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Soundcard + Headphones Amplifier for DT-990 Pro - 250 Ohm

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hello community,

 

I ordered some Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro - 250 Ohm headphones today and I'm looking for a "cheap" solution for the soundcard. I will be using them on my PC mostly for FPS games including CS: GO where I expect to have decent positioning capabilities, but I also like to listen to music and watch movies. I don't want to spend more than 100 € for the soundcard. I found the following three products where for the first one I couldn't find any review.

I need some recommendations regarding the "right" soundcard for my case. As you will notice by the provided links I am german, which is also a reason why I chose the Beyers. Other products then the given are of course also considerable. I know the FiiO E10 is a full stereo DAC with headphones amplifier but I don't know how they would compete.

 

Side question: I have a Denon AVR-900 Surround Receiver, can I plug the Beyers into them or do I have to be cautious with that?

 

I found:

 

Creative Sound Blaster Audigy RX

http://de.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-audigy-rx

 

ESI Prodigy X-Fi NRG

http://www.amazon.de/ESI-Prodigy-X-Fi-NRG-Soundkarte/dp/B003QLKS34

 

FiiO E10

http://www.amazon.de/FiiO-Olympus-Decoder-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B005VO7LG6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8

 

 

Best regards,

 

apfel

post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by apfel View Post
 

I ordered some Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro - 250 Ohm headphones today and I'm looking for a "cheap" solution for the soundcard. I will be using them on my PC mostly for FPS games including CS: GO where I expect to have decent positioning capabilities, but I also like to listen to music and watch movies. I don't want to spend more than 100 € for the sound card. I found the following three products where for the first one I couldn't find any review.

I need some recommendations regarding the "right" sound card for my case. As you will notice by the provided links I am german, which is also a reason why I chose the Beyers. Other products then the given are of course also considerable. I know the FiiO E10 is a full stereo DAC with headphones amplifier but I don't know how they would compete.

Side question: I have a Denon AVR-900 Surround Receiver, can I plug the Beyers into them or do I have to be cautious with that?

Creative Sound Blaster Audigy RX

http://de.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-audigy-rx

ESI Prodigy X-Fi NRG

http://www.amazon.de/ESI-Prodigy-X-Fi-NRG-Soundkarte/dp/B003QLKS34

FiiO E10

http://www.amazon.de/FiiO-Olympus-Decoder-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B005VO7LG6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8

I would say to take advantage of the Denon AVR-900, for driving the DT990 250-Ohm headphones.

 

Sound cards I think would be a better choice.

(Just run a cable from the sound card front/headphone output jack to the RCA inputs on the Denon)

 

Asus Xonar DX or D1 (used is fine).

Used Creative X-fi Titanium (non-HD) or Titanium HD.

 

Cheaper cards

Asus Xonar DG or DGX

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your response! I haven't thought about this option yet since the Denon is in the next room connected to the television and my PC is not connected with it. Of course I can use it for listening to music but I would like to have my PC "good usable" for this purpose and especially for gaming too. There will also often be the case where PC and TV are being used at the same time.

Anyhow should I expect difficulties or problems when the connecting cables exceed a certain length (which then?), e.g. 3m?

 

Assuming I don't have this possibility (TV & PC at the same time might not work), what would your advice be then?

 

Could you tell me about the Creative Soundcard and/compared with the ESI Prodigy or propose another alternative stating why it is preferable?


Edited by apfel - 12/4/13 at 3:41pm
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by apfel View Post
 

Thank you for your response! I haven't thought about this option yet since the Denon is in the next room connected to the television and my PC is not connected with it. Of course I can use it for listening to music but I would like to have my PC "good usable" for this purpose and especially for gaming too. There will also often be the case where PC and TV are being used at the same time.

Anyhow should I expect difficulties or problems when the connecting cables exceed a certain length (which then?), e.g. 3m?

Assuming I don't have this possibility (TV & PC at the same time might not work), what would your advice be then?

Could you tell me about the Creative Sound card and/compared with the ESI Prodigy or propose another alternative stating why it is preferable?

Right now the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z (SB1500, retail box) sound card offers a lot for the price.

I know zero about the other cards.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Okay, some people say Creative is not good, bad software, bad drivers, bad support. Others say they use old DSPs or EAX is of no use or the 600 Ohm amplifier is not enough for the Beyers and that 600 Ohm amplifier in general doesn't mean anything and that Asus is always better. I don't know how to judge these words, the Creative you mentioned and the one I proposed look fine to me but I have also read that the amplifier of the ESI Prodigy should be better than that of the Soundblaster z. I have also read that the ESI Prodigy is of good quality although cheap. Are there any criteria/figures of merit from that you could say which one is "better"? The microphone is a nice feature but I don't need it necessarily.

I am a little bit intimidated by the judgements on Creative soundcards by some users but if you had some words in favor I would go for one of the proposed (how to tell which?).


Edited by apfel - 12/5/13 at 12:30am
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by apfel View Post
 

Okay, some people say Creative is not good, bad software, bad drivers, bad support. Others say they use old DSPs or EAX is of no use or the 600 Ohm amplifier is not enough for the Beyers and that 600 Ohm amplifier in general doesn't mean anything and that Asus is always better. I don't know how to judge these words, the Creative you mentioned and the one I proposed look fine to me but I have also read that the amplifier of the ESI Prodigy should be better than that of the Sound blaster z. I have also read that the ESI Prodigy is of good quality although cheap. Are there any criteria/figures of merit from that you could say which one is "better"? The microphone is a nice feature but I don't need it necessarily.

I am a little bit intimidated by the judgements on Creative sound cards by some users but if you had some words in favor I would go for one of the proposed (how to tell which?).

Every brand of sound card has "software/driver" issues.

I do prefer my Asus Xonar series and have had good luck with stable drivers.

The Audigy series is an older series of sound card that Creative is bring back because it's cheap for them to make. Would never consider recommending the Audigy to anyone (unless you play really old games).

Creative's newer cards (Recon3D and Z) I believe do not support EAX anyway, So unless your into playing older games, EAX is not really an issue.

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

I don't need an additional microphone since I already have a good one so that I think there could be a better option for the same money. Again I don't want to exceed 100 €. I'm not even sure if I actually need a headphone amplifier, so that maybe the Xonar DX would be good enough.

 

Which soundcard would you or someone else choose in my case?

post #8 of 14
I too bought the Dt990 recently. I already had a creative x-fi titanium hd, and one thing you should be aware of, if you use Windows 8.1,is that there are no drivers for that card, and no plans for any until 2014. In general creative's drivers suck and come with a ton of useless crap. With this in mind, I bought the Schiit magni/modi, and am loving it, I won't be going back to a sound card again. (also, I play games extensively, no problems there either.)
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by apfel View Post
 

I don't need an additional microphone since I already have a good one so that I think there could be a better option for the same money. Again I don't want to exceed 100 €. I'm not even sure if I actually need a headphone amplifier, so that maybe the Xonar DX would be good enough.

 

Which sound card would you or someone else choose in my case?

In general the Xonar DX is a good sound card, but it's headphone output has a 100-Ohm impedance, so not really the best choice for directly driving headphone, but you can hook up any external headphone amplifier to the Xonar DX, which I think makes a great combo.

post #10 of 14
Thread Starter 

Are you thinking of the FiiO e06? Would it be a good combo: FiiO e06 and the Xonar DX. Is it comparable with the STX or other cards? Or would you still recommend me the Sound Blaster Z?

 

Schiit products seem to be not available here in Germany but I don't necessarily need them. Thanks nevertheless!

post #11 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by apfel View Post
 

Are you thinking of the FiiO e06? Would it be a good combo: FiiO e06 and the Xonar DX. Is it comparable with the STX or other cards? Or would you still recommend me the Sound Blaster Z?

 

Schiit products seem to be not available here in Germany but I don't necessarily need them. Thanks nevertheless!

Technically the FiiO E6 with volume on max, can drive the DT990s, but you may not get full audio quality of the DT990.

The Sound Blaster Z just seems to make more sense, for a given budget.

 

There is the O2 (Objective 2) headphone amplifier, sold under the model # EPH-02, for 99 GBP.

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

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

So in the end you are advising me to get a Soundblaster Z since my budget is limited and about 75 € make a good price for that. The O2 look really interesting but it exceeds my budget and I would ask why not to buy an Essence STX for that money.

Am I right in what I've said?

 

Thank you for your help so far.

 

EDIT: I hope the Soundblaster Z's amplifier is good enough for the DT 990s because I have read that it is not strong enough. Do you have real life experience with this soundcard favorable in combination with some DT 250 Ohm headphones?


Edited by apfel - 12/5/13 at 3:13pm
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by apfel View Post
 

So in the end you are advising me to get a Soundblaster Z since my budget is limited and about 75 € make a good price for that. The O2 look really interesting but it exceeds my budget and I would ask why not to buy an Essence STX for that money.

Am I right in what I've said?

 

Thank you for your help so far.

 

EDIT: I hope the Soundblaster Z's amplifier is good enough for the DT 990s because I have read that it is not strong enough. Do you have real life experience with this soundcard favorable in combination with some DT 250 Ohm headphones?


I did not think you have budgeted enough for a Essence STX, the STX does have a better DAC and amplifier then the Sound Blaster Z.

The Sound Blaster Z is the best i can think of, for your budget.

Someone else my have better ideas.

post #14 of 14
What did you end up doing? Will you please provide an update of your experience?
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