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Looking for new audio solution

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Any suggestions guys on some sort of amp/DAC or soundcard solution for my IEMs as well as ~250Ohm headphones? It's mainly for use on my PC at home but the main issue I have is I'm using a V-Moda BoomPro mic on my headphones (Essentially a detachable cable with a microphone on it and the one cable has a green/pink connector on the end for the audio and mic) and I'm not sure how I'd run these headphones through something like an amp/DAC given that I'm using a mic as well?

 

Any suggestions product wise would be great. I'm currently using a Xonar DG; plug my IEMs into the front audio port on my computer, headphones/mic into the green and pink on the back. Not sure if there's a better soundcard I can get that works better with lower impedance IEMs?

post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackem View Post
 

Any suggestions guys on some sort of amp/DAC or soundcard solution for my IEMs as well as ~250Ohm headphones? It's mainly for use on my PC at home but the main issue I have is I'm using a V-Moda BoomPro mic on my headphones (Essentially a detachable cable with a microphone on it and the one cable has a green/pink connector on the end for the audio and mic) and I'm not sure how I'd run these headphones through something like an amp/DAC given that I'm using a mic as well?

 

Any suggestions product wise would be great. I'm currently using a Xonar DG; plug my IEMs into the front audio port on my computer, headphones/mic into the green and pink on the back. Not sure if there's a better sound card I can get that works better with lower impedance IEMs?

 

The Schiit Magni and O2 (Objective 2) headphone amplifiers have an output impedance of less then 1-Ohm :) Which should work well with your IEMs

These amplifiers also provide enough power to drive your 250-ohm headphones.

So plug the amp into the Xonar DG and the headphones/IEMs into the amp.

 

Later on you could always swap out the Xonar DG for an Xonar DX or D1 or an external DAC..

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

The Schiit Magni and O2 (Objective 2) headphone amplifiers have an output impedance of less then 1-Ohm :) Which should work well with your IEMs

These amplifiers also provide enough power to drive your 250-ohm headphones.

So plug the amp into the Xonar DG and the headphones/IEMs into the amp.

 

Later on you could always swap out the Xonar DG for an Xonar DX or D1 or an external DAC..

I'd prefer to go with an internal soundcard solution but wasn't sure which one would give the lowest output impedance? I have a fairly high budget.

post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackem View Post
 

I'd prefer to go with an internal sound card solution but wasn't sure which one would give the lowest output impedance? I have a fairly high budget.

 

The Asus Xonar Essence STX/ST has an output impedance of 10-Ohms, which i believe is the lowest you can get on a sound card.

Why even plug your IEMs into your desktop computer?

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

The Asus Xonar Essence STX/ST has an output impedance of 10-Ohms, which i believe is the lowest you can get on a sound card.

Why even plug your IEMs into your desktop computer?

Sometimes on a night I prefer to use IEMs for listening to music rather than my headphones, I find my IEMs less fatiguing over longer sessions because they're extremely light and I don't have speakers for my desktop computer.

post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackem View Post

I'd prefer to go with an internal soundcard solution but wasn't sure which one would give the lowest output impedance? I have a fairly high budget.

Is the idea that you don't want the size of an external desktop headphone amp? If so, a portable DAC/amp with optical input like the FiiO E17 could be a good option.

Also, what is your budget?
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Is the idea that you don't want the size of an external desktop headphone amp? If so, a portable DAC/amp with optical input like the FiiO E17 could be a good option.

Also, what is your budget?

Yeah the idea is that I don't want something that's overly obtrusive; I like the sound card because obviously everything is just connected to my computer, meaning it's all in one place and there's no amps or anything taking up room.

 

Budget is anywhere up to £150 GBP, although closer to the £100 mark would be ideal.


Edited by Mackem - 6/12/14 at 6:24am
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackem View Post

Yeah the idea is that I don't want something that's overly obtrusive; I like the sound card because obviously everything is just connected to my computer, meaning it's all in one place and there's no amps or anything taking up room.

Budget is anywhere up to £150 GBP, although closer to the £100 mark would be ideal.

Well, as PurpleAngel pointed out, the best internal soundcards have a 10 ohm low output impedance which is not the greatest for IEMs. Optimal is a low output impedance that is 1/8 of the headphone/IEM output impedance. Since IEMs are generally 32 or 16 ohm, then you want a device with at low as 2 ohm. Although if you don't have 1/8, it just skews the frequency response a little; the difference might not matter to you.

If you don't use the Dolby surround features on the Xonar for gaming and movie watching, Audioquest Dragonfly is a small USB DAC/amp the size of a big flash drive. Then you would just need a 3.5mm extension cable to plug into the microphone output on your computer.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mackem View Post
 

Yeah the idea is that I don't want something that's overly obtrusive; I like the sound card because obviously everything is just connected to my computer, meaning it's all in one place and there's no amps or anything taking up room.

 

Budget is anywhere up to £150 GBP, although closer to the £100 mark would be ideal.

 

Only a few options i can think of, for night time listening.

 

Get a headphone amplifier (with low impedance) and plug it into the Xonar DG, a FiiO E11 portable headphone amplifier has a low output impedance and is fairly small.

 

Invest into light weight headphones, like the JVC HA-S400 (or HAS-500, HA-S680) headphones,

they are 32-Ohm, which is not the perfect impedance for use with the Xonar DG, but still acceptable.

 

Or just keep plugging the IEMs straight into the Xonar DG, I'm assuming you do not have a problem with the current sound quality.

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