/amp is the portability and ability to easily use it on another computer, laptop, phone or other device.
First time I wandered into this subreddit was yesterday, so I'm just a fellow noob, so keep that in mind :D
I don't know about them all that much, I personally have forwarded all of my research into the DT990 Pro's, but I think the DT770 Pro's have a V-shaped sound signature just like the DT990 Pro's, meaning that bass and treble are "elevated". I believe the bass is really strong in the DT770 Pro's. Here's some good discussion about the matter.
For the 250 ohm version I do think you will need an amp, but I think you will be just fine without an amp with the 80 ohm.
Here's a video review of them, the cans in the video are the 250 ohm versions but I think the difference between the 80 ohm and the 250 ohm is just that the 250 ohm gives a more punchy and accurate sound, I dont think they are all that different in terms of sound signature.
If you do plan on getting an amp, you might as well get a DAC too. I'm planning on stepping into the audiophile world soonish too, and I'm planning on getting the DT990 Pro's and this amp/DAC combo. People seem to say that it's enough for the 250 ohm DT990 Pro's, so I think it will be just alright with the DT770 Pro's too.
Don't be afraid to use Google, it's your best friend at finding the best headphones for you! :)
Edit: I'm not personally all that interested in buying expensive things used, if I'm buying something expensive I might just as well buy it brand new, just to ensure it works as it's supposed to.
If you want portability, the the Cyrus Soundkey or Audioquest Dragonfly red are your options. I use the Soundkey, and it's brilliant. The soundstage and clarity is vastly improved. Then again my daily drivers are the Audio-Technica ATH M40X. For a DAC + amp, then the Teac AI-101DA. It's a bit pricy, but however it's a good DAC amp. I don't have it, but I have heard mostly positive reviews on it, also Zeos, our legend, has reviewed it himself. If you are on a tight budget, well the FiiO - E10K Olympus, has got you covered. It's a really good amp+DAC for the money. A lot of positive reviews. If you are gaming, the Senhiser GSX 1000 is there. What I she said in here are the best in each section.
Cyrus Soundkey: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/aw/d/B073RFVHVY/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1520720112&amp;sr=8-1&amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&amp;keywords=cyrus+soundkey
Audioquest Dragonfly red: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01DFMV4NQ/ref=mp_s_a_1_2?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1520720178&amp;sr=8-2&amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&amp;keywords=cyrus+soundkey&amp;dpPl=1&amp;dpID=41JaKxrUrfL&amp;ref=plSrch
Senhiser GSX 1000: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01LDTP484/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1520720216&amp;sr=8-1&amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&amp;keywords=gsx+100&amp;dpPl=1&amp;dpID=41ermQbCqAL&amp;ref=plSrch
Teac AI-101DA: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00UGYFWQC/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1520720282&amp;sr=8-1&amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&amp;keywords=teac+ai-101da&amp;dpPl=1&amp;dpID=41dClv7EX-L&amp;ref=plSrch
FiiO E10K Olympus: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00LP3AMC2/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1520720327&amp;sr=8-1&amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&amp;keywords=fiio+e10k&amp;dpPl=1&amp;dpID=41Taa5DTsKL&amp;ref=plSrch
By the way. If you want, buy a fucking pair of Audio-Technica ATH M40X: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00HVLUR54/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1520720404&amp;sr=8-5&amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&amp;keywords=audio+technica&amp;dpPl=1&amp;dpID=41gFqXe5oBL&amp;ref=plSrch
Zeos found the M40X'S brilliant.
I hope I helped you out, if you have any queries, reply to this comment. Good luck in finding what you want.
Budget: ~$150, maybe $200 maximum.
Source: This is tricky. I recently broke the headphone jack on my phone, so I'm possibly looking into a budget-oriented DAC to use with my Nexus 6, or using an old Galaxy S3 as an mp3 player. Might also try to fix the N6.
Isolation: More would be preferred. I ride the bus a lot.
Type: Around-ear, closed headphones would be best.
Current: Nothing to speak of.
Balance: I definitely enjoy a good amount of bass, and I like a V-shaped response.
Preferred music: I listen to a good variety of music. I'm into a lot of house, but also enjoy some hard rock/punk stuff.
Basically I'm looking for a comfortable fitting headphone with good bass response. I'm not sure if springing for a DAC is worth it, especially as I'll be using these on the bus/on the go and I can't carry around a big DAC, but I'm very open to options (must work with Android).
So far I've looked into ATH-M50x's which seem to be a good fit for what I'm looking for. I tried on a pair recently and they didn't quite have the bass I'm looking for but I'm hoping to boost that a bit with an EQ or DAC.
As for a DAC, the Fiio K1 seems like a good idea but there's mixed responses on Android compatibility.
Thanks in advance!!
Anything will work. The community likes the Fiio e10k https://www.amazon.ca/FiiO-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?keywords=fiio+k5&amp;qid=1563641976&amp;s=gateway&amp;sr=8-5 . It’s CDN$ 20 more, but is from a reputable company and probably will work and sound better when really amplifying the signal for your left ear. I’m not sure how “close” you are to the wanted noise level, but this will probably be a strong bet in being a good solution.
I only say strong bet, and not surefire as I don’t want to promise that it will work as a solution, only that from my research it seems like a strong option. I’m not sure whether you still can’t hear anything or if you only need to tweak it like 1.5x the loudness to get it to where you want. Without you finding and going to a store that sells headphone amps it’s a partial gamble, but something like this should at least be a strong contender to fixing the issue.
> are there bluetooth headphones that actually sound good?
I've been on a quest for actually good sounding bluetooth headphones myself recently, and the conclusion I came to was - no...not without some help.
Get this: ES100. Clip it to something (it's incredibly tiny and lightweight) + whatever headphones you want (if the cables are swappable, then look for some short ones... Fiio makes some short MMCX cables for instance). Bam, any headphone you want is now bluetooth at basically its full potential. It drives everything I've tested it with amazingly well (quite a bit better than my Schiit Fulla, at any rate) and sounds amazing.
If you will also be using the headphones for gaming or movies/TV, then instead get the BTR3 ... the ES100 is slightly better (more gain, more firmware updates, more configurable options, etc) overall for AptX-HD music playback (or LDAC, or AAC), but it doesn't support AptX-LL (low latency) mode, which is important for anything interactive. BTR3 supports all of those including AptX-LL. In low latency mode, I can just barely perceive a slight delay in terms of lip synchronization, but only just barely if I'm doing my best to look for it, and I might just be imagining it. For any casual media consumption or gaming bluetooth via AptX-LL, at least with the transmitter I'm using and this receiver, is good enough.
I've tested both of these with my Fiio FH5 and Etymotic ER4XR IEMs (both of which are quite resolving IEMs), and in both cases it sounds 100.00% indistinguishable to my ears compared to just plugging them into my smartphone. On the other hand, when I connected them via SBC codec using a USB bluetooth dongle, I could easily tell. Though, actually, even via SBC things still sounded better than I figured they would....goes to show that the default SBC codec isn't the only problem with most bluetooth headphones. Decent headphones via SBC still sound fairly decent, if not at their absolute best.
Oh, and the ES100 has an optional "high gain" mode, but even with that disabled, it gets me significantly higher volume if I pump it up to painful max levels (as a test) compared to the BTR3. The BTR3 was never too quiet at max volume for me, but if I had headphones that were hard to drive then that might sometimes be an issue.
I can't answer all of it, but I don't think lossless files necessarily have poor metadata support. It may just be that the sources you are getting these files from didn't bother with it.
If you have an apple i-phone it probably sounds better because it has a good built in DAC, some other phones may have this too, or it may just be that your computer isn't set up properly
yes a better soundcard can increase your sound quality, but you're probably better off buying an external DAC and using a WASAPI output. [Chart] I have a Fiio E17 and im getting a Aune T1 soon :)
As far as headphones i recommend a pair of Sennheiser 598's for $250 or if that's too pricey the Audio-Technica ATH-M50's are a great pair of phones for $160
A lot of this stuff goes on sale occasionally, there was recently a sale for the Fiio DAC where it was only $90. I'd recommend signing up for massdrop.com and looking for some good deals there and elsewhere
> good alternatives to these headphones with good bang for my buck
I got a chance to demo those Sonys. Can't say enough good things about them.
Also worth looking into Audio-Technica AT-M70X ($223). AT's new flagship monitor headphone with an amazing sound. Definitely gives the Sonys a run for their money, especially with such a competitive price. I might even like them better.
I'm also quite fond of NAD Viso HP50 ($249). Just an incredible closed-back can.
>amp designed for headphone listening, that I can plug into my Macbook pro and that is hopefully less than $100.
Nothing really worth looking at under $100. Maybe Creative E3 ($99) or Topping TP30 ($99).
However, if you save money on headphones by going with the AT-M70X or the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 (which are on sale for like $149), you could put the money you saved towards a better amp/DAC.
So if we assume a budget of, say, $200 for an amp/DAC, you can step up to something like Creative E5 ($189), Fiio E17 ($139) (it's even portable!), or Topping TP32EX ($159). Fiio probably makes the best offering in this range.
On the case of your wants for a wide soundstage, the AD900x is in fact a great choice, but has bass quality over quantity and are very focused and have extreme treble and upper mid clarity. They are in fact good for games like CS:GO, but if you want to play battlefield with them, you'll want something like X2s which stretch your budget a bit, but are compatible with the VModa BoomPro which is great for the price but doesn't work with everything.
Your PC360s are Sennheiser HD595s with an attached mic basically, and the 595s don't have the widest soundstage at the price of either the 595s or the PC360s.
You may need an amp/dac combo for your 900x, so you can get something like this, which will power it just fine, but if you're on a desktop with a good motherboard, you should be fine.
Also if you can buy the AD900x from USA amazon, they are like $176CAD which is extremely cheap.
First I will start this out with: I have never bought headphones worthy of the name "audiophile". But im very interested in learning about different headphones and such.
Budget - $200 flexible budget
Source - computer motherboard connections or amp if needed
Isolation - none
Will you be using these Headphones in Public? - No
Preferred Type of Headphone - Around ear
Preferred tonal balance - balanced
Past headphones - Razer Kraken 7.1, I liked the leds ha nothing else.
Preferred Music - I listen to many types of rock. From Smashing Pumpkins to bands like Five Finger death Punch.
What would you like to improve on from your set-up - More comfort, better sound, better everything.
Currently what Im thinking of getting is the
Sennheiser HD 598 SE with the FiiO E10K amp/dac and a modmic 5.0.
Basically what Im asking is for the much more experienced in sound to suggest what you think I should get headphone and amp wise (if needed). Thank you all that respond.
Well, I don't know enough about amps to recommend you a perfect one. That's pretty cool that the E17K and K5 can dock. But you are pretty much absorbing the price for a portable DAC with a Desktop AMP.
You might do better with recommendations on /r/headphones though they don't really recommend Schiit much.
I myself, have an Earstudio Portable Amplifier. Basic 100 dollar, Bluetooth up sampling from 16 bit to 24 bit with 3.5mm Jack + 2.5mm Balanced Jack DAC/AMP portable combo.
However best part, for a 100 dollars you get a portable DAC/AMP (USB to USB including your phone/PC) and bluetooth to boot as well. I pretty much only got it for dual usage, it's connected to my PC right now via USB and if anyone calls me or play video from my phone, while connected, it diverts audio via bluetooth. Using it with the AKG K7XX, powers loudly to my PC and phone. Also has App control on smartphone, which almost no other portable dac/amp does except creative I think.
Anyways, whatever you choose, hope it goes well switching to new headphones. I have gaming headphones and pretty much just bought AKG for the experience. Everything sounds better at least.
These are powered speakers with USB inputs - $350/Pr Retail -
How important is USB to you? That's a nice feature, but only if you need it.
I think these might be the latest version (R-51PM - $500/pr) -
If there is a replacement model that means there are probably very good deals on the Older Version.
These are 5" speaker, and to make a determination, you have to consider what else you can get for a similar price.
Edifier S2000-Pro, DAC, Remote Control, Bluetooth 4.0, etc... - £399/pr -
There is nothing wrong with the Edifier, assuming they do what you need done.
The one advantage the Klipsch do have is that they have a USB input for direct connect to a computer. That is probably the feature that is the deciding factor. However, if you computer has an Optical or Coaxial Output, then something like the Edifiers 2000 might be a good choice.
Or, if you are not connecting to a computer, then USB becomes less valuable. In the case, the Edifier with Optical/Coaxial/AUX and Bluetooth is a better choice, simply because it has a Remote Control.
The various Mackie and JBL in 5", 6.5", and 8" could be a good choice as they are highly rated and are less money, but they would require you to buy a USB DAC. Though these can be had in the range of $100.
Some of these are USB DACs and Headphone Amps.
The JBL 306 and the Mackie MR624 are both 6.5" speakers, which are TWICE as big as a 5" bass driver. They are about $200 each, which with a DAC would run in the neighborhood of $500/set.
You can check reviews on line and you will find nothing but positive for both the JBL and the Mackie MR Series.
All that said, nothing wrong with the Klipsch, just make sure they do what you want, suit your application, and fit your budget.
Just a range of possibilities
Well if you insist on open, the Sennheiser HD558 seem to be available for ~120€ right now, so I kinda have to point you at them. Great pair of headphones, can't go wrong with them.
The AD700X are out of your budget. They're good, but I can think of several alternatives for less money.
I would like to suggest the AKG K701... they're considered to be a higher class than the HD558, and I believe they have a fast detailed bass that would work great for DnB. But they're 120€ only if you get them used (for what it's worth, that's how I got mine, and you can get a pair where only the box has wear marks, not the headphones). And the second bigger issue is that the K701 need an amp to drive them well, and the Fiio K1 is about 50€, so you'd really put the "flexible" part of your budget to the test. OTOH a DAC/amp combo is never a bad thing to have.
Some other great choices in case you want to read some more and reconsider closed back: ATH A500x (not AD500x), or the V-Moda XS (used). These would offer more impactful bass at the expense of soundstage, their sound signature is a lot of fun (while not skimping on quality), are better quality/better tuned than the M50x, and don't need an amp. I think they're likely to offer a more entertaining experience for your first steps into serious headphones. Perhaps I'm speaking out of my ass here, but I always felt that open cans are something that people should get as their second "good" pair, after they've had a chance to experience decent headphones for a while and have a better idea of what they want.
TL;DR If in doubt, grab the HD558 and don't look back.
If you want good sound people here have nailed it pretty good. Sansa Clip sounds pretty good even out of the box.
Cowon are known for having good sound as well. I would recommend at some point if you want something that sounds really good - look at getting a DAC or DAC/AMP combo - these things really enhance MP3s - they will make you say "oh wow..." especially if you are using good headphones. I have 3 DACs and I recently just heard the FiiO E17 and was really impressed with it - particularly for 100 bucks.
Get the sansa and look later into a DAC/AMP combo. Even with the DAC you are under 200 bucks. :)
FiiO E17 - 121.99 http://www.amazon.com/Fiio-E17-USB-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B0070UFMOW
Also look at FiiO E10 - I have one of these, very happy with it.
Alright, here are my two options:
I'd obviously recommend you spend a little more to get the Audio Technica AND the amp, but I understand if you don't want to spend that much.
Surround sound headsets are a joke, so don't worry about not using one. Doubtful you'll even notice a difference at all and any difference you perceive right now is likely placebo.
The AKG K7XX headphones are very good, but expensive. You'll need an amp to take advantage of their quality, and to that end you'll likely need a decent DAC as well. You could start out with somethin like the Fiio E10K
which is highly regarded for its price. It's very good for a device that costs less than $100.
On the flip side, there are the Sennheiser HD 598 headphones which aren't nearly as good, but also cost much less and don't require an amp to sound good. They don't benefit all that much from an amp anyway (although any headphones might benefit from a decent DAC.) They're pretty good for gaming, and very comfortable.
Well the higher the impedance the harder to drive the headphones, thats the basics of it. In DT990s case the 600ohm is the best sounding one, but not by much. The DT990 250ohm premium is almost as good. The DT990 32ohms is also pretty good. You will only be able to tell the differences when listening to all three of them at the same time. But i think the one you were considering must have been the Pro 250ohm model, which is quite a bit different compared to its premium counterparts. It is more uncomfortable, has a smaller soundstage with muddier bass. It is also the cheapest at 200$. If I were you I'd go with the Premium 250ohm or 32ohm models. They both cost around 300$ new and run around 200$-250$ used(on Amazon via Amazon warehouse). If you get the 32ohm model you CAN skip getting an amp, as it wont be necessary, it will certainly improve the sound but wont be necessary. With the 250ohm premium an amp becomes a necessity. If you're going with a brand new 250Ohm premium then just get that along with a AMP+DAC like the E17 or if you want to go cheaper get the E11(it is the same amp as the E17 but without a DAC). You can skip getting a E9 as it wont give as much benefits and would unnecessarily push you overbudget. This should cost you about 440$ if you buy from Amazon(New DT990 Premium 250ohm + Fiio E17 or E11, with the E11 you'll be in budget but will loose on getting a DAC. Or you can get a used DT990 Premium 250 ohm(check out the 4th listing that lists it as like new, if Amazon says it is like new it means it will impossible to differentiate it from a brand new one) with a E17 to stay within budget
I started out in search of a wired Bluetooth cable for my ibasso's and ended up getting This one off ebay. For $30 i'm quite happy with it. Build quality is good, memory wires are great and battery life is excellent, but the bluetooth calling has some static glitches when adjusting volume and the call quality is shrill at times, this could be my Ibasso's though. The Mic seems to work well even when it's behind my ear. The manual says there is an AI voice, but mine just beeps. If i didn't know better i'd say this cable has the same chipset and software as Taotronics TT-BH026US I returned before I started focusing on sound quality ;-) It beeps between songs, when adjusting the volume and between chapters of Audiobooks, which is annoying, but not a deal breaker. Also, I just purchased the EarStudio ES100 It sounds fantastic!! The sound quality is almost indistinguishable from a wired connection using ibasso it01's and UE Tri-Fi 10's and it sounds much better than wired directly in to my iphone 7 plus via lightning to 3.5mm. It supports (AAC, AptX, AptX HD etc. and it's tiny. The app is also pretty awesome, shows streaming bitrates and which codec is in use. There's also a feature to allow ambient noise in via the mic on the unit. My only issue with it is where to place it on my body so the mic is close enough to use for phone calls.
> Should I add a sound card to improve upon the crappy audio?
first of all, audio is subjective so what I say here might not entirely apply to you.
Internal sound cards don't really improve over onboard and there are a few reasons for it.
Most headsets are marketed for gamers, which don't really need the audio quality. They want rather the surround sound en precision over quality of the audio itself. Meaning the DAC (Digital to audio converter) is usually a hold back. Especially as it can get interference from other components. Amplifiers on onboard solutions are hold back as well as they need power (preferably direct form the source) to amplify the input, which it receives from the DAC.
Without going into it too much I advise you checking out external audio interfaces. While onboard audio might be enough for you, you'll notice a big difference when going on external DACs and amplifiers! I highly recommend these:
> How is the overclocking on this board compared to the others?
The X99S SLI Plus does very well on performance part. Outperforming most Gigabyte, ASRock and asus boards! Although the difference is minor.
A headphone preamp, for example a Pyle Pro PHA40 ($16)
plugs into the Phones out of the mixer and lets you plug in several headphones each with their own volume control for the four local hosts so they can hear themselves (so they hear when they are too quiet, too loud) and all the other audio in the main mix like Skype guests et al. With no open speakers and feedback/crosstalk.
The UCA202 is a glorified sound card, but it's important for Skype type guests to get what is called a Mix-Minus. It also leaves the mixers USB free to just be what is recorded. I personally own three variants of one of these and bought two more for a friend. It's the best way to get audio from Skype or whatever into/out of a computer and into a mixer. Line level and decent connectors make it virtually perfect. Any quibbles I have over it are around the edges and not real issues for what we are doing. You could just use your computer's sound card's 1/8" stereo out and mic in. I think the UCA202 are better to the point I suggested them on my cheap list for the headaches they prevent and benefits they bring.
Not too long ago I purchased the ATH-MSR7 Headphones, which definitely was a big step up from my previous Steelseries gaming headset. I noticed, however, that there seems to be some interference, which is especially the case when the Air Conditioner is turned on. It's some kind of high pitch noise with some occasional cracking. I have the headphones plugged into a AT2020USB+ microphone. Directly plugged into the computer is worse.
Would a AMP+DAC help against this kind of interference? And while the ATH-MSR7 is pretty easy to run, would they benefit from an AMP+DAC?
I'm not super knowledgeable about audio yet, so I could use some advice. I'm currently living in Japan, and found 2 that might be interesting:
The Fiio E10K is of course pretty popular already. The Amulech AL-9628D doesn't seem to be well-known outside of Japan (it's a Japan based company), but it seems to be a bit more powerful, and is getting really good reviews inside of Japan. You can either run it through USB or the provided 100-240V AC Adapter. But honestly, DSD.. ASIO 2.1.. I don't know much about it all.
Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
I'm thinking, that to get a sense of what i'd want, i'd have to get the train up to Trafford center or something and hope they have a good selection of headphones to try out(It should since it's a huge shopping center). I doubt they'd have high end headphones on display for use, but i assume headphones by the same manufacturer would have similar qualities, and thus i could try a cheaper headphones by various companies and that'll give me an idea of what their higher end ones sound like.
Yeah, i just listened to the song on my speakers and it is much less annoying than i found it was through my headphones aha.
I'd happily spend money on a portable amp, is there any you'd recommend? Or does that not matter as much as the headphone itself? I found this amp which seems like a good choice according to most reviews.
I'm a pretty patient person tbh, but would you say it's worth waiting for them to become available again?
Nah, i think i understand it more now than i did before to be honest aha.
If you're looking into external solutions, you might want to grab a DAC and headphone amp. It'll be a fair price jump from $9.99, but the extra power from the amp will really help your DT-770's; you can probably get away without an amp with an 80 ohm set, but they are in the impedance range where an amp will really help them shine.
A small all-in-one DAC/Amp like the Schiit Fulla 2 ($99) or Fiio E10K ($75) would give you a nice boost and a good DAC and will work well in both desktop and portable (laptop) setups.
I use a Schiit Fulla 2 at work with a pair of Sennheiser HD598Cs (70 ohm impedance) and it sounds great!
Maybe I didn’t spell it out easy enough for you or explain it well enough for you, or maybe you simply didn’t actually read what I wrote. So, let’s try this again.
There is NO quality loss with the es100 or any of the FiiO Bluetooth receivers. Quite the opposite. They have a built in AMP(this AMPLIFIES the sound and outputs more power to drive the headphones better), and on the es100 a DAC chip(Digital to Analog Converters that increases the sound quality). So it takes the Bluetooth signal and enhances it greatly. It sounds significantly and noticeably better and louder, than if you were to take the same set of headphones and plug them directly into the phone with the provided lightning to 3.5 headphone jack dongle. It also sounds way better than a set of Bluetooth headphones. Believe me, I have 4-5 different high-end Bluetooth sets, and have tried out all these different situations. Some of them sound ok, but don’t really get loud enough, and you lose a lot of detail in the music. There is no comparison to the es100 or Fiio Bluetooth receivers. They sound amazing! And you still have your phone wire free. The only thing that is wired is your headphones to the tiny Bluetooth receiver which you can just clip to your shirt or put in pocket.
Plugging directly into most phones sounds like shit. Phones don’t output enough power to really drive a decent set of headphones. So they also does not get loud enough for me personally.
If your someone that is content listening to music with the set of pods that come with the iPhone, then these devices are probably not for you. I myself have quite a few sets of headphones that require a cable, and I was pissed that I was basically being forced to use one of these dongles to keep plugging them directly into the phone, or use Bluetooth headphones. The dongles I kept losing/misplacing because they are so damn small and they are expensive to keep replacing, and I didn’t want to use Bluetooth headphones as the sound quality isn’t the best. Especially since Apple uses only the AAC codec and not better ones like aptx, aptx hd, or LDAC. So it forced me to look at different options and the es100 was the answer. I didn’t know how much I didn’t like plugging directly into the phone via dongle until I used this thing for a few weeks. Music that I have been listening to for years, all of the sudden sounded better, more alive. I was hearing micro details and sounds that you just usually couldn’t hear. It’s amazing!
Best $100 I ever spent. I know that that could be too much money for some folks, but it’s about the cost of a few of the Apple dongles! If $100 is too steep, the FiiO options uBTR is $28, the BTR1K is $50, and the BTR3 is $70. They can all be found here:
Just so people know, I have no affiliation at all with either of these companies. Just products that have helped me get over the lack of a headphone jack on iPhones. And not having your phone connected to any wires is amazing. But you still get amazing audio quality which is important to me. Hope this helps some and clarified what I was trying to get across in my first post. Or not...
Hey guys, I have a few questions about purchasing some high end cans. I'm using two solutions for amplification so I'll kind of start there.
I'm currently using a Harman/Kardon AVR 320 to power my HD 650's and this is my preferred output. I don't know if using a receiver is frowned upon but it was my dad's old one and he let me have it for free. The other option I have is the FiiO E10k DAC/Amp but I feel like it has a bit of a different sound. It's mostly for the office given it's small size.
The reason that I bring up the device powering it is that I'm looking at the HD 800 S since its the best that they have to offer and the cost isn't a concern necessarily. First of all, how much of a difference is there between the regular HD 800 and the 800 S? is it worth the substantial price difference if the cost isn't a concern? Some reviews say that given how much you'd spend on the 800 you might as well get the 800 S. I've also read some negativity about the HD 700 so I feel skeptical about them but is it just people poking fun at the frequency response? And what should I use to power it? Sennheiser makes their own amp for them, what's the general option on them?
Thanks in advance guys :)
Late to the party, but I use V-Moda M-100's combined with Creative Sound Blaster E5 High-Resolution USB DAC 600.
At $299 (for the bluetooth headphones; 199$ for the non bluetooth) and $170 (DAC) definitely busts your budget, V-Moda does sell a pair for ~$100 -- the V-Moda M-80, which might be worth checking out.
While the M100 and M80 audio drivers (50mm vs 40mm) aren't the same, the quality of manufacturing "should" be. My headphones are amazingly comfortable and solidly built with metal parts and a kevlar braided cable (that will disconnect from the headphones if you accidentally snag it on your desk/chair). I've broken a few pairs of chinsy plastic headphones in my day; I never feel like I'm going to do that with the M100's.
One thing to note and I think it's worth mentioning; M80's are "on ear" headphones, where the M100's are over the ear. Even so, I still think the M80 will be comfortable because the leather ear padding is super comfortable; like sitting in one of those $5000 leather lazy boys that you sink into, comfortable.
Last thing, I'm by no means a audiophile/snob, but sound with a DAC was noticeably better than using my mobo's sound card. IMO, might be worth considering in a future purchase.
Anyone got any interesting setups/tv's? Idk why i'm writing this but here are the things I bring to tourneys.
My Tv Is by far the most eye catching thing. I bought 350 Fortune cookies and have been just taping them on there whenever I finish one. I am pretty much out of them so I have quite a bit all over the TV. The air fresheners were to bring some nice smells to any tournament I went to.
Standard Gamecube: 1.02 melee with newest 20xx TE and vanilla melee memory cards. This is the video cable IOnebring. It has s video + regular composite so I don't have to bring a powered splitter. Explaining more below.
Recording/Streaming setup: This consists of a Webcam which also records player/crowd audio (also a 16 ft extension). An Elgato with 16ft extension. Then I have 2 non-powered composite splitters. I plug in the composite video from the game cube directly into my TV and the S video into the elgato. The result isn't actually too bad (if someone knows how to deinterlace for better video hmu).
The last thing is My Controller: Someone on etsy painted it for me right before big house and so far it's a great purchase. It is of a Palestinian flag and has my tag on it. it doesn't feel any different from any other game cube controller which is great.
Edit: forgot about my headphone setup. I have sennheiser Momentums I bring with my headphone amp and plug that into the tv's audio with one of These. This has a pass through meaning other people can listen through the TV and I can adjust the volume with my amp. I also bring another headphone splitter so people can listen with their headphones.
I have a modest mid/hi fi collection going with my Shiit stack, THX-00, HD6xx, and HD598 (used with a mod mic as a headset for gaming). I told myself I was at my end game for a few years as I had a nice variation, but couldn't pass on a planar headphone for 300. The M1060 should be a nice addition to my collection.
The M1060 has a 50ohm impedance, so it isn't entirely possible that these don't need a robust DAC/AMP to drive them, but I'm sure a modest DAC/AMP would improve the sound quality of the headphones over your Macbook. I sometimes use my Macbook to drive my 6XX's (300ohm impedance) at work and it does alright, but the 6XX's do sound a bit better on my home setup.
I think a $100-200 investment in a DAC/AMP is worth while for a $300 headphone. Fiio E10k or the Shiit Fulla 2 would be good entry level options in the 100 or less catagory with numerous options in the 100-200 catagory. I'm sure you can get another 100 recommendations on other DAC/AMP combos, but I do feel you will notice an improvement over any phone or laptop.
I read a lot about separate amps and DACs but I wanted something portable and cheap and easy. I'd been looking at the the EarStudio ES100 which is $99 but while at the Brooklyn aloft hotel one night after getting tipped at King's Theater, my phone popped up that it was on special for $74.25 and I went ahead with the purchase
I hadn't realized this at the time the ES100 started as a kickstarter to have studio level quality and it exceeded my expectations. My only gripe is that every time I plug it in or unplug it, it turns on and I have to hold down a little button to turn it back off. I miss old fashioned on/off toggle switches
There's an iPhone app where I can EQ it to take advantage of my headphones (lots of BASS)
I still have a wire from my headphones to this little thing and I also have a conversion cable 1/4" to 3.5mm or whatever. Ideally a high quality bluetooth receiver like this would be built into my headphones but I'm guessing that professionals don't take headphones seriously if they come with bluetooth built in
anyway, I highly recommend if to anyone that loves music without any sound limitations
Looking for a DAC to complement my Sennheiser HD598's. I've looked at some things but by no means am an expert and would like assistance, so anything helps!
Would like to keep it cheap and cheerful but I understand that quality comes with a price. would like to keep it around $100-$150 CAD.
from a brief search I found FiiO's E10K that seems to have good reviews. Does this hold true? will it work well with the 598's?
If you have any other suggestions, please leave them and I'll be sure to look at them! Thanks in advance!
I just ordered a pair of these tonight, but I'm lost on what amp to get. I am completely new to any sort of advanced audio like this and have only owned gaming headsets and meh-tier earbuds all my life. With that in mind, I don't think I have the most discerning of ears yet and it would probably be a waste to spend 200 on a Schiit stack or 02+ODAC combo, especially considering that's over double the price of my headphones! I would prefer to keep amp/DAC totals to be in the $100 ballpark.
My first question - is a DAC even necessary for these? I'm still not entirely sure what it does, since all of the explanations I've seen have been in audiophile jargon that is gibberish to me. Can I get away with running only an amp or a amp/DAC combo?
A cheap option I've seen while shopping around is a amp/DAC combo as mentioned previously. I've heard SUPER mixed reviews of pairing these 250-Ohm headphones with a Fiio e10k, some saying it works great, but others saying the complete opposite. I've also heard good and bad things about SMSL products like the SMSL SD793-II, one mention highly recommending the iBasso D-Zero Mk2, and another few people recommending the CMOY.
What are my best options here? I would appreciate any help I can get. Sorry for the long post and thank you!
Yeah I actually really enjoy bass but not when the mids and highs are suffering from it. But yeah on the 18s 100% would say to not hesitate to pick these up. Overall they feel on the flat side which is a good thing to me, very authentic. I feel like I'm hearing exactly what the recording engineer intended for me to hear in incredibly clear detail. With none of the bass issues I felt with the 11's even though the bass and sub do show up when they should. Love Them!
Also I use the Ear Studio Es-100 because I really wanted a decent wireless option. Good Luck picking a pair of monitors! Post them when you get them!
I would probably try to get a little cheap DAC for around $50 and then spend the $100 on headphones. The source matters.
This is a great little DAC that can be used on your computer and phone. I have one and love it!
DAC / Headphone AMP-
The Status CB-1 for like $70
Audio Technica - MTH-40x - $99
Sony MDR-7506 - $89
The money you spend on the DAC / AMP is going to give you FAR FAR better performance than a spending a extra $50 on headphones and using them on a shitty, under-powered source. A better source lesser headphone will sound better than a great headphone on a shit source. However the under $100 headphones I posted are great quality and punch above their price. However if you just plug them into your phone or computer jack that probably won't sound all that great, nothing will. You need a DAC / Headphone amp for quality sound.
Enjoy your purchase whatever you decide.
I'm the thrifty kinda guy.
Refurbished Denon receiver, 2 Micca bookshelves, a Micca center channel, and a Bic America subwoofer. About 700 bucks total. Sounds good enough for me. I know much better is out there but it's hard to justify the costs.
My Sennheiser HD598SE's are great ($150), and I have a FiiO E10K ($75) that they plug into at work, and at home I just plug them in directly since the onboard soundcard isn't too bad surprisingly on my motherboard. I have a Sony SRS-X5 bluetooth speaker plugged into the back of it as well. I have those cheap-ass sony ANC headphones (20 bucks at the time I bought them) and they get the job done at a cheap price for planes and for the AC unit blasting in my office (I know... killing me, 80db of white noise all day long).
I have a friend from work that spent 50,000 bucks on his setup. It sounds great, and it's worth it, but I couldn't spend that much on it.
I'm more of a headphone kinda guy. My next upgrade would probably be going all out on headphones. A pair of Sennheiser HD800's probably. That's in the far future, I got stuff I want to do around the house first.
These are my workout earbuds
They are a great value.
the schiit fulla2 is $99 but does a lot for that price point. http://www.schiit.com/products/fulla-2
it can be used on your computer as a DAC & Amp for headphones, it can be just a DAC/preamp for powered speakers or just another headphone amp too. even has a 2nd usb input for power if your phone/tablet/whatever is low powered USB.
i havent used one yet, but a lot of great reviews out there about it. i actually just ordered one a few minutes ago though, so can finally get personal recommendation or not.
in general there are a lot of options around/in your $70 price range too.
a simple one from Cambridge for $75, comes in several colors too.
this is one that has been around awhile and is very popular. it is $99 but
the FiiO e10k is another good option at $75. this version comes with some astell & kern/final audio in ears for $80. prob worth the extra $5 for those.
another fiio, the Q1 which is a bit smaller than the e10k
this is a tube amp/dac/preamp. should be a bit "warmer" of a sound signature than other usb dac/amps. ive never used tubes (need to get one someday to see for myself...). you can also swap the tubes out for other ones to try for different sound signatures. again, never used tube amps but that is supposed to be part of the appeal i think.
the m50x are great all around headphones that are easy to power, so that makes it much easier to find something that fits your budget/needs.
Here's what I use. Not nearly the best, but it's manageable for the average Joe or group.
Capture Device: Dazzle DVC 100
BPHS1s are kind of the standard for accessible and reasonably priced xlr headsets.
I was getting decent quality out of my old dazzle before I switched, people just need to learn how to setup their bitrate properly to reduce artifacts and how to deinterlace their capture via amarectv or using the built in obs plugins (I used yadifx4 for the longest time) which do a nice, respectable job. Would I recommend a dazzle? Eh, it produces decent video for the price (got mine on ebay for $20), but has some compatibility issues - if you do a quick search for audio issues with the dazzle you'll find a couple threads. There are workarounds, but it's finicky.
Ideally though, streams should be capturing component video. It removes the need for software/external hardware deinterlacing. The issue here is that you either need a TV that supports component, or a component->composite converter, which I've seen people have performance issues with in the past.
My current setup uses a Framemeister to upscale the composite signal and handle the deinterlacing, outputting HDMI to the USB3HDCAP. The advantage is that I get to feed straight composite signals to any plain old CRT, which is great because I've been recording out of a suitcase the last few months while I move around.
Just taking off on a flight. More info later.(It's later)
Sample with the Dazzle
There are a great many things you and I have disagreed with over the years, but your opinions on Schiit (and possibly the SPH9500s) will probably always be at the top of the list.
The Atom doesn't have a DAC which is 90% of what people are looking for in the low end of this stuff (in my experience) to solve shitty noisy outputs, so on it's own, it's not even relevant to the conversation in my eyes at least. It would have to be paired with a (to be fair, cheap) DAC.
The FiiO K3 is a perfectly fine alternative to the Fulla, so if it's more your style or simply seems easier to you than ordering from the states it's a good choice. It's got some decent features that you may or may not be interested in.
I still fully recommend the Fulla to anyone looking in the lower pricing tiers and strongly recommend the magni/modi combo to anyone willing to spend more and "set it and forget it." My experience with Schiit has been quality products that last, work great, and are made in North America, which I appreciate. If I notice any of that start changing myself then my opinion will start changing, but in the meanwhile I dig Schiit.
I've got great news for you! I found a setup for 257 Euros that I think you'll love! Beyerdynamic DT 880@ with Dac! and Hybrid Tube amp@
This was my first real set up, and I loved it! The DT 880 sounds phenomenal with Classic Rock, Indie rock, Acoustic and classical, the Hybrid Tube amp has more than enough power for it and will REALLY flesh out the sound of the headphone, the UCA 202 is a dac I still use to this day [with my laptop and at work] all in all, I think you'd be VERY happy with a set up like this!
Additionally, here's some feed back about that little amp you can read through the thread if your curious about how amazing the DT 880 Pro is :3
The Schitt Mani RF Interference issue does seem to exist, however it may be a minor amount of incidences. It will be interesting to know Schitts reply if you get one.
The Fluance PA10 was just released a few days ago, so no reviews yet. Their stuff is good and I don't see why the preamp wouldn't be. They have 30 day returns and shipping is free both ways so you may as well try it.
Don't bother replacing the DJPREII with the GOgroove. They are both geared towards the entry level DJ pro audio market, not the budget audiophile for home audio. Sure they work ok, but for $20 to $30 more get something that should be better for the RT82. The OM10 is a good cart, it is the previous generation to the 2M Red. Besides the Fluance PA10, you can get a used U-turn Pluto for $70 from the reputable AudioAdvice.com through Amazon. Mine arrived in the original box and looks and works as good as new.
A super low budget phono stage/preamp with a headphone jack is the Behringer U-Phono UFO202 Audiophile USB/Audio Interface with Built-in Phono Preamp $30. It will also allow you to record vinyl to computer via USB. Probably not very good, but it will work as a very temporary setup until you get a better $70+ phono preamp and $100+ headphone amp.
Another option for a headphone amp is an AMP and DAC (for your computer) combo. [z]GUIDE[s] \\\ DAC & AMP COMBOS Starting at $40.
Some other low budget headphone amps:
ah ok, just wanted to make sure the server wasn't on your system while having a bunch of people streaming off of it.
A 600w power supply is more than enough to drive an i7 and a 1080, you could just get better quality atx units.
When it comes to motherboards, all the major brands (ASUS, MSI, Gigabtye etc..) have great products.. so it's pretty much going to come down to what specific features you're looking for. I wouldn't bother paying extra for a good built in dac, especially when you're paying that type of money for a higher end build. Get an external dac if you're looking for good sound quality, along with some headphones. Depending on what you need, a Scarlett solo or FILO E10k are pretty good for the money. You also have a ton of options in the $100 - $200 when it comes to headphones.
IMO, this would be a better option.
Just seen that you're waiting for the monitors to go on sale. If you're tired of waiting, these ASUS panels are IPS, have small bezels and are Vesa compatible (100x100).
CPU | Intel Core i7-7700K 4.2GHz Quad-Core Processor | $343.89 @ OutletPC
CPU Cooler | Noctua NH-C14S 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler | $78.94 @ Newegg
Motherboard | Gigabyte GA-Z270MX-Gaming 5 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard | $160.98 @ Newegg
Memory | Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (2 x 16GB) DDR4-3200 Memory | $204.99 @ NCIX US
Storage | Samsung 960 PRO 512GB M.2-2280 Solid State Drive | $329.00 @ B&H
Video Card | EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB FTW Gaming ACX 3.0 Video Card | $594.89 @ B&H
Power Supply | Corsair SF 600W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular SFX Power Supply | $117.11 @ NCIX US
Operating System | Microsoft Windows 10 Home OEM 64-bit | $88.58 @ OutletPC
Monitor | Asus VP239H-P 23.0" 1920x1080 60Hz Monitor | $124.99 @ B&H
Monitor | Asus VP239H-P 23.0" 1920x1080 60Hz Monitor | $124.99 @ B&H
| Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts |
| Total (before mail-in rebates) | $2178.36
| Mail-in rebates | -$10.00
| Total | $2168.36
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2017-01-30 13:52 EST-0500 |
They're very comfortable, have good clarity, are cheap (don't pay more than 55 for them, very easy to find them at 55 new), don't require an external amp to be driven, have decent accuracy for their price. However, they almost completely lack any kind of bass, and the treble is a tiny bit emphasized, but I've used software equalization to fix them, and they're pretty great.
People do overrate them often, but at the price point they're absolutely terrific. I'm not sure how much of a difference lacking an external dac/amp would make since I do use an external pair but if you're using a decent mobo with decent on board sound card, the difference shouldn't be that big. If you're using a laptop or have a poor sound card, I highly recommend that you get an external dac/amp combo or pair, they'll be very worth it.
The FiiO E10K is often the budget dac/amp combo of choice. I personally use the Schiit Fulla 2 which costs $99 + 10 for shipping, and they're very good but you'll also need a 1/8 to 1/4 adapter for them. ~ $5
Edit: Just noticed that newegg has them listed at $55.
Adapter to attach the Blue Yeti to stand
DAC - better than a the Creative Blaster Z imo, I've owned both ;)
So what you have listed above are the following items.
Blue Yeti mic - great mic, very clear, has quite a few modes.
The stand I use, I have my mic above my monitors. The adapter listed is used to be able to screw the mic in.
The headphones I listed I own, and they are very comfy (use the plush ear cups), they sound great, and very clear.
The DAC I listed is a fantastic little box, this will replace your sound card and output the audio via USB and you plug into this bad boy.
Hope this helps!
Happy to help! And I’m not sure about the Blue Yeti. I would read reviews and checkout forum threads to find out more.
The mic I have and like is this (important to note I don’t sing so haven’t put it to the real test):
Studio headphones I recommend:
($80-100 range) industry standard, very flat response, this is what I started with and finished my first song using:
More snazzy, have them and love them, flat response, a lot more comfortable than the Sony’s too:
If you’ll get these you’ll probably want an amp to power them separately in order to maximize volume control (this is due to the Ohms, and is useful for anything higher than 80), I have this one it does great.. only $25 too:
Btw the reason I say price “range” is because the prices fluctuate with promotions etc.
Thanks! I used to always do a full tower, but with the way cases have changed the mid towers have so much more space now.
The headphone amp is awesome, though I want to get the DAC that goes with it. You can also get some really affordable 2 in 1 DAC+Amp combos like this:
A friend of mine uses that one with his phone and did with his PC before upgrading to ridiculous audiophile level gear.
The main reason I use the amp is I got the headphones off that same friend for a great deal but they are 250 Ohm so you have to have an amp to use them at all. They sound amazing though.
I may not be answering your question, but I am answering the question I asked many years ago when I became interested in CD player guts.
Get rid of your CD Player. Buy dBpoweramp rip all your CDs to FLAC, play from a digital source. A decent DAC like the cheap little behringers, a Fiio, or a Headstreamer is a better DAC than most CD Players. Take that output from any of your computers and feed it to your amplifier.
Jacking around with CD players is a losing game. There are a ton of variables that can be removed by merely removing them. An OK CD reader on a computer is an awesome CD ripper, and dBpoweramp ensures it's a good rip.
It was a difficult choice for me to jump to the OP7 Pro, honestly. I really weighed what I was giving up and gaining between the two. The major points were:
The smaller points were AOD, knock to wake (which the OP7 Pro has). There's no AOD proper, but it will display an AOD-like screen if you lift/move it.
All-in-all, I'm very satisfied with the transition, and I think it's a proper upgrade despite losing some features. But, everyone has their needs, and the V30 is still such a good phone that I fully understand your decision.
May not be relevant here but still - I use a Behringer HA 400 connected to my receivers headphone out. It has 4 outputs with decent power (no problem with ath m50x and AKG K240). With a decent quality long stereo 6.5mm cable, it reaches my couch. I was in exactly your position when I could not decide on a suitable solution for multiple wireless headphones due to issues with wireless (cost, connectivity, battery and quality) . Finally settled on this 6 months ago and very happy with the result. Would definitely recommend giving this a try as it is not very expensive.
Behringer HA 400 https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B000KIPT30/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1499450388&amp;sr=8-1&amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&amp;keywords=behringer+ha400&amp;dpPl=1&amp;dpID=51nwD3v6KZL&amp;ref=plSrch
Hi everyone. I'm looking to get some headphones for PC gaming.
I'm currently gaming with these old Altec Lansing XT1 speakers, and would like to upgrade to something a little more impressive, and I thought headphones would be the best choice as it'll disturb my wife a bit less.
I've done some reading and research through this sub and elsewhere, and was thinking of getting the following:
Superlux HD668b headphones
Fiio e10k dac and amp
I read that open headphones would be better for gaming and music in general, but only in quiet environments.
I thought if I get the Fiio with it then down the line I can get some bookshelf speakers for the PC too.
Does this setup seem like a good idea to you? Will the Fiio make a difference compared to using my motherboard's onboard audio? Is there something else you would recommend instead? Would the HD681 evo headphones be a better choice?
I'm not looking to spend more than £100 total for headphones + amp/dac.
Thanks for any advice or info you can offer.
If it were me, I'd go for something really versatile/nice like the ES100: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078H4YD2L
But that might be overkill... still, it's a very nice little device with some amazing audio capability due to its built in DAC and great software. Lots of folks really like this device and for good reason.
A more budget friendly receiver (pretty plain and more utilitarian) would be something like: https://www.amazon.com/TaoTronics-Bluetooth-Transmitter-Receiver-Simultaneously/dp/B01EHSX28M
Hey mate, i hope this isn´t too late for some advice.
So first and foremost, congrats on a nice pair of cans. your motherboard has a dedicated audio solution, which shouldn´t be to bad in the first place, but to improve upon that i would recommend the fiio 10k
it´s a pretty nice headphone amp/dac combo, which competes with a lot of pricier solutions, and for listening to music and gaming, you won´t find anything better under 200 bucks.
while the guy at the music store is technically correct, the sterling is of course a headphone amp as well, but as soon as he heard the words gaming and pc, he should have known this ain´t what you´re looking for...so return it, thats the wrong kind of device...you need a digital analogue converter, that has an amp integrated.
well I use a Fiio E10K but that doesn't take a mic input. I also have a Sennheiser GSX 1000 which is very good IMO, takes a mic and headphone input. expensive though!
If you do want something for separate mic/headphone jacks, a small USB card may be your best bet but I haven't used anything like that.
If you're after convenience, the Arctis 7 is a good quality unit. It's wireless with its own DAC so you wouldn't have to worry about that, while it also comes with a cable to use with a console. Definitely an easier option as you don't have to buy any extras to get going, though the quality isn't as good as a similarly priced pair of headphones.
That is definitely sound card related then. Whether its a hardware or firmware issue is hard to say for certain. But if its not doing it from your monitor (which works exactly the same way that a usb interface works) definitely narrows it down to being your sound card (which is likely the built-in on the mobo). Either way you may need to spend a bit of money if you want to fix it.
I think the fact that you can still get clean audio after a restart suggests that its more a firmware/driver issue rather than hardware. Windows isnt known to be the best when it comes to things like that. So maybe it was caused by a recent update or something. Who knows, it may very well even be fixed in a future update. But the best way to eliminate that variable is to take it out of the equation. Thats why i suggest an external DAC like the Fiio E10K so that you aren't relying on windows and can restart it independently of the computer.
I would use your headphones for a bit and see how much you enjoy them as is before adding a DAC. There are also some more economical DAC/Amp combos like the SMSL AMP/DAC(63$ and the one I'm currently using for my K7XX's).
People also recommend the FiiO E10K 76$
/u/zeospantera who seems to be pretty knowledgeable about this stuff has a good guide here where he says
"DAC's and Amplifiers. Do I need? I'm not going to say everyone will benefit from a good dac and amp. But everyone can benefit from a good dac and amp. Soundstage, Low-end, clarity in highs can all be improved by an amp no matter if a set of cans is Easy or Hard to drive. A dac or an amp or combination of both can make a world of difference but unfortunately you won't know if you benefit until you try."
Hopefully that helps.
Looking for AMP (DAC too? I'm not sure.)
First time trying to get a pair of decent cans. I'm completely ignorant in what I should be looking for based on the specs of the K7xx. Is a DAC completely necessary? I heard an AMP is good for the K7xx but heard nothing about a DAC.
I can spend up to $100 give or take $25, but I already have a DAC/AMP combo in mind that seems good based on the reviews, but I'm not sure if that what I need. So I'm posting here to make sure.
Will the FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier be enough to power the K7xx to it's fullest?
I'll pretty much be using the headphones for gaming, movies and music on both PC and laptop for when I'm studying not at home.
I'm open to other suggestions, but a portable DAC/AMP is preferable. Although, I'm willing to sacrifice portability if it means significantly better sound quality.
Also, if it helps this is my motherboard. Could the built in soundcard be good enough?
They're pretty good! The 598s were my first pair of "audiophile" headphones and to be honest I was pretty blown away when I first got them (not to hype up your expectations too much though so keep them tempered) I primarily use my 598 for gaming (Overwatch mostly) and listening to music @ my desk. Not a lot of bass (basically none) but the soundstage is still pretty impressive because there were a few times I've been fooled to think a roommate was knocking on my door when it's really coming from a video.
Listen to them for a while and if you ever feel like "upgrading", maybe look into a USB DAC like the [E10K]( https://www.amazon.ca/FiiO-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=e10k&qid=1563292389&s=gateway&sr=8-1 ). I bought it a year into using my HD 598s and the sound improvement was marginal but very noticeable (on a laptop at least lol). I've had them for a while so I definitely want to upgrade with a shiny new toy, but can't ever justify it because they've held up so well.
Thanks for all the advice! I have finished my setup and I love it. Its tough to see in the pictures, but I have moved my desk about 10 inches away from the wall to give my speakers room to breathe. Also, like you said, the SA50 is more than enough to power my speakers; I have yet to get past about 1\3 on the volume dial.
My next purchase was going to be DAC but my plan was to get one that could connect to both my computer and my iPhone. After doing some research, I learned that Apple really does not want you to use an external DAC. This little article gives a workaround however. I was thinking about getting this peachtree DAC. Would you see any issue with connecting my computer via the optical input and my iphone via the USB input using an adapter?
If that's not going to work, I was just going get this dragonfly which has pretty universal amazing reviews. Again thanks for all resources and time. I would definitely not be as happy with my setup if I didn't find this sub.
That's cool how far some mobo's are able to drive that much. I am assuming you are looking at DT 770's. You may even want to get the 250 ohm.
They are 3 solutions I would recommend, because even driving my 38 ohm to my S9 benefits from an amp and my genres of music are similar to yours.
Solution 1: Is to get a simple dac/plug that can drive an 80 ohm properly.
Solution 2: Is get this little badboy route that usb c to aux into that amp and use a cheap tpu case and velcro(comes with some) to strap on there but that's too many wires for me personally. (But it can drive up to 300 ohms. Albeit with less power then solution 3.)
Solution 3: My favorite, Phone > Shanling L2 > USB DAC 1 or USB DAC 2 > Headphones.
Now this depends on all what you want solution 1 and 2 is cheap, 1 being less cords wires etc, 2 being more wires but kicks ass for being so small. And finally solution 3 is my personal fav, little bulky yes but if you frequently use it and you don't feel cumbersome by it do it. Downside is more money outta pocket. But money well spent. After that you would head into DAP territory but it isn't as versatile as a phone/dac since you can go anywhere without being tied to wifi or tethered unless you have a large library of music already on hand. USB DAC 2 iI mentioned drives more power the higher the impedance compared to the FiiO but I see no issues driving up to 250 ohm. (solution 3 requires a cheap tpu case and velcro). And tbh the usb dacs really aren't that big at all.
If in doubt use a headphone calculator and check the specs on the amps or dacs - whichever you prefer.
Out of those I can only speak to the Audio Technica ATH-M50x. I don't have any Bose cans, so I can't provide you with a comparison, but what I can tell you is that the M50x are fantastic headphones! They are especially good if you plan to carry them around with you while you're out and about because of how they fold up, allowing them to be very compact.
I've had mine for a few years now and I've really enjoyed them. I use them primarily at my work desk where I have a https://www.amazon.com/Bravo-Audio-V2-Multi-Hybrid-Headphone/dp/B00ADR2DTG amp (they don't need an amp to drive them, but I like the warmth it adds to the sound).
You don’t get that deep surround sound kinda feeling in the game with the fiio Dac amp but It’s super clear and I love it and I’m still a sound whore while playing as I’ve been told in the past lol here’s the model I have . I sent the link oh and yes the quality is very good . FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_OPv0Db5PHN0J9
There are all sorts of amps you can get. Are you interested in tube or solid-state? Are you getting the ATH-M50s for sure? If you are, you will need to get a high-wattage tube amplifier, because the ATH-M50s only produce 38 ohms, which is a low impedance. This means that plugged into a tube amplifier, they will not be very loud, especially compared to higher-impedance headphones. To compensate for this, you will need to get a higher-wattage amplifier, which translates to more expensive.
Depending on your price range, I would direct you to anything from the solid-state Behringer HA40 to the tube HiFiMan Ef5. Honestly unless you are an experienced audiophile, you will not need a tube amplifier, but they are really cool. If you want to meet somewhere in the middle there are also what's called integrated amplifiers, which combine the components of tube and solid-state amplifiers. They claim is that they produce the quality of tube with the volume of solid-state at a price between the two. That's up to the judges right now but for most an integrated amplifier is definitely ample, especially a beginner.
Personally I use the FiiO E6 as my portable headphone amplifier. It's pretty good for being so small but I do hear white noise at louder levels. FiiO is a fairly reputable amplifier company if you want to look into them. I really don't know enough about amplifiers yet (this is my weakest area) to recommend a specific product, but here are some popular integrated amplifiers. I'm still garnering the money and experience to become an amplifier connoisseur.
I love them both. They are the only two headphones I have kept, while trying/returning the rest. The X2s are more comfortable, with an airy/open feel, great to listen to music/game. I also love the v modas for techno/rap and gaming as well. I have also used the v modas to travel/fly with 2-3 times now as well. I would def pick up the x2s esp if you can get a deal.
Side note, since I've seen some other people mentioning an amp/dac, I picked up the
This makes a WORLD of a difference. Sounds WAY better. You can also add additional bass. I would never go back to not having a DAC. I normally play directly from my PC (motherboard), with no soundcard, so this helps a lot.
I picked up a pair of M50xs for work, but my work laptop uses Realtek driver 18.104.22.16814 from 2013, and this just isn't keeping up at all with the quality of my 598s and Asus STX II audio card at home. Everything I've seen places these two headphones around the same in terms of quality, so I don't think its the headphones themselves. On this laptop, the sound is just....scratchy, I guess is the best word for it. A little muddy as well. Now that I've heard better, certain bassy songs are actually uncomfortable and distracting to listen to. The same music on my home setup sounds significantly better.
What I want to know is whether or not I can expect to hear an improvement if I grab a lower-end DAC/AMP like the Dragonfly, or if I'm going to need to push my budget higher. Is Realtek any good versus lower end options?
This is a hardware thing. Cheap DACs and amps in consumer grade hardware are usually pretty crap, unshielded, and prone to interference. Luckily for you, there are a lot of options. Cheap PCIe sound cards like this are easy to install and work great if you have a spare PCIe slot. If not, there are USB options as well. I personally like the FiiO E10k but the Schiit Fulla is popular as well. You can find either of these pretty cheaply on somewhere like /r/AVexchange/ if new is too expensive for you.
I use a pair of M50X's, along with this DAC headphone amplifier when I'm using my computer. The M50X's already sound really great with a gloriously balanced sound signature (no overpowering highs or lows). The DAC is hard to describe, but it sounds like it separates the layers of audio better - even though my headphones sound fantastic by themselves, everything sounds even clearer and fuller with the DAC. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone - it's a bit of an investment - but if you have the money and listen to music on your computer a lot, I'd definitely recommend it.
The amp is fantastic for gaming but it really shines listening to music with the DT770s. For Siege I rarely put the volume over 36/100 and that's with the gain on low. Basically that means those headphones and amp will blow out your ear drums if you crank it haha. I use the optical link connection on the amp for the most clarity as sometimes transmitting sound through USB can cause interference.
It's very cheap but don't let that fool you on quality. I was speculative at first but that mic has been traveling around with me for 6 years now and still sounds great. You can clip it to your shirt or do what I did and wrap it around the headphone cord, then clip it on the headphone cord at mouth height to make your own headset.
You'd probably get a better sound getting a dac/amp combo for the same price as the Magni 2. Something like the fiio e10k dac/amp combo might give you a more pleasant experience for a lower price than just an amp running out of your motherboard. Keep in mind that any interference from your motherboard will just get amplified by the motherboard. I'm sure there are some ~$150 ones as well, but to be honest I don't know of many, haha! Good luck.
Sony H.ear On 2 + ModMic 5 with a Sound Blaster E1 amp/DAC.
I just finished this really sweet setup a few weeks ago and the quality/modularity of it is amazing for the price! (<260€ with some good price hunting)
The DAC is there mostly for the mic volume/quality, and it is amazing how good it sounds. In a good environment, it is pretty close to a $200+ pro microphone and is useful is waaaaaay more situations.
I have never cared about having wireless earbuds. It's one more thing you have to charge (and the batteries will eventually die), the audio quality suffers because the DAC in the earbuds is typically crap, and with these new earbuds that are separate pieces it seems they would be very easy to lose. Imagine you're walking down a busy street, one of them pops out accidentally, lands in the road and immediately gets run over.
Most phones have nixed a headphone jack now, so you're honestly better off getting a decent USB DAC / headphone amp and a pair of in-ear monitors. For example:
Fiio K1 24-bit 96Khz USB DAC / Amplifier - $40
Works great, doesn't really drain your battery any more than you would listening to music normally. It's also tiny, light, and has a clip to attach to your clothing. Note that you'll need a USB-C OTG cable, which is another $5 or so.
KZ ZS10 Pro In-ear Monitors - $48.99
I have these, and they sound quite simply amazing. In-ear monitors of this quality were once very expensive, but now we can get them directly from China without a big brand name attached. They have a nice long cord that is replaceable, and they are very comfortable.
This is far less than the cost of the high end wireless earbuds...we're still under $100 total, and if you've never experienced 24/96 audio you don't know what you're missing. Tidal will stream at that quality level, but you probably only want to do that on Wifi. Alternatively, you can take FLAC files around with you on your phone, which is what I do. The whole setup is easy, lightweight, and cheaper than wireless while giving you amazing sound quality that you can never get with any wireless headphones.
What I did is I disabled all the playback options except my DAC and my speakers, then I have my DAC (SoundBlaster E1 $30 when on sale at Fry's, great sound for the price) set as my default playback device. Whenever I flip the switch on the DAC off, it goes to the only other playback option, my speakers. Takes about half a second to go back and forth and it is super easy, plus the DAC really improved the sound quality I was getting. Any DAC with an on/off switch works with this method, and if you have one you really like without an on/off switch, you are only slightly inconvenienced in that you just pull out the mini usb plug on the back whenever you want to switch to speakers. I also like having a physical button rather than a software button on my computer because this way I can make absolutely certain with 100% reliability that the sound I want is coming from where I want it without having to double check that the software is working.
The two set ups I've been looking at are:
Yeah, I mean, it's not like I can't think of any gifts within the price range, but it's one of the few exchanges where I can only think of maybe a dozen gifts, which is really different than the other exchanges:
As you don't explicitly state that you're using an amp of any kind I'm going to assume you want to run your headphones off whatever you buy? If this is the case I would not go with a UCA202/222. The headphone output is pretty poor - certainly the weakest part of it. If you are plugging into an amp then it's fine but if you're using it to drive the headphones I wouldn't personally bother.
Now, if (and only if) the SPDIF (optical digital output) is still working on your soundcard, I'd go for an SMSL SD793II. This has a better DAC than the Behringer and has a very good headphone amp built in. The only downside is that it doesn't take USB inputs, you need that digital signal from your soundcard to plug into it. This is my recommendation - with the extra lead you may need to by it is probably bang on £50 and worth every penny.
As for alternative solutions, if you could happen to find another tenner then the Fiio E10K would be perfect if your soundcard's optical out not work and you need to hook it up via USB.
If you can't find the extra money and your optical out is buggered, then the SMSL M2 is a good option. Meant for portable use but nothing stopping you using it as you need to.
TL;DR SMSL SD793II.
Head Phones. Headphones.. .HEAD PHONES!!!!!
Get Ether a simple non powerd headphone splitter.
Or even better, a powerd one like this one here
We I do the same set up on our channel and a powered splitter is WELL WORTH IT. IT lets both of us adjust out levels to our liking.
Though keep in mind. IT's not going to be the END ALL of background pic up on that Yeti.
If you have open backed headphones or just it REALLY LOUD. the Yeti will still pick up the audio from them. I've noticed it in my captures as well. But since it is so low, it's not noticeable when the game audio is mixed in.
So get a powered headphone amp that will split into multiple out puts for your cheapest best solution in my book.
> AMP/DAC that I can use with them that also has a mic input.
A DAC/Amp never has mic input, it only outputs sound but doesn't accept any audio input. What you are looking for is an external sound card or an audio interface.
the MMX300 has an impedance of 32 Ohm and a sensitivity of 96dB/mW....why don't you plug both connectors to your motherboard? This headset is very easy to drive and should work perfectly fine if you just plug it into the computer.
Once you connect the MMX300 to the mainboard outputs.
Depends on what you are looking for, but in general, I recommend going with fully external sound cards. That helps eliminate possibility of the card picking up noise from inside the computer. For an all around PC audio upgrade, the Sound Blaster G5 is a safe bet. Good for gaming, movies, and music with most headphones or with an amp/speakers. It's been on sale few time for under $100. They also still sell their E series which can be used on your pc or as a portable DAC/amp. I have an E1 that works well for my laptop, but I'd go E3 or E5 if looking to upgrade.
If your main goal is to get get better quality music, then there's a ton of options, and you might want to go with a different company/product.
You are probably best off buying a decent laptop like the Dell XPS 13 or 15, skylake editions with the i5 or better and 8GB of RAM or better, something like this http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Dell-XPS-15-9550-Signature-Edition-Laptop/productID.326871600 as well, you will never get good sound quality from an onboard sound card. So you will need to go for an external DAC/AMP combo, something like this http://www.amazon.com/Fiio-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1447788266&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=fiio+e10k ... It has a headphone port that amplifies headphone sound as well as a line out port for sound systems / speakers.
I know the laptop is over your budget but think of stuff like battery life, portability, durability etc. You are going to want something nice, with a decent SSD, and that fits the bill. Cheers
> That would have meant that third party, HIFI USB-C DACs would be showing up. But that's not what happened.
Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but it looks to me that is what happened, though. We now have options like the NextDrive Spectra X, a dongle solution that I've been using on my Note9 with my wired JH Audio Roxannes and it's been nothing but an improvement over directly connecting to the headphone jack. I also picked up an EarStudio ES100, a wireless solution that uses aptX HD, which sounds fantastic and lets me use my wired IEMs and plan on using that with the Note 10+ that just showed up for me yesterday.
To me, the fair gripe is that these are extra things you need to buy and carry around, but that's not been a problem for me in practice and it's why I gave up on caring about the headphone jack as a heavy user and mild audiophile.
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Yes, the motherboard audio goes unused. There is switch on the unit for a mild bass boost but I don't recommend using it. All you will do is add distortion to your sound. Headphones are not capable of even producing truly low frequencies, if you want that then use a subwoofer. Any sort of audio setting that claims to boost frequency is just dumping more power into a specific range, sacrificing clarity of everything else.
What headphones do you have? Chances are that if they have an attached mic they aren't really high-end. Check the impedance, anything between 5 and 35Ω doesn't need an amp. 35-150 is fine with a smaller amp like the one in the FiiO E10K. Anything above that calls for a dedicated unit.
This is the unit I linked in my original comment:
Here is my build list formated for reddit
Group | Name | Price | Quantity | Total | Link
--- | --- | --- | --- | --- | ---
Pc | (Everything Inside the case) | | | |
$1,601.62 | Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor | $347.00 | 1 | $347.00 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012M8LXQW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Cooler Master Hyper D92 54.8 CFM Rifle Bearing CPU Cooler | $44.80 | 1 | $44.80 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NXLYE4G/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Gigabyte GA-Z170X-UD5 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard | $171.49 | 1 | $171.49 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012N6EW6G/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s01?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2666 Memory | $129.99 | 1 | $129.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OTJZTZE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s01?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Samsung 850 EVO-Series 250GB 2.5" Solid State Drive | $97.99 | 1 | $97.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OAJ412U/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Hitachi HDS723020BLA642 | $58.00 | 3 | $174.00 | EBay
| EVGA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB FTW Gaming ACX 3.0 Video Card | $459.99 | 1 | $459.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01I60OGUK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| EVGA 850W 80+ Bronze Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply | $90.39 | 1 | $90.39 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KYK1CC6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| XFX AMD Radeon HD 5450 1GB | $29.99 | 2 | $59.98 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005IUW7YE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| PWM Female to 4 x PWM Male Computer Case Fan Splitter | $6.50 | 2 | $13.00 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DYQRFY6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Sabrent 2.5" SSD & SATA Hard Drive to Desktop 3.5" | $12.99 | 1 | $12.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00UN550AC/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| 80MM 5000RPM Fan | $0.00 | 2 | $0.00 |
| 92MM 5000RPM Fan | $0.00 | 4 | $0.00 |
Monitors | | | | |
$744.66 | Seiki Pro SM28UTR 28-Inch 4K UHD 3840x2160 | $195.69 | 1 | $195.69 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013XWQF28/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| AOC e2460Sd 24-Inch Widescreen LED Monitor | $142.99 | 3 | $428.97 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C99MUHQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Dell 17" 5:4 | $30.00 | 4 | $120.00 | EBay
Cables | | | | |
$137.77 | Cable Matters Gold Plated DisplayPort to DisplayPort Cable 10 Feet | $11.99 | 1 | $11.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005H3Q5E0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Cable Matters Active DisplayPort to DVI Male to Female Adapter | $19.99 | 2 | $39.98 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EDT01TO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| DVI Male to Female 90 Degree Adapter Connector | $4.43 | 3 | $13.29 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008X0ZJZ0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| 15ft 28AWG CL2 Dual Link DVI-D Cable - Black | $10.47 | 3 | $31.41 | https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=102&amp;cp_id=10209&amp;cs_id=1020902&amp;p_id=2760&amp;seq=1&amp;format=2
| 15ft Super VGA M/M | $5.69 | 4 | $22.76 | https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=102&amp;cp_id=10201&amp;cs_id=1020101&amp;p_id=3622&amp;seq=1&amp;format=2
| 15ft USB 2.0 A Male to A Female Extension | $1.87 | 5 | $9.35 | https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=103&amp;cp_id=10303&amp;cs_id=1030304&amp;p_id=5435&amp;seq=1&amp;format=2
| 25ft hdmi cable | $8.99 | 1 | $8.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SKVMHI4/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
Desk Accesseries | | | | |
$263.49 | Perixx PX-5200 Cherry MX Blue | $72.91 | 1 | $72.91 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NY45NCY/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Logitech C310 Webcam | $31.93 | 1 | $31.93 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003LVZO8S/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Lapel Mics | $6.50 | 1 | $6.50 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005DJOIHE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o08_s01?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| FingerPrint Reader | $12.58 | 1 | $12.58 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HHHP7C/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Mouse Pad | $8.99 | 1 | $8.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00GB0IF50/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Headset Func HS260 | $79.99 | 1 | $79.99 | https://www.amazon.com/FUnc-FUNC-HS-260-1ST-fUnc-HS-260/dp/B00HH3H83U
| Altec ACS 54 - Speaker | $0.00 | 1 | $0.00 |
| Logitech G700S | $50.59 | 1 | $50.59 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BFOEY3Y/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
Audio Accesseries | | | | |
$58.33 | BEHRINGER MICROAMP HA400 | $24.99 | 1 | $24.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KIPT30/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| 5-Pack 6.35mm Male to 3.5mm Female Adapter | $7.99 | 1 | $7.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00XAQD4YA/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| 3.5mm Male to 2 x 3.5mm Female Splitter Cable | $3.99 | 1 | $3.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0081ZBNI4/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Coupler 3.5 mm Female - 3.5 mm Female Stereo or Mono | $3.93 | 1 | $3.93 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000068O4N/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| 3 feet Slim 3.5mm Stereo Audio Cable - M/M | $2.71 | 2 | $5.42 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004G3UK5C/ref=od_aui_detailpages00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| 3-Feet 3.5mm Stereo Male to Female Extension Cable, 5-Pack | $12.01 | 1 | $12.01 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00SWOJLSS/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
Lighting | | | | |
$86.88 | Studio Designs Swing Arm Lamp Black | $24.75 | 2 | $49.50 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00I2S7MHQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o09_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Lutron TT-300NLH-BL Credenza Lamp Dimmer Black | $14.83 | 1 | $14.83 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00024BJZE/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Triple Outlet Swivel Adapter, White | $3.27 | 1 | $3.27 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000HJBENG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s02?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| Daylight LED Light Bulb 15W | $9.64 | 2 | $19.28 | https://www.walmart.com/ip/Great-Value-GVRLA1850ND-Great-Value-LED-15W-A19-Light-Bulb/38596922
Cable Managment | | | | |
$18.81 | 100 Velcro Ties | $5.00 | 2 | $10.00 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001E1Y5O6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| 100 Releasable cable ties | $2.47 | 3 | $7.41 | https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=105&amp;cp_id=10520&amp;cs_id=1052012&amp;p_id=5795&amp;seq=1&amp;format=2
| Cable Clip nais | $0.70 | 2 | $1.40 | https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=105&amp;cp_id=10520&amp;cs_id=1052006&amp;p_id=5834&amp;seq=1&amp;format=2
Power | | | | |
$53.13 | Monster MP AV 750 Audio Video PowerCenter | $18.99 | 1 | $18.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004ETIKH8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| AmazonBasics 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip 2-Pack | $12.99 | 1 | $12.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00TP1BWMK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s01?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| 3 Outlet Single-Tap Wall Tap | $4.00 | 2 | $8.00 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007XQORTO/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| 15ft 16AWG Power Cord Cable | $5.20 | 1 | $5.20 | https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=102&amp;cp_id=10228&amp;cs_id=1022801&amp;p_id=5287&amp;seq=1&amp;format=2
| 10ft 18AWG Right Angle Power Cord Cabl | $2.65 | 3 | $7.95 | https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=102&amp;cp_id=10228&amp;cs_id=1022809&amp;p_id=7677&amp;seq=1&amp;format=2
Network | | | | |
$33.98 | TP-LINK 8-Port Gigabit Desktop Switch | $22.99 | 1 | $22.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B001EVGIYG/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
| 5-Pack, Cat6 Ethernet Patch Cable in Blue 3 Feet | $10.99 | 1 | $10.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00C2B81K6/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
Monitor Mount | | | | |
$215.27 | Arm wall mount | $17.54 | 3 | $52.62 | https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=109&amp;cp_id=10828&amp;cs_id=1082821&amp;p_id=12232&amp;seq=1&amp;format=2
| Top wall mount bracket | $4.80 | 4 | $19.20 | https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=109&amp;cp_id=10828&amp;cs_id=1082821&amp;p_id=3005&amp;seq=1&amp;format=2
| Center Monitor Mount | $7.99 | 1 | $7.99 | https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=109&amp;cp_id=10828&amp;cs_id=1082821&amp;p_id=4564&amp;seq=1&amp;format=2
| 2x8 | $7.47 | 3 | $22.41 | https://www.lowes.com/pd/Top-Choice-Common-2-in-x-8-in-x-10-ft-Actual-1-5-in-x-7-25-in-x-10-ft-Lumber/4082916
| 2x4 | 2.55 | 1 | $2.55 | https://www.lowes.com/pd/Common-2-in-x-4-in-x-8-ft-Actual-1-5-in-x-3-5-in-x-8-ft-Stud/1000074211
| 3" clamp | $5.98 | 6 | $35.88 | https://www.lowes.com/pd/IRWIN-QUICK-GRIP-3-in-Clamp/50214643
| 4" Hinge | $2.81 | 2 | $5.62 | https://www.lowes.com/pd/Gatehouse-4-in-H-Oil-Rubbed-Bronze-Interior-Exterior-Mortise-Door-Hinge/4772785
| Wood Screws | $9.00 | 1 | $9.00 | Lowes
| Assorted brackets/hardware | $25.00 | 1 | $25.00 | Lowes
| Case Rack Mount | $35.00 | 1 | $35.00 | EBay
Misc | | | | |
$35.97 | Steam Link | $19.99 | 1 | $19.99 | https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016XBGWAQ/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1
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Get these, now.
The SHP9500 are open, neutral, sharp and precise.
They are very, very comfortable and if need be, you can replace the pads.
Just search the subreddit and you will see people drooling about these cans.
They do not NEED amplification but greatly benefit from it. I recommend the FiiO E10k: http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2
P.S. They also have a removable cable, which is always nice to see.
Edit: While they are not wireless, they are the best bang-for-the-buck cans, at this very time in the 0 - 100 range. And for the time being, wireless is just a gimmick.
What's your recommendation for both portable and desktop use? >$500 US budget. Right now I'm looking at a Fiio E17 and a set of Sennheiser Momentums (over ear). I listen to CD-quality or better lossless files on an iPod/iPhone/MacBook Pro. I don't care about built in iPod controls/mic, but if there's a version of the headphones with that built in, I'll probably get that one. No brand loyalties.
My holy grail headphones would be something in the same design as the Bose Triports (slim, very lightweight, circumaural), but with excellent sound.
Budget - <$500 US. Closer to $350 would be ideal, but $500 if it's worth it (which I think it probably is). I don't currently have a DAC/headphone amp, so I'm hoping to fit that into the total.
Source - iPod, iPhone, MacBook Pro.
Requirements for Isolation - I don't need to block out other sound, but I don't want people sitting next to me in the library to hear my music. This is important to me.
Preferred Type of Headphone - Circumaural preferred, but on the slimmer side--I would also consider IEMs. My only experience with IEMS was a set of $80 Ultimate Ears that I found uncomfortable and difficult to achieve a good seal with. They broke after ~6 years of light use.
Preferred tonal balance - I'm not sure, although I know I don't want a ton of extra bass.
Past headphones - Right now I'm using a set of Sennheiser HD280 Pros at my desk, and some Klipsch S4i's for walking around. Both are fine, but neither really blows me away. I once had 5 minutes alone with some HD800s, and I've been pining after that kind of sound ever since. I know I can't afford to get there right now, but I'd like to get a little closer. Also, I don't want these new headphones to be as big as the 280's, if possible. I find them too big and heavy to wear walking around.
Preferred Music - A little of everything, but a lot of rock. Usually punk, pop-punk, power metal, 80s/90s pop rock--mainly vocal and guitar heavy stuff. I want to clearly hear the bass, but it should never overpower the rest of the instruments. I also listen to quite a bit of acoustic guitar, and some classical piano.
Location - US.
This isn't one of your options, but it is substantially cheaper ($99 USD). I use my FiiO Q1 Mark II all the time with some hard to drive headphones. The volume knob is smooth and has a nice defined click when you turn it on and off. It gets plenty loud and IMO sounds great. Also has a 3.5mm out and a balanced 2.5mm out.
Another added benefit is that it is tiny which is great for portability. Just a thought.
> That's the primary reason I got the 2i2 in the first place.
Also, what do you mean by line level?
"line level" is a particular standardized signal voltage/etc that is generally used over 3.5mm/RCA cables for connection between DACS/Amps/etc.
> Seems like just too much equipment overall hahah. Do you have any other ideas for me?
if you are against using software to switch between devices then your options are sort of limited, you could go with a higher end audio interface that should include a more powerful headphone amp, like the Mackie Big Knob Studio Monitor Controller or the JBL ACTIVE-1 the JBL monitor one doesn't have an XLR input, but you could continue to use your 2i2 for your mic.
you could also go with a dac+headphone amp that has a line out like the Fiio E10k then connect the line out to a passive speaker control like the JBL PATCH or Mackie Big Knob Passive then the output from that to your LSR305's with this solution you would also continue to use the 2i2 for your mic input.
you could also consider a USB Mixer, like the Yamaha AG03 but I don't know if the headphone amp in it is great or not.
Generally you only need to upgrade if it sounds bad, but a better set of headphones will make the biggest difference, then a headphone amp, then a dac.
What headphones are you using? And is your budget set at $50?
$76 will get you the fiio e10k, which is a good first-time dac/amp.
$110 gets you the fiio k3, which is the successor to the e10k and brings a ton of improvements.
The FX-Audio DAC X6 is a good budget option, especially if you just want to test the waters.
Lots of other options too; audio can become a slippery slope lol
I use a Behringer x1222usb mixer and three ATR2100-USB Microphones. I got the ATR2100s because I wanted the flexibility to be able to plug them directly into my Mac. I then have two Behringer Ultravoice Xm8500 Microphones as backups for when we have additional guests.
If I were doing it all over again I would have saved some money on the mics and bought 4 of the Xm8500s and just 1 ATR2100 (to plug directly into my computer when I needed to).
The x1222 mixer works fine, though I'm beginning to wish I had gotten a mixer that can record multiple audio tracks so that I could do some more fine tuning to individual audio levels in post (until then, I recommend a great program, called Levelator, farther below that can help with this).
You'll need decent cables for each mic, which will cost more than you expect--from what I've seen looking for cables with Neutrik connectors is usually good practice. There's also the matter of decent mic stands and pop filters as well.
You'll also probably want head phones for each podcaster so that they can hear themselves whenever they drift off mic. Amazon basics headphones are probably good enough for anyone not controlling the mixer. Then you'll also need a headphone amp (which splits the headphone signal and lets each person control their own headphone volume), for example. And you'll need several (at least one per set of headphones plus a couple spare) 6.35mm (1/4 inch) Male to 3.5mm (1/8 inch) Female headphone jack adapters.
If you want to do Skype interviews, you'll need a mixer with an AUX send port. You'll also need an iMic audio device, you can find out more about that and the other audio cables you'll need [here] (http://thepodcastersstudio.com/how-to-setup-a-mix-minus/).
Regarding software. I'd personally recommend Audacity over Garage Band, I just feel like I have more control over the sound with Audacity. Once you clean your audio up a bit (remove background noise, compress, run a limiter, etc) you should consider running it through the program Levelator which does great things to equalize voice levels.
I'm new at this as well, having only recorded 8 times, but if you want some more tips from someone else who is just starting out--just let me know.
I would start on the lower end of things to warm up to the entire hobby. I can give you a recommendation though, DT 770 Pro 80 Ohms, and a Fiio e10k. This is the setup that I started out with, and it's brought me into the whole thing very nicely. The 770s have really solid bass and decent high end, but some people don't like the 'V' shape that the sound has (aka missing mids). As your just getting into this, I doubt you'd care too much about that. You can get the 770s used on ebay much cheaper than the $180 amazon pricetag, and I would recommend going that way, headphones are something that are easy to pass around. The e10k will give you a nice introduction to DACs and Amps while being very affordable. Make sure to get the 80 ohm version of the 770s though, or possibly even the 250 ohms, but I personally wouldn't try the 32 or 16 ohm versions.
Currently running an Audioquest Dragonfly DAC into a Blue Dot Mk IV tube amp. I primarily got the pair to drive my high-impedance Senn HD-650s (600 ohm).
Honestly the SB Z has a decent DAC, you probably shouldn't need to do anything there unless you are going the true audiophile route - I upgraded from onboard audio so I didn't have much of a choice lol. You may benefit from an external amp, though your headphones seem likely to be decently driven by the Z. I don't know that you'd get any more volume but you may get subjectively better sound.
I love my Little Dot, I'm a total tube convert and can never go back to digital. =P
It has an optical out so if you want a cheap dac/amp combo you could use the SMSL SD 793II and if your PC has an optical out you can use it with that too.
Also according to this thread on gamefaqs
It does support USB dacs but I have no experience with this so you should do more research.
As for the 'flat' sounding of headphones I'm fairly certain the 598's are fairly efficient though I think an amp could possibly help tighten the bass region due to the 300ohm peak at 100hz IIRC.
Something like E10k also has a bass boost which may be helpful if you find them too bass light. But that's usb so you should do research on that.
If your current audio DAC is fine, there may not be a reason to buy a seperate DAC, but that purchase will completely depend on your current setup.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but Amazon says the impedance of your headphones is 50 Ohms. This is an impedance spec that definitely will work fine without an AMP. However, should you decide to purchase an AMP (like the budget-oriented ones I'll post here), such as the 02 from Mayflower, the FiiO E10k or one of the Schiit AMPs like the Magni, you would find that the audio quality of your headphones would increase, since their full potential will be unlocked.
The Schiit combo is very high quality for the money, and I believe you'd be pretty happy with it.
I couldn't afford much so I just went with the FiiO A1 for my M50x pair: https://smile.amazon.com/FiiO-A1-Silver-Portable-Headphone/dp/B01CPUVPEM
I know that this is by no means the best option out there, but it's what I have right now. I think it sounds quite good, but it is my first set of higher-end cans, and it's the first headphone amp I've used. With your budget I imagine someone may recommend the FiiO A3 or the Q1 and be able to tell you more about it. I'd be interested in that as well since I'm looking at getting a Q1 for my first DAC/Amp.
Hope this helps.
So after reading over a few times and looking at the linked wiki I feel a bit more confident when looking.
My desk is a standard height with a narrower shelf circa 30-40 cm higher. I have a desk mount clamped to the shelf for my monitor and keyboard and mouse on the lower section. My pc is set below the desk currently.
The main reason for separating the mic and headphones is that I found that "gaming headsets" are gimmicky and the sound quality from them doesn't compare to standalone headphones (with DAC/preAmp). So this is the route I'm taking- but this left me with the task of getting a desk mic.
My previous headset always left staticy sounds running through skype etc, so was looking to invest a bit more this time round. Now I didn't realise about the phantom power. Thanks for this.
I was looking at this https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;colid=2CIWW6MEVV8FK&amp;coliid=ISASLKK24FDV4
as a DAC and PreAmp, but are there options to plug mic into a standalone unit alongside headphones? (That you're aware of)
I think a boom arm nearer my face is definitely the option that seems best for noise cancellation like you suggested.
CPU | Intel Core i3-6100 3.7GHz Dual-Core Processor | $147.98 @ DirectCanada
Motherboard | ASRock Z170A-X1/3.1 ATX LGA1151 Motherboard | $89.98 @ NCIX
Memory | Crucial 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory | $69.99 @ NCIX
Storage | Seagate Barracuda 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive | $57.98 @ DirectCanada
Video Card | MSI Radeon R7 370 4GB Video Card | $194.99 @ DirectCanada
Case | BitFenix Nova ATX Mid Tower Case | $34.99 @ NCIX
Power Supply | Thermaltake SMART 550W 80+ Bronze Certified ATX Power Supply | $64.99 @ NCIX
Optical Drive | Asus DRW-24F1ST DVD/CD Writer | $19.95 @ shopRBC
Wireless Network Adapter | TP-Link TL-WN722N USB 2.0 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi Adapter | $14.87 @ DirectCanada
Other| Fiio E10K| $109.99
| Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts |
| Total | $805.71
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-07-24 16:19 EDT-0400 |
I have not compared the two however I own the 32 ohm version of the 990 DT (Premium) and run them on a little Fiio e10k DAC on my PC and they sound like Jesus.
The minor sibilance people complain about is there but it really doesn't bother me. The sound is rich with more than enough bass to satisfy me and the soundstage is full and real.
But here's the thing... if you need a DAC to enjoy the 990 DT then you absolutely require a DAC to even use (let alone enjoy) the 250 ohm 1990s. The resistance is too high so an amplifier is going to be necessary to get volume and dynamic range.
My recommendation would be the 990 Pro with a good DAC versus the 1990 with no DAC.
budget/used mid-fi here looking for a desktop headphone amp under $175. Or should it be a headphone amp/dac? Or should I get a headphone amp that has preamp outs, to put inline with my speaker amp and DAC? Maybe a tube amp, as all I listen to is Grateful Dead recordings from the 60's-early 80's and think a tube might fit the character.
My bedroom setup is pc --usb-->
Cambridge Audio DAC Magic --rca-->
Micca Origain speaker amp/DAC --> Elac B6
This leaves no room for headphones, which I currently power off a cheap usb card that came with a gaming headset. I have a bunch of chifi IEMs, and a couple low (~32 ohm) impedence headphones for now, but am planning on buying something more demanding soon.
The DAC magic is an older usb 1.0 model that only does 16/48, but apparently has high-end technology that upscales everything to 24/96 (or higher I iirc). It also has balanced xlr input/output which I have no use for. Anyways I can tell a slight edge and prefer it over the built-in DAC on the Origain, even though that does 24/96 over usb (and I have close to 100gb of 24/96 flac music...).
The Origain is cool but I think it starts to get channel imbalance when knob gets below 25%, which is usually where I keep it. So I wonder if a pre-amp with volume control could help optimize that better? To use the Dac magic, I'd need a headphone amp with line outs anyway.
So for under $175, would you go for:
+newer DAC would allow me to natively enjoy my 24/96 flac, or even DSD
-still might not be as good as the dacmagic
+Might allow me to turn Origain's knob higher to prevent imbalance at lower levels
-Should I avoid having another device in the signal path if I can?
Also, instead of going for a headphone amp/preamp, could I just use a blanced xlr to unbalanced rca adapter on my Dac Magic to use a cheaper standalone amp like the Bravo 2?
Ideas: cheap tube amp like LittleDot Mk2, littlebear P7, xduoo TA-01, Bravo Audio Ocean Mini
or digital: Bravo S1, FX Audio DAC-X6, DEAFidelity Elfidelity, SMSL VMV V2, SMSL M6, Audioengine D1, or FiiO E10K
I'm scraping together pennies to put down on some cans soon. Either AKG 7somethings, Beyerdynamic DTsomethings 250 ohm, or Sennheiser 6somethings...whatever pops up on Craigslist or letgo.
yeah amp/dac can be expensive. if you save up and drop down the money on the schiit modi/magni you should be really happy, but there are some more affordable options that are amp+dac combos like the fiio e10k ($75) which are also good, though I'm not sure I'd recommend going any cheaper than that with your headphones. realistically though, unless you're an audiophile you won't notice the difference between the amp+dac combo i linked or a schiit stack. you could also go a bit lower most likely but i don't know of what is good in the $50~ range.
from what i can tell a good stereo amp should work for headphones if you don't mind the annoyance, but i'm not an expert or anything, i just like headphones.
Oh good, at least you figured out what's going on. Yeah Gigabyte has some questionable quality control in some of their products.
Onboard soundcards aren't always bad and if yours worked I'd imagine it would have been perfectly fine for your setup. I'm not sure you'd benefit much (outside of working audio) from a soundcard/amp/dac. As for PCI I don't really know, I haven't really ventured in that field much and an external amp/dac is almost always recommended here.
The cheapest (not bad, mind you) amp/dac that seems to be worth the money is the FiiO E10k. The only downside in your case is I don't think any external setups or interfaces have a 3.5mm mic in, at least I haven't seen one. I'd imagine you could keep the amp by your header mic in and just plug it in there with the audio in through the dac/amp.
If you stream, though, I highly recommend looking into a proper external mic as well, probably a condenser. The mics on headsets are acceptable for voice chat but if you want good audio for your voice the way to go is definitely an external mic. That would also leave you room to ditch headsets entirely and get a good pair of headphones :D.
I got mine a while back, older model but newest cost less anyway:
Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Professional Studio Monitor Headphones (OLD MODEL) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000ULAP4U/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_tN0XBbWY6A8WB
I had an older amp but this is the same brand and looks like it’s updated too:
FiiO A3 Portable Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Z9BIODA/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_wW0XBbKBVZK2S
If you’re using an iPhone, I recommend you connect your phone to your dongle, run an audio cable to the amp, then plug your headphones to the “out” jack, and when you turn up your music, it’s like a ridiculously high end system in your ears. Low low bass, excellent highs, pretty amazing.
So the thing about headphones of this magnitude is that they require a larger amount of power than earbuds. This is due to the increased impedance. Your headphones happen to be 50 ohm impedance, which is not a HUGE amount but it is enough to cause a drop in volume & frequency range when using a low-powered output.
The solution would be to get a simple external DAC. I used this FiiO E10K with my HD598s and the difference is night and day between this and that normal audio-out. There are a large range of options for a DAC / headphone amplifier, but this one is pretty solid for the price. Without it, you are really missing out on the full potential of the headphones you just invested in.
As for why the headphones seemed "really good" for one day? It could be that the port you are using is connected to a series of other ports which draw power. For instance, if you are using the headphone port on the front of your desktop they may share the power connection with the front USB ports. This means if you have something drawing power from USB, the volume on the headphone jack may be reduced. In some cases there can even be audio interference and a humming or hissing noise in the background. Using a DAC will keep your audio separate from such issues.
Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions.
It;s not a high end piece of SCHiiT, lol (had 2 do it) but I've got a Brand NEW, without box, Creative Sound Blaster E1 Portable Headphone Amplifier for only $30 shipped Link. Condition is a perfect 10/10 with the protective clear plastic still on the rear clip. It's really small, charges its internal battery via microUSB and sounds great! Also comes with a microUSB and 3.5mm audio cable. I've got two available. + Feel Free 2 check out my other stuff
Reddit HWS Link
Corsair Vengeance 1300/1500 look pretty decent. The 1500's come with a USB connection so no sound card required. Atro A40's are also pretty popular (though a bit on the expensive side for gaming headphones 200+ USD) and comes with a nice little mix amp.
If you want better audio quality (for music/movies) I would look at possibly the HD 598's (or cheaper 558's with a little mod) or the ATH-D700. Note that Amazon has a headphone sale on at the moment and the D700's are going for around ~90 USD (Link). The bass isn't as strong as the 598's but they are considerably less expensive. Both the 598 and the D700 are open headphones so you get a lot of sound leakage (which may be an issue). Also you will need to get a mic, something like the Zalman clip on or the AntLion Modmic. A cheap DAC/AMP would also go well with either headphone, something like the Fiio E17 would be fine.
yes you should bother.. There are amazing headphones that are easy on the ears!! Headphone examples: Koss Porta Pro X & AFK Khans.
You'll hear the difference trust me.. Def purchase an AMP though.
You could pickup an ES100 DAC/AMP. It should be a very noticeable upgrade!
The AFK Khans cannot be powered by the ES100 just forwarning.. Def pickup a Koss Porta Pro X by Massdrop for your first purchase! :)
ES100 bluetooth DAC/AMP - https://www.amazon.com/EarStudio-ES100-24bit-High-Resolution-Bluetooth-Unbalanced/dp/B078H4YD2L/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=ES100&qid=1570060944&sr=8-1
If you need a pad upgrade get these - https://www.amazon.com/YAXI-EARPADS-PORTAPRO-Yellow-Orange/dp/B07L869LJL/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Yaxi+pads&qid=1570060964&sr=8-1
The Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pros have great bass response, while the Sennheiser HD598's aren't as punchy in the bass. That being said, the DT770's present a bit more in the high-end frequencies, and some might find that unbalanced.
The HD598's are certainly more balanced in their presentation. The HD558's are the cheapest option, but present great value for somebody looking for a bit more bass than the HD598's, but less than the DT770's.
Any of these headphones paired with a proper headphone amplifier will provide a good listening experience, but different. While both Sennheiser's are open-back and will breath more to provide a wider sound stage, the Beyerdynamics are closed back and will provide a more narrow sound stage, but provide more bass response.
I've got two builds ready for you right now. I went with a mITX form factor because it's smaller size should be more convenient, and I chose a black and white color scheme. The motherboard also has built in WiFi.
I wasn't sure how serious you are about your video recording, so I included enough hdd space for professional use. They've also got an ssd for your OS and some games.
The only difference between the two is that one has an i7-6700 and the other has an i5-6600. These should both be plenty for gaming, but the I7 has hyperthreading which would improve rendering times a lot, and the i5 is cheaper so that you could also afford to throw in a dac.
If you are really serious about video editing and recording I'd go for the i7, but if it's more of a hobby the i5 should be fine.
The onboard audio on the motherboard is okay. It's not the best, but it's not the worst. If you go for the i7 you could probably deal with it, but if you choose the cheaper i5 I'd recommend getting a dac to use with your e12, such as a dragonfly black
Here's the actual builds:
i5: PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
i7: PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant
I hope I could help.
Age is never a factor for headphones. The HD600 came out in '97 is still considered to be one the best headphones out there. Anyways for that budget I would get the K7xx up on mass drop right now. They have some one the best soundstage you can find, and probably the best under $200. Some other cheaper options you could look into might be the HD598 and the SHP9500. Keep in mind that for the K7xx (and somewhat for the other two) you'll probably need an amp of some sort. But if you don't have room in you budget you can always buy the phones first, and save for an amp/dac combo later. I'd recommend an E10k or a Schiit Stack.
I just moved to a new studio flat and I'd like to update my current very basic setup: a Yamaha NX-U02 plugged into my laptop (Alienware R15 R3).
My first Idea was to get Audioengine A2+ but they're a bit pricey.
What I have in mind now is a FiiO E10k with Roth Audio OLIRA1 speakers. I like the idea of having a separate DAC/Amp and the upgradability is a nice bonus, but I'm not sure it's actually ideal for my needs.
I'm also looking at the cheaper EDIFIER Studio R1280T.
Don't know if this will apply to your needs/budget/expertise, but here's how I record Culture Vultures Radio. (Add a dot com to that to find our site.)
The tricky part was setting up the aggregate audio device to pipe in the mics into Reaper. It's funky and it took me a couple of hours to get two freaking mics working - haven't tried a third yet - but it worked out.
To save space on the HD, I set up Reaper to print the tracks as MP3s at 192kbps instead of WAVs. I apply compression and limiting when I record to get a nice solid level. When I'm done, I transfer the project folder to my bruiser of a gaming PC and apply an expander to the tracks to minimize mic bleed and background noise like fans or furnace/AC (we record in a basement). On mixdown, I hit the music track and the overall mix with master bus compression to make it nice and full-sounding with even levels.
It's a slightly involved process to do, but I think the results and quality control are worth it. We used to go into the Internet radio station's studios to do the show live and just put the recording out as the podcast, but they tripled the studio fee and I calculated that if I bought my gear and sent them a file to air, it would pay for itself in 13-14 shows; we've done 18 so far. Bonus is that when the studio was stifling hot in the summer when the AC broke down and they've been having chronic technical problems affecting audio quality, it hasn't impacted us. We miss the live feedback from the listeners and it takes much longer to produce a show, but it's a tighter product overall.
Hope this helps someone, if not your specific needs. Cheers.
The Bravo seems decent but I just don't trust cheap Chinese tube amps, especially when they don't post full measurements (I wonder what they're trying to hide?)
But, under $114, on Amazon, there isn't really much in choices. The Bravo plus a warm sounding tube, like this one, will fit the bill.
I also would recommend this. It offers more flexibility because you change tubes and opamps to mod your sound. You can also adjust gain with it unlike the Ocean.
My personal favorite is the SMSL M3.
Z Review: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QwD5Byp1AU
It's basically the E10K but with a wider variety of options, and (in my opinion) a cleaner sound. The E10K was a gift and a great starting option, but I personally appreciate the M3 more.
welcome to the hi-fi rabbit hole! here, you can spend thousands (if not tens of thousands) of dollars on things with barely (if any) discernible differences! You're correct in assuming a dedicated DAC/Amp would help here - all 3.5mm jacks drive electrical signals which, in the case of headphones, directly drive the drivers which produce sound waves your ears can hear. The DAC in most high end smartphones, motherboards, etc are pretty good - but audio equipment is often skimped on to hit a price point.
I'd highly recommend a mini USB DAC with a decent driver like the audioquest dragonfly which balances the price/performance/convenience equation really well, imo. https://www.amazon.com/AudioQuest-DragonFly-Black-Preamp-Headphone/dp/B01DP5JHHI?ref_=fsclp_pl_dp_2
You may want to read about soundstage vs imaging in headphones. Soundstage being the ability of the headphones to reproduce a sound as being far away from your ears, imaging being the ability to reproduce sounds happening on the "x axis", if you will, with pinpoint accuracy.
Imagine the sound of a fly buzzing from your left ear to your right ear. Good soundstage representation will allow you to tell how far is that fly, while good imaging will let you hear where that fly is at any given moment.
Now, the SHP9500 didn't impress me either, and you have a point on unrealistic expectations. I know for sure my first "good" headphones didn't blow me away.
That being said, your laptop soundcard may be dragging them down a bit. I wouldn't recommend anything more than a Fiio K1 for easy to drive headphones. It's a tiny piece of hardware, but it's way better than any integrated soundcard.
I don't have any experience with the PC360, but both the 598 and the AD series are great headphones. If you plan to use the primarily for gaming, any of the ADx00 would get my vote.
If you don't already have a good soundcard like a Xonar or HT|Omega, you're on a laptop, or you use multiple devices and you use headphones I recommend one of these FiiO E17 amps. It takes basically every input type, runs of battery if you want to use it in a portable setting. If you use Coax or Toslink it will support dolby3d and other virtual 3d setups. Use it with the ipod adapter and you can bypass the internal dac on your iphone/ipad/ipod to get really good sound.
Pretty much the best bang:buck you can get for portable amps/dac.
Excellent choice. I love my HE400i, especially with Brainwavz XL Micro Suede pads.
You probably don't need and external (DAC/) amp as the 4XX is fairly easy to drive, but in common with most planar magnetic drivers it can make good use of extra power. My 400i is or has been easily driven by my SMSL M3 ($64.99 new), Micca OriGen G2 ($75 used via r/AVexchange), FiiO Q1 ($53.99 new) and can be massively overpowered by my xDuoo TA-01B ($119.99 new). Other good budget options include the $50 FX Audio DAC-X6.
I've been researching portable dac/amps and here are a few to check out.
Fio K1- Its one of the most popular and well reviewed portable dacs at the moment. 24-bit/96khz dac/amp that is supposed to be well balance with a low noise floor for about $40.
Dragonfly Red / [Dragonfly Black] (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01F7L3I14/ref=dp_sp_detail?psc=1) . All the reviews and impressions I've read for these devices are that the Black not bad, but Red completely blows it away in terms of sound quality but is also about double the price at around $200.
SMSL IDEA / Sabaj Da2 - Made by the same factory and using the same chipset under different brand names. These have also been getting rave reviews due to being sub 100 dacs but have the sound quality of much more expensive dacs. Also both come with usb-c otg cables. Both seem to be more favorited than the Dragonfly. Both can be found on amazon with the IDEA being a little more expensive than the Da2.
Things to keep in mind are that there are some glitches when some of theses are connected to android phone which have work arounds.
*Hissing or screeching when plugging into phone: Start music first and then plug in dac. Changing the usb mode to midi works for some people as well.
To take full advantage of have a usb dac alot of people recommend this app: USB Audio Player PRO
Also the inline remote controls and mic on headphones won't work with these.
the dac you listed may not have enough power to drive the 250ohm version. try this dac/amp combo for a little more than the cost of the xenyx.
there are other options available but this is the lowest priced option i could think of from the top of my head.
also before buying, look at the amount youre spending on headphones and amp and see if you could just get better yet easy to drive headphones without an amp for the total amount youre spending. on massdrop for example are akg k553s. different for sure from the beyers but theyre good quality (as based on my experience with the older brother, the k550) and easy to drive out of portable sources (32ohms). its just 140usd.
CPU | Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor | $234.88 @ OutletPC
CPU Cooler | Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler | $24.89 @ OutletPC
Motherboard | Asus B150M-A D3 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard | $74.88 @ OutletPC
Memory | Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory | $58.99 @ SuperBiiz
Storage | Samsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5" Solid State Drive | $154.85 @ Amazon
Storage | *Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive | $65.89 @ OutletPC
Video Card | MSI Radeon R9 390 8GB Video Card | $283.98 @ Newegg
Case | Corsair 750D ATX Full Tower Case | $139.99 @ NCIX US
Power Supply | EVGA SuperNOVA NEX 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply | $69.99 @ NCIX US
Optical Drive | LG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer | $46.85 @ OutletPC
Operating System | Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 OEM 64-bit | $199.89 @ OutletPC
Wireless Network Adapter | TP-Link TL-WDN4800 PCI-Express x1 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Adapter | $38.88 @ OutletPC
External Storage | Seagate Expansion 4TB External Hard Drive | $109.99 @ Amazon
| Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts |
| Total (before mail-in rebates) | $1543.95
| Mail-in rebates | -$40.00
| Total | $1503.95
| *Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria |
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-06-29 15:48 EDT-0400 |
Ask me about any changes I made. Overclockable Skylake processor, DDR4 Memory, and a 8GB GFX card. All for less than your current build, and it's much more powerful. A 500GB solid state drive is great for programs like Photoshop or editing software, as is the new processor.
Also, throw in that DAC and you have really good sound quality.
Just like removable batteries and physical keyboards, there’s basically no chance of it coming back. The truth is that the general public doesn’t care, just look at the sales figures from the Note 10/10+ despite the Internet and reviewer outcry about it not having a headphone jack.
Also... there is not much difference (if at all) in sound quality between most onboard DACs and a decent pair of Bluetooth headphones specially while streaming (of course there is exceptions like some older iPhones an the LG V series) and most people wouldn’t care anyway, and those who care like the audiophile community have been using external DAC/AMPs for a while and are moving more and more towards 2.5/4.4mm balanced.
As for options, you can get the EarStudio ES100 so you can use your favourite wired headphones again.
If you are completely against Bluetooth, and since you listen to 18+ hours a day of music, maybe getting a DAP is a better option for you.
Or get an “older” phone, the S10/S10+ still have the headphone jack.
My Nexus 6P, Pixel C, and Pixel XL all support external USB sound cards with the port acting in host mode. That is to say, to make USB audio work, I need to use a USB-C to USB-A cable and a bus-powered USB sound adapter. It's unweildy, but it works (and and external DAC like the one I linked will actually usually give better quality than the one internal to the phone.
Although their is a USB-C audio standard, as /u/sorakiu pointed out, manufacturers have yet to all start fully implementing it. A passive adapter, like the one you purchased, relies on a standard like this to work.
i own the asus DGX (pci-e one), and its a nice sound card, i got it for like $14 new though.
But i found my onboard sound is identical though lol (look at your motherboard specs, if the motherboard is using the AC1150 codec dont bother with a sound card).
the AC1150 has all those features and the audio quality/power of any sound card you would actually buy.
If you really want the best possible (like 0.1%) quality audio, buy an external DAC. something like this http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LP3AMC2/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_il_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B00LP3AMC2&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=facebookc07d3-20&amp;linkId=L33FDDPW6GXXOWOY is way better then both those sound cards.
BTW "stereo to surround" is nothing more then marketing. No such thing exists.
The software surround that most sound cards have, just widens the stereo sound. it doesnt actually make it surround. (its impossible to output true surround unless the source audio is surround to begin with).
stereo headphones (regardless of which ones) can already do positional audio.
google "virtual barber shop" with any pair of stereo headphones with no software turned on.
$30 DAC - Link - Please know these aren't game changers, it's only offering better quality sound than your motherboard. If your headphones or speakers aren't that great, it's not doing to do much. Weakest link type of thing. If your headphones suck, these wont help. But if you have a decent set of phones, many people have sworn by these.
$75 DAC - Link - More expensive, better sound output. Again, should be paired with even higher quality sound gear. $100+ speakers/headphones.
$115 DAC - My Dac - Link - I needed a dac with a little power. I use speakers with my setup instead of headphones. This one is 2x25. It's honestly the most anyone should need for a 2.0 system.
$80 Speakers - Link - These are mine. I love them. Best combined $200 I've spent. Instead of a CPU that will need to be replaced in two years, these will out last many builds if I take care of them. The reviews are through the roof compared to the price. And I'd have to agree.
There are a million reviews about the topping DAC + Micca speakers. Things feel more immersive. I think that's the simplest way to put it.
That's a great setup. I love the tube idea! I'm using my RE20 for an in-studio setup with a DBX 286s, but I'm curious how it would compare with a tube setup like that.
Btw, this little guy is great for splitting headphones.
Yeah, both the normalized matrix and windows sound loudness equalizer basically does what AVR Recievers have with a day/evening/night setting..... Again, you're throwing filters and tons of random options for the regular people out there, but you wanted to get the best quality.
I don't think it makes a big difference, or any at all but make in sound/config that your speakers are small. I've messed with that config for years and it doesn't work like a proper AVR does but it's worth a shot.
If you do want your volume up, where that matrix was use the clipping but I just ran a test and man I had to blast my AVR's AMP that could blow out so many headphones it's not even funny with the 50x compared to the 650's, they are a bitch to drive and the onboard sound which I have the same chipset and by the #'s looks like yours could be better, but it won't matter because onboard has always sucked.
You can go cheap and get your very basic ones that will do the job but with the atx-50's I wouldn't expect a massive difference because even with my wall wart amp I wish I could push it just a bit more, but these will help 100% for sure and also if you have a phone/laptop etc...
I'd save the money you would spend on that though and put it to something that will last you the next 15 years.
I'll make another post about MadVR
Hey there all. I'm a professional classical musician operating out of Boston. I play with orchestras nearly every day of the week - I am an audiophile in real life, but I'm only just now delving into what it means to be one with music here in the digital realm.
During the fiasco that was the Galaxy Note 7 recall, Verizon gave me the option to switch to any other phone that I wanted while the Google Pixel was rolled out, the phone I'd eventually purchase. I chose the HTC 10 because I knew that it had a hi-fi DAC and Amp built into it, and I was curious about trying it.
I was catapulted into a whole new world listening to music on that phone with my bose in-ear and overear headphones (no clue what the impedance or actual models are, just know they aren't the noise cancelling).
I got my Pixel a week or two after, and left the new found realm I had entered into. I've been left wanting more. Thusly, I've taken to the internet to try and solve my problem.
The biggest issue with my decision to purchase a DAC / AMP combo is that I'm not certain what impedance I have on these sound systems I have; all I do know is that they are Bose. Yay.
My ears are well trained, and even a 20% increase in quality matters to me. My eye is presently on...
Can anyone guide in the correct direction here? My budget presently is under $100, just so I can get acquainted with the realm of audiophilia. Thanks in advance.
fiio e10k. I'm not sure you would benefit much from the amp, but the external volume knob is a great feature along with the DAC.
HifimeDIY has great standalone DAC's as well
I just bought a DAC (SMSL M6) and plan to set it up as follows:
Apple TV with Apple Lossless files-->TV via HDMI-->DAC via optical-->Behringer headphone amp-->Grado SR80 headphones
I know the Apple TV resamples to 48kHz, but hope it won't matter to my newbie ears. Would anyone comment on this setup? Am I doing it right? Any component that limits things to the point of making a good sound tough to achieve?
I do have a 1st gen Airport Express I could use for the ATV audio to keep it at 44.1kHz, but was hoping to keep video sound played through other sources (PS3 for Bluray and Amazon, for example) going through the DAC as well...
Hey guys. I am hoping someone can help me. I really want to get into this seriously. Music has always been a sort of therapy and a joy to me.
I own two pairs of headphones. A pair of Sennheiser Momentum's (1) that I bought last November. Yesterday I acquired a pair of Sennheiser HD 558's.
I don't own any equipment. I listen to music primarily on Spotify on my iPhone 6 Plus. I pay for premium so I have high quality streaming. I don't have a soundcard in my PC. My motherboard is an MSI Z97-G45. I don't own a DAC. I don't own an amp. These are things I feel I should acquire in order to get the full potential out of the HD 558's and any future headphones I purchase.
My budget isn't the greatest at the moment as I recently graduated university and am still job-hunting. Maybe $200-250 max. This is in Canadian dollars.
Since I listen to music primarily on my iPhone 6 Plus, I've read that I should look into a portable amp. I found these researching various subs: http://www.headphonebar.com/fiio-e17k-alpen2/
But I'd need to buy a lightening to USB Camera adapter for the E17K and even then I read it may not work. Some advice would be great because I just need a starting point right now and maybe some Canadian based online retailers I can buy from. If possible, I'd like to acquire an amp to use with my phone and eventually I will pick up some equipment for my PC.
Thank you in advance. I realize this is a loaded post.
Do you have problems with any other headphones?
I haven't used the M40X's myself, but "headphones not getting loud enough" is generally one of the few, reliable, markers that you would benefit from upgrading to an amp.
The JDS Labs Atom is pretty much the gold standard for cost/performance at $100. You would probably want a dac too, or at least someway of switching from speakers to the amp without having to reach around your computer to the back to swap.
The FiiO E10K works pretty well, and is a dac/amp combo at $75 if you want an affordable all-in-one.
Alrighty thanks so much for the help. Yeah I know but mic doesn't hurt if I choose to use it. I don't have much expenses yet so no worries. If I did want an amp just for the sound (ignore the mic). Do you have any suggestions? I was looking at something cheap on amazon for curiosity. Just clicked on it based on recommendation and reviews. Would this be okay? If you have any suggestions that will make the most out of these or are more compatible please feel free to suggest it!
Hah, yeah. My motherboard has some fancy gaming Dac/Amp, but truly they are kind of meh compared to dedicated hardware (they definitely won't push anything with an impedance of more than 50 Ohms too well). Once you have obtained your favorite headphones, you can invest in your own DAC and Amp eventually. I recommend the FiiO E10K DAC/Amp combo at minimum once you start dabbling into hifi.
Oh sorry, I meant to link the E3 model.
Edit: I received this Fiio DAC with my m50s and it does admirably as well. Creative can be expensive and Fiio has good options as well.
I bought the Creative one for my wife and I when on plane rides and I like the clip it has for when I'm using PSVR.
I'm looking for a pair of headphones that allows me to hear what is going on around me, but doesn't drive my coworkers crazy. I'm not even sure if that's possible...
Budget: Between $100-150 USD
Source: Desktop PC. Will eventually upgrade to a DAC. May reuse this one from home:FiiO E10K USB DAC.
Requirements for Isolation: None - Minimal. I will be using these at work and need to be able to hear what is is going on around me.
Will you be using these Headphones in public?: Yes, at work in a shared office.
Preferred Type of Headphone: Over-ear or on ear. I'm flexible on this if something else better meets the other needs.
Preferred tonal balance: I listen to a variety of genres so something that's fairly versatile and balanced.
Past headphones: Cheap IEMs for music at work. Sennheiser GAME ONE's for gaming/music at home.
Preferred music: Eclectic... Hip Hop, Folk, Rock
What would you like to improve on from your set-up: I'm tired of replacing my $30 IEMs every six months and am looking for a sound quality upgrade. I also want something that I can wear for 3-4 hours at a time comfortably.
CPU | Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor | $247.99 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Cooler | Noctua NH-D15 82.5 CFM CPU Cooler | $88.89 @ Amazon
Motherboard | Asus Z170-A ATX LGA1151 Motherboard | $153.99 @ SuperBiiz
Memory | Kingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR4-2133 Memory | $65.99 @ SuperBiiz
Storage | Western Digital Caviar Blue 1TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive | $49.89 @ OutletPC
Video Card | EVGA GeForce GTX 950 2GB Superclocked+ ACX 2.0 Video Card | $139.99 @ NCIX US
Case | Cooler Master MasterCase Pro 5 ATX Mid Tower Case | $131.14 @ Amazon
Power Supply | SeaSonic 650W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply | $89.99 @ SuperBiiz
| Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts |
| Total (before mail-in rebates) | $987.87
| Mail-in rebates | -$20.00
| Total | $967.87
| Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-03-02 18:17 EST-0500 |
Wait for Pascal to come out in 2 months for 4k cards. But with saved money get some good audio.
Here is what I'd do for 300 and then 600.
http://www.modmic.com/collections/modmic/products/modmic-4-0-omni-directional Get a mic, one of the best.
Get headphones http://www.amazon.com/Beyerdynamic-DT-990-Pro-250-Professional-Acoustically-Applications/dp/B0011UB9CQ one of the best for 150, great deal.
And a DAC/AMP http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=pd_sim_267_2?ie=UTF8&amp;dpID=41Taa5DTsKL&amp;dpSrc=sims&amp;preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&amp;refRID=0W24QWRXR6YFHZ0ESB51
For 600 go on /r/headphones. DO NOT GET GAMING HEADPHONES.
Yes. I won't compare it between my laptop speakers and IEM headphones. It's just very big difference between those.
It seems that I don't hear any hiss around when I plug my IEM but noticeably lower sound quality. Hence I'll like to buy a DAC to upgrade it. An example of DAC that I'm talking about is this and this.
I don't mind w/ the sound quality that my laptop speakers provide. Since I'm watching movies at a dorm which have very thin wall and I'm afraid that my movie annoys other people between my room, I'm thinking of using IEM to enjoy the movie instead.
I appreciate with all of your help. I might use EQ or something like Viper4Android for Windows to settle it around.
About the speakers you recommend, is it an old product ? It seems I can't find it anywhere on my local e-shop websites.
3a xl here. It's way better than the one on my 2 XL.
Joking aside, google has never had an enthusiast attitude toward audio quality. I'm not an audiophile and always found the audio to be fine on my pixels, but google doesn't really use high-quality DACs like other phone manufacturers.
If you care about audio quality, you can use the USB-C output and use a usb-c dac amp like here: https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-Headphone-Amplifier-Computer-Balanced/dp/B07KR3RF4H Note, I'm not reviewing the above dac/amp and I've never used it, just giving an example of a usb-c option.
While you will certainly get better value from a ss amp in that price range here are some tube amps...
[i have this one and am quite impressed with the sound] (http://www.aliexpress.com/item/32443111524/32443111524.html)
["portable" but has bad reviews] (http://s.aliexpress.com/b6BB7Bbu)
Has a dac but is more expensive
[more expensive] (http://s.aliexpress.com/Znmumi67)
[bad reviews] (http://s.aliexpress.com/A32EZJJn)
[probably bad] (http://s.aliexpress.com/NvYzUVvu)
[called a guitar amp but im sure it could drive headphones] (http://www.aliexpress.com/item/32748157846/32748157846.html)
[very bad reviews] (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/251876015253/251876015253)
[Looks okay] (http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/271969184294)
[Really good video reviewing several candidates. Definitely watch this before purchasing] (https://youtu.be/22kx0q5j-JA)
EDIT:Just read amazon only
Here are some amazon links to the above ones. They are a little bit over budget but are the cheapest ones.
[1. Recommended] (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B014FASL1A/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1482186554&amp;sr=8-1&amp;pi=SX200_QL40&amp;keywords=Tube+amp&amp;dpPl=1&amp;dpID=41llpyTU%2BIL&amp;ref=plSrch)
[different one] (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01M7101CY/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1482186722&amp;sr=1-3&amp;pi=SX200_QL40&amp;keywords=Tube+amp&amp;dpPl=1&amp;dpID=41QGAaW2nnL&amp;ref=plSrch)
[good reviews] (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00ADR2DTG/ref=mp_s_a_1_6?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1482186784&amp;sr=1-6&amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&amp;keywords=Tube+amp&amp;dpPl=1&amp;dpID=51CV4EXJUzL&amp;ref=plSrch)
[another one] (https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01I19SBK2/ref=mp_s_a_1_61?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1482186981&amp;sr=8-61&amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_FMwebp_QL65&amp;keywords=Tube+amp&amp;dpPl=1&amp;dpID=41zNfkGPeGL&amp;ref=plSrch)
You wont need any amp for those headphones and it will have nearly no effect on the sound. I understand it looks nice but if you really want to improve your Audio, invest in new headphones.
Hi hi hi friends,
I bought my Sennheiser HD 598 CS's during black friday and I cant help but feel like I'm not getting the most out of them. Right now I have them connected, along with a ModMic, to my mobo with this.
I had my eyes set on these;
So, my question is, should I get either of these DACs or is it not really worth the price I'm intending to pay? If I should buy a DAC which one of these should I get? Or is there a better one around this price point?
Thanks for any help!
You can always try to look into what kind of chips manufacturers put in their audio interfaces and compare them to the internals of straight up dacs. I haven't done so myself, but I expect they mostly use realtek components, the same stuff that ends up on computer motherboards anyway, meanwhile dedicated audio gear typically uses in-house components, or chips designed by other audio companies. Again I'm basically guessing when it comes to what kind of components are found in mixers since I'm no expert in that field.
I'd say most modern middle ground motherboards are good enough for 75% of all headphones, but if you're looking into getting something like Beyerdynamics in the 250ohm flavor or
the Sennheiser HD600, which are generally hard to drive, I recommend Fiio E10k or the Dac-X6. Both are decently cheap and will drive 90% of all headphones. Someone mentioned the o2 sdac and that one is basically the sweet spot before the law of diminishing returns begins and it will drive 99% of everything out there.
tldr; get your headphones first before looking into external audio since it's likely your pc will run them just fine.
I started off just plugging the cable into the headphone jack on my PC and it worked. But I got a fair bit of hiss and electronic interference so I got a DAC. An SMSL m3. Connect that to my pc via USB and just the headphones into that. Cleans everything up and sounds great.
The X2's are great headphones, really comfy and some really good low end. So I can imagine dance music sounding great on them.
So your sennhesier gsx 1200 is currently what is giving you the virtual surround sound. So if you get rid of that amp youll need another amp that offers virtual surround sound, which is pretty limited.
In other words if you just switched amps you may not have the ability to do that. unless you changed your headphones as well.
Arctis pro headset DTS virtual surround 32ohms
Audio Engine headphone amp/dac This unit sounds really good and fits perfectly on a desktop. With a 32ohm load it should go plenty loud for you.
This unit I've never used before but I've always read good reviews and im sure it could power a 32ohm load no problem. Great price point.
The Audio Engine D1 and the Arctis Pro should be a solid pairing.
Looks like the D1 shot up in price for some reason. A few months ago it was $120, now it's $170.
Another great USB DAC is the FiiO E10K. It's a bit cheaper, and is more oriented toward headphones, while the D1 is focused on bookshelf speakers.
Honestly, either option is great though.
I'm having computer issues. I'm hearing buzzing/humming and clicks and shit through my headset. I've been trying to fight it, but I'd learned that it's most likely only going to be solved by getting a DaC and amp. I'll also grab a headset at one point.
I'm not the biggest audiophile. I don't listen to music or play my games in high volume at all. I do however dislike this stuff I hear.
For a DaC, is this generally pretty good? https://www.amazon.ca/Fiio-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2 It seems good to me, and it's not expensive.
On top of that, I'll want a good headset too. I can wait for a while and use the one I have currently. https://www.amazon.ca/Sennheiser-HD-598-Over-Ear-Headphones/dp/B0126HISOO?ie=UTF8&amp;me=&amp;ref_=olp_product_details I hear great things about this one (plus I missed the prime day sale on them, so I got to wait longer I guess), but I think I'd rather closed. What's close to this that is closed?
If you have nice pair of analogue headphones, you should ideally get a nice DAC to go with them. Integrated motherboard audio is really not up to handling high end headphones as you've already noticed!
I personally use https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2 with a pair of Sennheiser HD595s and it sounds pretty great to my non-audiophile ears.
http://www.head-fi.org/products/category/amp-dacs has a list of plenty of others with reviews if you want to look around.
I found this from this article and is by far the DAC that suits my taste the best, both looks wise, as well as price-wise, but look at the article, and see if there's something that's more you. (Also you might need an OTG cable, please contact me when you decided on the DAC, and need help choosing an OTG cable)
Edit: There's also this somewhat expensive USB-C DAC, which if you can justify the cost, might be the better choice!
Reposting from yesterdays thread.
Which amp/dac would go best with my 80Ohm Beyerdynamic DT770s? I am hearing a faint crackling/buzzing in my left earcup when listening from my PC. I did some research, and this is caused by interference between parts inside a computer and that an external dac is a solution.
I found the FiiO-E10K, but I was wondering if there was anything at a cheaper price that would give good audio quality or something superior at a similar price point, without the crackling/buzzing I have been hearing.
Forgot to say that my motherboard has an audio chip integrated by Realtek® ALC887 according to their website.
The volume of my headphones isn't too low. They are loud enough, but like I said before, the crackling and buzzing isn't too prominent, but I notice it sometimes.