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The Nameless Guide To PC Gaming Audio (with binaural headphone surround sound) - Page 159

post #2371 of 2860

Ok thanks a lot. I think I will stick with the ZxR for now because that already is a huge jump from my current setup and I have heard mostly good things. I can upgrade down the road to an external DAC/amp combo for music listening but I'm sure the ZxR will make me plenty happy!

 

Any good cans that anyone would recommend to pair with the ZxR to get the best sound? 

So far my top two choices have been Senn HD598s and AKG K612s with the HD598s leading just because I've found some good used ones at good prices. I've also heard that the ZxR wouldn't be best matched with K612s, or is that false?

post #2372 of 2860

The k612 pro would be better with the ZXR since there would be less impedance mismatch at 120 ohms vs the 598's 50 ohms.

 

It still wont be the perfect match as you need a 320 ohm set of headphones to completely get rid of impedance mismatch with the zxr.  Ya kind of high huh?  Exactly why I sold my ZXR.

 

However some guys care less about the impedance mismatch than others so I guess if the sound doesn't bother you then you have nothing to worry about.  However my mentality is that if you are spending a premium on hardware why the hell should you have to settle for some companies lousy design choice in the amp section.

 

I would therefore only recommend spending that chunk of cash on the ZXR if you can return it in case you arent happy with it.

post #2373 of 2860

What about a match up with Ti-HD in terms of the K612's?

post #2374 of 2860
Well from what I understand the k612s are hard to drive so you'd have to add an external amp to the tiHD. I don't think its headphone stage is powerful enough.

But if you add an amp, you'd negate any mismatch issues since the impedence of the external amp would be the one that matters.

The headphone out directly has a high impedence as well.
post #2375 of 2860

So what does impedance mismatching cause? I know with car audio you won't get the recommended power from the amp to woofer/speakers if you do not match the Ohms.

 

I'd need to spend a lot of $$ to get 320 ohm cans won't I?

 

What's lousy about their design? Isn't able to do work with varied impedances?

 

What amp would you recommend to pair with SB Z then if I had $250-300 to spend on the amp?

I really want the SBX surround cause I hear great things and the demos I've watched on YouTube impressed me. But I don't want my music to take a huge hit!

 

Lastly, would the k612s sound ****ty or just not optimal?

post #2376 of 2860
Fegefeuer explained why high impedence output is an issue.

Basically the 1/8th rule. Keep your output impedence at least 1/8th that of your headphone impedence. Any more and it affects certain frequencies.

Creative didn't have to have a 40 ohm headphone out but somehow they acrewed that up. I theorize they cheaped out on the voltage regulation and in turn had to add more resistance to help with people using lower ohm headphones so it wouldn't cause issues. Its a cheap way of regulating power out.

The stx has the same exact amp and achieves it with only 10 ohms. TI recommends a 10 ohm resistor for its amp IC, there was no need for more with appropriate voltage regulation.

If you get the z, you can add an NFB 15.32 from audio gd for $235 USD. Tons of power and dual Wolfson DAC's. Just an amazing deal. It has optical Input so you can keep the z sbx surround.

Thats what I will be doing.

Go over to the NFB 15.32 thread and read some of our impressions.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/648386/audio-gd-nfb-15-32-delivery-impression-thread
post #2377 of 2860

Ok I will do some research on that, little bit more costly but if it is worth it than might as well do the setup right from the get go. Having troubles finding places that sell it, can't find it on Amazon to ship to Canada atm.

 

What cans would you get to match a ZxR and get the best performance possible? Or are there no audiophile cans that are good for it? I definitely want a Z series with something.

 

How much will it hurt the SQ having mismatched cans to the amp? Response won't be as flat through all the frequencies? 

 

This has been quite the ordeal trying to find the right setup, and some stuff I can't even find to ship here so that makes it a wee bit more annoying.

 

It also looks like the NFB 15.32 takes a little more knowledge to set up or get right to match the cans so not sure if that will make it harder for me or not.

post #2378 of 2860
Quote:
Originally Posted by motorwayne View Post
 

What about a match up with Ti-HD in terms of the K612's?

The 120-Ohm AKG K612 Pro headphones should work just fine plugged directly into the Ti-HD's headphone output jack.

Others have used 250-Ohm Beyer plugged directly into the Ti-HD, so I can't see 120-Ohm headphones having a problem.

post #2379 of 2860
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woesty420 View Post
 

Ok I will do some research on that, little bit more costly but if it is worth it than might as well do the setup right from the get go. Having troubles finding places that sell it, can't find it on Amazon to ship to Canada atm.

 

What cans would you get to match a ZxR and get the best performance possible? Or are there no audiophile cans that are good for it? I definitely want a Z series with something.

 

How much will it hurt the SQ having mismatched cans to the amp? Response won't be as flat through all the frequencies? 

 

This has been quite the ordeal trying to find the right setup, and some stuff I can't even find to ship here so that makes it a wee bit more annoying.

 

It also looks like the NFB 15.32 takes a little more knowledge to set up or get right to match the cans so not sure if that will make it harder for me or not.

The 15.32 can work with headphones from 16-Ohms to 600-Ohms

post #2380 of 2860

Do you need to order off their site only? Because I'm having difficulty finding anywhere to buy one here in Canada. Can't find any on amazon or none used around here that I've found. 

 

Do you have any opinions on headphones that work well with the ZxR in case I go that route? Or does everyone just advise against the ZxR ?

post #2381 of 2860

Reading and learning about impedance's but it's not exactly the most easily to understand and match the right stuff with having little knowledge.

 

 http://www.head-fi.org/t/607282/headphone-amp-impedance-questions-find-the-answers-here

 

Helpful but still confusing to a point.

post #2382 of 2860
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The 120-Ohm AKG K612 Pro headphones should work just fine plugged directly into the Ti-HD's headphone output jack.
Others have used 250-Ohm Beyer plugged directly into the Ti-HD, so I can't see 120-Ohm headphones having a problem.

From everything I have read about the akg K series, you can't just look at the impedence number. They are hard headphones to drive being power hungry according to owners and they are picky with amps too apparently. Once again I don't own them but that's what I have come to as a conclusion after research.

@woesty

You can only order directly if in north america from audio gd's website. I in the Toronto Ontario area and even with new years, it only took roughly 3 business days to ship. Really fast. I wouldn't worry. Also the audio gd has a 2 ohm output impedence so all headphones will work fine.

In terms of matching all you have to worry about is making sure your amp is 1/8th minimum of whatever heapdhones you want to use. That's it! Key word is minimum, doesn't have to be exactly. Just at least 1/8th.

Check your PM inbox.
post #2383 of 2860
Woesty420,
The 1/8 impedance rule of thumb may or may not affect the K612. Having a lower output impedance could keep the bass frequencies from acting as an always-on bass boost and a bit of treble boost at the limits of most people's hearing, but it may not make a difference, or the distortion may actually seem pleasing.

Impedance sometimes varies with the frequency of what note is playing (bass, mid, treble, example 100 Hz would be a low note in the bass range)
graphCompare.php?graphType=7&graphID[]=3591&graphID[]=2931&graphID[]=953&graphID[]=853&scale=30

Impedance "mismatch" happens when the headphone has impedance that changes depending on what frequency is playing, AND the amp's output impedance is too high to allow for sufficient dampening by the headphone. If you see a "spike" or hill in headphone impedance, FWIR that means those frequencies will probably be boosted (sometimes to the point where they lose detail) compared to the rest. If a headphone impedance is relatively flat, like planar magnetics, the AKG K601 and Q701 (haven't seen a graph for the K612 yet, but I assume it would be like these), then the amp's output impedance will have little effect.

Most people besides headphone designers didn't pay much attention to this, until a guy (who has been banned) began a flame war about impedance and distortion and blah blah blah it got ugly. His example headphone was the Sennheiser HD650 (orange line on the graph), which he assumed was like most other headphones. The Sennheiser HD650 is not like all headphones, so... the 1/8th rule is a generalization, following it won't hurt, but a small boost/distortion might be pleasant AND if the headphone impedance response is pretty straight, then it might not matter anyway.

I'd say, get the headphone first, and see what you think of it plugged into a home theater receiver. Maybe your parents or friends have one. Receivers often have headphone-outs with an output impedance of like 120 Ohms, if that sounds bad with the AKG (doubt it), then you could go with the Sound Blaster Z or Omni route with an external Amp with low output impedance. If it sounds good, then the Sound blaster Z or ZxR may be all you need. I'm pretty confident you'll be impressed either way... I love using my Q701 or K712, I usually use them with a tube hybrid amp that gives a little color to my music (and also gives me a volume knob on my desk), but when I'm gaming I have no problem plugging them straight into my Sound Blaster Z. My AKGs' impedance is low overall (lower than the K612, 62 Ohms) so they don't need the volume cranked to max, but they are low sensitivity so they need a fair amount of current supplied at listening volume (which solid state amping, like that in a soundcard or the transistors in my hybrid amp, is good at) to keep sound smooth instead of grainy. The 120 ohm K612 ought to need a higher volume setting, but at that setting have an easier time providing enough current for a smoother, grain free sound. I expect the K712 to be a little more detailed and refined, but I'm still interested in trying the K612 anyway biggrin.gif
Edited by Evshrug - 1/7/14 at 7:07pm
post #2384 of 2860

Awesome that graph was helpful! I'm actually in need of a sound card more then anything else as I'm having driver issues every so often(I think). So no matter which route I choose I need a card to fix this problem. I just decided after researching that I would much more enjoy quality audiophile headphones over these Razer Megalodons, plus I love music so If I can enjoy quality music a long with the directional sound that will be mint! The AKGs have caught my eye the most out of the cans I have looked at so I will most likely go with one of their models. I do have a Yamaha Advantage receiver that I can try them on! 

 

I've been recommended at going with the SB Z + NFB 15.32 which is out of stock right now. Can move to the 11.32 but it is a little more costly and detracts from my headphone budget.  Does look like a great option however! 

 

But If your saying you don't think the 612s or 701s will sound bad on the ZxR I think I may go with that option because it is a lot more simple for now then ordering at multiple places and I can get locally to save money on shipping(always a bonus).

Which cans would you think would sound better on the ZxR then? The lower Ohm 701s? Or will they both be good, with the k612s just requiring the volume knob to be a little higher? Remember my present setup of a 3-4 year old X-Fi powering Bose 2.0 speakers and then my crappy Razer cans, so which ever choice will be a night and day difference.

 

The reviews I've been reading on k612s seemed slightly better for soundstage over the 701s, that is why I have been considering those most.

 

I do eventually want an external amp/DAC at some point, I just need something soon and I never like cheaping out on products! Also not looking to spend an arm and leg right now. 

post #2385 of 2860
Right!
I was debating saying anything, because I like DJ and I don't wanna sound like I'm appointing myself as policeman, but if the AKG K612 are anything like my two AKG's, then I just wanted to say you would experience even just an SB Z + K612 as a satisfying upgrade!

You're right that the K612 probably will need a bit more on the volume setting, but even with the Sound Blaster Z (ZxR has a more powerful amp), I have to keep windows volume set really low to keep from being too loud... expect the K612 to be lower than 50% setting. Of course, the upgraded DAC in the ZxR would clarify some details, and the amp in the ZxR might provide more current and have lower harmonic distortion (there are benefits to upgrading), but either would be a nice upgrade for you now with every component you need, and give you a new baseline for appreciation. If you do get a separate DAC and amp later, the function of the SB ZxR or Z would be identical and sound identical: Process SBX surround, and pipe it out through optical to an external DAC. I felt very happy with my Q701 (plus tube hybrid amp), didn't feel like I NEEDED the K712 but I bought it just because I could biggrin.gif

The Q701 has amazing width and (with a good amount of current and high quality files) depth to the soundstage, pretty much tied for the biggest I've heard PLUS a fun involving presentation, from what I've read about the K612 from kman1211 it seems to have a little more relaxed presentation, with maybe less extreme spacing but a very natural soundstage that's easier to make "round." Either k612 or Q701 would be superb headphones, with just a slightly different presentation; choose which have stuck out as more interesting to you. AKG headphones do certainly look unique! Razer tried to take a page out from AKG's book, but they just look like baby AKGs :P Feels great to have your ears free from pressure.
Edited by Evshrug - 1/7/14 at 8:27pm
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