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Newbie here, need some advice - sennheiser HD 558 + Asus xonar dx

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone,

My first post here:-)
So after reading a lot about which headphones I should buy, I opted for sennheiser HD 558.
Previously I had sennheiser HD 439, but for some reason, those cans sounded a bit bassy and also the sound was some kind of muffled.
I use headphones mostly for gaming (videos, music) but it's about 80% for gaming.. have them paired with an Asus xonar dx. From what I read this card doesn't have inbuilt amp.
After I purchased the 558 and plug it in the sound was way better, (soundstage ) but also I found:
- it's a bit bassy and muffled... What can it be? Is this normal?
- Does the sound card have some problem(defective)?
- Also and last question, should I upgrade to an creative z?
I thought 558 would have a more neutral sound and less bass/muffle..(at least one of the models I tried a few time ago were perfect.. I can't recall of it was the old 555 or 515).
Thanks in advance,
Edit: i set in windows audio properties, 5.1, in asus software, i have it set to headphones, 44.khz, and for gaming dolby headphone. Equalizer it's default (i don't know if this help).
Sorry if i posted in the wrong place, if you think i should post in the headphones(sennheiser hd 518, hd 558, hd 598 Appreciation thread) be free to tell me smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by snakesoul - 3/27/14 at 9:33am
post #2 of 31

Sometimes sound cards can make your audio a bit bassy, the Creative Z is the same. 

This can be corrected, by changing some of the setting. I'm not sure how to do this but I hope it helps.

post #3 of 31
The Xonar DX does not have a headphone amp. It's just a line out. I have no idea how well the HD558s match up with that, but it would be a problem for many headphones for getting optimal SQ.
post #4 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hi JoyboyP.

thanks for the input. I'm trying this cans for testing on my ipod nano and sound is definetely better....

No more muffled sound, sound is clear and bass it's excellent :)

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by JoyboyP View Post
 

Sometimes sound cards can make your audio a bit bassy, the Creative Z is the same. 

This can be corrected, by changing some of the setting. I'm not sure how to do this but I hope it helps.

Hi cel4145,

Thanks for your reply, well for me the sound is muffled and too "bassy" (maybe it's what most people here call "worm" sound?), I'm no audiophile expert, but like i mentioned to JoyboyP, on my ipod nano, the sound is much clear and with more definition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

The Xonar DX does not have a headphone amp. It's just a line out. I have no idea how well the HD558s match up with that, but it would be a problem for many headphones for getting optimal SQ.

should i buy a new soundcard, since most of the pc use is for gaming?

 

Thanks in advance


Edited by snakesoul - 3/27/14 at 12:10pm
post #5 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by snakesoul View Post

So after reading a lot about which headphones I should buy, I opted for Sennheiser HD 558.
Previously I had sennheiser HD 439, but for some reason, those cans sounded a bit bassy and also the sound was some kind of muffled.
I use headphones mostly for gaming (videos, music) but it's about 80% for gaming.. have them paired with an Asus xonar dx. From what I read this card doesn't have inbuilt amp.
After I purchased the 558 and plug it in the sound was way better, (soundstage ) but also I found:
- it's a bit bassy and muffled... What can it be? Is this normal?
- Does the sound card have some problem(defective)?
- Also and last question, should I upgrade to an creative z?
I thought 558 would have a more neutral sound and less bass/muffle..(at least one of the models I tried a few time ago were perfect.. I can't recall of it was the old 555 or 515).
Thanks in advance,
Edit: i set in windows audio properties, 5.1, in asus software, i have it set to headphones, 44.khz, and for gaming dolby headphone. Equalizer it's default (i don't know if this help).
Sorry if i posted in the wrong place, if you think i should post in the headphones(sennheiser hd 518, hd 558, hd 598 Appreciation thread) be free to tell me smily_headphones1.gif

 

Hopefully you disabled the motherboard's on-board audio? in the BIOS

Might also try replacing the Asus drivers with the Unified Xonar Drivers.

http://maxedtech.com/asus-xonar-unified-drivers/

 

With 50-Ohm headphones like the HD558, it's preferred to plug it into a headphone jack with an output impedance (Ohms) of around 5-Ohms or less, the Xonar DX's headphone output is 100-Ohms.

Chances are your bloated (louder, less detail) bass is because of the DX's high output impedance.

The Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z ($85) sound card's headphone output impedance is 22-Ohms, not perfect, but a lot better then the DX's 100-Ohms.

External headphone amplifiers like the Schiit Magni ($100) or O2 (Objective 2, $120) both come with an headphone output impedance of less then 1-Ohm :)

External amps can be plugged directly into the Xonar DX and you still get to use all the Xonar DX's headphone features (like Dolby Headphone surround sound).

I would consider the Magni or O2 amplifier at least a little better then the SB-Z's built in amp.

 

There is also the PA2V2 (Pocket Amplifier 2 Version 2) which sell on eBay, wining bid is usually around $60.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/PA2V2-Headphones-Amplifier-Rechargeable-Headphone-Amp-/191110815583?pt=US_Headphones&hash=item2c7f179f5f


Edited by PurpleAngel - 3/27/14 at 4:03pm
post #6 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hi purpleAngel, 

 

Just finished reading another post you were on explaining which headphones a member should pick up :P thank you for your reply and help :)

Yes i did disabled the onboard sound on BIOS (i just re-checked again in case i forgot to do it). My sound card is like 4\5 years old, so i guess the problem wouldn't be in there, but thanks for remembering me :)

I'm also using the unified xonar (latest version, downloaded today, just to be sure it would sound better, and for some reason it did :), not as good as my ipod for ex., but it's better than it was)

I bought the sennheiser hd 558 hoping sound was going to better (by better, more cleaned\neutral, not so muffled and bass like my older senn's - 439 which i knew they're with more bass, but i was on a budget so i thought it was a good choice at that time).

Well i'm again on a budget and i can't find those amp's you mentioned (i have to order them from ebay or amazon uk or other place from europe, because taxes from ordering from US, are crazy where i live :S)

PA2V2 (Pocket Amplifier 2 Version 2) could be an option, but i would like a bit more cool (not saying it's a bad product)..

How about a xonar dg? Between creative z and xonar dg? (these are the only options i got right now :P)

Thanks in advance,


Edited by snakesoul - 3/27/14 at 2:41pm
post #7 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by snakesoul View Post
 

Just finished reading another post you were on explaining which headphones a member should pick up :P thank you for your reply and help :)

Yes i did disabled the on-board sound on BIOS (i just re-checked again in case i forgot to do it). My sound card is like 4\5 years old, so I guess the problem wouldn't be in there, but thanks for remembering me :)

I'm also using the unified Xonar (latest version, downloaded today, just to be sure it would sound better, and for some reason it did :), not as good as my iPod for ex., but it's better than it was)

I bought the Sennheiser hd 558 hoping sound was going to better (by better, more cleaned\neutral, not so muffled and bass like my older Senn's - 439 which i knew they're with more bass, but i was on a budget so I thought it was a good choice at that time).

Well i'm again on a budget and i can't find those amp's you mentioned (i have to order them from eBay or amazon UK or other place from Europe, because taxes from ordering from US, are crazy where i live :S)

PA2V2 (Pocket Amplifier 2 Version 2) could be an option, but i would like a bit more cool (not saying it's a bad product)..

How about a Xonar DG? Between Creative Z and Xonar DG? (these are the only options i got right now :P)

 

Chances are your iPod has a headphone output impedance of around 5-Ohms, so not a surprise the headphones sound better plugged into the iPod.

The Epiphany Acoustics EHP-O2 is an Objective 2 headphone amplifier, 77,99 GBP, it's a good long term investment.
 
Otherwise sell off the Xonar DX and get the Sound Blaster Z.
 
Here is a 2.5 meter cable for the HD558 that comes with a 3.5mm plug ($22).
post #8 of 31
Thread Starter 

Hi again PurpleAngel,

 

Thanks again for your help :)

If i were to chose between The Epiphany Acoustics EHP-O2 vs Schiit Magni, which one is better (also the best long term investment, guess the magni since Output Impedance is Less than 0.1 ohms)?

I loved the looks of magni, unfortunately it's a US brand\shipping...

The next step is to buy that cable to replace this huge one..

Well not sure which one i should choose, because creative's and O2 are almost the same price :P.. Guess i have to think about it.

Once again thank you so much for your help :)

post #9 of 31

Hi again, Just thought have you tried changing the master audio options (equalizer). Found in lower left corner of the screen.

You may get a good result with fiddling with them a bit. It would be cheaper to try that before buying anything.

post #10 of 31

Sorry right corner.

post #11 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by snakesoul View Post
 

If i were to chose between The Epiphany Acoustics EHP-O2 vs Schiit Magni, which one is better (also the best long term investment, guess the Magni since Output Impedance is Less than 0.1 ohms)?

I loved the looks of Magni, unfortunately it's a US brand\shipping...

The next step is to buy that cable to replace this huge one..

Well not sure which one i should choose, because creative's and O2 are almost the same price :P.. Guess i have to think about it.

Once again thank you so much for your help :)

 

I personally prefer the Asus Xonar sound cards over the Creative Z series cards.

I would take the O2 (EHP-02), as it can hold two 9 volt batteries, so when not plugged into a wall socket it can still drive headphones for 10 to 12 hours.

The Xonar DX and SB-Z both use the same CS4398 DAC chip, but the EPH-02 headphone amplifier should be better the the SB-Zs head amp.

post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
@JoyboyP, well never messed up with EQ really, since i play games, i think i should leave it default (only touched it when hearing some music).
@PurpleAngel, Thanks for your help, creative had so many problems (software and hardware), that my choice a few years ago was to go for the asus xonar dx.
BTW from what i read, xonar dg is the only one with built in headphone amp?
Well i see what you're saying about the O2 (EHP-02), and that could be a possibility (but in a future...not right now frown.gif ).
How about if i buy a new sound card (with built in amp) and after i buy the the O2 (EHP-02)? Is that a bad choice?
Thanks in advance,
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by snakesoul View Post

@JoyboyP, well never messed up with EQ really, since i play games, i think i should leave it default (only touched it when hearing some music).
@PurpleAngel, Thanks for your help, creative had so many problems (software and hardware), that my choice a few years ago was to go for the Asus Xonar DX
BTW from what i read Xonar DG is the only one with built in headphone amp?
Well i see what you're saying about the O2 (EHP-02), and that could be a possibility (but in a future...not right now frown.gif ).
How about if i buy a new sound card (with built in amp) and after i buy the the O2 (EHP-02)? Is that a bad choice?
Thanks in advance,

 

The Xonar DG/DGX are the only Asus sound cards, for under $100, that comes with a headphone amplifier, it's not as powerful as the SB-Z's or the EPH-O2's.

As the Xonar DX's CS4398 DAC chip is a fair bit better then the DG/DGX's CS4245 DAC chip, I would not think it's worth it to swap the DX for the DG/DGX.

If you swap the Xonar DX for the SB-Z, then down the line it would be better to spend money for a better headphone, then buying the EPH-02.

A few months ago I tried the SB-Z, for the price I think it's a good value.

post #14 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

 

The Xonar DG/DGX are the only Asus sound cards, for under $100, that comes with a headphone amplifier, it's not as powerful as the SB-Z's or the EPH-O2's.

As the Xonar DX's CS4398 DAC chip is a fair bit better then the DG/DGX's CS4245 DAC chip, I would not think it's worth it to swap the DX for the DG/DGX.

If you swap the Xonar DX for the SB-Z, then down the line it would be better to spend money for a better headphone, then buying the EPH-02.

A few months ago I tried the SB-Z, for the price I think it's a good value.

 



Hi PurpleAngel,

Thanks once again for your help.
Oh come on man, feel pity for my wallet tongue.gif
But now seriously, i don't think i won't upgrade any time soon to a new pair of cans... Especially because and since i use them for gaming, i don't think i will need to upgrade (but that i'll leave to time to tell me if i should or not).
So i guess i'll give creative z a shot and then when i have a bit more money i bet on the EPH-O2.
Is this a good idea?
Thanks in advance,
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by snakesoul View Post
 
Hi PurpleAngel,
Thanks once again for your help.
Oh come on man, feel pity for my wallet tongue.gif
But now seriously, I don't think I won't upgrade any time soon to a new pair of cans... Especially because and since i use them for gaming, i don't think i will need to upgrade (but that i'll leave to time to tell me if i should or not).
So i guess i'll give creative z a shot and then when i have a bit more money i bet on the EPH-O2.
Is this a good idea?
Thanks in advance,

 

As you would need to plug the O2 into the SB-Z's headphone output jack, you would be doubling amping (may or may not affect audio quality).

Where as if you sold off the HD558s, you could get some AKG K612 Pro headphones, 114 GBP.

 

I just feel that once you have the SB-Z, it's a waste of cash to buy the EPH-02, unless you plan on buying low impedance headphones, like 32-Ohms or less.

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