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Getting the most of out of my Headphones?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hey Guy's,

 

This is my first post here and my first jump into better quality sound.  I've recently bought a pair of Audio-technica ATH-M50's after reading all the reviews and the affordable price point.  Upgrading from just a pair of Skullcandy ear buds the sound has already improved.

 

However, I'm fairly certain I'm not getting the full extent of these headphones with my current setup.

 

I'm just using my computer with an Intel board that only has on-board audio - Realtek HD something or another with no other devices and just the standard headphone jack.

 

From what I've read the on-board audio setups are awful for sound quality. 

 

So I'm wondering what my best option would be to get better results from these headphones would be. 

 

Would my money best be spent buying a high end PC sound card like these, 

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829271005

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132014

 

or would I be better to get something like this,

 

Maverick Audio D1 - http://www.mav-audio.com/base/product/tube_magic_d1

 

Both options are around $200 or would I need both a good sound card and the DAC?

 

I'm not sure if I would need an external amp in addition to these options are not for these phones. 

 

I've got a pair of Polk Audio Monitor 40's bookshelf speakers I'm thinking about using on my PC also. 

 

 

Any idea's on what my next stop would be?

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 6

Welcome to Head-Fi. 

 

What's your budget for buying equipment - excluding the headphones you just bought? 

post #3 of 6

You don't need a better sound card if you are going to use an external DAC.  You just need a way to get the digital signal from the computer to the DAC.  The Maverick Audio D1 has a USB input which means it should work with just about any computer, without requiring the use of the sound card at all.

 

And you would NOT need an amp to drive headphones.  The D1 has a built in headphone amp.

 

You would need a separate amp to drive the Polk Audio speakers, though.


Edited by kh6idf - 9/4/10 at 10:41pm
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kh6idf View Post

You don't need a better sound card if you are going to use an external DAC.  You just need a way to get the digital signal from the computer to the DAC.  The Maverick Audio D1 has a USB input which means it should work with just about any computer, without requiring the use of the sound card at all.

 

And you would NOT need an amp to drive headphones.  The D1 has a built in headphone amp.


I've heard that sound over USB is crap and even the Maverick website kind of implies that using the other connection methods is the better choice.

 

Not really sure what my budget is, but I'd like to get quality products that's for sure. 

 

 

I've got an vintage receiver that I could use to power the speakers.  It's pretty old, but should have more than enough power for the speakers.  Would that Maverick work to filter my sound from my PC to my Receiver?

 

http://reviews.cnet.com/av-receivers/technics-sa-gx470-av/1707-6466_7-33901132.html


Edited by JakeCourtney - 9/4/10 at 11:00pm
post #5 of 6

Oh, and sorry about your wallet.


Quote:

Originally Posted by JakeCourtney View Post

Not really sure what my budget is, but I'd like to get quality products that's for sure. 

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Time View Post

Oh, and sorry about your wallet.


Quote:

Originally Posted by JakeCourtney View Post

Not really sure what my budget is, but I'd like to get quality products that's for sure. 

 

High quality sound is expensive that is for sure. 

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