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internal sound card or external AMP/DAC?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

ok so i posted a thread a little while ago asking about headphones and a few gave me some reccomendations and with a little research of my own heres the short list

 

audio-technica ATH-M50X

beyerdynamic DT770 80ohm

v-moda crossfade m-100

logitech UE 6000

 

i havnt fully decided wich ones im going for but its going to be one of those 4 for sure

so the original plan was to buy an asus xonar essence STX soundcard because everything i have heard about makes it sound like a damn good peice of kit but then some people have been telling me that a external AMP/DAC will do a better job

 

so what do you guys think? shall i go with the soundcard or the external solution?

the soundcard does have a pretty good DAC on it and it has an AMP that claims to drive up to 600ohm that all sounds pretty good to me

 

the external solution im considering is the fiio olympus e-10, i chose this one because it has a good price tag its small and has a nice little bass boost switch on it wich is nice when im listening to electronic music although the amp is only rated for 300ohm rather than 600

 

from what i understand my 4 choices of headphones are all pretty easy to drive so either the sound card or the external should be able push all 4 of them pretty loud so all im interested in pure sound quality, wich do you guys think is better?

 

the fiio olympus E-10 is my DAC/AMP of choice but i am open to other suggestions aslong as its within the same price range, the essence STX about £130-150 depending on where you look thats pretty much the limit

post #2 of 3
I have an STX, a fiio e17, and a schiit magni/modi stack. With my easy to drive cans (including ATHM50) I cannot hear a difference. The STX will not drive my HE400's properly, however.

The STX has an overrated amp section (it sounds nice, just isn't super powered) but the DAC is transparent and it has a lot of great features, including bass boost/EQ. It plays nice with my wasapi and ASIO drivers, and lines out transparently to my hi-fi receiver. What it won't do is travel away from your PC which is why I have a fiio as well....think about whether you may want a portable solution as well. Otherwise I can recommend the STX as sounding just as good as external options
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ferday View Post

I have an STX, a fiio e17, and a schiit magni/modi stack. With my easy to drive cans (including ATHM50) I cannot hear a difference. The STX will not drive my HE400's properly, however.

The STX has an overrated amp section (it sounds nice, just isn't super powered) but the DAC is transparent and it has a lot of great features, including bass boost/EQ. It plays nice with my wasapi and ASIO drivers, and lines out transparently to my hi-fi receiver. What it won't do is travel away from your PC which is why I have a fiio as well....think about whether you may want a portable solution as well. Otherwise I can recommend the STX as sounding just as good as external options

thanks alot, im not interested in a portable option my cans will be hooked up to my PC at all times

saying the STX doesnt drive you're HE400's properly is a little worrying just looked them up and they are rated at 35ohms im leaning towards the DT770 more than anything else at the moment and they are 80ohm so now im worried the STX wont drive them very well, i do like to crank the volume up

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