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HD650 - Would the amp in Xonar STX be enough? (beginner)

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking of buying the HD650 and Xonar STX Essence as I now have a couple of good computer speakers (Bose Companion 20) and want to give them the source they deserve. The STX seem attractive because of the built-in amp, but would it be enough to drive the HD650? If not, could you recommend an amp that would be suited with the HD650?

post #2 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by vane505 View Post

I'm thinking of buying the HD650 and Xonar STX Essence as I now have a couple of good computer speakers (Bose Companion 20) and want to give them the source they deserve. The STX seem attractive because of the built-in amp, but would it be enough to drive the HD650? If not, could you recommend an amp that would be suited with the HD650?

 

Heya,


Yes the STX can drive the HD650.

 

If you want an external discreet amp, simply state your budget for this. You can get a $30 sound card that will do what you need, and then use the rest of the budget on an amplifier to best synergize with the HD650 if you have the funds for it. If not, the STX is a good way to get it all in one package at a price that is pretty fair.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply. I would like to keep it under 300$ for equipment other than the hd650, although i can stretch it if there is a better option for slightly more.
post #4 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by vane505 View Post

Thank you for your reply. I would like to keep it under 300$ for equipment other than the hd650, although i can stretch it if there is a better option for slightly more.

 

Heya,

 

You can certainly do better with a $300 budget for the non-headphone equipment.

 

$25 for a Xonar DG soundcard, output to a JDS Labs O2 Amp is well under budget.

Alternatively, you can get the JDS Labs O2 amp & ODAC dac in one combo unit for $300 pre-built.

Another option, a Schiit Asgard amplifier, again with virtually any DAC output (soundcard or external makes no difference).

A Fiio E10 is a good DAC too, that has a headphone amp too mind, but can output to a better amp and can be mixed with anything you want too.

There's also the NFB12.1 & 15.1 from Audio GD, great DAC/AMP units well under your budget with enough power for planar magnetics even.

 

Very best,

post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 

I can get the HRT HeadStreamer and the Audioengine D1 for a pretty good price. Would the Asus Xonar DX + HRT Headstreamer/Audioengine D1 + HD650 be a good combination? Would you recommend the HRT over the D1 or vice versa? Thank you again.

post #6 of 23

I would recommend getting the HRT and the O2/Schiit Asgard.

post #7 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Heya,

 

You can certainly do better with a $300 budget for the non-headphone equipment.

 

$25 for a Xonar DG soundcard, output to a JDS Labs O2 Amp is well under budget.

Alternatively, you can get the JDS Labs O2 amp & ODAC dac in one combo unit for $300 pre-built.

Another option, a Schiit Asgard amplifier, again with virtually any DAC output (soundcard or external makes no difference).

A Fiio E10 is a good DAC too, that has a headphone amp too mind, but can output to a better amp and can be mixed with anything you want too.

There's also the NFB12.1 & 15.1 from Audio GD, great DAC/AMP units well under your budget with enough power for planar magnetics even.

 

Very best,

 

Good advice!! I'd lean toward the Asgard as long as you don't mind it running hot, which it will. 

post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Heya,

 

You can certainly do better with a $300 budget for the non-headphone equipment.

 

$25 for a Xonar DG soundcard, output to a JDS Labs O2 Amp is well under budget.

 

I noticed the Xonar DG soundcard has a built in headphone amplifier... if you connect the Xonar DG to the O2 amp would you be double amping it? If so, does it affect sound quality in any way?

post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by vane505 View Post

I'm thinking of buying the HD650 and Xonar STX Essence as I now have a couple of good computer speakers (Bose Companion 20) and want to give them the source they deserve. The STX seem attractive because of the built-in amp, but would it be enough to drive the HD650? If not, could you recommend an amp that would be suited with the HD650?

 

If by "enough to drive the HD 650" you mean "has sufficient power", the answer is yes.

 

If by "the source they deserve" you mean "the best sound for the money", I don't know.

post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by vane505 View Post

I can get the HRT HeadStreamer and the Audioengine D1 for a pretty good price. Would the Asus Xonar DX + HRT Headstreamer/Audioengine D1 + HD650 be a good combination? Would you recommend the HRT over the D1 or vice versa? Thank you again.

 

You can attach The HRT or D1 to a USB port. If that's all you need, the Xonar is superfluous.

post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by vane505 View Post

I can get the HRT HeadStreamer and the Audioengine D1 for a pretty good price. Would the Asus Xonar DX + HRT Headstreamer/Audioengine D1 + HD650 be a good combination? Would you recommend the HRT over the D1 or vice versa? Thank you again.

One slight problem, the HRT Headstreamer has a USB input and sound cards do not come with a USB output (at least no sound cards I know of).

So to connect an external DAC to a sound card, the external DAC really needs to have S/PDIF (Optical or coaxial) input.

The Asus Xonar Essence STX should on it's own, be good enough, for now.

 

Is this setup just for music? or movies? or gaming?

 

If only for music, you can skip on the sound card.

post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

The Asus Xonar Essence STX should on it's own, be good enough.
There are no cheap magic alternatives, with the Essence you get what you pay.
In the future and with more budget will be another story.
post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thank you everyone for you help. I maybe should have clarified in more detail what I'll use the equipment for. I'll mostly use it for music and movies, and some for casual gaming. I have one pair of computer speakers (Bose Companion 20) and another pair (Logitech Z623) that are in front of the TV (I watch all of my movies from the computer that's connected to my TV). So the source of the sound will always be from my computer. The headphones will be used when I watch movies/TV-series/gaming alone and when I'm listening to music while working/studying.

 

Also, I've tried to figure out if a soundcard is needed if I have an external DAC. From what I've understood from this thread and other sources a sound card is not needed if I only listen to music and have an external DAC but is good to have if I also watch movies/for gaming? Please correct me if I'm wrong. 

 

The Aasgard seem interesting! This would be a bit over my budget, but how about Xonar DX + Aasgard + one of the DAC you recommended?

 

Otherwise, as some have written maybe I should just get the STX and settle for that now and upgrade later. This was harder than I thought it would be :p  


Edited by vane505 - 11/1/12 at 5:40am
post #14 of 23
If you care about any sound processing features such as EAX, Dolby Headphone, cmss-3D, etc, then you should consider buying a sound card. If you really want EAX (you play a lot of older games) look at the Titanium HD.
 
If you would just be using the headphone in pure stereo and don't need any sound processing features, you can forget about a sound card and just go with a DAC.
 
Also, you could get both if you really wanted the best of both worlds. Like PurpleAngel has said already, make sure that the DAC accepts S/PDIF input. Then, you could still use the features of the sound card by using it's S/PDIF out. Or you could just feed the sound card's line out to an amp (bypassing the sound card's built-in amp,) if that's all you wanted.
post #15 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheuh View Post

I noticed the Xonar DG soundcard has a built in headphone amplifier... if you connect the Xonar DG to the O2 amp would you be double amping it?

 

No, it can be switched to line output mode.

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