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few simple doubts with headphones and sound

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 


I have few simple questions which after googling, i could not find specifically for my hardware.

I own a creative x-fi elite pro sound card and sony mdr zx-700 headphones.


If i dont enable bass boost, there is very little or no bass.

After enabling bass bost, level +10 db from 1 to 12

and cuttoff frequency at 40hz from 10 to 200, the bass seems fine, but after i increase volume more than 35%, it starts crackling.


it does not happen with realtek card, but sound quality is par


Is something wrong with my card or headphones?


I usually tested it on youtube video. If i play an uncompressed (flac) file, will i able to hear without crackling at high volumes?


Another problem is i often wear headphones for like few hours.

I dont feel pain in ears or any other symptoms, i just start to feel a little headache. even while i am just wearing the headphones and there is no sound at all. it becomes better when i take off the headphones.


post #2 of 5

I would assume the X-Fi Elite Pro has a high output impedance :(

The Sony MDR Zx700s are only 24-Ohm

You might consider getting a headphone amplifier (Magni, $99) with a very low output impedance, like 3-Ohms or less, for use with the MDR-ZX-700.

Or just updating the sound card, to something like the Sound Blaster Z (SB1500), $98.

(Technically the add-on headphone amplifier would be better, as the Z (22-Ohm) would have a lower impedance then the Elite Pro, but not as good as the Magni).

Edited by PurpleAngel - 10/11/13 at 8:13am
post #3 of 5
I agree. Get a better headphone amp or a better sound card. Sounds like it could be a combination of needing a better amp to handle low impedance headphones then clipping the amp in your sound card by adding the bass boost when you turn it up. Particularly if you are listening to bass heavy music without replaygain (volume leveling) enabled, you could be overboosting the bass beyond the soundcard's headphone amp ability to produce the bass levels.
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 

perfect!! i enabled SVM in console (which you called replygain) the crackling disappeared completely. although there are less highs and lows now because it seems to make all sounds sound in one volume

post #5 of 5
Yep. Replaygain adjusts the overall volume of a song up or down (usually down for modern music) based upon whether or not it was recorded very loud or very soft. So a song that was recorded very loud--plus adding bass boost on top of it--would make you reach the built-in headphone amps maximum output limits much easier. The advantage of replygain is that all songs recorded differently tend to have a more similar volume level when played back.

Sounds like you would probably benefit from getting that Schiit Magni so you can have more volume smily_headphones1.gif
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