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Need help choosing an amp for BeyerDynamic DT990.

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I'm upgrading from my AKG K240 II to the DT990 240Ohm this month, these to be exact. I have heard that you NEED an amp to make these run properly, and I only have a basic idea what all these technical stuff mean. Right now I have my AKG's connected to my logitech z623 and then those plug into my motherboard (P8Z68-V LX). Budget isn't a problem but I don't need an amp that is more expensive than the headphones themself. I looked around and Fiio E6 and the E11 seemed pretty good but I don't know which are the right ones to choose from. I do around 50/50 gaming and music (Dubstep, Chill, Liquid). Any recommendations?


Edited by DaTaTrAP - 10/15/13 at 2:53pm
post #2 of 8

Creative Sound Blaster Z (SB1500), $98, comes with a built in headphone amplifier.

Has separate outputs for the headphones and speakers.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I heard that built in amps get static when playing nothing. Also I'm considering the E10 but it has a line out (3.5mm?).


Edited by DaTaTrAP - 10/15/13 at 4:26pm
post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaTaTrAP View Post
 

I heard that built in amps get static when playing nothing. Also I'm considering the E10 but it has a line out (3.5mm?).


The FiiO E10 should provide good sound quality, but as it is USB, it will bypass the computers built in audio feature (on-board sound card).

As long as your ok with 2-channel stereo audio and have no need for headphone surround sound, the E10 should work.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Wait, so I can't use the line out to my onboard (maybe soundcard) and it'll always be stuck in stereo? Or can I get a decent sound card and use the FiiO with it to get surround sound?

post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaTaTrAP View Post
 

Wait, so I can't use the line out to my on-board (maybe sound card) and it'll always be stuck in stereo? Or can I get a decent sound card and use the FiiO with it to get surround sound?


USB DACs (or USB DAC Amps) can not interface with a sound card.

There are low costing USB sound cards, like the Xonar U3 or Creative Go, but these are $40 external sound cards that could not (I'm guessing not) drive 250-Ohm (DT990) headphones and do not come with a separate output for the speakers.

 

Getting the Sound Blaster Z ($100) would solve all the connection issues.

 

There is the Audioengine D1 ($170) external DAC-amp that also comes with a separate line-output, for the speakers.

You could connect the D1 to the S/PDIF optical output on the motherboard, this would allow you to use the motherboard's built in audio (sound card).

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaTaTrAP View Post
 

I heard that built in amps get static when playing nothing. Also I'm considering the E10 but it has a line out (3.5mm?).

I am using a Sound Blaster Z for the last few months with my DT-990 250 Ohms and never ever heard of a static noise. The card is silent. Dead silent.

post #8 of 8

I just joined the forum and was thinking about posting a similar thread, except that I'm slightly farther along. I've been using an Audio-Technical AT-HA25D DAC/headphone amp with my computer. My DT-990s (same ones you're looking at) don't sound bad with it but they sound noticeably better through my Ray Samuels Hornet. The Hornet really opened my eyes - it makes the bass thump in a way I had never experience with headphones before. The AT just doesn't do that. I've compared them with the Hornet running off the analog outs from the AT, so it's not a question of DAC quality.

 

Ray Samuels doesn't publish specs that I can find, so I don't know if the AT is underpowered, or there's a mismatch of amp characteristics and headphones, or what... but clearly not all amps are equal, and the DT-990 can reveal those differences in a way that none of my IEMs or cheaper headphones do.

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