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Question about headphone amplifer for sound card.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I am not an audio hardware expert, I have been using the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD for almost two years now and I just upgraded to a new pair of headphone, the Audio Technica ATH-M50s.  The sound is good but since the Titanium doesn't have a headphone amplifier I want to hear how the M50 will sound with a dedicated amp.  I have been looking and amps like FIIO E10, EO9K...(my budget is around $150 US).  Any suggestions for a good amp at this price, I really like the clarity of the X-Fi Titanium and want an amp that works with it to bring the best out of the M50.  So do I need an amp with line level inputs?  I am guessing that with amps like the E10 with USB input only and its own DAC it will bypass my sound card, am I right or wrong?

 

Thanks.

post #2 of 6
You are correct, using a USB DAC will bypass your sound card. To be honest, I suspect you might not see a significant improvement between a Fiio amp connected to the lineout of your X-Fi and just connecting your headphones directly to the X-Fi.
post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billybob_jcv View Post

You are correct, using a USB DAC will bypass your sound card. To be honest, I suspect you might not see a significant improvement between a Fiio amp connected to the lineout of your X-Fi and just connecting your headphones directly to the X-Fi.

Thanks for the confirmation,

with my current set up the M50 sounds quite good with the X-Fi Titanium although I always thought it will sound better with a dedicated amp. The clarity of this combo is great with music, TV and games but the treble & mid range are too pronounce so I had to turn them way down. 

I guess I'll stick with them for sometimes.

Thanks again.

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnsquare View Post
 

I am not an audio hardware expert, I have been using the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD for almost two years now and I just upgraded to a new pair of headphone, the Audio Technica ATH-M50s.  The sound is good but since the Titanium doesn't have a headphone amplifier I want to hear how the M50 will sound with a dedicated amp.  I have been looking and amps like FIIO E10, EO9K...(my budget is around $150 US).  Any suggestions for a good amp at this price, I really like the clarity of the X-Fi Titanium and want an amp that works with it to bring the best out of the M50.  So do I need an amp with line level inputs?  I am guessing that with amps like the E10 with USB input only and its own DAC it will bypass my sound card, am I right or wrong?

Get a Schiit Magni headphone amplifier (new, $99), plug it into the T-HD's (Titanium-HD) RCA outputs.

You might consider selling off the ATH-M50 and getting something a little better.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Get a Schiit Magni headphone amplifier (new, $99), plug it into the T-HD's (Titanium-HD) RCA outputs.

You might consider selling off the ATH-M50 and getting something a little better.

Thanks for the suggestion, I am looking at some of the reviews for it right now, great amp, probably will order one next week.

In regarding the M50, isn't it one of the most neutral headphones out there?  I listen mainly to classic rock, some pops, watching HD programs and the occasional PC games.

post #6 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by dnsquare View Post
 

Thanks for the suggestion, I am looking at some of the reviews for it right now, great amp, probably will order one next week.

In regarding the M50, isn't it one of the most neutral headphones out there?  I listen mainly to classic rock, some pops, watching HD programs and the occasional PC games.


The ATH-M50 is a bassy music headphone, a U shaped sound, so recessed mids.

Where as a better headphone will have a more detailed bass and stronger mids.

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