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Posts by Roller

Hehe, no one said being an audiophile was a cheap hobby   Given that you wanted an integrated unit with both DAC and amp for gaming, the ZxR is the better alternative. However, there are issues with having combo units, as the system gets less modular and limits upgrading. Also, Battlefield 3 is a good example of a game with a software audio renderer that still sounds better on the Titanium HD than on any other card because of the positional cue improvement...
  Don't wait too long. An amp will improve the HE-400 quite a bit.   It's not good to run an onboard audio chip rather than a soundcard or a DAC, but for your headphones pick, it's definitely recommended to get an amp. For your specified budget, the Fiio E9/09K will drive the HE-400 reasonably well.
  If $140 is as far as your budget can stretch, then the Essence STX will be your best option. The Fiio E17 has a lower quality DAC when compared to the Essence STX and the Titanium HD.   EDIT: I might've looked on the wrong places, but it seems the Essence STX has increased in price quite a bit, being well above your budget.
  You could get an Asus Xonar Essence STX, which is a high quality soundcard with an integrated amp for headphones up to 600 Ohm. However, you might find that adding a more robust headphone amp would improve the overall sound of the setup.   Alternatively you could get a Creative X-Fi Titanium HD, a soundcard with high quality DAC and components and on the same level as the Essence STX, with the addition of having full gaming audio support, which improves both immersive...
  Well, first you have to keep in mind DH (Dolby Headphone) and CMSS-3D and surround virtualization techs, created for the same purpose of providing surround to an audio stream. They work in slightly different ways, with DH emphasizing bass while CMSS-3D emphasizes treble. For competitive gaming, it's more logical to use CMSS-3D than DH, however different people have different ear sizes and shapes which then changes how one perceives the virtual surround effect.   Keep in...
  Question is, do Stax headphones make people thirsty enough that they just have to get a nice cold beer or is it just those chips...?
Considering you do competitive gaming, you should get a X-Fi powered soundcard, especially the flagship Creative X-Fi Titanium HD. X-Fi powered cards have full gaming audio support, including hardware EAX up to version 5, hardware OpenAL and positional cue improvement algorithms that aren't available on soundcards from other manufacturers.   One of the very best headphones for competitive gaming is the Audio Technica ATH-AD700, it simply excels at that. However, it...
  Ah, fair enough :)   Well, it depends on your listening habits, whether it is music, gaming (casual, immersive and/or competitive?) or movies.
  Please tell me you're planning on adding a soundcard/DAC to that setup soon. You're doing yourself a disservice by running an onboard audio chip.
  Do head over NamelessPFG's PC gaming thread, that's the right place to ask further questions about what you're looking for.   Amps can help deliver enough power to demanding headphones (yours isn't particularly demanding), which then makes headphones sound better (sound proper, would be a better description), as well as allowing for louder volume.
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