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post #15616 of 25706
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post


If you're using it as a dac/amp, then yes, there is much better. However, the way I'm using it, I have it so it sends Dolby Headphone digitally to a real dac and a real amp. This will make the U3 as good as you want it to be, because you're not using anything except the Dolby headphone encoder. You can't make 0's and 1's sound better or worse. As long as the signal is good, the DAC and AMP will be the ones doing the work, not the U3. So the U3 is priceless, because it's cheap as hell, and allows you to use your own good stuff. Getting a better dolby headphone device is moot, unless you plan on using the internal dac/amp.

 

 

I just bought the AKG 701, so might need to look into amping these in the future. For now the question is do I keep the u3 and use it as a headphone out for the 701 (with dolby headphone), and get an amp down the line and use with optical DAC (but won't work on mac as can't use u3's optical out, only analogue output or macbook pro's built in optical/analogue out), or upgrade to the u7 now and that might have a better inbuilt amp/dac? Doesn't have DH though, it has something else- dolby home theatre, apparantly it's not as good

post #15617 of 25706
Quote:
Originally Posted by firefly89 View Post

 

 

in your honest opinion- is the u3 a piece of ****? should I return it while i'm still within my 30 days, or keep it? I guess it is useful, and in my testing it was better than onboard sound (but not by much)

 

 

 

thanks for the reply

to be honest i've been spending a lot of time within windows recently and stereo sources sound awful with dolby headphone- so no netflix, no stereo movies or music, so i'm pretty happy to just stick with dolby headphone on games, and forget DH on mac- but good point about yamaha silent cinema, their receivers are good and pretty reasonable cost too- might be an option for the future- i'm already going HDMI into an onkyo receiver (home cinema in a box type thing but it sounds great)

 

thanks for the tip about the recon, i'll check it out. So it works like the DSS? Converting surround sound into virtual surround sound, and it does that over usb? if so, cool!

 

still undecided about headphones too

people keep talking about the AKG 701, but what about the 601? It's not that much cheaper but it's a fair saving- I've heard it's warmer and less analytical than the 701, so maybe it's not good for gaming, the 701's get a lot of praise- i'm tempted to save the extra. I'm thinking the 558 or 598 is the best balance between gaming performance and music/movies ability- but I do like the look of the AKG's and the x1- and yes looks are important... so what to do, hard to find somewhere to try them out. 

Firefly,

Well, I haven't heard the k601 myself, but I've read people that prefer it, but generally people agree that it's not as refined as the current flagships. I would look at the AKG Q701, same "capsule" as a regular K701, little lime accents (unless you get the lime model, I have the white and I think it looks great, though a little big to wear on the bus of course), they usually sell for a bit cheaper if you look around. If you buy used, you can often find them around $200. The HD558 is no slouch, but IMO I think the 598 is close in cost enough to a Q701 that I'd just get the latter... unless you don't think you'll ever get an amp. The Q701 sounds good without an extra amp, but surround positioning, clarity, etc really come to life once you have a decent amp hooked up. Like Mad was saying about the Stax, you don't necessarily pick one amp over another because of the sound flavor, you pick any amp powerful enough for your headphone.

 

Dolby Headphone is one option of several virtual surround processing options. Mad's favorite. Mine is the "THX TruStudio Pro" that the Recon3D USB works with. It does work through USB, and Creative did make driver software for the Mac so games AND movies gain surround, which is great! I have a review and some usage tips linked in my signature.

post #15618 of 25706
The one that makes a good solution for both console, mac and pc will earn some pretty good cash.. Can it really be that hard?
post #15619 of 25706
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Firefly,

Well, I haven't heard the k601 myself, but I've read people that prefer it, but generally people agree that it's not as refined as the current flagships. I would look at the AKG Q701, same "capsule" as a regular K701, little lime accents (unless you get the lime model, I have the white and I think it looks great, though a little big to wear on the bus of course), they usually sell for a bit cheaper if you look around. If you buy used, you can often find them around $200. The HD558 is no slouch, but IMO I think the 598 is close in cost enough to a Q701 that I'd just get the latter... unless you don't think you'll ever get an amp. The Q701 sounds good without an extra amp, but surround positioning, clarity, etc really come to life once you have a decent amp hooked up. Like Mad was saying about the Stax, you don't necessarily pick one amp over another because of the sound flavor, you pick any amp powerful enough for your headphone.

 

Dolby Headphone is one option of several virtual surround processing options. Mad's favorite. Mine is the "THX TruStudio Pro" that the Recon3D USB works with. It does work through USB, and Creative did make driver software for the Mac so games AND movies gain surround, which is great! I have a review and some usage tips linked in my signature.

I just got the k701- at a too good to refuse price

 

been looking at the recon, looks like a good unit- twice the price of the u3 though, and from the sounds of it not as powerful amp as the u3- might keep the u3 for now, forget about dolby headphone on mac- but now I know the recon works on mac- perfect

 

need to spend more time to test out music and movies with dolby headphone to see if it's worth getting on mac, currently only use headphones for gaming, and occasionally music

post #15620 of 25706
Firefly,
I wouldn't be surprised if the amp section of the U3 is close to the power output of the Recon3D USB... basically, both would drive the Q701 loud enough, but from experience I'd say a headphone amp will make a big difference in the realism of the surround effect for either USB processor. I also found the distortion from the Recon3D USB to be very low, just testing by ear, and it responded well to double-amping (no problems).
post #15621 of 25706

What closed circumaural cans are good for gaming / music? I found the DT770 Pro 80s felt a little uncomfortable on my jaw after a small while, but I loved the velour pads. Returned them because of aforementioned comfort / clamp issues and the fact that the mids sounded recessed.

post #15622 of 25706
Thread Starter 
SouDesu, YES, that is correct. The E6... that's pretty weak for an amp, bu it's better than running anything out of the U3's amp.

The U3 has a thin, cold, weak sounding headphone amp. Get a dac/amp to attach to the U3 ASAP.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 8/5/13 at 6:43pm
post #15623 of 25706
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evshrug View Post

Firefly,
I wouldn't be surprised if the amp section of the U3 is close to the power output of the Recon3D USB... basically, both would drive the Q701 loud enough, but from experience I'd say a headphone amp will make a big difference in the realism of the surround effect for either USB processor. I also found the distortion from the Recon3D USB to be very low, just testing by ear, and it responded well to double-amping (no problems).

 

i'm probably going to be blown away by the 701 without an amp, i'm using k81's at the moment!

or do you think I should get an amp right away

 

so if I keep the u3, and use it like MLE does- as a Digital transport to pipe DDL signal to a DAC/amp, or use analogue output to go to a headphone amp (is that what you do? if so what amp are you running?)

 

the only advantage of the recon then would be mac support, and console support (both good advantages), and would probably be a better solution than getting the DSS to use with consoles and mac (figured out that it probably won't work on mac without a dolby digital live output, which AFAIK isn't possible on mac), so the recon is the perfect solution then it seems!

disadvantage is that it's twice the price, and therefore eats into my amp buying money

 

if there was software that coded DH to use with my built in SPDIF that would mean I could just go from built in SPDIF to a DAC/amp 

 

 

if I could get something to output 


Edited by firefly89 - 8/6/13 at 5:06am
post #15624 of 25706
Quote:
Originally Posted by firefly89 View Post

i'm probably going to be blown away by the 701 without an amp, i'm using k81's at the moment!
or do you think I should get an amp right away

so if I keep the u3, and use it like MLE does- as a Digital transport to pipe DDL signal to a DAC/amp, or use analogue output to go to a headphone amp (is that what you do? if so what amp are you running?)

the only advantage of the recon then would be mac support, and console support (both good advantages), and would probably be a better solution than getting the DSS to use with consoles and mac (figured out that it probably won't work on mac without a dolby digital live output, which AFAIK isn't possible on mac), so the recon is the perfect solution then it seems!
disadvantage is that it's twice the price 
I haven't used the U3 myself. Right now I'm using a DSS, analogue out to my tube amp, and I'm not particularly interested in seeking another DH product. I sold my Recon3D USB in a bundle with my AD700 headphones, a "complete gamer kit," but I miss the Recon, and I had it plugged into my computer via USB (dual-boots Mac and Windows, and it continues to provide power through USB even if turned off) and optical to my Xbox at the same time, then a headphone-to-RCA cable into my tube amp, then Q701. I don't currently own a proper external DAC, unless you count the DSS (works in stereo with the PC, but I don't use it that way), but that'll be the last thing I'll upgrade.

I'll actually make a weird recommendation. First, just plug your K701s into your device. It ought to still impress you with better refinement and detail, and be a clear upgrade. Then, save up for a good amp later, one you won't need to replace. It'll be like two surprises in just how great things can get, and you'll end up with a better amp.

I use a custom-made tube amp (a super simple 6DJ8 amp), a FiiO E12, and in my old apartment I used to use my Yamaha receiver for simplicity's sake (DAC, amp, surround processor, input switcher, and speaker amp all in one, with a remote control for bonus). Oh, I also used a FiiO E5 at first, that was ok and it did take a bit of the edge off of the treble, but better amps were better. Other good recommendations for amps are around, but I feel that tonally they're all pretty close if they're solid-state amps (which is partly why I'm playing with tubes), so pick one with a good match in high power and low output impedance.

I personally think THX TruStudio Pro was also an advantage of the Recon3D USB, but that's a taste thing.
Edited by Evshrug - 8/5/13 at 8:48pm
post #15625 of 25706
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

If you're gaming, the Mixamp is a wiser choice. I would prefer playing and watching movies in Dolby Headphone off a horrible device than playing off the best stereo dac/amp in the world.

Also just in case you're ever considering it, don't get the E9 for the X1. The X1 has way too low of an impedance for the E9, and it may end up sounding worse, due to the E9's high output impedance. The E9 is more for headphones over 80ohms, though some exceptions (like the K70x aren't really affected by the high output).

Hmm, why did Fiio insist on putting the E12's analog input and headphone jack on the same side? Not to mention the USB on the side. All that stuff makes the front plate/side so cluttered with cables. I hate it when amps do this. Ah well.

 

I am most likely using the setup for 2 purposes: 1) Gaming and Movie on my desktop PC (i am driving sound through my Creative Soundblaster ZX and do not know if it can drive the X1 well enough) and 2) on my media box in my bedroom using optical out for DD as well 

 

So I am just wondering if i even need any more amp other that Astro Mixamp 5.8. And which portable amp will match X1 best. I have been reading conflicting review on each of Fiio Amps. I mean i am trying to stay away from desktop amps as i do not like clutter and unless it going to be decorative (ie nicely finished starving student tube amp ) 

post #15626 of 25706
ZX drives the X1 with no issues at all. I recommend listening out of the ZX first and then compare it to the mixamp to see what you think. The X1 is a low impedance high efficiency set, it can be driven well by iPods etc.
post #15627 of 25706
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Lust Envy View Post

SouDesu, YES, that is correct. The E6... that's pretty weak for an amp, bu it's better than running anything out of the U3's amp.

The U3 has a thin, cold, weak sounding headphone amp. Get a dac/amp to attach to the U3 ASAP.

 

Didn't you say that the difference in sound between different amps is minimal? The X1 seems to require very little amping, so surely the Xonar DG / U3 would be fine? If not, could you recommend any amp in particular under $100? Keep in mind I'm a PC gamer.

post #15628 of 25706
Thread Starter 
No, because the U3 has a really high output impedance. That will affect sound negatively. When I say amp differences aren't that huge, it's when comparing some legitimate amps.

Anyways...

Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 8/5/13 at 10:55pm
post #15629 of 25706
Quote:
Originally Posted by firefly89 View Post

 

 

I just bought the AKG 701, so might need to look into amping these in the future. For now the question is do I keep the u3 and use it as a headphone out for the 701 (with dolby headphone), and get an amp down the line and use with optical DAC (but won't work on mac as can't use u3's optical out, only analogue output or macbook pro's built in optical/analogue out), or upgrade to the u7 now and that might have a better inbuilt amp/dac? Doesn't have DH though, it has something else- dolby home theatre, apparantly it's not as good

I have both the Xonar U1 and the Xonar U7. The U1 has the same interface and the same options as the U3. But it has a better headphone amp section. It is good enough for Games and Movies. And you have the optical out that can feed the Dolby Headphone signal to your high quality DAC/AMP. The U7 on the other hand has a new Dolby implementation. It contains all Dolby Headphone algorithms and sounds for sure not worse than the U1/U3. But they gave up the manually selection of how many channels you want to run. Dolby says it is selected by the source automatically to grant you the best multichannel performance. And the user cannot select 2 channel when he has a 7.1 source. The U7 has a coax S/PDIF out and when using it you can still use the DH function of the Dolby software. But as I have no external DAC I cannot proof how good it sounds. The analog headphone out of the U7 outclasses the U1/U3. You can also enjoy your music with the K701 for sure, not only games and movies.

post #15630 of 25706
Sure the u7 supports DH? It only says Dolby home cinema in the specs.
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