Sorry, for some reason your original post did not show for me. Thats disheartening, but I guess I will have to live with it.
Thanks for your responses.
Well its not a huge deal, but its there ;P.
Do you think that the hiss is generated by the power cable? Because I think I was able to get better results with different power sources.
I guess my problem is that I was expecting the same level of performance I get from the xonar essence stx sound card. While its meant more for music, it still does a superb job of virtual surround.
I was watching The Lone Ranger digital copy last night with the annies and it was pretty amazing.
It's hard to gauge what the K812 will sound like as I've only seen about 2.5 impressions on it so far.
I'm speculating that the HD800 will be a bit more detailed and will have a better soundstage, where the K812 will be a bit more "musical" in signature and still have an excellent soundstage (but not quite as good as the HD800). It may be worth giving up the HD800's soundstage advantage if the K812 still has an excellent soundstage but comes with a more pleasing signature, but it's hard to say this early. I'll have to wait on more HD800 vs K812 impressions to surface.
Comfort looks to be fine on both. I've already worn HD800 and it has the deepest cups I've ever seen. I don't think I will mind the leather pads too much since the K812 cups are so deep and open.
Maybe the K812 won't require me to mess with my DAC and AMP like the HD800 would and will sound better "out of the box", which could be a good thing.
No, I am using the annies for my pc setup(xonar essence stx). I am testing some denon d600s right now with the mixamp, I also still have the senn hd598s for it.
But with that setup you have, do you have hiss? I have traced the source of the hiss down to the power cable for the mixamp. I have tried multiple cables, and multiple power sources and some are better than others but the hiss is definitely still there.
Which mixamp are you using?
I believe the latest mixamp is somewhat hissy, not sure if it's more or less than the mixamp 5.8. The 2011 mixamp is pretty quiet and has the best SnR of the bunch. The Ear Force DSS actually has less hiss than than the mixamp 5.8 when you use it as a preamp. I don't know why, but the mixamp 5.8 has more hiss when you turn them both up to the same loud level (even though at low volumes the DSS has more hiss). So the DSS makes a cleaner preamp than the mixamp 5.8 (not sure about the 2013 mixamp). I tested this several times and have owned multiple DSSes. It seems that the amount of hiss at equivalent high volumes is different between them.
If you can, I would preamp the Anniversaries regardless. With a decent desktop amp you will get a more expansive soundstage over running straight from the mixamp. Both my iCan and M-stage expand the soundstage out farther. The M-stage in particular does an especially good job at this, and the effect is definitely noticeable and appreciated. Even my X1s benefit from it and get a soundstage boost from preamping to the M-stage.
You shouldn't be getting much hiss with the Anniversaries anyways, as they're insensitive enough to do a pretty good job of burying it. Are you saying when you switch out the USB cable the hiss changes? If so, that' probably electrical hum or buzz, not hiss. Try putting batteries in it and testing it that way (which will eliminate all possible buzz or hum from a noisy USB power source).
Ok so I just tested what you mention earlier about higher impedance cans, and you are absolutely correct. I tested 3 different headphones akg 702 annies, senn hd 598s, and the denon d600s. In that order, they had the least amount of hiss.
Since Im foolish, I probably will try to track down an audio reciever with a dolby headphone jack.