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Best amp paired with X-fi Titanium Fatal1ty (non-HD version) + HD 598

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

As above, I have a PCI-E version of the Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty (non-HD) sound card, the one without the built in headphone amp.

 

I have been using the Klipsch iFi speakers with it and it's an absolute blast, until my neighbors started complaining me playing Skrillex at 4AM.

 

I did tons of research and got a Sennheiser HD 598, and also bought the Fiio E6 and E11. Out of the 2 portable amps, I like the E11 better. However, I'm looking for something that doesn't need to be charged up every once and then (even though it's not too much a bother to charge the E11 once in awhile overnight before going to sleep), and a more permanent solution sitting next to my desktop computer.

 

I was considering the E10, but found out that most amps with built in DAC will bypass the internal circuitry of my sound card. I do like using the CMSS-3D portion of the X-Fi, as it really gives me an distinctive advantage in playing FPS games.

 

I don't feel like buying a 3rd amp just to test it out then returning it, so would rather seek the opinions here. I haven't used the E10 but how much better sounding the DAC on it is compared to the DAC from the X-Fi Titanium? Will it be a distinguishable difference in SQ? Also, will the bypassing of the CMSS-3D from X-Fi when using the E10 be a huge difference when it comes to positional audio? I don't really care about the EAX effects, mostly just the positional effects.

 

My budget will be less than $100, but I'm open to suggestions.


Edited by Solarium - 11/1/13 at 9:00pm
post #2 of 12

Schiit Magni headphone amplifer, $99, can plug right into the Titanium's line-out/headphone jack

 

Or just replace the X-Fi Titanium with the Sound Blaster Z (SB1500), $99

Comes with a better DAC chip and a built in headphone amplifier.

Sell off the X-Fi Titanium.

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Which would offer a better SQ solution (for music? Would the Magni offer any positional audio?
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarium View Post

Which would offer a better SQ solution (for music? Would the Magni offer any positional audio?


Using the Magni would not effect positional audio.

I would assume the Z card's better DAC chip would make the Z sound quality better then the Titanium.

post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
What about the Magni vs the SB-Z in terms of SQ? Will the SB-Z amp be enough to power the HD 598 (I'm assuming yes)
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarium View Post

What about the Magni vs the SB-Z in terms of SQ? Will the SB-Z amp be enough to power the HD 598 (I'm assuming yes)


Creative Labs rates the SB-Z for headphone up to 600-Ohms

So 50-Ohm HD598 should be not problem.

Technically the SB-Z's headphone amplifier is not as good as the Magni.

But as the HD-598s are only 50-Ohms, you not really pushing the SB-Z's head amps limits.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Does the Magni offer quite a bit more SQ than the E11? Is its only upgrade to the E11 its ability to drive higher ohm headphones and not needing a charge? I kind of like the bass boost function on the E11, doesn't seem that the magni has that either.

 

If both the Magni and the SB-Z perform identical on a HD-598 and both being able to drive it properly, SB-Z may be a better option due to its potential lower price with the OEM version (being on sale at times at $54) and ability to add an amp later on. Does the OEM version without the casing for EMI protection a huge deficit to the retail version? How likely are you to hear static with the OEM version if it's right above my GPU?

post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarium View Post
 

Does the Magni offer quite a bit more SQ than the E11? Is its only upgrade to the E11 its ability to drive higher Ohm headphones and not needing a charge? I kind of like the bass boost function on the E11, doesn't seem that the Magni has that either.

 

If both the Magni and the SB-Z perform identical on a HD-598 and both being able to drive it properly, SB-Z may be a better option due to its potential lower price with the OEM version (being on sale at times at $54) and ability to add an amp later on. Does the OEM version without the casing for EMI protection a huge deficit to the retail version? How likely are you to hear static with the OEM version if it's right above my GPU?


I would guess the Magni has more power for driving headphones, then the E11

My best guess is there might not be a noticeable difference in sound quality.

 

The SB-Z is really not designed for use with a separate headphone amplifier.

You can easily hook up a separate headphone amplifier, but your either doubling amping or only getting 2-channel audio (no surround sound).

If you can get a SB-Z for $54, go for it.

How is going to be the static issue? no idea.

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

I have limited my options to either staying with the E11, or getting the SB-Z OEM when on sale for $54 (or so), which appears to happen often.

 

Anyone have experience in comparing the 2? How is the audio fidelity and SQ of either? Which would you guys rather have? (this is for purely desktop computer usage, and will not be used in a portable setting)

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Solarium View Post
 

I have limited my options to either staying with the E11, or getting the SB-Z OEM when on sale for $54 (or so), which appears to happen often.

 

Anyone have experience in comparing the 2? How is the audio fidelity and SQ of either? Which would you guys rather have? (this is for purely desktop computer usage, and will not be used in a portable setting)


Do you have a noise issue with your current Titanium?

post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 

My current Titanium has an outer EMI protecting casing, and it's located right above my GPU (crossfired), but I don't have any noise at all.

post #12 of 12

No noise with mine either.

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