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Ws99 vs. Ws77 and Amp Questions

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hi everybody,

 

This is my first time getting a great pair of headphones, and I think I've narrowed down my search to the Audio Technica ws99 or ws77. I've done a lot of research, but I'm confused on some stuff. This is kind of overwhelming for a first-timer!

 

Here's some background info:

I guess you could call me a basshead. I listen mostly to "electronic dance music", but I DON'T want the bass to be overwhelming to the point that I can't appreciate how the music is supposed to sound. I listen to all sorts of music like: hardstyle, dubstep, trap, trance, drum n bass, house, etc. etc. I mostly listen to my music off sources like Soundcloud.

 

I'll be playing music exclusively off my fairly high-end gaming laptop: the MSI GT60 0NC-004US (http://www.msi.com/product/nb/GT60-0NC.html). This laptop apparently has a specially built-in amping system for improving audio that MSI calls "audio boost". I can't find too much information on how it works exactly though.

 

I don't have an Ipod, and I'm not really interested in listening to music off my phone.

 

I've been using a Logitech H800 for years, so this is going to be a huge change for me! Very exciting. :)

 

Budget = ~$200

 

~~~~~~

 

Now on to the questions!

 

After looking through the mannnyyyy pages of the ws99/ws77 owner thread, http://www.head-fi.org/t/650449/the-new-ws99-ws77-pg-57 , I've read that the ws99 can benefit greatly from an amp. Now please forgive me if I'm wrong, I am still learning, but an amp is only necessary if the hardware feeding the music signal to the headphones can't provide enough "juice" right? If so, would I even need an amp with the laptop I specified? The WS99 seems like a great option, but an amp+ws99 is out of my budget.

 

Unfortunately, there don't seem to be many reviews on the ws99 and even less on the ws77. Can anyone explain what I'd be losing out on if I get the ws77 instead of the ws99? And would I need to amp the ws77 for use with my laptop? If so, which amp would you recommend? I am pretty confused on how to choose an appropriate amp.

 

Are the ws77/ws99 going to significantly reveal flaws in the source? I want to be able to enjoy listening to music from sources like Soundcloud and (much less often) YouTube.

 

Thanks,

anr0

 

Btw, if I've left out any important information, please let me know! :)


Edited by anr0 - 12/27/13 at 9:19pm
post #2 of 21
Thread Starter 

Bump.

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 

Anyone?

post #4 of 21
Thread Starter 

Nobody has an answer?

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 

:frown:

post #6 of 21

I just did some fairly drunk digging and found 0 specs on the amp section of your built in sound card. The WS99 sounds pretty darn good out of a portable audio player and it would be safe to assume your on board sound should be at least average. I would personally get them and add an amp and DAC later. I didn't find these cans super revealing so soundcloud will be fine... youtube can be hit or miss because some people upload terrible quality tunes.

post #7 of 21

OMG its a Realtek's ALC 1150 chip! So its nothing special... still get the cans and grab an amp/DAC later.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/685163/a-researched-question-about-realtek-1150-vs-sound-card

 

^ further reading


Edited by kvtaco17 - 12/31/13 at 11:36pm
post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by anr0 View Post
 

Hi everybody,

 

This is my first time getting a great pair of headphones, and I think I've narrowed down my search to the Audio Technica ws99 or ws77. I've done a lot of research, but I'm confused on some stuff. This is kind of overwhelming for a first-timer!

Right now it looks like the WS77 is almost half the price of the WS99, so I say go for the WS77.

and maybe the FiiO E10, USB-DAC-Amp, $72.

Or if your a gamer, the Creative Labs Omni Surround 5.1


Edited by PurpleAngel - 12/31/13 at 11:44pm
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

Right now it looks like the WS77 is almost half the price of the WS99, so I say go for the WS77.

and maybe the FiiO E10, USB-DAC-Amp, $72.

OH with that bombshell I'd retract my earlier statement... listen to this guy!

post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by kvtaco17 View Post
 

OMG its a Realtek's ALC 1150 chip! So its nothing special... still get the cans and grab an amp/DAC later.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/685163/a-researched-question-about-realtek-1150-vs-sound-card

^ further reading

Where did you find it listed that his MSI laptop has a Realtek ALC1150 audio processor?

post #11 of 21
 

Edited by PurpleAngel - 1/1/14 at 12:08am
post #12 of 21
Lemme dig through last nights browsing history after some food... I'm hung over and don't remember where I found it...
post #13 of 21

The drivers are realtek

 

http://drivers.softpedia.com/get/SOUND-CARD/REALTEK/MSI-GT60-2OC-Realtek-HD-Audio-Driver-6017040-for-Windows-81-64-bit.shtml

 

The new Z87 boards use the ALC1150

 

http://game.msi.com/us/product/motherboard/z87-gaming

 

The old Z77 boards use ALC898

 

http://us.msi.com/product/mb/Z77-MPOWER.html#/?div=Detail

 

(lot of extrapolating I know... I was drunk)

 

MSI is know for being cheap about components and usually uses one design and adapts it to everything... SO what my drunk self meant to say is its probably the ALC898... anyways realtek kinda isn't the greatest lol so expect average results using the on board audio.

post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 

It is Realtek, but how do I figure out what processor/chip it is using?

 

This is the driver I'm using.

http://drivers.softpedia.com/get/SOUND-CARD/REALTEK/Realtek-High-Definition-Audio-Driver-6016959-for-Windows-7-Windows-8.shtml

 

MSI doesn't have much information about audio boost that I can find. This is their description:

The MSI Audio Boost design enhances sound output by 30%. The gold flash audio jack provides stable sound transmission (reduced obstruction) and works in conjunction with the optimized AMP (Audio Power Amplifier) design, characterized by low noise and low distortion, to greatly enhance headphone performance and faithfully reproduce each acoustic detail.
Detail is everything! Hear any sound in game! Response faster!

Anyways, I wouldn't hate on MSI too much. They might not have been known for their normal laptops before, but their gaming laptops that they started making more recently are really pretty good. You get a great bang for your buck with some pretty high end components. Of course, I didn't buy this (bought it about 1.5ish years ago) laptop with audio in mind. I just happened to notice that there is, supposedly, an "optimized AMP" in the laptop when I was researching these headphones.

 

As for the price of the ws99, I can get them for $200 from an authorized dealer. So it's actually a lot less than 2x the price of the ws77. :)

 

Thanks for the help! I'm glad to finally have some responses!

 

EDIT:

 

According to device manager, I have both "Intel(R) Display Audio" and "Realtek High Definition Audio". The intel audio is part of the hm77 chipset. So, if I'm not mistaken, the Realtek audio is definitely "dedicated" and not a part of the normal chipset like the audio is with most laptops. Sorry if this is completely wrong. Like I said, audio was one of the last things I was considering when I bought this laptop haha. It's not my area of expertise. :p


Edited by anr0 - 1/1/14 at 11:52am
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by anr0 View Post
 

It is Realtek, but how do I figure out what processor/chip it is using?

 

This is the driver I'm using.

http://drivers.softpedia.com/get/SOUND-CARD/REALTEK/Realtek-High-Definition-Audio-Driver-6016959-for-Windows-7-Windows-8.shtml

 

MSI doesn't have much information about audio boost that I can find. This is their description:

The MSI Audio Boost design enhances sound output by 30%. The gold flash audio jack provides stable sound transmission (reduced obstruction) and works in conjunction with the optimized AMP (Audio Power Amplifier) design, characterized by low noise and low distortion, to greatly enhance headphone performance and faithfully reproduce each acoustic detail.
Detail is everything! Hear any sound in game! Response faster!

Anyways, I wouldn't hate on MSI too much. They might not have been known for their normal laptops before, but their gaming laptops that they started making more recently are really pretty good. You get a great bang for your buck with some pretty high end components. Of course, I didn't buy this (bought it about 1.5ish years ago) laptop with audio in mind. I just happened to notice that there is, supposedly, an "optimized AMP" in the laptop when I was researching these headphones.

 

As for the price of the ws99, I can get them for $200 from an authorized dealer. So it's actually a lot less than 2x the price of the ws77. :)

 

Thanks for the help! I'm glad to finally have some responses!

 

EDIT:

 

According to device manager, I have both "Intel(R) Display Audio" and "Realtek High Definition Audio". The intel audio is part of the hm77 chipset. So, if I'm not mistaken, the Realtek audio is definitely "dedicated" and not a part of the normal chipset like the audio is with most laptops. Sorry if this is completely wrong. Like I said, audio was one of the last things I was considering when I bought this laptop haha. It's not my area of expertise. :p

I extrapolated (made an educated guess based on their product lines)

 

I like MSI, BUT the audio section of their mobo's and laptops is kinda an afterthought, BECAUSE their focus is gaming, not audio fidelity.

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