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Asus Xonar Essence - is it worth it?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hello, I just recently bought the D770 pro 250ohm from Beyerdynamics and the difference compared to my old headset was just amazing. 
I'm pretty new to all this Audiostuff, so yea. At the moment I'm using a Asus Xonar DG soundcard for those headphones, and the sound is loud enough for me - but I wanted to ask if I would actually hear a big difference in the quality of the sound with the Essence STX? 

I tried the searchfunction and even google'd but could not really find a clear answer. :(

I just don't want to spend 150€ on something that gives me barely a difference.
Or should I even consider getting a headphone AMP? I don't really think that that would do much, but as I said - I barely have any knowledge in the audiosection.

 

kind regards, pandasaurus :)


Edited by pandasaurus - 3/18/12 at 8:56pm

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post #2 of 9

Not big difference ...

ST is better than STX (barely) but better to my ears. But ST is a PCI ...

 

BTW,ST/STX is probably the top soundcard you can have. Check for used... you will have for less than 50% of the retail ... at that price, will be more attractive.

post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by pandasaurus View Post
Hello, I just recently bought the D770 pro 250ohm from Beyerdynamics and the difference compared to my old headset was just amazing. 

I'm pretty new to all this Audiostuff, so yea. At the moment I'm using a Asus Xonar DG sound card for those headphones, and the sound is loud enough for me - but I wanted to ask if I would actually hear a big difference in the quality of the sound with the Essence STX? 
I tried the search function and even google'd but could not really find a clear answer. :(
I just don't want to spend 150€ on something that gives me barely a difference.
Or should I even consider getting a headphone AMP? I don't really think that that would do much, but as I said - I barely have any knowledge in the audiosection.

Pandasaurus :)

The Asus Xonar DG will only decently power the DT770 Pro 250-Ohm.

You can get a Fiio E9 headphone amplifier, just plug the E9 into the headphone output jack on the Xonar DG.
 

 

 

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The Asus Xonar DG will only decently power the DT770 Pro 250-Ohm.

You can get a Fiio E9 headphone amplifier, just plug the E9 into the headphone output jack on the Xonar DG.
 

 

 

Am I going to hear a difference in sound quality, or just in volume?
Because as I said, it's way more than loud enough for me right now. It's at like ~40%
 

 

post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by pandasaurus View Post
Am I going to hear a difference in sound quality, or just in volume?

Because as I said, it's way more than loud enough for me right now. It's at like ~40%

Try listening to some bassy music you know well. When I tried my DT770 Pro 250-ohm with a Xonar DG. I think the bass was struggling.

Also, if you can get a good price on a used Essence STX, it might not cost too much more then a new Fiio E9.

The Essence STX (& ST) come with a better DAC then the Xonar DG.

The Fiio E9 and Essence STX (& ST) come with the same headphone amplifier.
 

 

 

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Try listening to some bassy music you know well. When I tried my DT770 Pro 250-ohm with a Xonar DG. I think the bass was struggling.

Also, if you can get a good price on a used Essence STX, it might not cost too much more then a new Fiio E9.

The Essence STX (& ST) come with a better DAC then the Xonar DG.

The Fiio E9 and Essence STX (& ST) come with the same headphone amplifier.
 

 

 


 

I guess that's a big problem, before those headphones I used a rather cheap (90€) headset, so everything sounds like god would be talking to me right now. :p
If you would have to chose between the Fiio E9 and the Essence ST(X) - what would you take? I'm currently looking at 2 on ebay, and they are both at ~120€ probably in the end. And for that I could get the Fiio E9 completly new.

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by pandasaurus View Post


 

I guess that's a big problem, before those headphones I used a rather cheap (90€) headset, so everything sounds like god would be talking to me right now. :p
If you would have to chose between the Fiio E9 and the Essence ST(X) - what would you take? I'm currently looking at 2 on eBay, and they are both at ~120€ probably in the end. And for that I could get the Fiio E9 completitly new.


I would take the STX over the E9. no question on that.

 

 

post #8 of 9

The Essence ST or STX should do a better job at both D/A and amplification, but if the DG is loud enough for you, save the money.  At least just get used to the sound and enjoy the music for now, and think about upgrades later when you have a better idea of what you might want that could be different.  Certainly the difference is nowhere close to the difference between the new headphones and whatever you used to use.

 

If you're getting enough volume out of a non-intentionally-bad solid-state amplifier running high-impedance headphones (well at least most of them), there should be not much difference or improvement to be had with another (better) non-intentionally-bad solid-state amplifier.  It's hard to do honest comparisons between different sources because you may be relying on long-term memory, the levels may not be matched, and most people certainly are doing them sighted (knowing which one is which while listening to them, which of course is subject to further biases).  Despite people's best efforts, you can't expect comparisons to be perfect and not unfairly biased in favor of products that are more expensive, and so on.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Alright, I managed to get my hands onto a cheap Essence ST.

So - what I can say in the end now is that it is pretty much exactly the same. 
The only difference I can hear is the volume. It goes waaay louder on the Essence ST, but if you don't need that - it honestly is not worth spending ~150 more on the Essence ST(X).

Thanks for all the answers in here! :)

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