1994 or so I bought my Sony MDR-CD570 that carried most of my headphone experience up to this day. What I liked most with these were the comfort. For hours upon hours I could listen without any fatigue on my ears or head. The sound quality was fair and today they have become unbalanced with right side playing just slightly louder (or less on the left). Not to mention the ear pads have disintegrated completely. I did order new pads for these as I saw a member here replacing with Superlux pads. Just to be able to carry them another 20 years :)
From I friend I lended a pair of Beyerdynamic DT 880 (impedance unknown) combined with a nuforce DAC/AMP. Hooked up on USB from my computer I mostly played Battlefield 3 (non competetive) and I was impressed. Some time later I decided I should buy myself a new pair to replace my old Sony and went for the DT 880 Pro.
I have many times engaged (Game Mode) on my X-FI card but it sounds awful and unnatural in my ears. I prefer to listen as close as possible as the designer intended it to. The competetive advantage the "Game Mode" might bring is of no interest to me. I am a believer in reference sound and pictures (My field of expertise also focus on this). The exception is games like battlefield where I could enjoy a tad bit more bass. I stick to "Audio Creation" mode as this seem to best replicate what is actually fed from whatever source material I am listening to.
The past week I did a lot of research here on head-fi. Reading Mad Lust Envys thread on gaming, Battle of the flagships and various threads regarding the X-FI, Asus Essence etc. Including whatever I could find with Google regarding the capabilities of my soundcard. I was not able to find any specificationsmentioning the headphone amplification capabalities on my card.
I believe the DAC in my soundcard is surely of high quality enough but not so sure about the headphone amplification it provides to my new DT880 Pro.
Either a new soundcard with enough amplification or a new amplifier with SPDIF input from my soundcard (Where I could also recieve the "Game Mode" should I desire.
What are your take on this?
/Thank you in advance HeadFI