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What should I get on a €600 budget for music and primarily gaming?

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hello people of Head-Fi.

I'm thinking of getting a new audio setup and would like some advice.

I've come up with a few options, my budget is around €600.

Option one: Schiit Audio Modi + Magni with AKG Q701

Option two: Schiit Audio Modi + Magni with AKG K712

Option three: Shure SRH1840 + unknown AMP + DAC

And I was offered a Pico Portable AMP/DAC and some HD700s for $920, a little over my budget.

What do you think?

I listen to classical music, pop (Queen, Beatles etc...) and I bit of Jazz. I also play a lot of video games and watch lots of YouTube videos.

I live in a fairly noisy area but it's not too bad with the windows closed.

post #2 of 31

As your a gamer, I would think you would want to get a sound card and plug your headphones into it.

post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

As your a gamer, I would think you would want to get a sound card and plug your headphones into it.

Why so?

post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobobee View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

As your a gamer, I would think you would want to get a sound card and plug your headphones into it.

Why so?

Because you get virtual surround like dolby headphones which will enhance the immersion substantially.

 

You could maybe get an entry-level stax setup.

post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobobee View Post
 

Why so?


Using USB bypasses any sound card you are using with a PC.

So you may not be able to get headphone surround sound using a USB DAC.

 

Check out the Audio-GD NFB-15.32 DAC/amp, is comes with S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) inputs, so you can still take advantage of any sound card (I just place and order for the 15.32 on Friday)

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 

The whole surround sound think seems a bit like a gimmick to me. We only have 2 ears.... There's the interesting virtual Surround Sound thingo...

What soundcard do you propose?

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

The reason I'm not too keen on a sound card are:

Takes up a PCI-E slot

Possible interference from power supply

Less value

post #8 of 31
We are of course talking about virtual surround. If you go spdif out of a sound card to an external DAC you will only get bits (1 and 0) out... And virtual surround. Not sure if it varies from card to card.
There's the asus xonar u3 for that purpose...
post #9 of 31
Thread Starter 

But the headphones only have 2 drivers.... I tired Razor Surround a while ago, it was cool but RUINED the sound quality.

Which headphones should I get too?

post #10 of 31

It is not for music. It is for gaming and movies, which it actually works for. Besides, dolby headphones is a lot better than razer surround.

 

Lol, the headphones... Your price segment is a hard one. Just above the usual mid-fi but below hi-fi. There's the new Alpha Dog, the akg models you mentioned and as said an entry level Stax setup. There's also the HE-500..

 

What kind of sound do you want (the more details the better)

 

Also consider the new schiit vali.

post #11 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

It is not for music. It is for gaming and movies, which it actually works for. Besides, dolby headphones is a lot better than razer surround.

 

Lol, the headphones... Your price segment is a hard one. Just above the usual mid-fi but below hi-fi. There's the new Alpha Dog, the akg models you mentioned and as said an entry level Stax setup. There's also the HE-500..

 

What kind of sound do you want (the more details the better)

 

Also consider the new schiit vali.

Is there a good sound card that's just a DAC?

I could try to get the HD700s on their own.

I like a not very bassy sound.

I wasn't expecting surround for music.

Going to add, I only play on PC.

post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 

I could stretch my budget to €700, but only if it helps a lot.

post #13 of 31

I don't know too much about sound card DACs, but perhaps the xonar d2, it is said to have the same DAC implementation that the stx has. Else, there's the u3 (inexpensiver) purely for going optical out with virtual surround. Alternatively there's the creative sb x-fi titanium hd, which is said to be pretty good as well.

 

The k712 is more bassy than the q701 as you probably know. I'd still say you shouldn't dismiss Stax as a possibility, if you listen to very well recorded music, that is. There's also the esp950. Just one opinion among many...


Edited by davidsh - 10/21/13 at 1:31pm
post #14 of 31

I'm only an occasional gamer, but I think regular stereo can provide plenty of immersion and sense of positioning. Virtual surround just makes things sound off to my ears. Not to poo poo on people who like Dolby Headphone, I'm sure they have their reasons, but I don't think it's something to get hung up on if the OP doesn't want a soundcard. I'm not a hardcore gamer though, only from time to time with my USB DAC. I have the AKG Q701 and it has a great soundstage for gaming, plus bass is deep and accurate without being "bassy."

post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jobobee View Post
 

I could stretch my budget to €700, but only if it helps a lot.


Get a used Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card ($?) and a EPH-02 (99 GBP) headphone amplifier.

http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/products-page/headphone-amplifiers/ehp-o2-portable-headphone-amplifier/

 

The Xonar DX/D1 comes with a CS4398 DAC chip and an audio processor (for Dolby Headphone Surround Sound), just need to plug the EHP-02 into the Xonar and your headphones into the EPH-02.

 

Or something for a little bit better audio quality (and more cash), the Audio-GD NFB-15.32 DAC/Amp, costs about 190 Euros, plus 30 Euros for shipping.

http://www.audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB1532/NFB15.32EN.htm

 

I just placed an order for one three days ago.

 

Then spend the rest of your budget for headphones.

(Optional, maybe 50 Euros for a used Sound blaster Z sound card)

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