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Beyerdynamic T1's and Sound Cards

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

Evening peeps,

 

I am in the process of picking up a very cheap ($700) and new, pair of Beyer T1's. Considering the retail price of it in other places, I had to jump on this deal.

 

I've done a little bit of homework regarding the T1, and everywhere I see they mention that the headphones are hard to drive and require a good (AKA expensive) setup to get the full appreciation of these nice cans.

 

Now, my current setup on my computer for sure wont be able to drive these (as there is no amplified headphones jack on my computer) BUT my next rig that i am planning on building will contain a creative sound blaster zxr; which has a 600 ohm amplified headphone jack.

 

Now, technically it "should" be enough to drive these cans in an impedance standpoint , and here comes my question:

 

Considering the MSRP of the Sound Blaster ZxR (of $249.99) will these be adequate enough to run these cans.

 

I would like to see the following types of answers:

 

"Yes, should be fine" or "No because .... get X because ...." basically anything constructive so that If someone were to ask me I would be able to explain it to them.

 

I do not want to see something expensive as an alternative, there will be of course better and costly solutions out there but that isn't my question, I'm trying to avoid unnecessary spending. I understand that I may not "get the full audio experience" but audiophiles tend to recommend some very expensive things. I have some knowledge and understanding of DAC's and amps, so if you can recommend me a DAC/amp that can outright replace the sound card while staying in a reasonable budget range that would be appreciative ( I am under the impression that if I get an external DAC/amp that I would no longer need a sound card ). I do every form of things on my computer, from music (anywhere from grunge to classical to alternative), movies, gaming.

 

If someone (or multiple people) can recommend me a variety of different options (you can even throw in an "expensive" one as long as their is a cheaper alternative) that would be greatly appreciative. IFF my sound card is not adequate enough.

 

It can be upgraded in the future, but considering that I am building a hefty $3000 rig, I do not have the audio budget to get something high end currently. But that can change in the future, but not now.

 

Just telling me "No" or "Crappy Sound Card" or something along the lines outside of what I asked doesn't help me.

 

I don't mean to sound bossy in anyway, I am just looking for answers. Its just that I "frequent" the internet enough to know that sometimes people aren't the most helpful when people ask questions.

 

Tall order, I know.

 

Please and Thanks

post #2 of 37

The Sound Blaster ZxR should be able to drive the 600-Ohm Beyer T1s.

but you might consider upping your budget for an external DAC/Amp.

 

Audio-GD NFB-11, external DAC/Head amp, $339+shipping (Price goes up $16 after May 31st.).

Comes with S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) and 32-bit/384K USB inputs.

Comes with a separate 2-channel line-output, for speakers.

You can connect it using optical or coaxial plug, so as to be able to work with any features of an on-board or add-on sound card.

Or use the USB connection for music (or any other stereo audio)

http://audio-gd.com/Pro/Headphoneamp/NFB112014/NFB112014EN.htm

post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 

Would this outright replace a Sound Card in all every aspect that I have listed in my post? Or would I still require a sound card in general to get a higher quality of sound through my day-to-day use?

 

Would I see a real difference between the Sound Card and that DAC/Amp posted for the additional $100 ??

 

Thanks for the suggestion thus far

post #4 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirectAssault View Post
 

Would this outright replace a Sound Card in all every aspect that I have listed in my post? Or would I still require a sound card in general to get a higher quality of sound through my day-to-day use?

Would I see a real difference between the Sound Card and that DAC/Amp posted for the additional $100 ??

Thanks for the suggestion thus far

 

For good music audio, no sound card is needed (If you use the external DAC/amp)

For FPS gaming, getting a Sound Blaster is a good choice (should be good for music too).

 

Right now TigerDirect has the Sound blaster ZxR for $150, after rebates (which expire Thursday night).

 

Blu-ray movies, I like using Cyberlinks PowerDVD 11 Ultra (it use to be $30 on eBay)

 

You motherboard comes with a built in sound card (usually referred to as on-board or built in).

The higher priced motherboards are starting to come with fair good built in audio hardware.

But for headphone like the T1, I would think you would want something better then on-board audio.

Have to take off for an hour, heading to Bestbuy for a few movies and maybe a Samsung EVO 250GB SSD.

post #5 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
 

For good music audio, no sound card is needed (If you use the external DAC/amp)

For FPS gaming, getting a Sound Blaster is a good choice (should be good for music too).

 

   So a DAC/amp is no real substitute for a sound card eh.

 

Quote:

You motherboard comes with a built in sound card (usually referred to as on-board or built in).

The higher priced motherboards are starting to come with fair good built in audio hardware.

 

 Yes, they may be getting better, but comparatively they still have a ways to go. Not to mention the additional noise that happens when you use an on-board sound chip.

 

Quote:
 Right now TigerDirect has the Sound blaster ZxR for $150, after rebates (which expire Thursday night).

 

Unfortunately, i'll be making my purchase in a month or so for a sound card ( like to get all the computer internals at once ) just getting as many options as I can

post #6 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirectAssault View Post
 

 

So a DAC/amp is no real substitute for a sound card eh.

 

Sound card provide a good value and good sound quality, for their price range.

The ultimate setup is a low cost sound card, like the Sound Blaster Z (OEM) and a ($200, $300, $400, or more) external DAC/amp

So the low cost sound card processes the headphone surround sound and the external DAC and external Amp take care of sound quality.

post #7 of 37
Thread Starter 
As ive looked around the other posts I keep seeing the mention of a modi magi combo. Took me a while to actually go ahead and look it up to realize it was a amp and dac combby schiit.

Would these work well with the t1? At $100 dollars each they would be within my price range if I were to buy a cheap sound blaster or xonar

And how would it be connected? Would the amp be connected to the dac which would be connected to the soundcard? Or would it be connected through something else?
post #8 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirectAssault View Post

As ive looked around the other posts I keep seeing the mention of a modi magi combo. Took me a while to actually go ahead and look it up to realize it was a amp and dac combby schiit.

Would these work well with the t1? At $100 dollars each they would be within my price range if I were to buy a cheap sound blaster or xonar

And how would it be connected? Would the amp be connected to the DAC which would be connected to the sound card? Or would it be connected through something else?

 

You would get the Modi DAC with the S/PDIF optical input.

With the optical, you could connect the Modi to the optical output connection built into the motherboard, allowing you to use the features of the motherboard's on-board sound card.

Or get any and-on sound card you like and connect it's optical output to the optical input on the Modi.

 

You might consider reading up and asking on this thread about recommend headphone amplifiers for use with the Beyer T1.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/508836/the-official-beyerdynamic-t1-owners-club-appreciation-discussion-thread

post #9 of 37

I just wanted to ring in and state that unless the dolby headphone effects are required for computer/gaming uses, the DAC/Amp will absolutely replace the soundcard. It will give a very noticeable increase in sound quality across all of the computer audio/effects.

post #10 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by averageaudio View Post
 

I just wanted to ring in and state that unless the dolby headphone effects are required for computer/gaming uses, the DAC/Amp will absolutely replace the soundcard. It will give a very noticeable increase in sound quality across all of the computer audio/effects.

 

I disagree, but only as some sound card have good to very good recording capabilities.

 

As for OP, do not buy anything.  Just hold off until you can actually afford something that's worthwhile.  Even onboard can power the T1, just not very well, but it's audible.

post #11 of 37
Thread Starter 
Well I was planning on buying a Sound Card mentioned in my original post, i am not going to not get something, im just looking for options and alternatives ( and knowledge) within a very reasonable price range.

But your opinion is noted
post #12 of 37

I currently use a Asus Xonar Essence STX with the 600ohm headphone amp with the T1's. They are able to drive them just fine, but you won't be getting the full effect from them off of it. My personal experience has been upgrading from the HD600's (300ohm) to the T1's and there is only a slight difference in sound. Likely you will want to get a better amp to go along with it or an amp/DAC combo to get the most from the headphones. That's not to say they don't sound amazing already, but with the soundcard you won't hear much diference over a cheaper headphone.

post #13 of 37
Thread Starter 
In order to get the full effect id probably have to drop a thousand dollars. Which can be done in the future.

As a short term solution would you say your STX experience was tolerable
post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DirectAssault View Post

In order to get the full effect id probably have to drop a thousand dollars. Which can be done in the future.

As a short term solution would you say your STX experience was tolerable

 

It sounds great, there is still an audible hiss on tracks and some noise here and there but otherwise good. If these are your only pair of headphones you will love the sound and it will be enough. If it's an upgrade from a mid-tear headphone you won't notice a big difference at all between the two. I think it will hold you over no problem, the one I have has options to change the op-amps to get even more out of it. 

 

I am going to be using it at least for another month, if not longer until I find a good DAC and amp to go with it. I am enjoying the headphones a lot so far, but they can be better. I won't know how much better until I can sample a good amp and compare. Right now with the price of the headphones taken into account I would rate the experience a 7/10, just because there is very little difference over my HD600's. 

post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hackthebone View Post
 

 

It sounds great, there is still an audible hiss on tracks and some noise here and there but otherwise good. If these are your only pair of headphones you will love the sound and it will be enough. If it's an upgrade from a mid-tear headphone you won't notice a big difference at all between the two. I think it will hold you over no problem, the one I have has options to change the op-amps to get even more out of it. 

 

I am going to be using it at least for another month, if not longer until I find a good DAC and amp to go with it. I am enjoying the headphones a lot so far, but they can be better. I won't know how much better until I can sample a good amp and compare. Right now with the price of the headphones taken into account I would rate the experience a 7/10, just because there is very little difference over my HD600's. 

 

Alright, looks like I am going to have a similar experience ( when it comes to how my initial setup is going to be ). However, and correct me if I am wrong, but the primary purpose of the amp is to give power to the cans in order to get sound. Improper amp will result in, basically, a quieter sound. So, if you don't have an issue with the volume of the sound, why even get an amp?

 

I can understand the purpose of getting a better DAC, that changes the quality of the sound. But if you're okay with the volume level of your current setup ( which I can only imagine if you're still okay with using it for a month + ) then there really isn't a point of getting an amp is there?

 

Like,

 

Headphone -> Amp -> DAC -> Sound Card (through amplified jack?)

 

Just seems like an additional redundancy of making it go through two amps.

 

However, when I think about it, the DAC doesn't hook up to the sound card via the headphone jack does it.

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