Since I have been using the integrated realtek headphone outputs of my motherboard, my listening skills are lacking. Since I spend time at the pc (50% gaming and 50% music/video/photo work) I am looking at a headphone solution that will satisfy both arenas. I've settled on a pc360 headset for gaming (although my brother gave me a beyer dt 770 it doesnt feel good. I dont like the closed in feeling. although that may just be the poor sound if it is not being driven well. I dont know which version it is the 60 or 250 ohm impedance model).
To better drive these headphones I am looking at an asus stx essence or phoebus soundcard as one option. The other option would be a usb dac with headphone amp (Fiio E7 + E9 - although I dont know whether the e9i or e9k would be preferred). My past experience with onboard soundcards has not been pleasant with buzzing noizes and interference marring the mic input. Also driver issues have been annoying although that was with older creative stuff. I am not looking for EAX or a 7.1 surround headphone but rather a great dolby stereo headphone.
What are your recommendations for these headphones to drive them? Yes, I did search these fora and it seems the consensus is that a soundcard gives better 3d localization but that the amp will drive high end headphones with higher impedances better. Also the amp+dac has the portability factor. Will the stx or phoebus soundcard be sufficiently powerful to drive these headphones well? In this read
I read that the stx soundcard headphone jack has an impedance of 10 ohms and doesnt do well with headphones having an impedance less than 80 ohms (the pc 360 has a 50 ohm impedance). So do I need an amplifier with this soundcard as well? )I am not averse to the creative titanium soundcard if it has a better amp.
Edited by bwanaaa - 7/27/12 at 9:19pm