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First real headphones (Grado SR60i), but not quite loud enough with onboard sound

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

So these are my first decent headphones, and so far, I'm loving these headphones. But, they are way quieter on my desktop than on my laptop.

 

For example, when I drag the windows volume to 100, it makes the 'ding' noise, but it's not nearly as loud as on my laptop (maybe equivalent to 30 on laptop). Another example is, my mechanical keyboard drowns out music/skype a lot of the time if it's quiet (even at 100 volume).

 

I'm wondering if this is because of the onboard sound (ALC898 on an Asrock Z77 Extreme4 vs Cirrus Logic CS4206A (AB 77) on my Macbook Pro), or if this is not typical and I'm doing something wrong.

 

Either way, what are solutions I'm looking at? Thanks for any help.


Edited by simon311A - 12/29/12 at 1:45am
post #2 of 16
Sounds like the desktop just doesn't output as much power - not surprising, it's a line driver. A headphone amplifier would let you set things loud enough to blow your head off.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by obobskivich View Post

Sounds like the desktop just doesn't output as much power - not surprising, it's a line driver. A headphone amplifier would let you set things loud enough to blow your head off.

Ok forgive me, I'm still very new to all this. So I definitely want a headphone amp, not a sound card or a DAC (not sure where this fits in?), or anything else? Is there a thread somewhere with amp recommendations?

post #4 of 16
A soundcard would work too, if it had a headphone driver built-in (a lot of the Asus and Creative cards do). A DAC is not needed here - that's a digital to analog converter, it sits between a digital audio source (like a CD player) and an analog sink (like a stereo preamp or a headphone amplifier) - your PC already has that built-in, and so would a new soundcard.

IIRC one of the ~$30 Asus cards actually has a competent headphone driver built-in, pity is that I don't follow the Asus soundcards. Try in computer audio (just skim around) - Xonar DX or DG or DS or something like that. redface.gif
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon311A View Post

So these are my first decent headphones, and so far, I'm loving these headphones. But, they are way quieter on my desktop than on my laptop.

 

For example, when I drag the windows volume to 100, it makes the 'ding' noise, but it's not nearly as loud as on my laptop (maybe equivalent to 30 on laptop). Another example is, my mechanical keyboard drowns out music/skype a lot of the time if it's quiet (even at 100 volume).

 

I'm wondering if this is because of the onboard sound (ALC898 on an Asrock Z77 Extreme4 vs Cirrus Logic CS4206A (AB 77) on my Macbook Pro), or if this is not typical and I'm doing something wrong.

 

Either way, what are solutions I'm looking at? Thanks for any help.

 

Heya,

 

Fiio E10 ($45) will solve your issues and work on any machine and travel with you.

 

Very best,

post #6 of 16
Thread Starter 

I see, thanks for the help :)

 

I think I'll go with the FiiO e10, since it will work with my desktop, macbook pro, and with my galaxy S3 (I think?).

 

Related question, is there any lag that might affect gaming by using a USB DAC/amp rather than a PCI one?

post #7 of 16

Hi,

 

There should not be any lag of sound when using a DAC or amp. 

 

Also I hope you like your E10, don't forget to tell us. 

 

Andre

post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon311A View Post

I see, thanks for the help :)

 

I think I'll go with the FiiO e10, since it will work with my desktop, macbook pro, and with my galaxy S3 (I think?).

 

Related question, is there any lag that might affect gaming by using a USB DAC/amp rather than a PCI one?

Not the S3 I think.

post #9 of 16

for pure volume purposes something like a fiio E6 would suffice, but i havn't heard the E10 before though so i can't comment about the quality amplification powers of it. (though i suspect it would do better since the E6 has almost zero quality improvement qualities from what i can observe)


Edited by streetdragon - 12/29/12 at 6:50am
post #10 of 16
E10 doesn't work with the s3. It's also terrible for fps gaming. Sound positioning is absolutely nil. If it's just to hear sounds, it'll be fine. The e10 does great with music tho.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Did some research, looks like the ALC898's DAC is just as good as Xonar DG's DAC. So, I should just get an amp only, it seems.
 
Edit: Looks like the DGX is better than the DG though? Not sure. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132052

Edited by simon311A - 12/29/12 at 3:26pm
post #12 of 16

I suppose you must be gaming considering that mobo? Then do yourself a favor and get the creative sound blaster x-fi titanium HD

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

I suppose you must be gaming considering that mobo? Then do yourself a favor and get the creative sound blaster x-fi titanium HD

I should mention I'm trying to stay under a budget of say.. 80~

 

And the primary problem is volume. Doesn't ALC898 have virtual surround?

post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Just an update in case anyone was wondering:

 

I thought about my issues, and a main reason why I felt the Grados were not loud enough was because of my computer fans and my mechanical keyboard. Combine this with the fact that people on Skype said they could hear an echo of themselves made me realize that I needed a closed headphone.

 

Therefore, I returned the Grados and got myself a pair of KRK KNS8400s. These are nice, a lot more comfortable too - comfort is a huge issue for me. Being closed really did fix many of my problems. Their accuracy and decent soundstage make them nice for gaming too (though I don't really play FPS). 

 

I still have to have my volume at 100% for Skype, so I do plan on getting either an amp or a DAC/amp.

 

e6 - Can this lower sound quality?

e10 - Is this any better than Realtek ALC 898 (supposed to be really good)?

e11 - Can't be used while charging?

 

Any other budget options?

post #15 of 16

all i can say about the E6 is that it doesn't really boost quality, just volume boost and 3 eq settings

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