My x-fi forte soundcard just died so looking to upgrade my audio. Want to spend $600 maybe will stretch to 700. Do i look at a new pair of headphones + usb dac or a souncard? Any reccomendations on what to get? I mostly listen to vocal trance/progressive house and most of my stuff is 320kbps/flac.
Related Forum Threads
- Looking for COMFORTABLE Audiophile grade headphones Last post on 4/18/14 at 7:07am in Introductions, Help and Recommendations
- Best headphones for listening to music (under £150) ? Last post on 4/9/14 at 4:29pm in Headphones (full-size)
- getting a good but cheap longer hd-650 cable. Not looking for quality here, just longer cable! Last post on 4/8/14 at 9:49am in Headphones (full-size)
- getting a good but cheap longer hd-650 cable. Not looking for quality here, just longer cable! Last post on 4/8/14 at 10:21am in Headphones (full-size)
- Friend is giving me his KRK Rokit 6's and I need advice on how to connect them to my macbook... Last post on 4/7/14 at 8:51pm in Introductions, Help and Recommendations
2013 Head-Fi Winter Gift Guide (Over-Ear Headphones)
Last edited: 2/5/14
- 2013 Head-Fi Summer Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones)Last edited: 8/19/13
Best i-Device portable DAC ever listened to, very neutral and smooth like from a desktop DAC. Currently using it with my iPod touch 5 (Yes, it's support lightinig connector). I will prefer filter...
The entire Sony xba line is gorgeous: very sensitive and well executed lines, comfortable despite size, flat cable, nice case, a 90'plug. The first time I tried the Xba3 the sound wasn't...
I purchased this on Amazon from a vendor that had a combined listing for the older model and newer E07 Andes. So I received the new model at the old model price and saved about $20. So that was...
These earphones are slightly overpriced compared to some competitive earphones. I think. I love the over-ear construction and the isolation is superb. The sound quality is impressive and...
Have had these for 3 months after losing a pair of Pioneer HDJ 500s. Preferred the look and build quality of the Pioneers, but the Sonys look ok and fold up nicely. The HDJ 500s didn't fold, but...
- 2013 Head-Fi Summer Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones)
Computer Headphone Setup $600
Gear mentioned in this thread:
Do you play games at all?
If yes, Creative TiHD + Schiit Magni + HE-400
If no, Schiit Modi/Magni + HE-400
Other headphone choices are DT770/880/990, A900X, W1000X.
If you can get D600 for less than $400 consider that too.
Thanks, i do play games but music is way more important so is the soundcard still neccessary? Also i cant seem to find the schiit magni/modi in austraila. Any other reccomendations?
Edited by ClintonL - 2/22/13 at 5:09pm
For ALL sorts of gaming and wide variety of music i personally like the HT Omega Claro Halo soundcard (with built in headphone amp) and the Sennhiesers HD650.
HT Omega Claro Soundcard $200
I have been using this for 3 years and LOVE it.
Well you shouldn't need a new sound card unless you want to go that route. A USB DAC should replace the sound card and you'll be able to get all the normal sound you would from the computer via the the DAC: That means gaming, music, etc.
I would recommend
Schiit Modi (dac) - $99
Schiit Magni (amp) - $99
Mr.Speakers Mad Dog w/ Alpha pads. ($299)
(need a USB A Male to B Male cable to connect PC to the Modi: 5-10$) & (RCA interconnects. to connect Modi/Magni: 5-20$)
Cost after shipping (and tax if you're in CA) would be under $600 if you don't have to pay CA tax.
The Mad Dogs are a fantastic value for the sound you get. I used them for music and gaming, etc.
They have a fairly specific sound signature that you can read all about here.
The newest version was just released about 2 weeks ago. Short story:
Very comfortable. Fantastic detail, response, and separation. The sound signature is flat-ish. Bass is not overbearing; Just enough and good quality. Highs are dark and roll off a little bit so if you are into a big sparkle with your cymbal crashes, you might have to get accustom to that (maybe people prefer it that way). The Mids are amazing -- Vocals/Guitar/etc are really amazing.
Work great in games. Its not an in your face slam, but a laid back detailed sound. So I find it good for hearing footsteps and not getting fatigued by over-emphasized game music/booms. If you want a movie like in your face sound when you play games, this probably won't be what you want.
Hope this helps. Good luck.
I don't know about better, different yes. Maybe better depending on what you want your setup to look like/function. Price is better. Haven't heard one to compare. I can say that the schiit combo really does the job and looks sexy doing it. My only gripe stems from the bright white LEDs.
If you like the 3D surround DSP features such as Dolby Headphone or CMS3D (or whatever Creative equivalent for games), I'd stick with a sound card + amp. I'm running a Titanium HD + Magni myself and I'm enjoying it a whole lot. If the Magni isn't available to you, you might want to consider maybe the O2 Objective or a Fiio E9K. Or you could skip the card + amp combo and go with the Asus STX or Creative Z series, both have amps built in.
You could get the O2 + ODAC combo(separate units or together in one), that has a mountain of positive feedback. As I suggested before the Magni/Modi combo is great (but separate units only).
I think what you need to decide is on what function these or the xonar will play in your setup. More specifically, do you want to use it to power speakers, or headphones? Which ones? This are questions you need to answer before looking at the amp/dac. Depending on the phones, you might not need a amp at all, or an amp could be a must.
There are plenty of other amp+dac combos depending on your price range, but a good pair of cans is going to net you a much bigger difference in sound. (e.g.) Spending $1000 on a Lyr+Bitfrost combo won't do you a lot of good, or be very cost effective if your listening with your $20 specials.
1. Schiit Magni/modi stack with Mad Dogs w/alpha pads
2. Schiit Magni/modi stack with He-400 w/velour pads
3. 02 + Odac with the mad dogs or he-400
personally I think the schiit > 02 + Odac if you can get your hands on them, but the 02 + Odac great for their price too.
Its hard to pick the Mad Dogs or He-400 as I own and love both. Mad Dogs are much more comfortable IMO and are much more neutral then the he-400 IMO. Also the Mad Dogs are closed and Isolate much better. The HE-400's sound is very nice. rich bass and sexy mids, but much less flat then the mad dogs. Then again EQ can fix these small things too.
Only get a soundcard if you want the 3d surround sound. Based on what you said, you did not want that so I would say 10)% go with a amp/dac stack.
- Computer Headphone Setup $600
Gear mentioned in this thread:
- › Official/ New York Spring Meet Sat April 5 2014 - Impressions Thread 43 seconds ago
- › Hisoundaudio Studio V 3rd Anniversary Edition Review 1 minute ago
- › The Fiio X3 Thread. 2 minutes ago
- › which phone in 2014 has best audio 2 minutes ago
- › Audio-Technica ATH-ESW9 and ATH-ESW9A Appreciation Thread 3 minutes ago
- › Review: JDS Labs O2 (Black edition) + O2/ODAC discussion 3 minutes ago
- › Chinese / Asian Brand Info Thread (Headphones, IEMs, Amps, DACs) 5 minutes ago
- › **Hifiman HE-400 Impressions and Discussion Thread** 5 minutes ago
- › Fiio X5 Thread - info updated on Jan 17th 2014 6 minutes ago
- › HE-500, LCD2, D5000, DT770, SR80, on a speaker amp (Emotiva mini-X... 7 minutes ago
- › Fostex HP-P1 by Jensenchua
- › Sony XBA-3SL by squallkiercosa
- › FiiO Andes (E07K) Portable USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier -... by originalsnuffy
- › Shure SE535-V Earphone by david8090
- › Sony MDR-V55/BR DJ style Headphones by Vero Golf Champ
- › Pure i20 iPod Dock by Gruffnutz
- › Astell & Kern AK240 by Currawong
- › Shure SE215 Special Edition by TherryK13
- › V-MODA XS by Tom22
- › Sony MDR-XD100 Stereo Headphones by xflight297
- › Westone latest universal iem flagship was the... by majedelamine
- › How to find the Tokyo e-earphone shop by Currawong
- › The Best BASS Headphones ( a Head-Fi Wiki) by Hawaiibadboy
- › 2013 Head-Fi Winter Gift Guide (In-Ear... by joe
- › 2013 Head-Fi Winter Gift Guide (Over-Ear... by jude
- › 2013 Head-Fi Winter Gift Guide (Over-Ear... by joe
- › Adjusting bias on Stax tube amplifiers by ardilla
- › Headphone Power Calculator Spreadsheet by robrob
- › Headphone-to-Speaker-Amp Interface With... by robrob
- › Headphone Resistor Network Calculator by robrob