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Xonar Essence STX vs schiit magni vs anything else less than 200 USD

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

So I have a pair of beyerdynamic dt 990 pro 250 ohm head phones or I will monday when UPS delivers them. I currently have onboard audio which will not do at all for these headphones at least I have been told this. I tend to get obsessed with quality and i am afraid I may end up upgrading to bigger stronger head phones in the future but for now I am worried about getting a decent dac and amp to pair with these phones. I use primarily on the computer so I was thinking the stx is a dac and amp in one Can i do better than the STX for $200 dac and amp? Is the fiio E17 in the same leauge as the stx or is its only advantage portability?

post #2 of 9

Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card, used $60

(Same CMI8788 audio processor as the Essence STX & ST)

 

Schiit Magni, $99, gives you a volume knob at your finger tips

Plus the Magni can be use with other audio equipment beside the computer.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

How much would I have to spend to get a better amp than the Mangi? Is the schiit product stack good all the way up?

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by timbo1130 View Post
 

How much would I have to spend to get a better amp than the Magni? Is the Schiit product stack good all the way up?

I personally would not spend more then around $100 for a headphone amplifier for driving 250-Ohm DT990s.

A $240 Little DOT MKIII might offer some interesting "coloring" of the audio.

 

External USB DAC (Modi) may offer good audio quality, but you lose Headphone Surround Sound.

post #5 of 9

You know, I keep seeing "Asus Xonar" all over this forum.

 

Unfortunately, this is what I've noticed (among other things) from the foobar2000 official Foobar2000 FAQ:

Quote:

I have an Asus Xonar card and I'm experiencing problems...

 

Asus Xonar cards are infamous for their buggy drivers. We recommend getting a soundcard from another manufacturer instead.

post #6 of 9

Running the Xonar STX/Foobar combination with no problems...ever. Most recent Foobar version is 1.2.9 or thereabouts. That snippet refers to versions prior to 1.1.10. It would be a shame to scare people away from exceptionally performing, cost-effective solutions with implications like that.


Edited by AladdinSane - 9/22/13 at 6:18pm
post #7 of 9

I have no problems with the xonar stx and my senn hd 650.  When I watch movies and play games I use it through the stx.  I do have schiit bifrost uber and valhalla for music.   It is better than the stx, but the stx isn't terrible.  It's the best sound card that I've used.  

post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomb View Post
 

You know, I keep seeing "Asus Xonar" all over this forum.

 

Unfortunately, this is what I've noticed (among other things) from the foobar2000 official Foobar2000 FAQ:

"I have an Asus Xonar card and I'm experiencing problems...

 

Asus Xonar cards are infamous for their buggy drivers. We recommend getting a sound card from another manufacturer instead."

 

I've used 3 Xonar cards, DS, DX, STX in my current computer (Win 7 & Win 8) and I will admit once or twice it to a little work for factory software/driver installing, but usually once installed I found the software very stable.

I usually update with "Unifed Xonar Drivers" and those seem to install and work fine.

 

Xonar's are not perfect, but personally I have had a lot less problems with my Xonar's, then what I use to have with my old Creative cards, but it was over 5 years ago when I last used Creative cards and have heard that when the Titanium HD came out, there where less software problems with Creative software, but some have claimed problems with the newer Z series, which may or may not be accurate.

 

So all sound card companies have had their own software problems, at one time or another.

 

If someone know a website where a lot of Xonar sound cards are getting a high number of negative reviews, please post a link, I would really like to investigate.

 

 

post #9 of 9

You'd think something like that would have come out in the many Xonar threads on the site but I haven't seen a trend or mention of the product being problematic although I've seen many suggestions to use the universal drivers. I've had my STX for 3-4 years with no problems using the stock drivers so I'm not going to mess with the universal drivers unless there is some significant advantage.

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