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Do I need a headphone amp if I have a soundcard?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hello, I have read some threads in this forum but pretty much I am new here, and I had been trying to find about this issue but I still have doubts.

 

I bought the sennheiser HD 518 headphones, but I guess I am going to need an amp or a sound card to hear it into its full potential. I will mostly be using my headphones on my computer for gaming, music, videos, etc.

 

My doubt here: Is it enough just to have a sound card, an amp, or is it worth and needed to have both?

 

I was thinking about ASUS Xonar DS 7.1 soundcard, but is it really any difference than any other cheaper soundcards that provide 7.1 dolby technology too?

 

So I was thinking: Should I buy a really cheap 7.1 soundcard, the ASUS Xonar DS 7.1 and if I am going to need an amp?

 

Also, I don't want it to cost me over 70 dollars.

 

I need some recommendations regarding this.

 

Thanks

post #2 of 10

Soundcards do not have a headphone amp. They normally have a line out, which can be used for headphones >100 Ohms impedance.

The only soundcard I know that has a dedicated headphone amp is Asus Xonar ST/STX and DG.

For gaming you can go for the DG.

post #3 of 10
Before I got my first amp, I used my pcie sound card instead of the line out from my mobo and I got better volume from it. My cheap little fiio e9 still blew it out of the water no contest, and it was cheaper than my sound card too. Do yourself a favor and just get an amp. I just don't think there's a good reason to NOT get one.
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by goropeza View Post

Before I got my first amp, I used my pcie sound card instead of the line out from my mobo and I got better volume from it. My cheap little fiio e9 still blew it out of the water no contest, and it was cheaper than my sound card too. Do yourself a favor and just get an amp. I just don't think there's a good reason to NOT get one.

 

Using a soundcard with an amp is way better than using the mobo with an amp.

post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siut71 View Post
Hello, I have read some threads in this forum but pretty much I am new here, and I had been trying to find about this issue but I still have doubts.

I bought the sennheiser HD 518 headphones, but I guess I am going to need an amp or a sound card to hear it into its full potential. I will mostly be using my headphones on my computer for gaming, music, videos, etc.

My doubt here: Is it enough just to have a sound card, an amp, or is it worth and needed to have both?

I was thinking about ASUS Xonar DS 7.1 soundcard, but is it really any difference than any other cheaper soundcards that provide 7.1 dolby technology too?

So I was thinking: Should I buy a really cheap 7.1 soundcard, the ASUS Xonar DS 7.1 and if I am going to need an amp?

Also, I don't want it to cost me over 70 dollars.

I need some recommendations regarding this.

The Asus Xonar DG (& DGX) are better at driving headphones then the DS.

The Senn HD518 will work decently without an amplifier.

But the Xonar DG (DGX) comes with a half-way decent headphone amplifier.

post #6 of 10

what do you need 7.1 for? 
 

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by tme110 View Post
What do you need 7.1 for?

Speaker audio wise, 7.1 speakers is good for filling really large rooms with sound.

If you like really small speakers but have a fairly decent sized room, 7.1 (small) speakers can help fill the room with audio over a 5.1 with really small speakers.

Some gaming audio surround sound is 7.1 and A few Blu-ray movies come in 7.1

Otherwise 5.1 is the norm for 95% of the movies out there.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The Asus Xonar DG (& DGX) are better at driving headphones then the DS.

The Senn HD518 will work decently without an amplifier.

But the Xonar DG (DGX) comes with a half-way decent headphone amplifier.

Yes, I had seen that DG has a better headphone amplifier however I am still in a great dilemma.

 

I had decided that I am going to buy a headphone amplifier because I am going to need it in other things, not just PC. So, using an external headphone amplifier with the soundcard, is the DX worth getting it? Will I get more sound quality than the DG?. I had seen that DG is a great combo for the money, however since I am going to have a headphone amplifier, I want to know if the DX is still going to be worth it.

post #9 of 10

you can get whatever you want but an external DAC completely bypasses the soundcard.  If you use usb you wont need a sound card at all but the soundcard will give you toslink/coax connections (but you dont need anything fancy for that)
 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siut71 View Post

Yes, I had seen that DG has a better headphone amplifier however I am still in a great dilemma.

 

I had decided that I am going to buy a headphone amplifier because I am going to need it in other things, not just PC. So, using an external headphone amplifier with the soundcard, is the DX worth getting it? Will I get more sound quality than the DG?. I had seen that DG is a great combo for the money, however since I am going to have a headphone amplifier, I want to know if the DX is still going to be worth it.

The Xonar DX is a better sound card then the DG, newer audio processor, better DAC, better digital output.

but the headphone out on the Xonar DX is very so so.

So yea, an Xonar DX with external headphone amplifier is a good combo.

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