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Roland UA-55 Quad Capture and choosing professional headphones for creating tracks & listening music.

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hello Head-Fi!


I am a new user here (but a long time "stalker") decided to ask you what do you think about the topic, but before i start any assumptions and questions, i explain the situation.


      I have an external sound card (that i bought for voice recording mostly) is Roland UA-55 Quad-Capture that turned out to be a good entry-level professional card for the task, but, as i`m indending to record and compose the music tracks for a CG-animation series, i encountered a serious problem -> a lack of professional headphones that allow me to do so.

      My current headphones are Koss Porta Pro, which sounded great compared to the previous set of headphones that sounded like low quality old radio... 


     Researching forums and reviews, i picked a "Brave trio" of headphones in the desired price range that most likely suit my needs:


1) Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro 250 Ohm (Price in my town: ~250$) 

       Some say that this headphone has less bass then DT-770s but it has a problem with dirt getting in the membrane and anyone who attempts to recover it end up damaging it (or some kind of noises appear after 2 months of usage).


2) AKG 601  (Price ~312$ + shipping 30$ = 342$)

       Seems to be nice all-rounder with lighter bass.


3) AKG Q701 (Price ~335$ + shipping 25$ = 360$)

      AKG`s have a borderline-acceptable price tag, owners say that this headphone has very detailed sound.


I considered other variations of Beyerdynamic headphones (excluding 600 Ohm-versions that priced  567$ plus 40$ for delivery :(),

but the fact that nearly nobody heard  or even tested Roland UA-55 with them makes it impossible to choose.


To keep it simple (as user MalVeauX replied to some strange guy ini some other forum, i`ll use his example of message to describe my preferences):



1) Maximum budget: ~300-330$, sound card: Roland Quad-Capture UA-55.

2) Closed headphones are preferred

3) Music creation is primary usage, listening is secondary and gaming is tertiary.

4) Pad Preference: Hard to say, but low quality leather or leather causes ear-sweating, so no for leather i guess :(

5) Sound properties: Considering i don`t listen to the music like RnB, i don`t need "OMG BASS, MOAR BASS!" it must be present and not muddy.

6) Range of media

       6a) Metal 

       6b) Pop/Dance Pop 

       6c) Instrumental, trailer music including Two Steps From Hell and Hans Zimmer.

       6d) Classical music, violin

       6e) Other music, but very rarely, so main accent still on trailer music and instrumental music because it doesn`t smash my               mind and ears like Annihilator, Megadeth or Manowar. :) )


7) Does it need to be portable? - Nope, this is for home listening (home is also a studio, so working there as well) so i can tolerate the size.

8) Quality of my media:  FLAC and WAV formats on my hard drives... 

9) Current headphones: Koss Porta-Pro

10) Price policy in the country where i live: Price of the headphones (end-price, with shipping) 40-80 percent more than original what makes every purchase a torture for the wallet.


     I`m open to ALL advices and suggestions, since all of them are going to be better than Porta-Pro and i don`t know whether or not my Roland UA-55 will be enough for the headphones i picked (or for those that you advise)...   


Thank you. :smile_phones: 



Update #1.

Searched forums, found that in order to properly power up AKG Q701s, Roland requires preamp... sweet mother of mercy, why such card can`t power a ~290 cans? :confused_face(1):

Edited by BlendVFX - 11/30/13 at 6:31am
post #2 of 3



I'm pretty much in the same situation as you, as I plan to buy quadcapture's soundcard and a couple of headphones, with the same requests in term of use and quality as you do.

So, if some other people of the community have some answers to it, i'm taking it too ! You're not alone ;)


And BTW, is it a pain in the ass if the headphone output impedance is so low ?

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 

@ventpourpre  Headphone impendance? Well it is a straightforward mechanism preventing us from using 600 Ohm cans on Galaxy S4 or  cheap MP3-player (and honesty -> this is a torture to even try, because it what you will hear cannot be "unheard").


Basically, lower impendance means i can safely use those cans with mp3 player while high impendance (250 and higher) will make you buy good amp to an external sound card. 


QuadCapture, for example, manages to nearly overdrive my Koss Porta-Pro, maximal amplification from the card makes distortions and noises which means it can power more powerful headphones (like Beyerdynamic DT-770) but some ears (yes, because we hear with ears and they tell us whether we like sound or not :D)  then Porta Pro.


However, if you will try to go EXTREME MAXIMUM and plug in something like Sennheiser HD800, Denon D7000 (32Ohm impendance) or other high-end professional headphones you WILL be disappointed, because:


1) It is ENTRY-tier professional card


2) Amplification and detalization will lack and very expensive headphones will sound quiet and far less detailed.


3) To fix 2nd point you will need to purchase a good headphone amplifier (while it may be possible to do something with cheap ones, it is far better to buy at least 200-300$ (don`t bite me on prices, i want to say that it must not be cheap chinese knock-off or reconstructed piece of hardware)  or maybe replace Quad Capture with something more expensive 


Also, please note that QuadCapture has hardware (some of it) of it`s big brother - octa capture and thanks to this fact their sound quality is almost equal.



P.S. I hope someone will help us with headphones finally, because i see an excellent deal on BeyerDynamic DT-990`s and Q701`s from amazon. 

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