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Controlling volume for Creative Titanium HD?

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hi there, on the Creative Titanium HD the card has a dedicated jack for headphones.

 

Obviously I plug my headphones directly into that jack - but my phones have no physical volume control on them... so what is the best, convenient and cheapest way to control volume? 

 

I would prefer to use something like a volume knob instead of adjusting the windows volume all the time... do I have to purchase an additional amp/item to do this?? I was thinking of a cheap fiio to throw into the equation but it seems as if the cheapest fiio can't power my 250 ohm headphones adequately....

post #2 of 14

Schiit Magni headphone amplifier, $99, for best audio quality, plug the Magni into the Titanium HD's RCA line-out jacks

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

ouch, and there is no cheaper alternative to this?

 

I'm in the UK and the unit is £99, so we pay a bit more here, but it's just a shame there isn't a more accessible alternative.

 

One question - what is the difference between adjusting windows volume on its own (no amp), and adjusting the volume knob on an amp while windows is at 100%? Anything?


Edited by Richardson0 - 9/25/13 at 6:44pm
post #4 of 14

More Windows/software volume = higher dynamic range, in theory.

 

If using an external amp, you generally want to run it at 100%, unless you want to use the upward half of the EQ without clipping or anything like that.

post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardson0 View Post
 

ouch, and there is no cheaper alternative to this?

 

I'm in the UK and the unit is £99, so we pay a bit more here, but it's just a shame there isn't a more accessible alternative.

 

One question - what is the difference between adjusting windows volume on its own (no amp), and adjusting the volume knob on an amp while windows is at 100%? Anything?

Try to find a used EPH-O2 (Epiphany Acoustics Objective 2) headphone amplifier (new, 99 GBP).

Epiphany Acoustics is located in the UK, so might be used EPH-02 for sale floating around.

 

I guess sending an amplifier a "loud' signal (full volume) makes it easier for the amplifier to do it's job.

 

There should be headphone amplifiers in the UK that sell new for less then 99 GBP.

A Fiio E11 can easily drive 250-Ohm headphones and sells for well under 99GPS (like 40GBP) but it's battery powered.

 

There is the PAV2V (Pocket Amplifier 2 Version 2) headphone amplifier, sells on eBay for around 38GBP and ships from Canada.

http://www.electric-avenues.com/amplifiers.html

post #6 of 14

Regarding volume controls, it may be worth reading this thread. Of course, you can also ask for advice there. :normal_smile :

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all the replies. I will take a look at that thread, and I will look at those units you provided angel. Would you recommend a Fiio E9 instead of the E11? Or even jumping the gun and going for the E12? I hear you cannot charge and use the E11 simultaneously, and this is for a desktop setup after all.

 

What is the difference between the Titanium HD and the Creative Z? From what I understand I THINK the Z is the newer model, and the Titanium is the older model. Does the hardware differ and which card sounds 'better'?


Edited by Richardson0 - 9/26/13 at 5:57am
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 

Went for the Schiit Magni in the end. Hopefully I'll be pleased with the end result :)

post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardson0 View Post
 

Thanks for all the replies. I will take a look at that thread, and I will look at those units you provided angel. Would you recommend a Fiio E9 instead of the E11? Or even jumping the gun and going for the E12? I hear you cannot charge and use the E11 simultaneously, and this is for a desktop setup after all.

 

What is the difference between the Titanium HD and the Creative Z? From what I understand I THINK the Z is the newer model, and the Titanium is the older model. Does the hardware differ and which card sounds 'better'?

I have not used the T-HD (Titanium HD) or a Z (Z series sound card).

Spec wise the T-HD should provide better audio quality, also the T-HD would the best choice if you were into older PC games (that used EAX 5.0), the T-HD does not have a true headphone amplifier, but is still fairly decent at driving headphones from it's headphone jack, it's usually best to get an external headphone amplifier (Schiit Magni, $99) and plug it into the T-HD's RCA outputs.

The T-HD with the Magni should (guessing) sound better then the Z or Zx sound cards

 

The Z's audio processor (Soundcore3D) is a stripped down version of the audio processor that is used in the T-HD.

With computers now coming with 4 or 6 or even 8 core CPUs, a lot more of the audio processing can be handed over to the CPU.

The Z software seems to be newer design(?) then the T-HD, as the Z cards drivers only work with Win 7 or Win 8.

I believe(?) there are Win 8 drivers for the T-HD.

 

For which card is "better", ask here.

http://forums.creative.com/forumdisplay.php?f=6

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

I have not used the T-HD (Titanium HD) or a Z (Z series sound card).

Spec wise the T-HD should provide better audio quality, also the T-HD would the best choice if you were into older PC games (that used EAX 5.0), the T-HD does not have a true headphone amplifier, but is still fairly decent at driving headphones from it's headphone jack, it's usually best to get an external headphone amplifier (Schiit Magni, $99) and plug it into the T-HD's RCA outputs.

The T-HD with the Magni should (guessing) sound better then the Z or Zx sound cards

 

The Z's audio processor (Soundcore3D) is a stripped down version of the audio processor that is used in the T-HD.

With computers now coming with 4 or 6 or even 8 core CPUs, a lot more of the audio processing can be handed over to the CPU.

The Z software seems to be newer design(?) then the T-HD, as the Z cards drivers only work with Win 7 or Win 8.

I believe(?) there are Win 8 drivers for the T-HD.

 

For which card is "better", ask here.

http://forums.creative.com/forumdisplay.php?f=6

 

The Titanium HD would be better then a Z or Zx card, but not the ZXR.  The soundcore3d processor is an entirely new chip not the same as the ones used on the X-Fi cards.  

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Would it be wiser to go with the ZXR? It's much cheaper and I've read that it's generally a "better" card, being as the Titanium HD as I understand is older.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardson0 View Post
 

Would it be wiser to go with the ZXR? It's much cheaper and I've read that it's generally a "better" card, being as the Titanium HD as I understand is older.

 

where are you finding the ZXR cheaper than the titanium HD.  I'd say without a doubt go for the ZXR if you can get it cheaper than the HD.  

post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardson0 View Post
 

Would it be wiser to go with the ZxR? It's much cheaper and I've read that it's generally a "better" card, being as the Titanium HD as I understand is older.

As far as I can tell, the ZxR and T-HD use the same DAC chip (PCM1794A) for processing (converting) audio sent to the headphones

and the same or almost the same op-amps (LME49710 & 2114?).

The ZxR is selling for $230 (plus any tax & shipping)

 

The Schiit Magni is selling for $99 (plus and tax & shipping)

 

As the T-HD is an older card, Creative has had a lot more time to work out any bugs in the T-HD's software.

I personally would slightly prefer to use the Magni as a headphone amp, over the ZxR's TI 6120 amplifier chip.

 

But this time of the year, a lot of stuff can go on sale, so the ZxR might go on sale for under $200.

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Richardson0 View Post

Would it be wiser to go with the ZXR? It's much cheaper and I've read that it's generally a "better" card, being as the Titanium HD as I understand is older.

 

The only thing it might have over the Titanium HD is a built-in headphone amp circuit...well, that and analog output for more than two channels on an expansion board. (And it might not forcibly mute the RCA outputs if anything's plugged into the headphone jacks; can anyone confirm or deny that?)

 

But the X-Fi Titanium HD has better DS3D/OpenAL support and MIDI SoundFont support, if you care at all for classic PC gaming.

 

The matter of CMSS-3D Headphone vs. SBX Pro Surround still remains hotly disputed, but from what I can discern on a YouTube comparison, SBX sounds bassier while CMSS-3D had better positional cues to my ears.

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