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PC soundcard for beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 250 Ohm and Fiio E9

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I've read some post here about the two products but I still have a few questions. I decided to go with the DT 990 premium 250 ohm because I heard they are great for gaming and also for music/movies. Being new to all this audio stuff i also learned that it needs an amp and a soundcard to function properly. What's the cheapest setup I can do to run this headphones? In other words the cheapest amp and the cheapest sound card I can get to run this at it's full potential.

 

I read Mad lust envy's headphone gaming guide, and I know this can do 7.1 with the proper setup. I still don't understand much about Dolby headphone virtual surround, but It sounds like it could be what I'm looking for when it comes to gaming. 

 

I've read good reviews about the Fiio E9 running this headset, so all I would need is a 7.1 Sound card. I read about Asus DX sonar 7.1 in some forums but is that the cheapest or best option?

 

Please feel free to correct me or educate me in the way of the audio. This is going to be my first expensive headphone purchase and I just want to be able to play PC games and watch blue-rays with some good audio quality. I love bass so that's why I'm choosing this over the 32 ohm. 


Edited by sonylover5 - 11/27/12 at 8:07pm
post #2 of 16

Heya,

 

The E9 is perfectly fine, get a used one for like $55~60 probably, or grab a new one if budget allows.

 

For a sound card, just find anything inexpensive with dolby headphone and you're good to go.

 

Frankly though, most sound cards that have the dolby headphone, or creative lab's version, can be had with onboard amps that can handle the 250ohm no problem. Look at the new Fatality cards from Creative Labs, Recon3D I think? $75 for a complete setup with onboard amp and surround tech for your headphone.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 

In your opinion do I need to get a sound card? A friend of mine told me that the E9 amp would be all that I needed and to just plug it in to my mother board audio. If I did that would I be able to hear player positions in shooting games, or do I need to get the soundcard in order for the headphones to have some sort of surround sound to them?

 

This is my mother board http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130236

 

It seems to me that a sound card would work best if I had a home theater system, but the headphone only has 1 3.5mm connection.

 

Still new to this so just getting questions out of the way. Thanks in advance.

post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonylover5 View Post

In your opinion do I need to get a sound card? A friend of mine told me that the E9 amp would be all that I needed and to just plug it in to my mother board audio. If I did that would I be able to hear player positions in shooting games, or do I need to get the sound card in order for the headphones to have some sort of surround sound to them?

 

This is my mother board http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130236

 

It seems to me that a sound card would work best if I had a home theater system, but the headphone only has 1 3.5mm connection.

 

Still new to this so just getting questions out of the way. Thanks in advance.

Chances are the Xonar DX (or D1) sound card's DAC feature (CS4398 chip) is a fair bit better then the one built into the motherboard.

But the Xonar DX/D1 does a poor job of driving headphones, so getting an external headphone amplifier like the Fiio E9 is need for driving 250-Ohm headphone with the Xonar DX/D1.

Watch eBay for a used Asus Xonar Essence STX sound card, it's about equal amplifier wise with the Fiio E9 and uses the same audio processor as the Xonar DX/D1.

post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 

I've heard that using a sound card with an amp can create a bit of background hiss when nothing is playing. And the E9 doesn't have this since its an external amp. Is that true?

 

Also if I did get the Xonar Essence STX, what would I need to plug into the back? just the 1 3.5mm headphone jack? where does it go? (simple questions since I've never used a soundcard) 

 

thanks in advance.

post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonylover5 View Post

I've heard that using a sound card with an amp can create a bit of background hiss when nothing is playing. And the E9 doesn't have this since its an external amp. Is that true?

 

The headphone output of the Xonar STX may have some audible hiss with sensitive low impedance headphones and IEMs, especially at 44.1, 88.2, or 176.4 kHz sample rate, but not with the DT990-250, unless there is some problem. With my DT880 Pro (same impedance), I cannot hear any noise at all.

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by sonylover5 View Post

 

Also if I did get the Xonar Essence STX, what would I need to plug into the back?

 

It has 1/4" jacks at the rear panel. Your DT990 should come with a 1/8" to 1/4" screw-on adapter.

post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonylover5 View Post

I've heard that using a sound card with an amp can create a bit of background hiss when nothing is playing. And the E9 doesn't have this since its an external amp. Is that true?

 

Also if I did get the Xonar Essence STX, what would I need to plug into the back? just the 1 3.5mm headphone jack? where does it go? (simple questions since I've never used a soundcard) 

 

thanks in advance.

 

Heya,

 

Anything can have a noise floor (that hiss), it's not just the sound card or an amp. It's the combination of equipment. Put a high efficiency headphone with low impedance on a very high current source and you're going to hear some hiss even from higher end equipment. So don't over-generalize that. It's not true. Everything is about the entire circuit and not just one component. Sound cards are fine. So long as you don't have the gain setting(s) turned up high on an efficient headphone, the hiss will be there or not depending on all factors.

 

You really do not need an external amp for a 250ohm headphone. Most of today's soundcards with dolby live or dolby headphone and opamps onboard can handle all headphones in the 300ohm range without issue.

 

I would save your money. If this is all about gaming, I would put you on the Recon3D (or it's little brother, it has the same software/amp/abilities just doesn't come with a microphone apparently, so it's cheaper). This will do everything you need and has a good package for gaming (dolby live for 5.1 surround, and some software fun for footstep listening). You don't need to buy a $180 sound card and then get an amp. You can cover all this for just $55. So again, I suggest you save your money.

 

Very best,

post #8 of 16

The best price/performance ratio for gaming is a Creative X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) plus an O2 amp. Forget about Asus cards or USB DACs, the former has partial gaming audio support while the latter has no gaming audio support (with few limited exceptions).

 

Also, regarding Creative soundcards, Recon3D and Z series are to be avoided since they are little better than Asus cards, the latest series worth buying is the X-Fi series.

post #9 of 16

Hmmm...I currently have the DT990 250 and 600 ohm, deciding which one to return.  The Creative claims its HP amp will drive up to 600 ohm cans.  Does this seem right?  In the meantime, I ordered the E17 to test with the 990s before making a final call.  This external x-fi also has a dedicated HP amp, for $81. 

post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by automaton View Post

Hmmm...I currently have the DT990 250 and 600 ohm, deciding which one to return.  The Creative claims its HP amp will drive up to 600 ohm cans.  Does this seem right?  In the meantime, I ordered the E17 to test with the 990s before making a final call.  This external x-fi also has a dedicated HP amp, for $81. 

 

Which Creative card are you talking about? The Creative X-Fi Titanium HD has a headphone output for headphones up to 330 Ohm, which is why I added the O2 recommendation, which is an excellent pairing, given its price point.

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

 

Which Creative card are you talking about? The Creative X-Fi Titanium HD has a headphone output for headphones up to 330 Ohm, which is why I added the O2 recommendation, which is an excellent pairing, given its price point.


Sorry.  The Recon3D. From the Amazon page: "The dedicated high quality headphone amp supports studio quality headphones and headsets with up to 600 ohm impedance."

post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by automaton View Post


Sorry.  The Recon3D. From the Amazon page: "The dedicated high quality headphone amp supports studio quality headphones and headsets with up to 600 ohm impedance."

 

The Recon3D and Z series are to be avoided, they lack positional cue improving algorithms that are present on X-Fi cards, as well as many other features. This, if you intend on doing any sort of gaming other than casual (read, Flash gaming), that is.

 

EDIT: I might've been too harsh, they do have partial gaming audio support, however it's drastically inferior to X-Fi cards.

post #13 of 16

Gotcha, thanks.  I currently have an x-fi platinum that outputs to a 2-channel system, but I don't game that much on the system anymore, as I prefer my living room setup.  Weird that the HP amp on the Titanium HD isn't as powerful as the non-X-fi model. 

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

I would save your money. If this is all about gaming, I would put you on the Recon3D (or it's little brother, it has the same software/amp/abilities just doesn't come with a microphone apparently, so it's cheaper). This will do everything you need and has a good package for gaming (dolby live for 5.1 surround, and some software fun for footstep listening). You don't need to buy a $180 sound card and then get an amp. You can cover all this for just $55. So again, I suggest you save your money.

 

 

I checked out the Creative Recon3D Fatal1ty card and I like it since it comes with an included mic. So Will this card run my Dt 990's 250ohm and that would be the only purchase I would need? no external amps or anything else? Also how do you get Dolby headphone from this card? Is the software included with the card?

 

Another thing, will the Recon3D card play movie audio as well? You said it's a great card for gaming but I also watch blu-ray movies and listen to music everyday.

post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

 

The Recon3D and Z series are to be avoided, they lack positional cue improving algorithms that are present on X-Fi cards, as well as many other features. This, if you intend on doing any sort of gaming other than casual (read, Flash gaming), that is.

 

EDIT: I might've been too harsh, they do have partial gaming audio support, however it's drastically inferior to X-Fi cards.

The reason I was interested in Recon3D is because I read Mad lust envy's guide and he recommended Dolby headphone, do X-fi cards have that? Also in your opinion what's a great card that has a built in amp? It would be more convenient and cheaper for me to buy a soundcard with built in amp that can handle 250 ohm.

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