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Getting new headphones and soundcard, what to get?

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 

Hello everyone,

 

I've been using the Razer Megalodon for a few years now and It's dying, It's starting to simply stop playing any audio and i need to reconnect it to get it working and the audio quality is simply not what it used to be. So, I'm planning to get my first set of high-end audio. But I'm having a hard time making a decision. I'm looking for the best bang-for-buck upgrade with a $400 budget. I'll be using it for Gaming, VoIP, Music and Movies. Normal stuff.

 

Some of the things I've been thinking of getting:

 

Xonar Xense bundle:

 

  • Xonar Xense 7.1 PCI-E Audio Card
  • Sennheiser PC350 Headphones

[link]

 

or

 

Asus RoG Xonar Phoebus [link]

Asus RoG Vulcan ANC [link]

 

or

 

Asus Xonar Essence STX [link]

Sennheiser HD 558 [link]

 

What would you recommend, best option for the money spent? Or should i get something completely different? 

 

Thanks in advance,

PhantomX


Edited by PhantomX - 5/18/12 at 4:44pm
post #2 of 29

Be careful with the PC350, many people say they give excellent sound and they have positive reviews across the board. As a recent buyer, however, I can say these people probably have no idea what accurate sound is. The PC350s were the biggest let-down as a purchase ever. I managed to force them into submission by modding the internals. After that, they sound pretty good actually. In fact, search for "Hero's Mod" somewhere on this forum. Some modders have compared the sound to be on par with the Sennheiser HD595s.

post #3 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNebula11 View Post

Be careful with the PC350, many people say they give excellent sound and they have positive reviews across the board. As a recent buyer, however, I can say these people probably have no idea what accurate sound is. The PC350s were the biggest let-down as a purchase ever. I managed to force them into submission by modding the internals. After that, they sound pretty good actually. In fact, search for "Hero's Mod" somewhere on this forum. Some modders have compared the sound to be on par with the Sennheiser HD595s.

I would prefer not having to mod my stuff, since my knowledge on this matter is very limited. Thanks for the feedback though. 

post #4 of 29

That's okay, we're here to helpevil_smiley.gif

Instead of PC350, you could try SRH840 + microphone of your choice, I think.

post #5 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post

That's okay, we're here to helpevil_smiley.gif

Instead of PC350, you could try SRH840 + microphone of your choice, I think.

Those cans seem really nice. Although people seem to have mixed opinions on these. 

post #6 of 29

Or you could try the AntLion ModMic + a pair of Beyer DT990 Pros. This combo will cost you approximately $210 total. It is what I was considering as an alternative once I returned the PC350s, which I never did. Seriously though, the PC350 mod is actually quite straightforward. I did it early one morning a few days back. I am simply advising you to be cautious.

post #7 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrNebula11 View Post

Or you could try the AntLion ModMic + a pair of Beyer DT990 Pros. This combo will cost you approximately $210 total. It is what I was considering as an alternative once I returned the PC350s, which I never did. Seriously though, the PC350 mod is actually quite straightforward. I did it early one morning a few days back. I am simply advising you to be cautious.

Thanks for the feedback, I'll consider it. 

 

But can anyone comment on the other sets. Mic ain't a big deal for me, the best possible audio for my money is (: 

post #8 of 29

Im using Beyer DT 770 Pro with ModMic and Im loving this combo. Before that I was using the HD595's. Was good for positional cues for gaming but sucked for movies and music (I listen to a lot of metal and classic rock). If you can, try some Beyer's :)

post #9 of 29

I think the Essence STX and Senn HD558 combo is the best.

With the Asus Phoebus, I think you would want to wait until Asus comes out with at least one driver update to fix any possible bugs in the software.

post #10 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

I think the Essence STX and Senn HD558 combo is the best.

With the Asus Phoebus, I think you would want to wait until Asus comes out with at least one driver update to fix any possible bugs in the software.

Yeah, that was my plan (:

Quote:
Originally Posted by weez82 View Post

Im using Beyer DT 770 Pro with ModMic and Im loving this combo. Before that I was using the HD595's. Was good for positional cues for gaming but sucked for movies and music (I listen to a lot of metal and classic rock). If you can, try some Beyer's :)

I might, the reviews look good for it. How are they compared to HD 558's ?

post #11 of 29

X-Fi Titanium HD + headphones and mic of your choice, but I do place higher priority on DirectSound3D and OpenAL support (which mostly concerns games 5 years old and older).

 

If proper X-Fi hardware is out of the question, then you might want to take a look at HT Omega's sound card offerings along with Asus as far as C-Media cards go. They're not mentioned a lot around here, but people with eClaro and Claro Halo+ cards and so forth seem quite satisfied with them.

 

As for headphones, I can't make a recommdendation for sure simply because I don't own too many headphones, and the ones I feel most confident in recommending aren't exactly cheap. A vintage Stax Lambda system would've been a possibility at $400 if you didn't need to budget for the sound card too, but it's very unlikely you'll score a set for $250 like I did. (Even then, I still needed a receiver or other speaker power amp for it to work.)

post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhantomX View Post

Yeah, that was my plan (:

I might, the reviews look good for it. How are they compared to HD 558's ?

The DT770 have more bass then the HD558s

As the HD558s are open, you can wear them for longer periods of times as your ears take less thrashing and less heat build up.

post #13 of 29

Which is precisely why I recommended the DT990 Pros, based purely on research of course.
 

post #14 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

X-Fi Titanium HD + headphones and mic of your choice, but I do place higher priority on DirectSound3D and OpenAL support (which mostly concerns games 5 years old and older).

 

If proper X-Fi hardware is out of the question, then you might want to take a look at HT Omega's sound card offerings along with Asus as far as C-Media cards go. They're not mentioned a lot around here, but people with eClaro and Claro Halo+ cards and so forth seem quite satisfied with them.

 

As for headphones, I can't make a recommdendation for sure simply because I don't own too many headphones, and the ones I feel most confident in recommending aren't exactly cheap. A vintage Stax Lambda system would've been a possibility at $400 if you didn't need to budget for the sound card too, but it's very unlikely you'll score a set for $250 like I did. (Even then, I still needed a receiver or other speaker power amp for it to work.)

I like the look of the X-Fi Titanium HD, but it doesn't seem to be amplified. I've heard that headphone amplified cards are way better than non-amplified? 


Edited by PhantomX - 5/19/12 at 12:06pm
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhantomX View Post

I like the look of the X-Fi Titanium HD, but it doesn't seem to be amplified. I've heard that headphone amplified cards are way better than non-amplified? 

Up to around 150-Ohm headphones, the Titanium HD should do fine.

It does not come with a true headphone amplifier, but still does a decent job of powering headphones.

And you can use just about any external headphone amplifier you may want to add to it in the future.

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