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Best Sound Card/Amp for AKG K702 - Gaming & Music

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 

I am relatively new to the high-end audio stuff (although I've been reading stuff on here for a while), and was wondering what the best sound card or amp would be for an AKG K702.  I was looking at the Sound Blaster Z card, but then read that the K702 might still need an amp in order to really hear the power of the headphones.  However, I also read that the Sound Blaster Z can power the K701/Q701 decently..so I guess I'm looking for a more straightforward answer lol.  I'm not exactly an audiophile, although lower quality sound does pain me at times..hence why I am finally spending the money to upgrade from my Razer Carcharias headset (a pitiful attempt at a cheap replacement for my previous headset) and Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series sound card.  I mainly play video games (FPS for the most part) and listen to music (epica, rock, dubstep and other electronic music).  Does anyone here have some good suggestions on what would be best?  Any help would be great.  Thanks.

 

Brendan "NinjaNife" West

post #2 of 16

What's your budget?

post #3 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaNife View Post
 

I am relatively new to the high-end audio stuff (although I've been reading stuff on here for a while), and was wondering what the best sound card or amp would be for an AKG K702.  I was looking at the Sound Blaster Z card, but then read that the K702 might still need an amp in order to really hear the power of the headphones.  However, I also read that the Sound Blaster Z can power the K701/Q701 decently..so I guess I'm looking for a more straightforward answer lol.  I'm not exactly an audiophile, although lower quality sound does pain me at times..hence why I am finally spending the money to upgrade from my Razer Carcharias headset (a pitiful attempt at a cheap replacement for my previous headset) and Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series sound card.  I mainly play video games (FPS for the most part) and listen to music (epica, rock, dubstep and other electronic music).  Does anyone here have some good suggestions on what would be best?  Any help would be great.  Thanks.

 

Brendan "NinjaNife" West

 

Getting the Sound Blaster Z ($85) would be a good value, better DAC chip then the Titanium and the SB-Z's amplifier should be able to drive the 62-Ohm K702s.

 

But you can always ask on this thread about what others are using to drive there K702s.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/626971/akg-k702-65th-anniversary-edition

post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joshua277456 View Post
 

What's your budget?

I would prefer to keep the budget under $150, which should easily get me the Sound Blaster Zx, or something hopefully better for my situation.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

Getting the Sound Blaster Z ($85) would be a good value, better DAC chip then the Titanium and the SB-Z's amplifier should be able to drive the 62-Ohm K702s.

 

But you can always ask on this thread about what others are using to drive there K702s.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/626971/akg-k702-65th-anniversary-edition

Alright, I'll give that thread a shot.  I wasn't sure if it would be the for the Anniversary Edition K702's, since the sound is a bit different (or so I've read), but hopefully someone over there will have an idea/someone else will give more info here.  Thanks!

 

Brendan "NinjaNife" West

post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaNife View Post
 

I would prefer to keep the budget under $150, which should easily get me the Sound Blaster Zx, or something hopefully better for my situation.

 

Alright, I'll give that thread a shot.  I wasn't sure if it would be the for the Anniversary Edition K702's, since the sound is a bit different (or so I've read), but hopefully someone over there will have an idea/someone else will give more info here.  Thanks!

 

Brendan "NinjaNife" West

Hey NinjaNife,

 

For about 150, I would suggest you do what I did. Buy yourself a Racoon SG300. It is a USB DAC and tube AMP combo. The Racoon SG300 comes with the highly regarded PSVANE 12AT7-T tube inside. This will give you a very detailed, warm, and musical sound. The soundstaging is nice and wide. You will be very impressed for gaming as well. I am a huge music addict, and gamer as well. It is a seriously good buy. It can easily drive the AKG K702. I am using this amp with the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 250 ohm. It has plenty of juice even at 10 o'clock on the dial. In Canada, we have to pay a bit more. If you are in the US, you can find it online for about 150-160. It is about 180 to get to Canada. You will be hard pressed to find better for under 200. You can see the specs at the link.

 

 

https://www.springwateraudio.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=96#.UzTKGp1rbmQ


Edited by DW75 - 3/27/14 at 7:29pm
post #6 of 16

Hey NinjaNife,

 

For about 150, I would suggest you do what I did. Buy yourself a Racoon SG300. It is a USB DAC and tube AMP combo. The Racoon SG300 comes with the highly regarded PSVANE 12AT7-T tube inside. This will give you a very detailed, warm, and musical sound. The soundstaging is nice and wide. You will be very impressed for gaming as well. I am a huge music addict, and gamer as well. It is a seriously good buy. It can easily drive the AKG K702. I am using this amp with the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 250 ohm. It has plenty of juice even at 10 o'clock on the dial. In Canada, we have to pay a bit more. If you are in the US, you can find it online for about 150-160. It is about 180 to get to Canada. You will be hard pressed to find better for under 200.


Edited by DW75 - 3/27/14 at 6:28pm
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DW75 View Post
 

Hey NinjaNife,

 

For about 150, I would suggest you do what I did. Buy yourself a Racoon SG300. It is a USB DAC and tube AMP combo. The Racoon SG300 comes with the highly regarded PSVANE 12AT7-T tube inside. This will give you a very detailed, warm, and musical sound. The soundstaging is nice and wide. You will be very impressed for gaming as well. I am a huge music addict, and gamer as well. It is a seriously good buy. It can easily drive the AKG K702. I am using this amp with the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 250 ohm. It has plenty of juice even at 10 o'clock on the dial. In Canada, we have to pay a bit more. If you are in the US, you can find it online for about 150-160. It is about 180 to get to Canada. You will be hard pressed to find better for under 200. You can see the specs at the link.

 

 

https://www.springwateraudio.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=6&products_id=96#.UzTKGp1rbmQ

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DW75 View Post
 

Hey NinjaNife,

 

For about 150, I would suggest you do what I did. Buy yourself a Racoon SG300. It is a USB DAC and tube AMP combo. The Racoon SG300 comes with the highly regarded PSVANE 12AT7-T tube inside. This will give you a very detailed, warm, and musical sound. The soundstaging is nice and wide. You will be very impressed for gaming as well. I am a huge music addict, and gamer as well. It is a seriously good buy. It can easily drive the AKG K702. I am using this amp with the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 250 ohm. It has plenty of juice even at 10 o'clock on the dial. In Canada, we have to pay a bit more. If you are in the US, you can find it online for about 150-160. It is about 180 to get to Canada. You will be hard pressed to find better for under 200.

I'll check it out, but I have to admit that it's a bit sketchy that you posted twice..and every single post you have made since registering is promoting it lol.  Either way, I'll give it a look; thanks for the help :)

 

Brendan "NinjaNife" West

post #8 of 16

Hey, I am just new here. It is just coincidence that you are looking for a nice unit in the same price range that I was. The double post was caused by a glitch when posting. I have no agendas. I don't work for the company. You know how guys are. We just like to express our satisfaction when we get "new toys". That being said, that AMP DAC combo will pair very well with those AKG headphones for the price you are looking at.


Edited by DW75 - 3/28/14 at 10:55am
post #9 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by NinjaNife View Post


I'll check it out, but I have to admit that it's a bit sketchy that you posted twice..and every single post you have made since registering is promoting it lol.  Either way, I'll give it a look; thanks for the help smily_headphones1.gif

I've never heard of that amp/brand, sketchy or not. If you want a DAC/tube amp combo, the Aune T1 is regularly recommended on Head-Fi.

However, a USB DAC will not give you the virtual surround that an internal sound card will have for gaming. If you want something more than the Soundblaster Z, you might consider the Asus Xonar DX and then get the Schiit Magni headphone amp to pair with it smily_headphones1.gif
post #10 of 16

The Racoon SG300 is the updated version 3 of the Muzik Tiny Tube DAC in this thread.

 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/550692/impression-ber-muzik-tiny-tube-dac

post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by DW75 View Post

The Racoon SG300 is the updated version 3 of the Muzik Tiny Tube DAC in this thread.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/550692/impression-ber-muzik-tiny-tube-dac

And the Aune T1 is the subject of discussion in this thread of over 4900 posts: http://www.head-fi.org/t/633006/aune-t1-usb-tube-dac-amp-discussion-thread-see-first-post-for-faq
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


And the Aune T1 is the subject of discussion in this thread of over 4900 posts: http://www.head-fi.org/t/633006/aune-t1-usb-tube-dac-amp-discussion-thread-see-first-post-for-faq

The Aune T1 and the Racoon SG300 were the two that I was deciding upon when I purchased a few days ago. I went with the Racoon, as I was able to get it shipped sooner to Canada. A friend of mine in town owns the Aune T1. I am hoping to do a comparison between the two amps while driving a DT770 Pro 250 ohm, DT990 Pro 250 ohm, and AKG Q701.

post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DW75 View Post
 

Hey, I am just new here. It is just coincidence that you are looking for a nice unit in the same price range that I was. The double post was caused by a glitch when posting. I have no agendas. I don't work for the company. You know how guys are. We just like to express our satisfaction when we get "new toys". That being said, that AMP DAC combo will pair very well with those AKG headphones for the price you are looking at.

No worries; I was just joking lol.  Thanks for the tip :)

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


I've never heard of that amp/brand, sketchy or not. If you want a DAC/tube amp combo, the Aune T1 is regularly recommended on Head-Fi.

However, a USB DAC will not give you the virtual surround that an internal sound card will have for gaming. If you want something more than the Soundblaster Z, you might consider the Asus Xonar DX and then get the Schiit Magni headphone amp to pair with it smily_headphones1.gif

I'll look into the Asus Xonar DX; does it require the Schiit Magni to work?  I don't know if I need more than the Sound Blaster Zx, but I guess I am more interested in finding out if it would work well with the K702..or if there is an amp that is around the same price that would be a better option for PC gaming and music.  Also, when I looked at the Magni, it says that it delivers 1.2W of power at 32 ohms..since the K702 is a 62 ohm headphone, is the Magni even able to fully power it?  I guess I'm not quite sure how the two correlate (wattage and ohms)..do you have a simple explanation for that?

 

Thanks for the help.

 

Brendan "NinjaNife" West


Edited by NinjaNife - 3/28/14 at 10:10pm
post #14 of 16
The Xonar DX does not have a built in headphone amp. It is just a line out. Think of it as just a DAC, and then you need a headphone amp to go with it.

Yes. The Magni will power the AKG's. You apparently missed the part of the specs that lists power output at other impedances. It can power a wide range smily_headphones1.gif
Edited by cel4145 - 3/28/14 at 10:13pm
post #15 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

The Xonar DX does not have a built in headphone amp. It is just a line out. Think of it as just a DAC, and then you need a headphone amp to go with it.

Yes. The Magni will power the AKG's. You apparently missed the part of the specs that lists power output at other impedances smily_headphones1.gif


Ahhh..I must have missed the other power outputs lol.  Thanks for the quick response :)  Do you believe that the Xonar DX + Magni combo would be better than the Sound Blaster Zx then?  And if so, would you mind explaining in what way (since I'm trying to understand the differences lol)?  Thanks for your help!

 

Brendan "NinjaNife" West

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