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Dt 990 soundblaster z

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi guys. Been lurking and doing a ton of reading and have gone from being completely clueless to a general idea of how this stuff works. I have all of you in these forums to thank for that.
Anyway long story short. I primarily game but also watch movies. I have a soundblaster z. I also have a pair of 558s and dt990s both 250 ohm. My 558 sound pretty good but my 990 sound flat. I've read they are harder to drive than the 558. I assume the z isn't powerful enough so I have an e09k on the way. Secondly we have a newborn so my wife and I have been using a headphone splitter out of the soundcard to listen to movies loud w/o waking the baby.
So my questions are:
1. Is the e09k best in the price range for my setup to get the best sound out of both headphones through a splitter ? If not, the magni better?
2. Is there a better option than the splitter that isn't too expensive?
3. With an amp and soundcard what is best way to hook it up as to not lose directional sound for gaming? Which setup for us to watch movies thru 2 headphones?

Thanks!
post #2 of 12

990 has U shaped sound signature with emphasissed bass and treble. 990s recessed midrange might be the reason why you calling dt990s flat?not sure what you mean..I heard 990 paring well with tubes. btw hd558 is only 50Ω .

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Wow I'm an idiot. I thought I had headphones with same impedance for splitting. That explains why the sbz powers the 558 so much better/easier than the 990. The 990 right now sound worse than apple earbuds so I'm hoping they just need an amp.
post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by razzyrazz View Post

3. With an amp and soundcard what is best way to hook it up as to not lose directional sound for gaming? Which setup for us to watch movies thru 2 headphones?

To keep the directional audio for gaming or if you use any virtual surround features from your sound card with movies, you would need to connect a DAC with optical (or coaxial) to your Soundblaster. If you use a USB DAC, you will bypass all the DSP of your soundcard.
Quote:
Originally Posted by razzyrazz View Post

Wow I'm an idiot. I thought I had headphones with same impedance for splitting. That explains why the sbz powers the 558 so much better/easier than the 990. The 990 right now sound worse than apple earbuds so I'm hoping they just need an amp.

Sensitivity is also a lower on the DT990s. So I would imagine that they might sound a bit quieter than the HD558s when used with the splitter.
post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

To keep the directional audio for gaming or if you use any virtual surround features from your sound card with movies, you would need to connect a DAC with optical (or coaxial) to your Soundblaster. If you use a USB DAC, you will bypass all the DSP of your soundcard.

Sensitivity is also a lower on the DT990s. So I would imagine that they might sound a bit quieter than the HD558s when used with the splitter.
.
-Yes it does. So for movies optical out of sbz to amp then headphone splitter for the 2 of us?
Gaming I'd really like to use the headphone out on sbz as I've read there is better positional audio out of it. Can't use headphone out to amp then plug phones into amp and keep surround?
- Yes they do quite a bit. Sound awful whether in the splitter or solo straight into sbz.
Edited by razzyrazz - 3/18/14 at 4:35am
post #6 of 12
The whole point of having an external DAC/headphone amp with optical is that it will make use of the soundcards positional audio. If you have that, there's no benefit in using the SZ instead, and the better headphone amp in your new DAC/headphone amp should make the experience better.
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm confused. I thought the e09k was just an amp not a Dac/amp combo. Which is why the e9 and e17 pair well. Wouldn't the e9 just amplify whatever signal goes into it? If I am completely wrong (which I probably am) what would be the best hardware setup for me to play fps games with good directional sound using 990's but also watch movies with my wife using 2 headphones possibly of different impedance? Can send my stuff back and start from scratch. Thanks for all your help btw.
Edited by razzyrazz - 3/18/14 at 9:42am
post #8 of 12
Sorry. I wasn't considering the E09K.
post #9 of 12

since your 558 pairing well with SB Z, why not get another 558 (or 598) ? so that way you can still get advantage of your sound card's surround algorithm.  otherwise I m not sure how you can use both 558 and 990 at the same time since their impedance mismatch. 

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 
I was thinking that but I guess I wanted the fun of having two different cans rather than two of the same. Also I've lost a little hearing due to some military service so my wife and I like different volumes so was thinking grab either 32 ohm or around 100 ohm range phones to split with the 558 to get slightly different volumes out of the y cable for our movies. That being said I'd still like to give the 990 a fair shot for gaming so thinking grabbing the magni instead since the e09k doesn't satisfy the 8:1 ratio for the 558's.
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by razzyrazz View Post

I was thinking that but I guess I wanted the fun of having two different cans rather than two of the same. Also I've lost a little hearing due to some military service so my wife and I like different volumes so was thinking grab either 32 ohm or around 100 ohm range phones to split with the 558 to get slightly different volumes out of the y cable for our movies. That being said I'd still like to give the 990 a fair shot for gaming so thinking grabbing the magni instead since the e09k doesn't satisfy the 8:1 ratio for the 558's.

You could always get two amps. Then split the output from the SBZ to each of them.
post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well I have a few different things to experiment with. Thanks guys.
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