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First audio rig, need some help. - Page 2

post #16 of 30

It can be predicted how well a device would power a particular headphone from measurements, assuming that they are reliable and sufficiently detailed. On the other hand, subjective impressions (which are usually done sighted and without even matching levels) are unreliable and biased more often than not, and often contradict each other when coming from multiple people. For example, my subjective impressions with 250 Ω headphones tell that they are not quite as hard to drive as hyped up by many, and from the available data, I am quite sure that I would personally find the E17 to be sufficient for them in terms of maximum power output.

 

There are a number of technical reasons why a low impedance headphone would not work great from the 3.5mm output of some random cheap device. These are designed to perform adequately for typical consumer usage, but that does not mean that they do not have audible flaws.

post #17 of 30

I'm not hyping up anything, the 250ohm simply are not loud enough from standard media sources. You dont have to believe other people. But companies state it themselves that high impedance drivers are not suited for  low power output machines

 

I'm stating facts from my own tests with my own products, or drivers i have used in the past. There is no way a 300ohm headphone will sound any better at nominal power while using any portable amplifier, then a lower ohm(65ohm,32ohm,16ohm,etc) on the same amplifier, and considering the HD600,650 aren't different from most other high impedance headphones then those just like the Beyers will probably not reproduce sound at a practical level using a mobile amplifier, in this case a E17.

post #18 of 30
Thread Starter 

Pretty set on the hd598s at this point. they seem to offer good sound and above average comfort even among high(er) end headphones.

 

Next point is just deciding between the xonar stx and the E17. 

 

If I'm not mistaken the 598s should work 'well enough' just running out of an iphone or such. If I'm not sat at my desk then I'm not too worried about stellar quality anyway. 

 

So ignoring the fact that the E17 can be portable. Here's what I have;

E17 is cheaper, a little.

Xonar is tidier (less cables / stuff on my desk)

Xonar seems it'll be useful even when upgrading my system later on (I could use it for gaming or such)

 

 

Unless the E17 offers higher quality than the STX then it seems the STX is the winner.

Will likely be ordering on monday

post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redsparowe View Post

Pretty set on the hd598s at this point. they seem to offer good sound and above average comfort even among high(er) end headphones.

 

Next point is just deciding between the xonar stx and the E17. 

 

If I'm not mistaken the 598s should work 'well enough' just running out of an iphone or such. If I'm not sat at my desk then I'm not too worried about stellar quality anyway. 

 

So ignoring the fact that the E17 can be portable. Here's what I have;

E17 is cheaper, a little.

Xonar is tidier (less cables / stuff on my desk)

Xonar seems it'll be useful even when upgrading my system later on (I could use it for gaming or such)

 

 

Unless the E17 offers higher quality than the STX then it seems the STX is the winner.

Will likely be ordering on monday

i think the E17 would make more sense because of portability. the xonar is pretty set and stone. 

post #20 of 30

Having separate components, a DAC, amp, etc. is just like having a discrete video card; sure, an integrated video card may play a game just fine, but, a dedicated video card, like your 6850 GPU, certainly let's those games play better and look a lot better, too.  

 

Will an all in one solution work?  Sure.  But just like running SLI or Xfire will give you better performance, so will separate components!  jecklinsmile.gif

post #21 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmays1 View Post

i think the E17 would make more sense because of portability. the xonar is pretty set and stone. 

Thanks for the input.

 

How would the STX and E17 compare in terms of sound quality running 598s? 

Considering the E17 is cheaper AND portable I imagine it must sacrifice 'something' that the STX has.

post #22 of 30

Power, consistency, the STX is AC powered oppose to the Fiio it has to be kept charged, as for all most all mobile media devices when the battery starts to diminish in energy you will starts to slowly and not always noticeably lose volume gain. unlike with the STX it is always charged and with the use of bigger capacitors and probably larger transistors the power will of course be way more consistent. only reason why i recommend the e17 is simply its mobility, now unless you dont really car for this then i recommend the STX with out a doubt.

post #23 of 30
Quote:

Originally Posted by Redsparowe View Post

 

How would the STX and E17 compare in terms of sound quality running 598s? 

Considering the E17 is cheaper AND portable I imagine it must sacrifice 'something' that the STX has.

 

The E17 has a better amplifier (assuming it is similar to the E11) for typical low-ish impedance headphones like the HD598, while the DAC is better on the STX, but it is not bad on the E17 either if it is similar to the E10 (apparently, the E17 has a slight treble roll-off). I do not think you would be disappointed with the sound quality of either. The headphone amplifier on the STX can output significantly higher voltage (you do not need it for the HD598), and it also has a high quality line input; the Windows drivers support Dolby Headphone and other features that can be useful for gaming and movies. The E17 is portable, can be used from USB (e.g. with laptops), and features simple hardware tone controls (treble and bass).

post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmays1 View Post

I'm not hyping up anything, the 250ohm simply are not loud enough from standard media sources.

 

Not loud enough for you, but not necessarily everyone else. Note also that not all headphones of the same impedance are equally efficient (the T70 for example needs significantly less power than the DT770/880/990).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmays1 View Post

But companies state it themselves that high impedance drivers are not suited for  low power output machines

 

They want to minimize the risk of disappointed customers. But it is more of a simple "rule of thumb" recommendation than something that is universally true in all cases.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by maxmays1 View Post
There is no way a 300ohm headphone will sound any better at nominal power while using any portable amplifier, then a lower ohm(65ohm,32ohm,16ohm,etc) on the same amplifier

 

I am quite confident that the HD6xx would not sound worse or even quieter from my Xonar D1 sound card (which has an output impedance of 100 Ω) than a similarly efficient but very low impedance headphone. The latter would also have rather poor bass extension from my old and no longer used Sound Blaster Live (100 uF output capacitors). But let's return to the E17, after all, that is what the OP considers to buy.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by maxmays1 View Post
 
and considering the HD600,650 aren't different from most other high impedance headphones then those just like the Beyers will probably not reproduce sound at a practical level using a mobile amplifier, in this case a E17.

 

Do you actually know how much power the E17 (or E11) can output, or are just lumping it together with iPods and cell phones because it is a "small mobile device" ? The E10 (and therefore likely the E17, too) can drive these headphones to 107-110 dB SPL without clipping, the E11 1 dB more on the higher voltage setting, and that is anything but quiet; maybe not enough for everyone, but enough for many (I normally do not listen at higher than 100 dB peaks myself).


Edited by stv014 - 8/24/12 at 10:47am
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by stv014 View Post

 

It is best to spend the most on the headphones, as those make the most difference. For the HD600/650, and DT770/880/990 250 or 600 Ω, the Xonar ST or STX could actually work quite well, despite some people telling otherwise (usually affected by a "sound cards are bad" bias). If you do need something external - some high performance gaming PCs can be quite noisy electrically, and I only recommend the headphone amplifier of the above sound cards for high impedance headphones - then the EHP-O2D would be a reasonably priced solution with good specs (although lacking on the side of features and aesthetics). The FiiO E11 would be useful for portable use, it works decently with headphones that do not need a lot of power (either current or voltage), and is cheap. Depending on what headphones you choose, the E17 - which includes an amplifier comparable to the E11 - alone could be a reasonable solution.

 

Agreed. Put your extra money into the headphones. There are diminishing rates of return whenever you buy more expensive audio equipment, but more expensive DACs and headphone amps will give you much less return on your money for SQ than better phones. 

 

Now since you have an iPod, you might want to think about low impedance (ohm) headphones so that you don't have to have a headphone amp to run them on the iPod. 

post #26 of 30
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the help in this thread folks. 

I'm now using 598s with an asus stx. So far all good. 

 

Question about the stx though. Is it possible to route say itunes out the rca to my speakers and keep game / voip in headphones?

post #27 of 30

I just switch back and forth between my headphones and speakers via the Xonar control panel that hangs out in the notification area of the task bar. Takes ten seconds to switch it. 

post #28 of 30
Thread Starter 

but if i wanted both at the same time? not possible?

post #29 of 30

I'm not even sure that Windows can do that, regardless of the sound card. I suspect not, but I don't know. 

post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redsparowe View Post

Thanks for the help in this thread folks. 

I'm now using 598s with an asus stx. So far all good. 

 

Question about the stx though. Is it possible to route say itunes out the rca to my speakers and keep game / voip in headphones?


good choice

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