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ASIO, WASAPI, BBQ?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

I am thinking about upgrading my sound card. Currently, I have a Creative X-Fi Titanium. I just got some DT 770's (80 ohm) that are not being driven properly by this, and I might get some higher impedence headphones in the future (Sennheiser HD 650's), so I was looking at the ASUS Xonar Essence STX. I play music and games equally, although the games I typically play don't require positional audio. I was reading the STX Head-Fi page, and the recommended settings talk about ASIO and WASABI and Foobar and this is where I got lost. I'm a super newbie so bear with me but, am I supposed to use one of these...drivers...I think? How do I get them? Are they necessary?

post #2 of 28
The X-Fi Titanium is generally considered better for gaming than the Xonar. Why not just get a headphone amp?
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

Like I said, the games I play don't require positional audio, and I have read that the STX is geared more towards music listeners, so it would probably be better for me. The STX just seems simple, as it would work with any headphone, and I could just control all volume levels from my computer, and not have to deal with an external amplifier as the STX is an amplifier. I'm mainly confused about all this ASIO, WASAPI, KERNEL, directsound talk. Plus I don't think I would even get the positional audio if I ran the Titanium through an amplifier...would I?

post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by TwelveTrains View Post

Like I said, the games I play don't require positional audio, and I have read that the STX is geared more towards music listeners, so it would probably be better for me. The STX just seems simple, as it would work with any headphone, and I could just control all volume levels from my computer, and not have to deal with an external amplifier as the STX is an amplifier. I'm mainly confused about all this ASIO, WASAPI, KERNEL, directsound talk. Plus I don't think I would even get the positional audio if I ran the Titanium through an amplifier...would I?

I run the RCA outputs on my Titanium HD to my Schiit magni headphone amp and the CMSS-3D  positional audio works Great. It's very clear and detailed. I get people calling me a hacker all the time cause they can't sneak up on me and even if you don't use it now some game you play in the future might be better with it.


Edited by Honkytime - 2/16/13 at 11:49pm
post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

The *main* reason I started this thread was because I was confused about wasapi, asio, and directsound. I'm not really sure which one I have or what they even are and if I need them or not.

post #6 of 28
How do you know the x fi isnt driving your beyers properly? The STX has 11 ohms output impedance so wont match well with low impedance cans or IEMs. That's not to say an amp with low output impedance would not pair well with high impedance cans, either.
post #7 of 28
You get wasapi with windows vista or later (or was it 7?). ASIO and WASAPI are ways to get bit perfect playback but imo unnecessary for simple audio playback. directsound is just window's default audio system
post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 

Yeah I will probably stick with directsound.  Even though the Beyers are rated at 80 ohms, they have a rather low efficiency.

post #9 of 28
Sooo... they dont go loud enough on the x-fi?
post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 

Well they get LOUD enough yes, but they seem to be lacking in certain areas. I dunno...

post #11 of 28

Good luck having people explain and quantify what other sound cards and aftermarket amps and DACs can do better than your X-Fi Platinum... rolleyes.gif

 

I find my headphones "lacking in certain areas" and "too much in certain other areas"--e.g. sometimes I find it hard to pick out vocals from the mix, other times tissy sibilance hits me too hard.  My solution is something along these lines wink.gif

http://www.head-fi.org/t/413900/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-a-tutorial

http://www.head-fi.org/t/615417/how-to-equalize-your-headphones-advanced-tutorial-in-progress

 

Although you may find that when the "equalize down not up" rule is applied (to avoid distortion), lots of headphone sources actually do suffer from a lack of volume when paired with less sensitive headphones and / or headphones with significant nulls in their frequency response that you want to counter.  I bought a Fiio E17 DAC / amp to combat this, it has a maximum of 12dB gain over the original signal and in use I find it plenty loud enough to drive any cans, with or without EQ, to very loud levels.  And it's very clean.


Edited by Joe Bloggs - 2/17/13 at 2:46am
post #12 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Bloggs View Post

How do you know the x fi isnt driving your beyers properly? The STX has 11 ohms output impedance so wont match well with low impedance cans or IEMs. That's not to say an amp with low output impedance would not pair well with high impedance cans, either.

Although the Titanium HD's output impedance is around 36 ohms. So the STX would be a better match for the DT770 80 ohms in that regard.
post #13 of 28

Really!?  One of these names had been ringing a "high impedance" bell in my vague memory.  Looks like I remembered the wrong one lol

Where did you find this info though?  I'm drawing a blank on google


Edited by Joe Bloggs - 2/17/13 at 8:46am
post #14 of 28
Here's an interesting post to look at (first one in the thread) on [H]ard|Forum where someone compares the Titanium to the O2 amp with the DT770 80ohm and discussed the impedance. Shows the table of output impedance for different sound cards as measured by Golden Ears. The poster did think that the O2 improved the bass output.
Edited by cel4145 - 2/17/13 at 8:50am
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Although the Titanium HD's output impedance is around 36 ohms. So the STX would be a better match for the DT770 80 ohms in that regard.

 Mine is the regular Titanium, not even the HD.

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