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Powering dt 990 on a pc

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
After researching a bit, i am more or less falling in love with the beyerdynamic dt 990.

However i am unsure how to power or "amp" these headphones for pc use - (gaming, communication, and a wide variety of music).

I know there are different versions of these phones each defined by their ohm.

So the answers i am looking for here are:
Which version should i get?
Which soundcard and/or amplifier should i get with these headphones for pc use?



My motherboard is asus p8z68-v Pro (just in case you need this info)
post #2 of 17

I will be honest, you posed a question I cant factually answer. I may be able to offer a little information that may help,however.  I bought the Beyer DT770 after many months of deliberation.  Now when driven from my Fiio E7/9 they sound very good indeed, in some repsects the bass is a little full but I put that down to design, and this is why.  Why used with my focusrite 2i2 they sound far less engaging and the bass is a little flat, I put this down to the power driving them.  I have also found similar when used directly into my PC so I am guessing that Beyers need a bit of power to get their full potential.  I have no experience with the 80Ohm versions, and dont know the difference between the DT770 and the DT990, but I would recommend you dont buy blindly unless you want to invest in some amplification too.

 

Sorry I cant give you anything solid, hopefully someone else here has more definite information.

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hm the first obvious difference between the dt 770 and 990 is that the 990s are open as opposed to the 770s which are closed
post #4 of 17

Yes but the question is power to move the drivers...  Open/Closed is a different thing entirely.

post #5 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaabrejner View Post

After researching a bit, i am more or less falling in love with the beyerdynamic dt 990.
However i am unsure how to power or "amp" these headphones for pc use - (gaming, communication, and a wide variety of music).
I know there are different versions of these phones each defined by their ohm.
So the answers i am looking for here are:
Which version should i get?
Which soundcard and/or amplifier should i get with these headphones for pc use?
My motherboard is asus p8z68-v Pro (just in case you need this info)

Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z sound card, $80
.

post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
So with the soundblaster card and nothing else i will be able to get the full potential out of a pair of dt 990s ? does this cover all ohm editions, or did you have a special one in mind when recommending this card?
post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaabrejner View Post

So with the SoundBlaster card and nothing else I will be able to get the full potential out of a pair of dt 990s ? does this cover all ohm editions, or did you have a special one in mind when recommending this card?

I was assuming you would be getting the 250-Ohm version.

The Asus Xonar Essence STX ($175) appears to have a better head amp. then the Z sound card.

The Essence STX is what I use to drive my 600-Ohm Beyer headphones.

post #8 of 17
A magni is better than the stx amp. So are $100 Chinese tube amps. Just get a decent amp for $100-200. Stx amp doesn't cut it.
post #9 of 17

Someone mentioned the amp in the Essence ST/STX line of cards. I'm using the 250ohm version of the 990's with the Essence ST (3xLME49860). I've tried the built-in headphone amp and the speaker/RCA out. To me, the latter sounds much cleaner. I didn't hear any benefits when using the built-in amp. To the contrary. One of the differences that the amp introduced was an always present, low humming noise. The other was unnecessarily high volume levels, since I usually listen to my music at around 25-35% depending on the album when outputting through RCA and only get up to about 50% when I want the music really loud.

 

I haven't tried any dedicated headphone amps or external DACs with higher quality headphone amps, so I have no idea how they compare to my setup.


Edited by fufula - 7/11/13 at 7:00am
post #10 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kaabrejner View Post

So with the Sound Blaster Z card and nothing else i will be able to get the full potential out of a pair of DT 990s ? does this cover all ohm editions, or did you have a special one in mind when recommending this card?

The Sound Blaster Z is the decently priced value option.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by techboy View Post

A magni is better than the stx amp. So are $100 Chinese tube amps. Just get a decent amp for $100-200. Stx amp doesn't cut it.

 

On the amp alone, probably. But you forget how good is the Dac on the STX. 

post #12 of 17

I have 250Ohm DT990s and use both the Asus Xonar STX soundcard (on a desktop PC) and a Fiio E10 with my laptop.  Either will drive the Beyers very loud and provide very good sound quality.

 

I advise you to take the 'xonar amp doesn't cut it' and 'low level hum' complaints with a grain of salt.  One sounds like a typical troll who's never tried the product and the other has an issue elsewhere in their PC.  The xonars are proven high quality performers.

 

I was surprised by the Fiio E10.  I bought it cheap and expected it to be a bit of a toy but its great.

 

Sure the DT990s can benefit from better amplification.  I have a very high quality valve amp to compare to; but the E10 or the Xonar will keep you happy for a long time.

 

Good Luck.  gs1000.gif

post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gruffnutz View Post

I advise you to take the 'xonar amp doesn't cut it' and 'low level hum' complaints with a grain of salt.  One sounds like a typical troll who's never tried the product and the other has an issue elsewhere in their PC.  The xonars are proven high quality performers.

 

It's been reported by many other people, not just me, and described in detail.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/546291/white-noise-coming-from-my-essence-stx-from-44-1khz
 

Which doesn't exclude a hardware issue, sure. You're very lucky or simply don't hear it. In either case, good for you.

post #14 of 17

White noise is not the same as hum. In any case, without hardware problems, there should be no noise with a high impedance DT990, even at 44.1 kHz. It is a problem that affects more sensitive headphones. The DT770 Pro and DT880 Pro (both 250 Ω) do not have any audible noise from my Xonar STX, and they also sound fine (as would the 600 Ω versions with +4 dB volume).

post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gruffnutz View Post

I have 250Ohm DT990s and use both the Asus Xonar STX soundcard (on a desktop PC) and a Fiio E10 with my laptop.  Either will drive the Beyers very loud and provide very good sound quality.

 

I advise you to take the 'xonar amp doesn't cut it' and 'low level hum' complaints with a grain of salt.  One sounds like a typical troll who's never tried the product and the other has an issue elsewhere in their PC.  The xonars are proven high quality performers.

 

I was surprised by the Fiio E10.  I bought it cheap and expected it to be a bit of a toy but its great.

 

Sure the DT990s can benefit from better amplification.  I have a very high quality valve amp to compare to; but the E10 or the Xonar will keep you happy for a long time.

 

Good Luck.  gs1000.gif

 

Unlike you I am not a noob who confuses amping with volume. They are not even related to each other. And for your information I have owned more sound cards than you including the stx at the moment. The stx is a $30-50 level amp at best.

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