I recently purchased the Beyerdynamic DT-990 (250 ohm). So far I am pleased with the DT990 headphones. They do sound really nice, but I feel like they could sound better. I currently have an Asus Xonar Essence STX soundcard powering them. I'm not sure if this has somethign to do with EQ settings on my Xonar soundboard and I don't know how to configure them properly, but I just feel like they could sound better. The Xonar Audio Center seems pretty basic though.. so I don't see what I could be missing.
I really wouldn't want to listen to these headphones at more than 60% volume with this current Xonar Essence STX amp so I feel like the amp is sufficiently driving them. I kind of wish I went for the 600 ohm set now just to see what the difference would be. I JUST bought these DT990s (250 ohm) and am considering sending them back for the 600 ohm version. Especially if I do upgrade past this Xonar amp. I've been debating with the idea of just bypassing this headphone amp (and still using the DAC if that's even possible) to try to improve quality, but I'm not opposed to upgrading both.
The issue is, I'm not sure what level/caliber of amp I'm working with in this soundcard to compare it to anything to consider upgrading. Also, my question is.. what/how much benefit will I get besides volume increase (maybe?) by buying an additional amp. This sound card already has a built in amp and DAC if I'm not mistaken. I'm just not sure how good it is compared to stand alone amps on the market and/or DACs. I don't want to spend more than around $400 and if that's for a 10% gain from what I have, I wont bother.
I'd like some suggestions for amps/DACs at least. I never listen to these headphones outside of my house, so I don't need anything portable. I'll also be powering my AD700 and M50 headphones through this setup. My main use is gaming and I'm just dipping my toes into listening to high end audio stuff as it's available to me.
A friend of mine recommended the TubeMagic A1 amp to power them. I've also read that people prefer/like tube amps with these headphones.
When playing games or just listening to music, I can tell a difference in the soundstages for sure between the 990s and my AD700s. I'm not going to hear THAT much difference between amps/headphone sounds from games that just support stereo sound, right? Just because the source sound itself is the bottleneck?