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Can a decent Soundcard make closed cans suitable for competitive gaming?

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 

Assuming the headphones have already good soundstage, like the AKG k550, ATH-A900X, SRH-940.

 

The main reason I want closed and not open is because I need the isolation, due to really noisy pc fans and A/C in the midst of summer.

post #2 of 20

Heya,

 

A soundcard is actually the same as what you find in external DAC/AMP's that folk talk about around here. The only difference is power source and what it's attached to, aside from obvious stuff like components (which vary from product to product anyways). It's becoming more and more common to find soundcards being readied with much more robust onboard op-amps to be able to handle higher loads for more exotic headphones as the gaming scene is very popular and lucrative.

 

The Xonar STX, Titanium X-Fi HD, Halo Claro, etc, are all excellent. And there are plenty of cards in the $30~100 range that are perfectly fine.


Also note, you can always use a soundcard to do your processing and simply line-out the signal to a discreet amplifier if you need more power.

 

Then again, most closed headphones are low impedance these days. So you probably don't need much power anyways. The headphones you listed for example don't need amplifiers at all.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 

I could also use more suggestions for closed gaming headphones; headsets are also welcome if they're also good for studio monitoring.

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

Heya,

 

A soundcard is actually the same as what you find in external DAC/AMP's that folk talk about around here. The only difference is power source and what it's attached to, aside from obvious stuff like components (which vary from product to product anyways). It's becoming more and more common to find soundcards being readied with much more robust onboard op-amps to be able to handle higher loads for more exotic headphones as the gaming scene is very popular and lucrative.

 

The Xonar STX, Titanium X-Fi HD, Halo Claro, etc, are all excellent. And there are plenty of cards in the $30~100 range that are perfectly fine.


Also note, you can always use a soundcard to do your processing and simply line-out the signal to a discreet amplifier if you need more power.

 

Then again, most closed headphones are low impedance these days. So you probably don't need much power anyways. The headphones you listed for example don't need amplifiers at all.

 

Very best,

 

Thanks for the info; and as for the headphones, do you have any opinion regarding their suitability for gaming?

post #5 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCRG View Post

 

Thanks for the info; and as for the headphones, do you have any opinion regarding their suitability for gaming?

 

Heya,

 

Plenty. Any closed headphone with a decent sound stage and good imaging are fine. You can always tweak any headphone to have a frequency response that is to your taste for gaming purposes (such as toning down bass frequencies to make it easier to hear foot steps, weapon reloads, item pick ups, etc; that way you're not limited to that, so that you can still have good bass in other applications when you're not intent on only hearing foot steps for example).

 

Examples:

 

Beyer DT770 PRO

AudioTechnica A900X

AKG K267 & K167

AKG K550

Mr Speaker Mad Dog (with option for Stax Pads)

Ultrasone PRO 750

Denon D2000/5000 (discontinued)

 

If you only will use them for competitive foot step listening, the SRH940 would be great or the Beyer T70P.

 

Very best,

post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MalVeauX View Post

 

Heya,

 

Plenty. Any closed headphone with a decent sound stage and good imaging are fine. You can always tweak any headphone to have a frequency response that is to your taste for gaming purposes (such as toning down bass frequencies to make it easier to hear foot steps, weapon reloads, item pick ups, etc; that way you're not limited to that, so that you can still have good bass in other applications when you're not intent on only hearing foot steps for example).

 

Examples:

 

Beyer DT770 PRO

AudioTechnica A900X

AKG K267 & K167

AKG K550

Mr Speaker Mad Dog (with option for Stax Pads)

Ultrasone PRO 750

Denon D2000/5000 (discontinued)

 

If you only will use them for competitive foot step listening, the SRH940 would be great or the Beyer T70P.

 

Very best,

 

Thank you, you've been most helpful.

post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCRG View Post

Assuming the headphones have already good soundstage, like the AKG k550, ATH-A900X, SRH-940.

 

The main reason I want closed and not open is because I need the isolation, due to really noisy pc fans and A/C in the midst of summer.


The X-Fi gamer I have uses a built in equalizer and has several enhancement functions like 3d headphone, and "crystalizer" which near as I can tell increases the dynamic range of music to combat all of the dynamic compression modern music uses. It is also able to drive my DT880's well enough for gaming without a dedicated amp.

 

That said, I have heard wonderful things about some of the external ASUS soundcards with user replaceable op amps.....

post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post


The X-Fi gamer I have uses a built in equalizer and has several enhancement functions like 3d headphone, and "crystalizer" which near as I can tell increases the dynamic range of music to combat all of the dynamic compression modern music uses. It is also able to drive my DT880's well enough for gaming without a dedicated amp.

 

That said, I have heard wonderful things about some of the external ASUS soundcards with user replaceable op amps.....

 

Aren't the DT880 semi-open?

post #9 of 20

They are and I have the 250ohm version which are hard to drive so you should be good to go without an amp as long as you aren't using 600ohm cans.

 

I'm not sure if you were asking about something that would work well with headphones, or something that can give you an edge with closed back cans.
 

post #10 of 20

i use a xonar st- has an amp good for 600 ohm cans. i'm also a competitive gamer and prefer closed headphones- the a900x being my current fave. 

post #11 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodhifi View Post

They are and I have the 250ohm version which are hard to drive so you should be good to go without an amp as long as you aren't using 600ohm cans.

 

I'm not sure if you were asking about something that would work well with headphones, or something that can give you an edge with closed back cans.
 

I have a noisy pc (due to OCing), so semi open is a no-no for me, sorry.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ourfpshero View Post

i use a xonar st- has an amp good for 600 ohm cans. i'm also a competitive gamer and prefer closed headphones- the a900x being my current fave. 

Are they good for positional cues?

post #12 of 20

the xonars can do dolby headphone and eax. eax is kind of dead now- but dolby headphone takes a 5.1 surround signal and converts it to headphone surround. i have long been a competitive 1st person shooter player- this works quite well for me

 

a budget option is the usb xonar U3. it drives cans up to 150 ohms easily. its dynamic range and positional arent quite what the xonat st is, but its still rather nice, i have one for my laptop

post #13 of 20
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ourfpshero View Post

the xonars can do dolby headphone and eax. eax is kind of dead now- but dolby headphone takes a 5.1 surround signal and converts it to headphone surround. i have long been a competitive 1st person shooter player- this works quite well for me

 

a budget option is the usb xonar U3. it drives cans up to 150 ohms easily. its dynamic range and positional arent quite what the xonat st is, but its still rather nice, i have one for my laptop


I've been thinking about getting the Xonar DG, which has very good reviews, however it's very cheap, which worries me because it may not be sufficient.

post #14 of 20

............JCRG

 

If you listen to more of rock and roll type of songs, get the 900x

 

If you listen to music with a lot of bass, get the vmoda M-100 or the shures that you are talking about. 

 

If you listen to music with a lot of mids.............Get quiet PC fans and get an open headphone. 

post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by JCRG View Post


I've been thinking about getting the Xonar DG, which has very good reviews, however it's very cheap, which worries me because it may not be sufficient.

ive had the dg- its very decent- not as sweet as a hi-end card, but better than most

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