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Do I need a gaming sound card with a headphone amp? - Page 2

post #16 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by aznkid24 View Post

How about the drivers? is it a big chance the card will give me problems like lockups and crashes with my current specs?

 

If anything, the Titanium HD has the most stable drivers I've ever encountered on an X-Fi card yet, to the point where I have no problem with the Daniel_K X-Fi Support Pack not supporting it.

 

No BSoDs, lockups, sound glitches, or anything. It just works, though there's the occasional mode lock from time to time, which isn't a problem when I spend 90% of my time in Game Mode anyway (only occasionally using Audio Creation Mode if I need ASIO for bit-matched playback).

post #17 of 26
Thread Starter 

So now, I'm deciding on an Auzentech Forte vs the TiHD. Thoughts?

post #18 of 26

I have something to add to this. I just got into headfi about 2 years ago or so. In this time I've picked up a few headphones. MD Tributes, DT880 250Ohm, and an HD650 are my most notable. I've also spent a lot of money trying to find a portable source and amp to drive these cans. The RSA SR-71a does a great job plugged into an iPod 5.5 and stupidly expensive ALO cable.

 

Now in this time I bought a $3000 custom gaming PC about a year and 5 months ago. I ordered it with a Creative X-Fi Fatality Ti Professional soundcard installed in it too. I plugged it into my Yamaha 5.1 receiver through SPIDF and enjoyed Dolby Digital & DTS audio in all my movies and games. I never once even considered plugging my DT880 or any other headphone into it. After all, I spent a crapload of money on my portable setup to do that. But little did I know, I had the best damn source sitting in the 100 pound box that resides beside my HDTV (my PC). I happened to stumble across a review for my soundcard here on headfi and saw someone mentioned how it drives their big cans well. I thought "oh is that right,hmmm". So I turned off all the DTS encoding and special effects I enjoyed in my games and movies and plugged my DT880 straight into the headphone out on the back of the card. Wow am I glad I did. I had no idea what this thing could do to my DT880. It's the absolute best I've heard them sound. This setup just became my home listening setup for music. I used to use my portable at home as well. Not anymore my friend.

 

So...to sum it up. I would suggest you buy the exact card that I have. Plug your DT770 straight into the headphone jack on the back of the card and call it a day. If it can drive my 250Ohm DT880 (notoriously hard headphone to drive) then it will easily drive your 80Ohm DT770. I promise you won't be sorry. You can get my card for about $100 refurbished on Newegg.com.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102044

 

There ya go :)


Edited by CoryGillmore - 10/4/12 at 1:31pm
post #19 of 26
Thread Starter 

thanks for your thoughts!

post #20 of 26

I have the DT770 Pro 80ohm headphones, and I don't think you need a dedicated amp to drive it. Any good quality dedicated sound card should drive them w/o any problem. 

 

Just get a good sound card for gaming, and plug DT770 to the headphone jack, you'd enjoy great music and game sounds from these cans. 

 

BTW, I don't play games, but I do use DT770 Pro for movies, which was why I bought them in the first place. I enjoy watching action movies w/ these headphones on far more than w/ the HD800. 

post #21 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryGillmore View Post

I have something to add to this. I just got into headfi about 2 years ago or so. In this time I've picked up a few headphones. MD Tributes, DT880 250Ohm, and an HD650 are my most notable. I've also spent a lot of money trying to find a portable source and amp to drive these cans. The RSA SR-71a does a great job plugged into an iPod 5.5 and stupidly expensive ALO cable.

 

Now in this time I bought a $3000 custom gaming PC about a year and 5 months ago. I ordered it with a Creative X-Fi Fatality Ti Professional soundcard installed in it too. I plugged it into my Yamaha 5.1 receiver through SPIDF and enjoyed Dolby Digital & DTS audio in all my movies and games. I never once even considered plugging my DT880 or any other headphone into it. After all, I spent a crapload of money on my portable setup to do that. But little did I know, I had the best damn source sitting in the 100 pound box that resides beside my HDTV (my PC). I happened to stumble across a review for my soundcard here on headfi and saw someone mentioned how it drives their big cans well. I thought "oh is that right,hmmm". So I turned off all the DTS encoding and special effects I enjoyed in my games and movies and plugged my DT880 straight into the headphone out on the back of the card. Wow am I glad I did. I had no idea what this thing could do to my DT880. It's the absolute best I've heard them sound. This setup just became my home listening setup for music. I used to use my portable at home as well. Not anymore my friend.

 

So...to sum it up. I would suggest you buy the exact card that I have. Plug your DT770 straight into the headphone jack on the back of the card and call it a day. If it can drive my 250Ohm DT880 (notoriously hard headphone to drive) then it will easily drive your 80Ohm DT770. I promise you won't be sorry. You can get my card for about $100 refurbished on Newegg.com.

 

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102044

 

There ya go :)

 

The basic X-Fi Titanium is just under half the price and has everything the Titanium Fatal1ty cards do, aside from that supposed EMI shield and the full 64 MB of X-RAM. I don't think it's worth the price premium when $100 puts it within spitting distance of the Titanium HD, or if you can find one, a proper Auzentech X-Fi card (Prelude, Forte, HomeTheater HD, but NOT the Bravura).

 

On the other hand, that does suggest that even the cheaper cards may be able to drive typical Beyerdynamic headphones, which is promising.

post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

The basic X-Fi Titanium is just under half the price and has everything the Titanium Fatal1ty cards do, aside from that supposed EMI shield and the full 64 MB of X-RAM. I don't think it's worth the price premium when $100 puts it within spitting distance of the Titanium HD, or if you can find one, a proper Auzentech X-Fi card (Prelude, Forte, HomeTheater HD, but NOT the Bravura).

On the other hand, that does suggest that even the cheaper cards may be able to drive typical Beyerdynamic headphones, which is promising.

All true. But one other difference in the two cards is that the Pro model allows you to connect to your dedicated sound card headphone out from headphone on the front panel of your computer (if your computer has a front panel headphone out).
This is a huge deal to me as my computer literally weighs around 75-80 pounds and the rear headphone out is not really acessable unless I move my computer forward a little bit.

Also, an EMI sheild could be a pretty big deal since computers can sometimes generate a lot of interference and such. Could be the difference between a completely silent headphone out (like I have) and a noisy one.
post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by CoryGillmore View Post
All true. But one other difference in the two cards is that the Pro model allows you to connect to your dedicated sound card headphone out from headphone on the front panel of your computer (if your computer has a front panel headphone out).
This is a huge deal to me as my computer literally weighs around 75-80 pounds and the rear headphone out is not really acessable unless I move my computer forward a little bit.
Also, an EMI sheild could be a pretty big deal since computers can sometimes generate a lot of interference and such. Could be the difference between a completely silent headphone out (like I have) and a noisy one.

As for the front-panel audio header, the basic X-Fi Titanium has one for typical Intel HD Audio header spec. However, if you were talking about the pins for the front panel bay adapter that comes with the Titanium Fatal1ty Champion cards, those are indeed removed, though I'm sure you could solder some replacements in and it'll work just fine.

 

Not that I even like typical front-panel audio jacks in most computer cases, as they usually have a ground loop issue that introduces lots of noise, especially with sensitive headphones. I still have yet to encounter a case whose front-panel audio jacks don't have that problem.

 

I'm a bit skeptical of EMI shielding in general, and attribute my clean-sounding desktop to the high-quality PSU with low ripple installed (PCP&C Silencer 610), along with a lack of grounding issues. But I suppose you can cover the card in EMI-shielding paper later on, if necessary.

 

Frankly, I just wish Creative wouldn't charge so much for models that have rather minor improvements made over lower-end SKUs. $70 could be understandable, but $100 is just going to have people looking at the Titanium HD or the Auzentech X-Fi cards instead. That's what bugs me more than anything.

post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

As for the front-panel audio header, the basic X-Fi Titanium has one for typical Intel HD Audio header spec. However, if you were talking about the pins for the front panel bay adapter that comes with the Titanium Fatal1ty Champion cards, those are indeed removed, though I'm sure you could solder some replacements in and it'll work just fine.

Not that I even like typical front-panel audio jacks in most computer cases, as they usually have a ground loop issue that introduces lots of noise, especially with sensitive headphones. I still have yet to encounter a case whose front-panel audio jacks don't have that problem.

I'm a bit skeptical of EMI shielding in general, and attribute my clean-sounding desktop to the high-quality PSU with low ripple installed (PCP&C Silencer 610), along with a lack of grounding issues. But I suppose you can cover the card in EMI-shielding paper later on, if necessary.

Frankly, I just wish Creative wouldn't charge so much for models that have rather minor improvements made over lower-end SKUs. $70 could be understandable, but $100 is just going to have people looking at the Titanium HD or the Auzentech X-Fi cards instead. That's what bugs me more than anything.

Yeah I see what you're saying and I e heard a lot of bad things about noisy front panel headphone outs. Mine, surprisingly, is just as silent as the jack on the back of the card. But, I have a really expensive PC built inside of a really expensive case (Corsair).
post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 

hmm, it seems that my cousin is selling his z5500 speaker system but hes still determining the price, if its within my budget I might just go for that instead, unless a gaming sound card like TiHD + dt770 combo than the z5500.

post #26 of 26

Unless he's giving a lot off the price, I wouldn't buy the z5500. I wouldn't trust the electronics in it to last for the long term.

 

You can pick up an HT satellite package like the Energy Take Classics or Martin Logan MLT-2s for about $300 new if you watch for specials. Or put together a set of Pioneer full range speakers from Newegg for about the same (watch the specials).  And then couple them with a new $200 HT receiver, which generally will last a long time. Or find a used HT receiver on Craigslist that is four or five years old. Going this route, you would have speakers that you can use for years, even if you had to replace the electronics at some point. 

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