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Need help with Closed Can, mostly for Gaming, Movie and music (Classical, Rock and Metal)

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

For a while now, I am looking for upgrade my computer audio to a next step. I am a beginner in audio world but I have been reading everything I could for two day now. I think I have make my choice on what to buy and I want to know what you guys think about it.

 

 

A Little About me

 

I am also using Inboard sound card and I don't have amp or dac (don't even know what a dac is)

 

 

I am a PC gamers always looking for a good experience, When I say gaming its probably not what everyone think, I'm not a big fan of Big Title Name I often prefer some smaller community where everyone is friendly and yet very competitive.

 

I am watching movies and streaming quite often on my computer late at night and I would like to have good isolation for disconnect from the outside world and no sound leak for don't wake up my wife.

I will also use them in a quiet environment where not disturbing other is a must.

 

I am listening to music, mostly  Piano, Classical, Rock, Hard rock, Folk, Metal.

I also plan on hooking my Cans into my Keyboard once a while for play some song myself.

 

I like to hear my thing easily, but I don't exagerate on volume, I am also not an heavy bass fan but I do like some bass in movie and gaming just not to much.

 

I think I have a pretty Big head

A Picture of Me

 

The ''best'' headset I have owned

Microsoft LifeChat Lx-3000

 

My source

A quite Old audio card I had on my previous PC

Creative Labs SB0570 [SB Audigy SE]

 

 

My budget

 

Been quite tight with school starting and bill to pay

I think my max budget would be about 400$ Canadian

 

 

What I was learning toward

 

After readed many review and different opinion I stopped my choice on this setup.

 

  • Headphone

Audio Technica ATH-A900 Closed Back Dynamic Headphones (239,99$)

 

  • Microphone

Zalman Zm-Mic1 High Sensitivity Headphone Microphone (8,50$)

 

  • SoundCard

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD Internal Sound Card with THX SB1270 (129,99$)

 

Total: 378,48$ before shipping

 

 

My Question

 

  • Will it suit my need?

 

  • How long before I feel the need of upgrading with this setup?

 

  • Is it worth the Investisement?

 

  • What the Lifetime of those if carefull?

 

  • Will it be more confortable that my old LifeChat Lx-3000 for VERY long sessions?

(I used to have my lx-3000 over my ears for about 19H a day)

 

  • Where Could I buy music that would sound the best with this setup?

 

  • Is there any setting I have to change for make them sound at their best?

 

  • If there something to change, How do I change it?

 

  • I heard the Audio Technica A900 pad was quite bad what Should I do?

 

  • Is it actually Worth changing my audio card or it would make near no difference?

 

  • Would my virgin ears actually ear something different ?

 

 

So ya, I think I have said everything I am waiting for your reply and may Head-Fi be sorry for my wallets.

 


Edited by BillardFan - 9/18/12 at 6:36am
post #2 of 19

Heya,

 

First of all, this sort of introduction, sizing, budget, etc, details about what you're looking for is excellent and I wish more posts of this nature were similar. It makes sizing up which headphones would best suit you easier to figure out. So thank you sir for gathering all this information up and making it easy to read. *High five*

 

In summary: you need a neutral headphone with isolation and relatively easy to drive for $400 CDN or less.

 

Suggested setups:

 

Brainwavz HM5 (MP4nation.net), great isolation, neutral with warmth sound signature, very spacious, good sound stage, easy to drive. Only $99 shipped worldwide and comes with a free stand.

 

Beyer DT770, great isolation, warmer with some more emphasis on basis but not overly bassy, good sound stage, needs some amplification. You can get the old premium version (recommended for more neutral presentation) in 32/250/600 ohm flavors. The PRO series is the same, but different housing and clamping pressure, so is a touch bassier in presentation, in 80ohm and 250ohm flavors. In general I suggest the 250ohm flavor regardless of source as it will cover more sources better, but get 80ohm if source will be limited in power as a general rule of thumb.

 

AudioTechnica A900X, good isolation, very warm, lush, great bass, good mids, airy treble, good sound stage. Easy to drive.

 

I would avoid a sound card and rather suggest you go with a Fiio E10 DAC/AMP that connects to your computer via USB. It's inexpensive and has all you need to power headphones and enhance bass if you wish to. Great little device.

 

As for your questions, I would just boil it down to: it will last as long as you take care of it and don't destroy it. I've had headphones for over 10+ years that are still about as they were when I bought them because I take care of them. The above suggested headphones are quite durable (HM5 & DT770) and will likely survive 10+ years no problem. I would avoid sound cards unless you absolutely must have one, and go with a discrete DAC/AMP instead so you don't have to deal with internals of PC or potential connection noise, etc. The pads on the above (HM5 & DT770) are velour or have velour option, so you can get comfortable and replaceable pads. Get your music from CD's or a place with high quality digital media. I like Amazon & HDtracks.com; I buy used CDs from Amazon all the time.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thank you sir for your quick and instructive reply, I have take my time and checked everything out a bit.

 

 

I dislike the look of the A900x and I heard it was a little bit worst than the A900

For the MH5 I think they look great but I am wondering if its what I am really looking for.

But I do like the DT770

 

Since I am gaming quite a bit, I am wondering how well the soundstage would compare between the Beyerdynamic DT770 PRo 250 Ohms vs ATH-A900

I have heard that the ATH-A900 was good engough for play with closed eyes, would the DT770 be as good?

 

 

Im partaged between the DT770 and A900.

 

I have also reviewed the Fiio E10 and it sure an interesting product, but will it perform better for game and movie than the XF-I titanium or its only better for music?

I have no problem installing a sound card myself but on other hand I don't know very well what Amp/Dac actually does.

And would it give engough power for the DT770 250 Ohms ?

 

Also how quiet are the DT770 for other around you? Since Im gonna use them at school and office, I would not want to disturb anyone.

 

Edit: As I also said, Im not a big bass head. I do like some bass in explosion but I don't listen to Big Eletronical Music or techno.

 

 

I would really like to make a good purchase and I am ready to pay a little more if it make me be really happy about my audio and forget it for the next 10 years, Also thank you sir for the music link I will now remake my old lost collection into 192Khz.
 


Edited by BillardFan - 9/18/12 at 10:46am
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Sorry for the Double post, I just want to say that I have placed my order. I am going for the A900 with Fiio E10

 

The DT 770 seem a bit to bass heavy for me and the 250Ohms seem nice but would require me to go over board on my budget for get a decent amp for get the maximum out of those cans.

 

I really appreciate your help in my decision and I am sure I will enjoy this new setup.

 

 

 

Once more, thanks for everything.
 

post #5 of 19

I would have said to get the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80-Ohm ($150-$180)

and the Asus Xonar DG sound card ($25)

The Xonar DG offer Dolby Headphone 5.1 surround sound and can easily drive 80-Ohm headphones.

I like Fiios (Own the E6 & E11) and the E10 seems a great DAC/Amp for $70, but has zero surround sound for movies or gaming.

So with the Fiio E10, everything will be in stereo (2-channel) only (good sounding stereo).

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
ViesI had the chance to tryout the DT770 in 80 and 250 today they both sound FANTASTIC but the 80ohms had a bit too much bass for my taste If I was to buy them I would regret not getting the 250 after less than a week. Is there any way to make the 250 running fully drive for about 150$? And thank for telling me about the E10 not able to provide sound staging I want to use them mostly for gaming, then movie and finnaly for music. I would really he disapointed if the sound staging was not present.

Edit I would also like if possible to move them at office at week fir music and bring them home easilly for gaming on weekend.
Edited by BillardFan - 9/18/12 at 7:11pm
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillardFan View Post

ViesI had the chance to tryout the DT770 in 80 and 250 today they both sound FANTASTIC but the 80ohms had a bit too much bass for my taste If I was to buy them I would regret not getting the 250 after less than a week. Is there any way to make the 250 running fully drive for about 150$? And thank for telling me about the E10 not able to provide sound staging I want to use them mostly for gaming, then movie and finnally for music. I would really he disappointed if the sound staging was inexistant.

The Asus Xonar DG can drive 250-Ohm headphones, but your kind of maxing out it's headphone amplifier.

On Amazon they sell the Muse 6N11 tube headphone amplifier for $50, lots of voltage to drive 250-Ohm (plug it into the Xonar DG's Green jack).

Might find a used Fiio E09 headphone amplifier for a good price (also plug it into the Xonar's green jack).


Edited by PurpleAngel - 9/18/12 at 7:36pm
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
WilThank you sir for the quick reply, I will look into these tomarrow (in bed right now) if you have any other suggestion they are as always gladdly appreciate I am quite noob and my hear are still virgin but I take great care of my gear and been a little perfectionnist I always make sure to review every detail and that can only be achieved cause of you guys, thanks very much.
post #9 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

I would avoid a sound card and rather suggest you go with a Fiio E10 DAC/AMP that connects to your computer via USB. It's inexpensive and has all you need to power headphones and enhance bass if you wish to. Great little device.

 

And lose out on PC gaming features that only sound cards offer? Not a good idea when gaming performance is one of his considerations.

 

BillardFan, what games do you play, to be specific? I'm still inclined to recommend the X-Fi Titanium HD as usual, but there's a chance you won't get the most out of it if you don't play anything that actually makes good use of DirectSound3D or OpenAL.

post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

And lose out on PC gaming features that only sound cards offer? Not a good idea when gaming performance is one of his considerations.

 

BillardFan, what games do you play, to be specific? I'm still inclined to recommend the X-Fi Titanium HD as usual, but there's a chance you won't get the most out of it if you don't play anything that actually makes good use of DirectSound3D or OpenAL.

He said he needed something transportable to take back and forth to work, but I guess removing and installing a sound card a few times a week is not that hard.

post #11 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

He said he needed something transportable to take back and forth to work, but I guess removing and installing a sound card a few times a week is not that hard.

 

Whoops, overlooked that.

 

Still, even typical USB sound "cards" provide a bit more for PC gaming features than audiophile USB DACs will. He could always just get a Xonar U3 for $40 and use the S/PDIF output to an audiophile DAC for a sound quality upgrade while still having Dolby Headphone and DS3DGX, right?

 

And on top of that, if he's looking for a WORK-transportable setup, I'm reasonably sure he's not going to be playing PC games on a work computer. That's why he was looking into sound cards.

 

The "transportable" aspect must then be referring to the headphones (and, if necessary, amp), right?


Edited by NamelessPFG - 9/18/12 at 9:06pm
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

Whoops, overlooked that.

 

Still, even typical USB sound "cards" provide a bit more for PC gaming features than audiophile USB DACs will. He could always just get a Xonar U3 for $40 and use the S/PDIF output to an audiophile DAC for a sound quality upgrade while still having Dolby Headphone and DS3DGX, right?

 

And on top of that, if he's looking for a WORK-transportable setup, I'm reasonably sure he's not going to be playing PC games on a work computer. That's why he was looking into sound cards.

 

The "transportable" aspect must then be referring to the headphones (and, if necessary, amp), right?

I believe that is what he said, but nothing really been decided on the amp (or sound card).

post #13 of 19
Thread Starter 

That what I was thinking over night too I may not have been clear on my need I'm looking for awesome gaming and movie + very little music at home while been able to take my cans with me at office for good music quality. So my best bet would probably been an audio card at home and an amp at work. Its also fine if I got a bit over my wallet as I can probably get the amp the next week and eat ramen for a while.
 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

I'm still inclined to recommend the X-Fi Titanium HD as usual, but there's a chance you won't get the most out of it if you don't play anything that actually makes good use of DirectSound3D or OpenAL.

 

I have took a look and 12 of the 15 games I play use Or OpenAL or DirectSound3D

While the 3 other don't even talk about audio requirement.


Edited by BillardFan - 9/19/12 at 5:22am
post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

Once Again, Sorry for Posting twice in row. I have read about everything suggested and I have from what I see, two option.

 

First Option

 

Sound Card

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD (146,99$)

 

AMP/DAC
Fiio E10 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier (69,00$+ 8,06$)

 

Headphone
Audio Technica ATH-A900 Audiophile Closed-Back Dynamic (239,99$+ 16,99$)

 

Microphone
Zalman ZM-Mic1 High Sensitivity (8,50$)


Total: 489,53$

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Second Option

 

Sound Card

Asus PCI 5.1 Channel Sound Card Xonar DG (32,,83$)

 

AMP/DAC

Fiio E10 USB DAC Headphone Amplifier (119,95$+ 4,99$)

 

Headphone
Audio Technica ATH-A900 Audiophile Closed-Back Dynamic (199,99$)

 

Microphone
Zalman ZM-Mic1 High Sensitivity (8,50$)


Total: 375,37$

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Usage

 

Home

Audio Card --> Heaphone/Mic (Gaming+Movies)

USB --> AMP/DAC --> Heaphone (Music)

 

Office

USB Port --> AMP/DAC --> Headphone (Music)

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

So my question is, would the X-Fi titanium HD be a Big upgrade over the Xonar DG for my home setup?

post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillardFan View Post
So my question is, would the X-Fi titanium HD be a Big upgrade over the Xonar DG for my home setup?

The Ti-HD (Titanium HD) is a big improvement over the Xonar DG, but the Ti-HD has a high impedance (35-Ohm) headphone jack.

Which is not recomended for low (40-Ohm) headphones like the A900

adding an external headphone amplifier, like the O2 (Objective 2) would allow you to use any headphone of your choice with the Ti-HD.

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