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What should I get for a PC with Senn 280s

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Sorry if this is an 'entry level' question.

I've just bought a pair of Senn 280 Pros. I use them to listen to music from a PC in a shared environment (hence the closed headphones). I'm pretty disappointed with what I'm getting at the moment and I suspect it's more the fault of the PC than the phones (eg they sound better coming out of my mac). The Senns are pretty efficient and I'm getting plenty of volume but the nosie floor is terrible and there seems to be loads of interference in the signal path. The PC doesn't have a digital out.

What's the best option here. I imagine that sticking something into the analogue out is just going to be flogging a dead horse. Does this mean I need to get a D/AC and an amp? Any recommendations? I don't want to spend a fortune (I mean the headphones were only $85).

cheers,
Aaron
post #2 of 9
25 dollar Chaintech AV-710 will do the job. Brilliant sound quality for the price according to RMAA results and people's experiences on this board (sound quality is very close to more expensive cards like M-Audio Revolution 7.1). Drivers for the card seem to be a little buggy, but it's worth a try
post #3 of 9
What soundcard is in the PC right now?

You won't need an amp if the volume is good enough for you.

And if you're not into gaming, there are plenty of soundcards that have digital outs, and are good for music-listening..
post #4 of 9
I suggest you get some small fake car ears and glue them to the top of the headband. Sure, guys might think you're gay, but the girls will think they're cute and talk to you

I'd probably get the chaintech card myself, in fact I am considering it. Cheap at twice the price. Don't bother with an amp for the Senns, i've tried it myself and it does little or nothing.
post #5 of 9
May I highly recommend an AudioTrak Opto Play for your current situation. At least it sounds to me like you need something that can plug into just about any computer and just work (at least that's what my impression of a shared environment would be). The Opto Play can be plugged into any PC running Win2k or XP (I think WinME works too) or MAC (if I recall correctly) and it will just work. No external power, no loading drivers, etc. It also has plenty of power to push the 280's and it will give you a clean signal with a low noise floor. I use it when I'm traveling around with my laptop. In fact I've used the pair (Opto Play and HD280 Pro) for watching DVD's and listening to music in the library on campus with my laptop. If you want to start exploring upsampling the Opto Play will accomidate you here as well as it will run in either 16 or 24bit and at 44.1, 48, 88.2 and 96khz sampling rates. There are better cards out there but none beat this for easy of use, sound quality, portability and price.
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks

Thanks for the advice. They all sound like good options. One more question. Do you know of any devices like these that offer crossfeed as an option (ie to lessen listening fatigue)?

thanks,
Aaron
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron
Thanks for the advice. They all sound like good options. One more question. Do you know of any devices like these that offer crossfeed as an option (ie to lessen listening fatigue)?
There are plugins for foobar 2000 as well as winamp available, free of charge.
The plugin for winamp is called "Headplug", the plugin for foobar is already part of the full featured edition, you can find and activate it in the DSP section.
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopragma
There are plugins for foobar 2000 as well as winamp available, free of charge.
The plugin for winamp is called "Headplug", the plugin for foobar is already part of the full featured edition, you can find and activate it in the DSP section.
I can't hear any change in the sound at all when I turn it on. Is there an alternative one that works?
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by commando
I can't hear any change in the sound at all when I turn it on. Is there an alternative one that works?
A good crossfeed algorithm or circuit isn't supposed to change the sound.
What it does is:
a) For many listeners it eases the headphone related listener fatigue.
Our brains are used to get anything that is heard by the right ear into the left ear, too, and vice versa.That is due to reflection on your skin and bones.
This natural crossfeed sound is extremely attenuated because only a small amount is reflected and it's delayed because the sound needs time to reach the other ear.Artificial crossfeed tries to mimic that natural effect.
For many listeners artificial crossfeed makes long listening sessions enjoyable.
Some listeners even can't listen through headphones without crossfeed, they get headaches after an hour.
Some listeners never encountered listening fatigue and have no use for it.
b) Crossfeed alters the headstage. In regard to modern recordings the effect is subtle, you're getting a slightly better coherence.
Recordings from the early age of stereo technology are often unlistenable through headphones.The recording engineers often placed one instrument exclusively into one channel and another one exclusively into the other channel, the voices into both channels.What you get are two blobs inside your head, arrrghh.With (in this case maximum) crossfeed you get a coherent headstage, much more fun to listen to.
Take the "headplug" plugin for winamp, it's better for demonstration purposes since it's adjustable.Then listen to some sixties Beatles recordings with and without crossfeed, the effect is obvious.Try different degrees of "crossfeed power" to get a sense for what it does.
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