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Which connection to use with Sennheiser RS220 headphones and ASUS Xonar Essence STX sound card?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I recently got the Sennheiser RS220 to go with my ASUS Xonar Essence STX sound card. They each have several connecting options and I was wondering which I should use. I mainly use the headphones for blu-ray movies and Dishonline/Netflix programming.

 

The Sennheiser RS220 has the following inputs:

Analog RCA (L and R)

Digital optical

Digital coaxial

http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser/home_en.nsf/root/private_headphones_hifi_wireless-headphones_502029

 

The ASUS Xonar Essence STX has the following outputs:

Analog RCA (L and R)

Analog 6.3mm headphone port with 3.5mm adapter

Digital optical/coaxial combo port

http://www.asus.com/Multimedia/Audio_Cards/Xonar_Essence_STX/

 

 

Right now I'm using the Analog RCA (L and R) input on the Sennheiser with the Analog 6.3mm headphone output on the sound card since ASUS says the headphone port is amplified. It sounds pretty good but I was wondering if a digital connection might be better, especially with blu-ray movies.

 

The ASUS Audio Center software has a gazillion options so if anyone has experience with this combination any help would be appreciated.

 

-lwchen

post #2 of 12

You could use whichever combination you want and it probably won't make much of a difference.

 

I'm pretty sure the base station has to digitize its input before its it transmitted so using a digital connection will cut down on the number of conversions and could possibly give you better quality.  Since optical cables and connectors are often fussy and fragile I'd probably go with the coax.

post #3 of 12

I agree with the above, keeping the signal digital to the headphone base cuts back on (DAC & ADC) conversions.

But, I've been reading about this RS 220, it appears there is no surround sound processing by the RS220.

So any 5.1 (surround sound) signal (coaxial or optical) sent to the RS 220 base is just going to be downgraded to stereo 2.0 channel audio (still digital).

Then the digital signal is sent from the base to the wireless headphones, were DACs in the headphones converts the digital audio to analog audio for the headphones.

So the Blu-ray (5.1 HD audio) movies you would be watching will be in stereo 2.0 channel sound.

 

If you do use the digital connection from the Essence STX, it might be better (in Asus control panel) to set the audio channel out to 2 channel

and the S/PDIF output to PCM,

I'm hopeful it's better to let the Essence STX to the down-mixing the audio to two channel, before it gets to the RS220 base.

 

You could also try setting the Essence STX  audio channel to "6 channel" and the S/PDIF to "Dolby Digital Live".

It's also possible the RS 220 has some digital decoding that is automatic, it does cost $600.

 

If you leave the current setup, Essence STX headphone jack to the RCA input on the RS 220 and set the Essence STX to Dolby Virtual Headphone,

When the processed audio finally comes out for the headphones it might (I'm guessing) still give you Dolby Virtual Headphone (surround sound).

 

Everything I've said is more theory (guessing), then any experience I have using the RS220.

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwchen View Post
I recently got the Sennheiser RS220 to go with my ASUS Xonar Essence STX sound card. They each have several connecting options and I was wondering which I should use. I mainly use the headphones for blu-ray movies and Dishonline/Netflix programming.

The Sennheiser RS220 has the following inputs:

Analog RCA (L and R)

Digital optical

Digital coaxial

http://www.sennheiser.com/sennheiser/home_en.nsf/root/private_headphones_hifi_wireless-headphones_502029

The ASUS Xonar Essence STX has the following outputs:

Analog RCA (L and R)

Analog 6.3mm headphone port with 3.5mm adapter

Digital optical/coaxial combo port

http://www.asus.com/Multimedia/Audio_Cards/Xonar_Essence_STX/

Right now I'm using the Analog RCA (L and R) input on the Sennheiser with the Analog 6.3mm headphone output on the sound card since ASUS says the headphone port is amplified. It sounds pretty good but I was wondering if a digital connection might be better, especially with blu-ray movies.

The ASUS Audio Center software has a gazillion options so if anyone has experience with this combination any help would be appreciated.


Dumb question time, why are you using the Senn RS 220 wireless with your Essence STX sound card?

I'm sure you would get better quality sound using $200 Senn HD598 headphones hooked straight up to the Essence STX.

 

 

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the input guys. I'm using coaxial now and it sounds pretty good. Prolly just keep it that way.

 

I used the Logitech G930 and Razer Chimera 5.1 headphones last year and although they both sounded decent, the RS220 is noticeably better, and much more comfortable. Although wireless will never be as good as wired for sound quality, they've come a long way in the past few years. Sure is nice to be able to get a drink or use the bathroom without having to remove the headphones.

post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post


Dumb question time, why are you using the Senn RS 220 wireless with your Essence STX sound card?

I'm sure you would get better quality sound using $200 Senn HD598 headphones hooked straight up to the Essence STX.

 

 



Why do you think that?

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiacomoHoldini View Post
Why do you think that?

One reason is the Essence STX should provide a better signal to headphones.
 

 

 

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

One reason is the Essence STX should provide a better signal to headphones.
 

 

 



Given that the RS220 is constrained by a 16-bit/48kHZ modulation, I'm inclined to agree, as far as listening to hi-res formats go. 

post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by GiacomoHoldini View Post

Given that the RS220 is constrained by a 16-bit/48kHZ modulation, I'm inclined to agree, as far as listening to hi-res formats go. 


That's not anywhere close to being the weakest link in the chain though...

post #10 of 12

There are claims that the rs220 is in the same level as the hd600, so it should be above the level of the hd598. 

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by ballcall2 View Post
There are claims that the rs220 is in the same level as the hd600, so it should be above the level of the hd598. 


I'm going to guess there is something in the RS220 headphones that limits the power to keep the charge from draining too fast.

where as the Essence does not have that limit.

 

Now I can't wait for someone to open up the RS220 to find out for sure what is in side.

 

 

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by CDWMcInSpots View Post
 

"Sennheiser RS220 Availability?" seems to be the main Sennheiser RS 220 thread.

 
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