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Head-Fi.org › Forums › Help and Getting Started › Introductions, Help and Recommendations › [RESOLVED] Hello, I could use some help determining if a headphone amp is right for me. [RESOLVED]
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[RESOLVED] Hello, I could use some help determining if a headphone amp is right for me. [RESOLVED]

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hi everyone, love this site! Lots of excellent information here! I recently purchased a pair of Thinksound On1 and as of late have been wondering if getting an amp may be beneficial. I usually use them just at my computer that has a VIA Vinyl VT1708S sound card (built-in). I am curious, by having an amp could I get a bit more out of my headphones?

Additionally, I know next to nothing about amps for headphones.. could someone explain to me; when looking for a quality amp for headphones should I look for the same things as if I were looking for an amp for my car? If not what exactly should I be looking for?

Cheers, FearDubh

post #2 of 28
You don't really have any specs to rely on. They seem fairly efficient, so most amps should do, though you might want them not to be too low powered.
Follow your guts and the reviews.
post #3 of 28
What's your budget? And is this strictly for at home computer use? Portable use? Provide some more detail, and then people could make some recommendations of what dacs and/or headphone amps to look at smily_headphones1.gif
post #4 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

You don't really have any specs to rely on. They seem fairly efficient, so most amps should do, though you might want them not to be too low powered.
Follow your guts and the reviews.

Thanks I appreciate it.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

What's your budget? And is this strictly for at home computer use? Portable use? Provide some more detail, and then people could make some recommendations of what dacs and/or headphone amps to look at smily_headphones1.gif

Budget is probably the 125 taxed out range. No I would prefer portable use. I was just scrolling through some stuff at work and was curious; what do you think of this as a portable amp. JDS seemed generally well received from what I read.

post #5 of 28
Fiio e17 or e18 (they are battery powered amp/DACs) are often recommended no-brainers for portable use.
A schiit vali would be nice.
post #6 of 28
The CMOY is very good for it's price. Also check out the E17 and E18 that davidsh mentioned--they come with a DAC, too, which could give you some more sound improvement with your computer over the onboard audio DAC.
post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

The CMOY is very good for it's price. Also check out the E17 and E18 that davidsh mentioned--they come with a DAC, too, which could give you some more sound improvement with your computer over the onboard audio DAC.

Cheers, Would the e17 or e18 still be your recommendation if I were to say I were looking for a dedicated desktop amp?

post #8 of 28
Depends on what your budget is.

Asus Xonar DX soundcard and Schiit Magni would be a better choice. Schiit Magni and Schiit Modi even better.

Do you do much gaming? Or is this mainly for music?
post #9 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Depends on what your budget is.

Asus Xonar DX soundcard and Schiit Magni would be a better choice. Schiit Magni and Schiit Modi even better.

Do you do much gaming? Or is this mainly for music?

Mostly music, occasional gaming though I usually turn off music in game and listen to my music. Thanks for the suggestions!

post #10 of 28
If you are really into gaming, the advantage of the Xonar is that it has Dolby Headphone for creating a virtual surround experience. But the Modi is a bit better DAC.

You could also do that with the Schiit Magni/Modi stack, but you would need the optical version of the Modi AND the Xonar DG (or DGX). With a USB DAC connection, the DAC completely bypasses the onboard sound. With an optical connection to a soundcard, the soundcard's DSP can still process the audio before sending the digital signal over the DAC. The DG/DGX is the cheapest soundcard I know of with that Dolby Headphone feature.
post #11 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

If you are really into gaming, the advantage of the Xonar is that it has Dolby Headphone for creating a virtual surround experience. But the Modi is a bit better DAC.

You could also do that with the Schiit Magni/Modi stack, but you would need the optical version of the Modi AND the Xonar DG (or DGX). With a USB DAC connection, the DAC completely bypasses the onboard sound. With an optical connection to a soundcard, the soundcard's DSP can still process the audio before sending the digital signal over the DAC. The DG/DGX is the cheapest soundcard I know of with that Dolby Headphone feature.

Just to be clear, if I went Schiit Magni/Modi stack the setup would be like this?

>> Computer USB port -> DAC USB port -> DAC RCA -> AMP RCA -> AMP LOD -> Interconnect -> Cans

Unless of course I wanted the audio card for virtualized dolby for gaming (which to be honest I think I would pass on, most games are lacking in the soundtrack department).

post #12 of 28
Yep. That's the audio signal chain and how it hooks up. smily_headphones1.gif
post #13 of 28
No love for the schiit vali? smily_headphones1.gif

I think a 200+$ might be overkill if you won't get other/better headphones
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by FearDubh View Post

Just to be clear, if I went Schiit Magni/Modi stack the setup would be like this?
MS Paint diagram...that is awesome XD

And that is correct assuming you are not using Modi Optical, in which case you would be using an optical cable between Modi and the PC instead of USB, and Modi Optical requires its own power source.

...just some extra information...
post #15 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post

No love for the schiit vali? smily_headphones1.gif

I think a 200+$ might be overkill if you won't get other/better headphones

Maybe you can explain one thing, would I need a DAC and AMP? Because if I do need both it looks to me as though the Vali would run my total cost 20 dollars more assuming I need the DAC.  

My understanding is; If I am listening to Walk.flac on the computer it is outputting a digital signal, is that assumption incorrect? Perhaps you can explain the AMP+DAC dynamic to me? :jecklinsmile:
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by superjawes View Post


MS Paint diagram...that is awesome XD

Lol, I thought it might help :rolleyes:

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