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Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (Update: 7/9/2014: Ultrasone HFI-15G Added) - Page 1154

post #17296 of 26368
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davisman View Post

This guide is truly wonderful. It first lead me to the sens hd598 and recently to the k702 annies. Both are fantastic. 

I have a question, is it possible to remove the hiss from mixamps? I used to be only a pc gamer, but since I started console gaming with some friends, I picked up a mixamp. But I have been pretty let down with its performance compared to my pc setup. 

What I was thinking, maybe using the mixamp as a preamp might remove the hiss? But before I spend the money I wanted to see if anybody has experience with that setup. 

No, adding another amp won't remove the hiss, because it's embedded into the signal, and it's not by volume. You can for example, set the Mixamp to 50%, then adjust to your desired volume level with the external amp, and you'll have the same hiss as if you had the Mixamp at 100%, and lowered the volume on the external amp. Tried this various times, with diferent amps, and different Mixamps. The hiss would still remain the same once I got to my desired volume level, regardless of which amp was doing the most work.

The only reason you may have to lower the Mixamp is if you get clipping at 100%. On my new Mixamp, I have to have it set at around 70%, because it sounds like a mess if I go higher. I didn't have that problem with my older wired Mixamps.

You could try and find a first gen Mixamp which had the least amount of hiss out of all the Mixamps, but not USB function (other than to power the device). That means no voice chat off the PS3. The second gen (Mixamp Pro aka 2011 model) has slightly more hiss, but is still pretty quiet. The 5.8 and 2013 Mixamps are the ones with the most hiss.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/14/13 at 12:58pm
post #17297 of 26368
Quote:
Originally Posted by mbyrnes View Post
 

Are you using an amp with the Annies? If not you are really missing out. I set my mixamp volume to 60%-70% and my Schiit Audio Magni I use for volume control. Putting the amp in the mix really changes the sound of the Annies. 

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. 


Edited by davisman - 10/14/13 at 1:39pm
post #17298 of 26368

I may have answered my own question, but I would still like to hear some input from others who use the mixamp as a preamp. 

 

I just plugged up my ibasso d12 and I was able to get the hiss down to an almost inaudible level. I think if I had a better amp, I could get the volume loud enough without turning the mixamp past 50% volume to eliminate the hiss.  

post #17299 of 26368
Thread Starter 
And I'm trying to tell you, once you go back to the loudness you normally play as, the hiss will be as you remembered.


I use my Mixamp as a pre-amp to many other amps throughout my entire time of using the Mixamp. Even now, I use it as a preamp to my E17. Before that, it was a pre-amp to my E12, Compass 2, SA-31, Fiio E9k, Magni... all still got to the same hiss level as the Mixamp alone once you set to the same exact decibel level.

I'm going off various testing, not expectations or anything. Unless you have a miracle Mixamp, even setting the Mixamp to 25%, and your external amp to a really high level, the hiss will remain the same...once you get to the same decibel as when the Mixamp reaches hissy levels on it's own. The hiss is not tied to the volume. It's embedded in the Mixamp signal.

This is my... 5th Mixamp. I have plenty of experience with it, and how the hiss works, even with another amp.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/14/13 at 1:46pm
post #17300 of 26368

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. 

post #17301 of 26368
Thread Starter 
The only way to reduce the hiss, is to have a headphone with high impedance or low sensitivity, that mitigates hiss. Like the AKGs, Beyerdynamics, and even low efficiency planars like the HE-4.


If it's that much of a problem (I honestly don't see why, when you're gonna be too busy paying attention to other sounds to focus on hiss), you could get yourself a Creative Recon USB. It uses THX Tru Studio instead of Dolby Headphone, but it works just like the Mixamp, and has basically no audible hiss.
post #17302 of 26368

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.  

post #17303 of 26368
Thread Starter 
I don't think so, as I've used many cables and all had plenty of hiss. I'm pretty certain it's tied to the less than stellar amp section.

I can guarantee you, you aren't gonna effectively reduce the hiss enough for it to be a non-issue if it's bothering you now. There is no magical fix to it. It's there, and it's in every Mixamp.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/14/13 at 1:56pm
post #17304 of 26368

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.  

post #17305 of 26368
Thread Starter 
The STX is one hell of a soundcard that is many times better than the Mixamp. Not comparable at all, lol. Hell, the STX has an amp section basically identical to the Fiio E9, which is exponentially more powerful than the crappy amp in the Mixamp. It also has an audiophile grade internal DAC.

Yeah, I think if you want that level of performance from an external device, you'll have to hunt for older Harmin Kardon or Marantz receivers that have Dolby Headphone. I had a Marantz SR5002 myself, until it died on me. It was a beast.
Edited by Mad Lust Envy - 10/14/13 at 2:15pm
post #17306 of 26368
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fegefeuer View Post
 

So Chicolom,

 

after you cleansed your inventory (which you already plan to start of course :evil: ): K812 or HD 800? 

 

Good question.  :rolleyes:

 

 

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.


Edited by chicolom - 10/14/13 at 2:26pm
post #17307 of 26368
Quote:
Originally Posted by davisman View Post

This guide is truly wonderful. It first lead me to the sens hd598 and recently to the k702 annies. Both are fantastic. 

I have a question, is it possible to remove the hiss from mixamps? I used to be only a pc gamer, but since I started console gaming with some friends, I picked up a mixamp. But I have been pretty let down with its performance compared to my pc setup. 

What I was thinking, maybe using the mixamp as a preamp might remove the hiss? But before I spend the money I wanted to see if anybody has experience with that setup. 
Pre-amping is all I do, I don't have audible hiss with either of my AKGs and either my tube amp or E12. It doesn't add extra hiss, unless the amp is itself hissy. I think you'll hear an improvement to the sensation of surround too, once you power amp your headphone smily_headphones1.gif

Feel confident smily_headphones1.gif

Edit: then again, I use a Recon3D USB and/or a DSS. I haven't tried a mixamp. In general, using an external amp has been ideal for me.

Mad,
Woah. You know why wink.gif but while I have your attention, how's the Mixamp vs DSS hiss? Also, I started typing this post before the second page started loading, so I missed your responses till now.
Edited by Evshrug - 10/14/13 at 2:56pm
post #17308 of 26368
Thread Starter 
Hence why I said...
Quote:
The only way to reduce the hiss, is to have a headphone with high impedance or low sensitivity, that mitigates hiss. Like the AKGs, Beyerdynamics, and even low efficiency planars like the HE-4.

Just saying. wink.gif

The AKGs in question being mainly the standard K702, K701, Q701, and the Beyers being the 250/600ohm Beyers.

Anything remotely sensitive is more than likely not going to mitigate the Mixamp's hiss.
post #17309 of 26368
Quote:
Originally Posted by davisman View Post
 

 

I have a question, is it possible to remove the hiss from mixamps? 

 

What I was thinking, maybe using the mixamp as a preamp might remove the hiss? But before I spend the money I wanted to see if anybody has experience with that setup. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by davisman View Post
 

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). 


Edited by chicolom - 10/14/13 at 3:03pm
post #17310 of 26368
Looks like it would be a good idea to invest in a sound card for PC gaming then huh?
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