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What sound card and amp to go with Sennheiser PC350?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

I have a pair of Sennheiser PC350s that I've owned for quite some time, and I'm really getting tired of using a really good headset on mediocre (that's being nice about it, I think?) Realtek onboard audio.

I've been looking around, but I'm not real knowledgeable about sound cards and amplifiers for PC gaming purposes.  I was looking at some ASUS options, but I'm really not sure if I should buy those cheaper, built-in amp DGXs or a better card with an external amp?

 

Basically, if anyone has any mid-price and high-ish price (if the higher-price stuff is worth the wait, I'll save for it) recommendations, I'd love to hear them.  I'm also curious what people think of the PC 350s vs the PC 360 / G4me Ones (the open-ear headets).

 

Thanks!

post #2 of 13

get a Creative SB Z. it should be enough to drive your 350,  if you are looking for an upgrade, I'd rather looking for an option like hd598, q701 or more fun Fidelio X1 and get an external mic like V-MODA BoomPro.

post #3 of 13
The sound blasters, unless they've improved substantially in recent years, have awfully noisy microphone inputs. I prefer my Xonar DG or you can get the DGX for PCI-E. Their amp is enough to push the 350s into a decent volume. I know because I have a 350 myself. The ASUS is also a lot cheaper.
post #4 of 13

yep, if you want a cheaper solution, DGX should work.

post #5 of 13
If you need even more volume, put an E6 at the output of the DGX. I don't know how other members will react to that but it's something I do. Technically that's double amping but to me it sounds exactly the same, just louder.
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Well, my budget's definitely higher than that particular sound card, so if I can get a better sound by spending a bit more, I'd be interested.  I've heard mixed reviews on the DG/DGX, including that certain on-board audio is actually better than it.  I'm not sure if that's true or not, but I certainly would like to hear your opinions.  My onboard audio on my ASUS Sabertooth X58 is the Integrated Realtek ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC.

 

Thanks again!

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRageFist View Post
 

Well, my budget's definitely higher than that particular sound card, so if I can get a better sound by spending a bit more, I'd be interested.  I've heard mixed reviews on the DG/DGX, including that certain on-board audio is actually better than it.  I'm not sure if that's true or not, but I certainly would like to hear your opinions.  My on-board audio on my ASUS Sabertooth X58 is the Integrated Realtek ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC.

 

I'm an Xonar fan and the DG/DGX are decent sound cards

But the Sound Blaster Z's more powerful headphone amplifier should do a little better at driving the 150-Ohm PC350s

and the SB-Z's CS4398 DAC chip is better then the DG/DGX's CS4235 DAC chip.

 

There are some good deals on used SB-Z cards on eBay.

 

If you want to replace the PC350 with open headphones, get the Sennheiser HD558

Used HD558s on eBay.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sennheiser-HD-558-Headband-Headphones-Black-/321567951564?pt=US_Headphones&hash=item4adef18acc

 

Aftermarket cable for the HD558, that comes with a 3.5mm jack and can be ordered in one of five lengths ($18-$26).

http://www.ebay.com/itm/261255113290?_trksid=p2060778.m1438.l2649&var=560313338477&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

 

So a used SB-Z with a used HD558 might be had for under $150.

 

When adding an internal sound card to a PC, it's best to disable the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS.

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

What's everyone's opinions on the SD X-Fi Titanium HD and the ZxR?  It seems like they might just be more expensive version of the Z?

And what do you guys think of that silly mic that comes with the Z?  Worth fiddling with, or just stick to a good headset / external mic?


Edited by DrRageFist - 11/1/14 at 9:16am
post #9 of 13
You're probably better off with either the ModMic or some USB studio mic
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRageFist View Post
 

What's everyone's opinions on the SD X-Fi Titanium HD and the ZxR?  It seems like they might just be more expensive version of the Z?

And what do you guys think of that silly mic that comes with the Z?  Worth fiddling with, or just stick to a good headset / external mic?

 

The Ti-HD (Titanium-HD) and the SB-ZxR both have a better DAC(s) then the SB-Z.

The SB-ZxR comes with a better headphone amplifier, then the Ti-HD and SB-Z.

Headphone surround sound feature wise, the Z, Zx & ZxR are equal.

 

With headphones like the PC350, i would think the SB-Z is good enough.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 

Just ordered an SB-Z.  I'll see how that works out.

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

So, I got the SB-Z in, and it sounds really good (compared to the onboard, anyway).  However, it his this soundblaster software, which has some really neat features, but also has this "SBX Pro Studio" with a bunch of settings that I have no idea what they do.  Is it something I should use or should I leave it off?  It sure makes certain audio sound really freakin' weird.  If you have any advanced setting recommendations for this thang, it'd be appreciated.

post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrRageFist View Post
 

So, I got the SB-Z in, and it sounds really good (compared to the on-board, anyway).  However, it his this Sound Blaster software, which has some really neat features, but also has this "SBX Pro Studio" with a bunch of settings that I have no idea what they do.  Is it something I should use or should I leave it off?  It sure makes certain audio sound really freakin' weird.  If you have any advanced setting recommendations for this thang, it'd be appreciated.

 

Hopefully you disabled the motherboard's on-board audio, in the BIOS, when you installed the SB-Z card (just to be safe).

 

Nice to know it at least sounds better.

 

I'm not really knowledgeable about the Creative control panel, but you might find some good help here.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/623079/creative-sound-blaster-new-series-z-zx-zxr

http://forums.creative.com/forumdisplay.php?f=6

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