Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › HT Omega "Claro Halo" Headphone Only soundcard
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

HT Omega "Claro Halo" Headphone Only soundcard - Page 2

post #16 of 368
Congrats, let us know how it sound when it get there. BTW, since you didn't specify in your profile, what are your other audio components?

Gear mentioned in this thread:

post #17 of 368
nice, this is exactly the direction i want sound cards to head. it'd be interesting to see a comparison between the halo and the claro plus (imo currently the best music/movie soundcard on the market). i'd also like to see some opamp rolling on the halo.
post #18 of 368
My headphones are Bang & Olufsen A8.
post #19 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenneth View Post
I don't think anyone has this card yet (but that could change soon). As for its sound quality, well, it certainly has very good specs and upgradibility. However, if there's one thing I don't like about Halo is that if you want to upgrade the opamps, you'll need to change all four (at least this is the impression I get). The RCA output is a nice touch though.

I just ordered the card today from NewEgg. I should receive it Tuesday (fingers crossed). I'll try and post my opinions on here after I get a chance to try it out. Just as FYI I will be listening with Sennheiser HD595s (50 ohm version) so I won't be able to tell how the card fares with high impedance headphones. My current Soundcard is a SB-Xfi. I really hope the Halo is noticeably better with the 595s. Imo the SB-Xfi sounds really nice with the 595s(certainly better than my Ipod). So we will see(or hear)
post #20 of 368
Looks like the Halo is sold out at Newegg. Did they only have 2? The XT is still available if you want to spend $50 more.


Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post
yeah, i basically surmised as much, based on the image of the board, and lack of them espousing their "unique design" (kind of like ultrasone writing paragraphs on s-logic), but yeah, a lot of people crying over integrated circuits and solid state, just because its "new" (i.e: not something from the time of christ), honestly I'd love to hear the CIA vs the HT Omega, just to see how much different the sound may really be, and if the Halo can push enough juice to really match the CIA...
Their are two theoretical technical issues I can see with the Halo vs the VHP 2.

1. PCI is 5 volts. The VHP 2 is powered by 14 volts. That is a lot more headroom for high impedance headphones, especially during very dynamic music.

2. It's likely the Halo uses a tweaked version of the reference design for the headphone amp section, as is the trend in the PC industry. I believe the VHP 2 uses an original design.

As for the practical implications versus technical ones, we will have to see.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shahrose View Post
nice, this is exactly the direction i want sound cards to head. it'd be interesting to see a comparison between the halo and the claro plus (imo currently the best music/movie soundcard on the market). i'd also like to see some opamp rolling on the halo.
This product is very interesting. The TI chip has been around for a while. As far as I know, this is the first mainstream (well, mostly mainstream) product that uses the chip.

The implications of such a chip are that it can be very inexpensive and easy to create a headphone amp. Combined with what seems to be a greater interest in headphone amps, I wonder if some more manufacturers are going to create products for this market. Obviously TI had enough faith in the market to create such a specialized chip in the first place.

Considering that Denon, Sony, etc could sell an amp similar to the VHP 2 at a much lower cost, the Halo might be the first glimpse into much cheaper headphone DACs/Amps in the future. This will really eat into the lower line products of headphone, CI Audio, RSA, and the other small companies out there.

But this is just a general observation. Who knows if it will come true. My guess it that headphone amps are enough of a niche market that the big boys may ignore it for now.
post #21 of 368
I just received my Claro Halo today and based on a couple hours listening I am extremely impressed. My previous card was a SB-Xfi and this card clearly sounds better. I am listening with HD595's which play LOUD with this card. This claro has more power than the X-fi and far more than the HD595s really need. Judging from the volume the Hd595s play at I assume it should have no trouble with much less sensitive and higher impedance headphones.

I will post more finding once I have more time to listen.
post #22 of 368
I got it in the mail this afternoon and listened several hours. I haven't tried comparing sound tests against the ht omega claro + just yet because I'm having trouble due to my cheap PSU.

If you guys don't mind premature and amateur impressions: with halo compared to the claro+, sounds are more distinct and less flowery (in a good way). There's greater detail, even at low volume, whereas high volume on claro+ became a bad habit of mine because it would help the mushed sound. It has more reverberation which is nice. What strikes me most is how music in general sounds less forced now, which I suspect is attributable to the fact that sounds are more distinct.

Tomorrow I'm going to take out some stuff and try to have both cards in to try some benchmark tests. Can you guys recommend some tests to do other than rightmark? *crosses fingers, hopes sound card not really fitting in pci bracket isn't an indicator of hardware quality*
post #23 of 368
haloxt, what headphones are you using? Also I was wondering if you have a seperate headphone amp to compare with the Halo. thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by haloxt View Post
I got it in the mail this afternoon and listened several hours. I haven't tried comparing sound tests against the ht omega claro + just yet because I'm having trouble due to my cheap PSU.

If you guys don't mind premature and amateur impressions: with halo compared to the claro+, sounds are more distinct and less flowery (in a good way). There's greater detail, even at low volume, whereas high volume on claro+ became a bad habit of mine because it would help the mushed sound. It has more reverberation which is nice. What strikes me most is how music in general sounds less forced now, which I suspect is attributable to the fact that sounds are more distinct.

Tomorrow I'm going to take out some stuff and try to have both cards in to try some benchmark tests. Can you guys recommend some tests to do other than rightmark? *crosses fingers, hopes sound card not really fitting in pci bracket isn't an indicator of hardware quality*
post #24 of 368
I'm using Bang and Olufsen A8 and sorry I have no headphone amp. I'm not a head-fier, I just wanted to talk about sound cards .
post #25 of 368
if the card isn't fitting the bracket, i.e: on the metal part of the case, thats an issue with the case's quality, not the comptuer system itself
post #26 of 368
Someone should really do an extensive review on this, especially compared to the prelude or even the new Auzentech quartet.
post #27 of 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinnieD View Post
I just received my Claro Halo today and based on a couple hours listening I am extremely impressed. My previous card was a SB-Xfi and this card clearly sounds better. I am listening with HD595's which play LOUD with this card. This claro has more power than the X-fi and far more than the HD595s really need. Judging from the volume the Hd595s play at I assume it should have no trouble with much less sensitive and higher impedance headphones.

I will post more finding once I have more time to listen.

OK I have had a chance to spend many hours with the Halo and just want to follow up with my findings.

I only have Sennheiser HD595's so all my listening has been done on those. Also I do not own any external Headphone Amps to compare; my reference point is my SB X-FI.

Simply put I have never heard sound this good from a PC. My HD595s hardly sound like the same headphones vs the X-FI. I always thought the 595s were a little thin in the bass department before I heard them on a true headphone amp. The 595s sound very full now in the lower end compared to before. The midrange is also much clearer. I hear things in recordings I didn't even know were there. The treble has also improved and I notice cymbals sound so natural you feel like you're in the room with them. Everthing about the sound is natural. Overal imo the 595s sound very balanced and neutral with the Halo.

I hope this info has provided useful to anyone interested in the HALO. If anyone has questions about the card, I will try my best to answer what I know.
post #28 of 368
aren't headphone amps fun!

lol

hopefully the word of this card gets 'round as more than a FOTM, it'd be a good alternative for those new to high end headphones
post #29 of 368
I wonder how this card compare to some headphones amp, we guys use here.
post #30 of 368
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio

Gear mentioned in this thread:

Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › HT Omega "Claro Halo" Headphone Only soundcard