Thinking of buying Beyerdynamic DT770 or DT990 250 ohm. I have never owned a professional pair of headphones, so I'm not sure if a soundcard can be as good as an amp, or do I just need both?
Can I drive 250 ohm headphones only with a soundcard, or do I need an amp?
Your soundcard is probably fine. The DT-990 Pro was my first pair of good headphones, and I plugged them straight into my laptop at first. I was very happy with that sound at the time. Of course, getting a nicer DAC and amp will make an improvement. But they are not strictly necessary IMO. You should be able to enjoy the headphones just fine without one, especially if you are only used to cheaper gear.
LOL. Two completely opposite opinions. It really depends on your situation... Are you worried about needing an amp because you can't afford one? Or do you just want to know if you should order one?
If you can afford an amp, I'd suggest just getting the headphones and trying them with your soundcard. If the sound is disappointing, then get an amp. If you are happy, then never visit this website again.
If you can't afford an amp and want to make sure you are buying an appropriate pair of headphones, you might want to look at some other models. The 250 ohm Beyers aren't that hard to drive IMO, but there are plenty of headphones out there that are even easier to drive and that would be a safer bet.
Edited by manbear - 1/6/14 at 2:13pm
I can afford the amp, but want to order all in one go, because of the expensive shipping to my country. I also haven't bought a soundcard yet, so if those can come with integrated amps that are good enough, I'd rather go for that. Basically my setup is only in my dreams for now, so everything can still change and I am open for suggestions.
With this I wouldn't need a soundcard which is a good thing, and it plugs into the computer by an USB. But that makes me wonder if I'd lose sound quality because of the USB, and the fiio seems to be cheap for a replacement soundcard and amp.
You won't lost any sound quality because of USB. The overwhelming majority of people here have USB DACs. One thing about the E10 is that the headphones are powered through USB as well. The Fiio E07k is similar but also gets power from a battery.
If you want to spend more, get a Schiit Modi and Magni. Or an ODAC and O2.
I've read that the Fiio E10 on DT770 cans actually makes the headphones worse for gaming, which is about 60% of what I intend to use these for. Any suggestions for an amp & dac that would be good in gaming?