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Breaking into the hifi audio scene, would enjoy some help!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello all! 

 

 After weeks of scouring this forum and constant google searches I think I'm ready to take the plunge into Hi-Fi audio via headphones. I'll give you a little background as to where I'm at in terms of use, experience, and prior purchases. I Recently started looking into higher fidelity audio when I finished my computer build. I wanted something more engrossing and richer than my logitech G930 headset. So after a few reviews and being impatient I purchased the Sennheiser PC 363D headset thinking it would cover what I wanted. After Using said headset for approx 2 months I have been very disappointed, Even after ditching the included USB soundcard and getting a Soundblaster Z sound card. As I said I began to dig deeper and reading more reviews and opinions on products for my tastes. I am about to pull the trigger on the purchase a pair of AKG Q701 headphones. I plan to use these for now with said soundcard (which I have read has a "decent" DAC and supposedly a 600ohm integrated headphone amp) and as extra money comes replace the sound card with an external DAC and amp. I was mainly posting to see if this seems like a viable solution. And that the AKG Q701's will give me a richer experience with movies, music, and games. 

 

And for reference, I am searching for better SQ not an edge in gaming. Also the music I typically listen to is Acoustic guitar artists, classical, and some heavier instrumental/prog rock. Thank you in advance for all your help and I look forward to spiraling deeper into the Hi-Fi abyss.

post #2 of 7

Heya,

 

The `Z and a Q701 will definitely give you a nice reference level experience. Not the bassiest headphone around, fairly neutral there, a bit shy for some. But the sound stage and overall presentation is fantastic. Great for gaming. And great for a lot of the genres you described (unless you like the bassier versions of those genres more). You don't need a new dac/amp or anything unless you just feel like throwing money away frankly. I would stick with this for a while, unless you don't like the Q701, in which case, just try another `phone. Your'e good to go.

 

That said, start reading more into what things are and how things work perhaps. Your `Z doesn't have a "600ohm amplifier". That doesn't exist. Ohms are a measurement of impedance (resistance). The amplifier simply raises voltage high enough to overcome 600ohms of resistance and then any left over current can pass to the headphone. They don't tell you how much current is passing, therefore it could be next to nothing and useless (thus a marketing lie to you), or there's plenty passing and you're good to go. You could calculate your output with a little math just looking at it's maximum voltage since it all calculates from that. Or they could just tell you in a spec sheet the output levels at different impedance loads. But they don't. So don't expect the world. That said, don't worry, the `Z has plenty of output power to handle most headphones. My point is to point out that a "600ohm amplifier" doesn't exist, and that frankly, you should be learning a lot more about what this stuff is and how it works so you don't buy something not knowing what it actually does.

 

Very best,

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I appreciate the quick response! And thank you for the enlightening! It's nice to see how quickly this community responds and does so to educate new users.
post #4 of 7
Quote:

Originally Posted by eschroo View Post

 

A Soundblaster Z sound card. As I said I began to dig deeper and reading more reviews and opinions on products for my tastes. I am about to pull the trigger on the purchase a pair of AKG Q701 headphones. I plan to use these for now with said sound card (which I have read has a "decent" DAC and supposedly a 600ohm integrated headphone amp) and as extra money comes replace the sound card with an external DAC and amp. I was mainly posting to see if this seems like a viable solution. And that the AKG Q701's will give me a richer experience with movies, music, and games. 

 

And for reference, I am searching for better SQ not an edge in gaming. Also the music I typically listen to is Acoustic guitar artists, classical, and some heavier instrumental/prog rock. Thank you in advance for all your help and I look forward to spiraling deeper into the Hi-Fi abyss.

Did you disable the motherboard's on-board audio? in the BIOS.

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
When I installed the soundblaster I removed the logitech software and disabled onboard audio via bios prior to installation of the card. Why do you ask?
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by eschroo View Post

When I installed the Sound Blaster I removed the Logitech software and disabled on-board audio via bios prior to installation of the card. Why do you ask?


Just to make sure, sometimes leaving the on-board enabled has a negative effect on audio quality, when trying to use an add-on sound card.

post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the heads up! I appreciate it! I can't wait to get the new cans!
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