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DAC+Amp Suggestions for DT 880 Pro - Page 2

post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Valyrian View Post

Hello everybody,

 

I am totally new to mid- to high-end audio and since I don't understand it very well yet, I would really appreciate your help. As an FPS gamer, I have completely neglected audio in favor of video, so much so that my current setup is an ASUS Xonar DG, a 5 year old set of 2.1 speakers and some earphones that came with my old Blackberry.

 

Recently, I've heard a lot about what a huge difference audio can make and decided I wanted to see for myself. I auditioned the Logitech G35s and Sennheiser PC350s for a week each and wasn't as impressed as I'd hoped. Then I discovered HeadFi and the "Holy Grail of Gaming" and "50+ Flagships" threads by Audioholic and DavidMahler. So, based in large part on these great reviews (and many others), I've decided to buy the DT 880 Pro 250 ohms ($230 on Amazon).

 

Originally I planned just to use them with my Xonar DG until I buy a new gaming rig next summer. Then I realized I need an adapter to allow me to plug both my speakers and headphones into the back of the sound card, because apparently my case would not allow the sound card to connect to the headphone jack on the front. Since everyone here seems to suggest an amp for these headphones anyway, I figured maybe I should get an amp instead of just a 3.5mm splitter. So here are my questions:

 

1. How does an amp improve sound quality? By how much? Is it more important than DAC?

 

2. What is the best DAC+amp combo for these headphones under $200 or maybe $250 if the improvement is justifiable? (If, for example, Audioholic's Xonar STX suggestion is the best option, I would be willing to wait until summer to plug that into my new rig. I don't consider an amp immediately and absolutely necessary because I assume the headphones alone should be a pretty big improvement for now.)

 

3. How close to the full potential of these headphones will I get on this budget?

 

Please note that my priorities, in order of importance, are gaming (especially online FPS), then movies, then music. Though great quality across the board would be fantastic, I want great positional audio and a competitive edge most of all.

 

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

The Asus Xonar Essence STX is indeed better than regular Creative X-Fi Titanium. However, Asus soundcards have partial gaming audio support, regardless of being an entry level Xonar DG or a flagship Xonar Essence STX. You should instead get an Auzentech X-Fi Forte (a custom X-Fi Titanium card with higher quality components) or the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD, which is currently the best soundcard geared for gaming that money can buy. Adding a headphone amp like an O2 will provide enough power to drive your DT880, leaving you with a very high quality audio setup for gaming, movies and music.

post #17 of 29

Below which is a better amp to drive DT880?

 

1) Electric Avenues PA2V2
2) FiiO E11
3) JDS Labs CMoyBB
4) Headstage Arrow 12HE
5) Epiphany Acoustics EHP-O2
6) JDS Labs c421 Headphone Amplifier1) Electric Avenues PA2V2
 

post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberalpha11 View Post

Below which is a better amp to drive DT880?

 

1) Electric Avenues PA2V2
2) FiiO E11
3) JDS Labs CMoyBB
4) Headstage Arrow 12HE
5) Epiphany Acoustics EHP-O2
6) JDS Labs c421 Headphone Amplifier1) Electric Avenues PA2V2
 

 

Either the Headstage Arrow or the c421.

post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

 

Either the Headstage Arrow or the c421.

Can you comment between JDS Labs C421 vs Objective 2, which is a better amp to drive DT880?

Which one offer better sound quality especially the sound stage & separation?

post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberalpha11 View Post

Can you comment between JDS Labs C421 vs Objective 2, which is a better amp to drive DT880?

Which one offer better sound quality especially the sound stage & separation?

 

Keep in mind the c421 is a portable amp while the O2 is a desktop amp, so limitations are to be expected from portable amps, as a general rule of thumb.

 

Overall, you're likely to prefer the O2, and not only due to its more critical measurements.

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

 

Keep in mind the c421 is a portable amp while the O2 is a desktop amp, so limitations are to be expected from portable amps, as a general rule of thumb.

 

Overall, you're likely to prefer the O2, and not only due to its more critical measurements.

Would it not be better to say the O2 is a portable amplifier that also works fine as a desktop?

post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Would it not be better to say the O2 is a portable amplifier that also works fine as a desktop?

 

Not really. The form factor might be misleading, but it is a desktop amp.

post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberalpha11 View Post

Can you comment between JDS Labs C421 vs Objective 2, which is a better amp to drive DT880?

Which one offer better sound quality especially the sound stage & separation?

 


ASUS Xonar U3 can power DT880 250ohm. $40-$50, as big as a flash drive, USB powered. It's a desktop DAC+Amp.
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by ixnine View Post

 


ASUS Xonar U3 can power DT880 250ohm. $40-$50, as big as a flash drive, USB powered. It's a desktop DAC+Amp.

As the Asus Xonar U3 is rated for headphones up to 150-Ohm, I would think the DT880 would not be working at it's best?

post #25 of 29

It has similar headphone amplification to the Xonar DG.


Edited by stv014 - 12/14/12 at 9:40am
post #26 of 29

Output impedance of Xonar U3 is 23 ohm (multiplied by 8 is 184) so it's good for phones about 200 ohm and above (up to about 300+ ohm because of low power output).

Loudness also depend on the sensitivity of the headphone (higher is louder), for DT880 PRO version I think sensitivity is 96 dB.

 

Xonar U3 is really just a budget DAC+Amp to power 200-300+ ohm phones with pretty high sensitivity.

post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

Keep in mind the c421 is a portable amp while the O2 is a desktop amp, so limitations are to be expected from portable amps, as a general rule of thumb.

Overall, you're likely to prefer the O2, and not only due to its more critical measurements.

Let's forget about O2 by now.
Which is a better choice to unleash the potential of DT880 between JSD LABS C421 and Headstage Arrow 12HE 4G ?
Which one has a higher reliability (less breakdown) and longer battery life?
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberalpha11 View Post


Let's forget about O2 by now.
Which is a better choice to unleash the potential of DT880 between JSD LABS C421 and Headstage Arrow 12HE 4G ?
Which one has a higher reliability (less breakdown) and longer battery life?

 

Both are reliable, with the Headstage Arrow having longer battery life (more than twice the c421).

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by cyberalpha11 View Post

Below which is a better amp to drive DT880?

 

1) Electric Avenues PA2V2
2) FiiO E11
3) JDS Labs CMoyBB
4) Headstage Arrow 12HE
5) Epiphany Acoustics EHP-O2
6) JDS Labs c421 Headphone Amplifier1) Electric Avenues PA2V2
 

 

I would suggest the Arrow for this based on the power, battery life and compact design

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