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Mixamp + HD598 + Modmic for a PS4

post #1 of 43
Thread Starter 

Please, allow me to run this by you for comment and criticism.

 

After research, here's my envisioned setup for gaming on a PS4:

Astro Mixamp Pro 2013

Sennheiser HD598

Antlion Modmic

 

I was considering the HD650 at one point, but decided against it because I believe the Mixamp won't drive the HD650 ($500) to its full potential, so there won't be a real difference with the HD598 that I can get in Canada for $260. I was drawn to the HD650 because it's more open, but I believe that I won't hear the difference in games. I also prefer the detachable cable of the HD598. Please, bash me if you think I'm wrong.

post #2 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danseph View Post
 

Please, allow me to run this by you for comment and criticism.

 

After research, here's my envisioned setup for gaming on a PS4:

Astro Mixamp Pro 2013

Sennheiser HD598

Antlion Modmic

 

I was considering the HD650 at one point, but decided against it because I believe the Mixamp won't drive the HD650 ($500) to its full potential, so there won't be a real difference with the HD598 that I can get in Canada for $260. I was drawn to the HD650 because it's more open, but I believe that I won't hear the difference in games. I also prefer the detachable cable of the HD598. Please, bash me if you think I'm wrong.

If you're just using it for gaming, the HD650 isn't worth the money over something like the HD598.  You might look into the AKG K612 Pro as well.

post #3 of 43
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your reply, it is very appreciated.

 

I considered the K612 Pro, but after reading a few threads, I'm inclined to lean on the HD598 for these reasons (not given by order of importance):

 

* I like the detachable 

* I'm going to use them also for listening to music and films (although the primary purpose is gaming), so I think I'd prefer the bass of the HD598

* I do not currently own an amp and the only amp I'll own for the time being is the MixAmp Pro for the PS4 that I'll probably use on my Mac too. However, according to this review, the MixAmp isn't big enough to drive the K612 Pro properly

 

Thanks again for your suggestion. Anyone else believes there's a better product or combination of products out there?


Edited by Danseph - 6/5/14 at 4:04am
post #4 of 43


Have you looked into the Philips Fidelio X1?  Sounds like it's exactly what you're looking for. 

post #5 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillhart View Post
 


Have you looked into the Philips Fidelio X1?  Sounds like it's exactly what you're looking for. 

No I hadn't looked at them and boy I can't thank you enough for your post. I'm now seriously reconsidering the HD598. Actually, if I had to choose, reading from the reviews on this forum, I would get the X1. I just have two issues:

 

1) They seem really hard to find in Canada. The only place I've found them was Amazon and it's asking for $400. That's so outrageous when Amazon US sells them for $230

 

2) How is the customer care since Philips sold its business? Would it be easy to get them replaced or fixed if something happened?

 

How could have I missed them? As I was scrolling the Mad Lust Envy's list, I never bothered to check what was above the HD598, which was the X1. Thanks again for this great recommandation.

post #6 of 43

The best way to get them cheap is to try to find a lightly used one on the forums.  Shipping from the US to Canada is sucky, but it should still be way less than the $400 Amazon wants!  I sold mine for $189 shipped in the US, it would have been maybe $20-25 more to send to Canada.

 

I'm not sure about customer care.  These things are build REALLY well though, I can't see needing it.

post #7 of 43
Thread Starter 

What about the irreplaceable earpads and the supposedly fragile earplug jack? Don't they get you a ride to customer care? I know that these headphones are meant to be used inside in a quiet and peaceful environment and this is exactly what I'll use them for. I'm not planning on bringing them outside or putting them in a bag, but since you've used them, I'm curious how "careful" you had to be.

post #8 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danseph View Post
 

What about the irreplaceable earpads and the supposedly fragile earplug jack? Don't they get you a ride to customer care? I know that these headphones are meant to be used inside in a quiet and peaceful environment and this is exactly what I'll use them for. I'm not planning on bringing them outside or putting them in a bag, but since you've used them, I'm curious how "careful" you had to be.


I only had them for a month or two.  I actually hauled them back and forth to work every day in a hard case.  When I sold them, they looked like the day I got em.  I haven't owned any head-fi headphones long enough to determine their breaking point so maybe I'm not the best person to ask...

post #9 of 43

save your cash and buy a HD558 and mod them to HD598's for free.

 

headfonia proved that the drivers in the 598 and the 558 are the exact same

post #10 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillhart View Post
 


I only had them for a month or two.  I actually hauled them back and forth to work every day in a hard case.  When I sold them, they looked like the day I got em.  I haven't owned any head-fi headphones long enough to determine their breaking point so maybe I'm not the best person to ask...

Thank you for your contributions. They were very helpful.

post #11 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danseph View Post
 

Thank you for your contributions. They were very helpful.


You bet.  Let us know what you end up getting and how you like it.

post #12 of 43
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SonnyA85 View Post
 

save your cash and buy a HD558 and mod them to HD598's for free.

 

headfonia proved that the drivers in the 598 and the 558 are the exact same

Headfonia is not recommending the mod anymore (http://www.headfonia.com/old-and-new-hd555-hd558-hd598/) and the mods are now discouraged from what I've read (http://www.head-fi.org/t/585653/hd-558-mod)


Edited by Danseph - 6/5/14 at 7:21pm
post #13 of 43
Thread Starter 

For Canadians out there, Futureshop has one Mixamp Pro left (there used to be two, but guess who got one :D) and for the life of me I couldn't find one on any other Canadian website. newegg.ca and best buy.ca have both run out and only Amazon US has some, but between customs and shipping, you do pay a premium. The price on Futureshop is on par with the rest of the market and I got free shipping. If any Canuck is interested, better act fast.

post #14 of 43
Thread Starter 

I just received the Mixamp Pro 2013. Here are my first impressions. This is by no mean a proper review. Those have been done by people much more qualified than myself on this forum. I'm just sharing my impressions for those who are interested in this thread.

 

Out of the box

===========

 

The packaging is nice, sturdy and well designed. I really appreciated that all the necessary cables were included and were of reasonable quality. The instructions are short and clear.

 

Astro really had the average gaming systems in mind. The USB 2.0 and the TOSLINK  cables included were measured at 10 ft. That means I can connect the Mixamp Pro to my (soon coming) PS4 and place it next to me on my sofa to control the volume without having to standup. It's a very nice and important touch. After all, video gaming is the national sport of the couch potato association. On a side note, I like that the USB cable is slightly pliable, which makes cable management a little bit easier.

 

There's but one criticism. I just wish the splitter would look a little sturdier. It's the thinnest and seems like the weakest cable of those included. Time will tell if this is really an issue.

 

 

First inspection of the Mixamp Pro

========================

 

 

I really like the build quality and design. The material at the bottom (some soft plastic) sits well and makes sure the unit doesn't slide. The inconvenient is that it's going to gather dust quickly. I like the feel of the knobs. The master one is big and has a good amount of resistance so you can adjust the setting piecemeal. The game/voice knob is a little looser, but still well made and the little guide helps find the middle very quickly. Finally, the three buttons (on/off, dolby and eq mode) have a good clicky response. You won't push them by accident and you'll know you have pushed them because of the feedback they provide.

 

 

The ports on the device seem solid enough. They aren't too hard to maneuver. One could remove a headset single handedly for instance. You may need your two hands to plug something and keep the device steady though. The ports don't seem too fragile either. Time will tell if they resist a lot of plug in and out action.

 

 

First use of the Mixamp Pro
=====================

 

I must warn that my Fidelio X1 are coming at the end of the month and in the absence of proper headsets, I won't be able to judge the sound quality. I'll have a go, but it'll be a very superficial and incomplete opinion.

 

The first thing I did was connect the Mixamp Pro to my MacBook Air 2013 using the USB port and downloaded the firmware upgrade off the manufacturer's website. I had to right click the installation file and select open to bypass Mavericks's security as the file was not properly signed. That's very surprising for a firm of Astro's caliber. Even more disconcerting was the fact that the file refused the start and just crashed. This is outright shameful. I couldn't find anything on the forum or the knowledge base regarding this issue. I left a message to the technical support team. I'll let you know what happens.

 

 

There's one major UX flaw. When the on/off, Dolby or the eq buttons are on, a red ring encircles them and when they are off, a white ring circles the on/off switch. This is at first confusing. After all, red usually means off or stop and white or green usually means on. Surprisingly, the colors on the box are orange, not red, which seems to indicate that at some level, someone thought the red was a bad decision. I get that the astro color palette uses red, but as an interface, this is unintuitive. What is even more unintuitive is the eq modes signaled by a quarter light. Go figure which mode corresponds to which light. The manual is useful and ultimately you'll use one and won't change it, but still, not the best UI. I'm actually questioning the need for the EQ button that doesn't seem to do much in the way of sound anyway. Those issues are far from deal breaker flaws. You'll learn quickly, obviously, but this is just bad design decisions.

 

The MacBook Air 2013 doesn't have the TOSLINK connection of the MacBook Pro Retina. However, using the USB port is enough to have the Mixamp Pro recognized. There was a big amount of hissing at mid to high volume, but overall I did find the bass to be clearer and more powerful. The mids were brighter and the overall sound was a definite improvement. Again, for a more comprehensive review on sound quality, please refer to other posts on this forum.

 

 

Every so often, the signal coming through the USB port got a lot of parasites. The noise was very strong and grizzly. It necessitated that I unplugged the USB cable and plugged it back. It may have something to do with my machine. I have the power cord on, the Thunderbolt cable and two USB hubs, so there's a fair bit going on, but this is not pleasant. However, my main use of the Mixamp Pro is for a PS4, so it doesn't really matter (as long as the problem is not found on the console). Furthermore, Astro recommends using the Mixamp Pro with a TOSLINK cable when plugged to a PC, so I don't know if I can really fault them for that.

 

Edit: I was able to upgrade the firmware using another Mac. The technical support didn't give me a reason for the problem. As for the buzzing noise, I've since found out it happens sometimes when using the USB cable for both power and signal. The problem only manifests itself when I'm using iTunes and goes away when I switch output device and then select the Mixamp Pro again. It doesn't happen if I use the 3.5mm cable to transmit sound from my Mac to the amp.


Edited by Danseph - 6/10/14 at 7:00pm
post #15 of 43
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danseph View Post
 

Headfonia is not recommending the mod anymore (http://www.headfonia.com/old-and-new-hd555-hd558-hd598/) and the mods are now discouraged from what I've read (http://www.head-fi.org/t/585653/hd-558-mod)

it's funny how within 2 weeks of their original review they completely do an about turn? not funny when you look into it in more detail.

 

how come they never compare a modded 558 with a stock 598 in the second review? yet they compare a modded 558 with a modded/stock 555?

 

i have spoke to people who have modded a 558 and listened to a friends 598 and they couldn't tell the difference.

 

headfonia were slapped on the wrist by sennheiser for exposing the mod most likely which is why they completely changed their tune within 2 weeks.

 

think to yourself why in the second review is there no comparison being made with a modded 558 and stock 598? also think to yourself whenever you see people asking questions in the comments section every time the admins are recommended 558's over 598's?

 

 

really funny that isn't it?

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