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The right combination between my Shure SE535, New PC Sound Card, and Receiver

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

1. i am buying a new PC don't know whether i should buy it with a sound card or not, i searched and found that the signal to noise ratio on the Motherboard is 108 or so, while its 124 or so on the sound blaster by creative, the question do you i really need such high number considering my uses for audio.


2. I have an Onkyo reciever HT-S5600 which supports 24bit rates ( I can consider upgrading if someone recommended logically to do so ) my Receiver's signal to noise ratio is 110 DB


3. Lets say i need to buy a sound card with the PC, how can i connect the sound card to the receiver while still having a video feed through HDMI, is there a certain cable to make audio from sound card and the video from graphic card, i am using an ATI ... should i change to Nvidia ... depending on the audio quality on each?


4. i mostly use 320 Kpbs for music, and sometimes Flacs.


5. I watch blue rays and i am a DTS MA HD maniac.


6. My headphones which is SE 535 shure ... what is the best combination in general to get the most out of these headphones ??


7. And the main question is ... do i need such a high signal to noise ratio or the motherboard's is enough ? which is 108


8. Lets say that i do need and it makes a difference to have a card like the creative one, if i connect the same to the receiver without being limited to the capacity of the Recevier (Amplifer) ... or i can process the music on the pc and just pass it through to the speakers ?


Money is not an issue, i just need to max the experience from the Headphones and my home theater, am not a mixer nor a producer, But am a music junky .... MUSIC is the only way i disconnect from this egoistic world, so i take it really seriously!


Thanks for the help  in advance

post #2 of 9
The Shure 535 are an extremely sensitive headphone with 119db sensitivity, and they have an impedance of 32 ohms. Consequently, not everything you plug them into will be a good match for them. I recommend learning more about what drives them well from reading and talking in this thread before getting into making purchasing decisions. Receivers tend to vary quite a bit between different models as to how well they drive headphones, and often do not do well with driving low impedance headphones, so there is a good chance that some other external DAC/headphone amp (external or sound card) will work better, depending on your budget. Also, a lot of people like the virtual surround DSP from internal sound cards, which many receivers do not have for their headphone output (I think Yamaha does).
Originally Posted by DAJ Eshaikhly View Post

Money is not an issue, i just need to max the experience from the Headphones and my home theater, am not a mixer nor a producer, But am a music junky .... MUSIC is the only way i disconnect from this egoistic world, so i take it really seriously!

Well, but specifying a budget is still important. If money truly is not an issue for you, why are you using an entry level Onkyo receiver in your HT setup. Sorry. I'm not trying to be insulting; my HT receiver is not that much of a higher quality than yours. The point is that we all have to work within our means, and there's always better audio equipment if you have more money smily_headphones1.gif

One other consideration, too. Instead of trying to compare numbers between equipment, it can often be better first to figure out what you are specifically looking for in an improved audio listening experience. Increased clarity? Better bass? Bigger soundstage? Smoother frequency response? More immersive surround experience in movies/gaming? Could be your budget is better spent on different things than you are considering.
Edited by cel4145 - 2/20/14 at 7:06am
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

Noted for the shure SE535 sensitivity


so i can make the picture clearer, i am buying an asus VI formula mother board which has 120 db SnR audio, and seemed to be among the best in sound (suggest a better one if you have in mind), what i need is an audio capability that both support good headphones through sound card, and can be past through the A/V inclusive of codecs like DTS HD etc.


You are right about the budget comment, but i noted money is no issue, because i need what i need and ill buy whatever it takes regardless of the price, the A/V i have i bought 2 years ago, and it seemed like a break through to me, it is my first, and it is actually amazing for the price, but now since it does not support 24 bit, i am thinking of upgrading, hence my questions, but to put a prospective, I am not thinking of paying more than 500 USD or so on an A/V, i think the mother board capability is more than enough to satisfy my audio needs (the MOBO mentioned earlier).


what i need as you mentioned is:

MUSIC MUSIC .... through my 7.1 .... i listen mainly to electronic music, specifically deep house, DnB, Dub, glitch, techno etc

Movies ....... Blu ray ....... also through my 7.1 through an A/V .

In terms of quality of sound preferences, i like Bass but not to be too much, good treble yet not too much as i think it distorts the experience, and of course clarity.


so my aim is the same ... how can i make the best combination of all these needs, movies, music, sound card or on mother board (if so can i pass through the MOBO to the A/V without losing quality) or am i limited by the SnR of the A/V or maybe that is irrelevant?)


I discovered my passion for my music late, cause i have been always in love with my ears :) .... so if i am not clear enough, help me be more clear to you

post #4 of 9
If you are going to buy an additional sound card or external DAC/headphone amp, then the SNR of your motherboard is not important since you will be bypassing the audio components of the motherboard. Moreover, don't get too hung up on comparing SNR too closely. Once you get up around 110 db SNR, that's a pretty a pretty low noise floor. Most people don't even know how loud that is, and consequently, how loud you would have to turn it up to hear the noise. Plus, SNR is only one factor among many that determine SQ. The truth is that if you learn enough about the specs, you can tell if something will be bad by the specs, but after a certain point, the differences the specs show could easily be inaudible.

I would recommend researching the needs of your Shures, and then giving a listen with your new motherboard before making further decisions. You might be happy with the clarity. As for the virtual surround capabilities of that motherboard, I have no idea. You might research that as well because a lot of people like that kind of feature for movies.

However, the best clarity of the audio signal, at a certain price point, comes from going with external DACs and headphone amps over internal sound cards and motherboard audio. You could always look at getting a Audio-GD DAC/headphone amp/pre-amp (search on head-fi to learn about them). They have optical input, so even a cheap sound card like the Asus Xonar DG or DGX can do Dolby headphone processing on the audio signal and then send it to the external unit for digital to analog conversion and the high quality headphone amp.

Finally, as a serious music lover, and lover of music with bass, you might have more fun sticking with the motherboard audio and investing money in full-sized headphones with good bass extension. Many of us have multiple sets of headphones because each offers a different listening experience smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by cel4145 - 2/20/14 at 6:58pm
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks a bunch, it seems what needs to be done, is building up that pc with that motherboard, and check it before considering buying additional parts and this is exactly what i am going to do, what do you recommend for an head phone amp for my phone in case using the shures on the phone, my phone is a galaxy note 2 which has considerably low impedance ?

post #6 of 9
I don't own the Shures, even though I do have a Note 2, so same as thing as above. This thread for resarching the Shures: http://www.head-fi.org/t/497285/shure-se535-reviews-and-first-impressions-thread. You really need to talk to other Shure 535 owners.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

Ill do that.


Thanks alot for your time and attention .... :)

post #8 of 9

If you're using HDMI to the receiver, the receiver becomes the sound card so you don't need one - you'll be using the DAC and amps in the receiver. I can't tell you how your IEMs will sound out of the receiver though.

post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

ohh .. very good to know ... I am buying Sony Receiver STR-DN-1040, how much of a good DAC and Amp it is. as far as i know it is really good for the price ?

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