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AKG K550 AMP or Soundcard

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by leonarfd, Oct 26, 2012.
  1. Leonarfd
    Hey. I got the AKG K550s, I have used em mostly with my laptop at uni but decided to get some iems for that instead. So now im plugging them into my gaming computer at home instead, the only problem now is low sound and lack of elements in the sound. I understand this is due to the bad onboard soundcard.
    So what is is best for me to do now, is it to get a soundcard in the 150$ or to get an amp. I have heard that the Audinst HUD-mx1(180$)is good, but to expensive for me right now. Or would something like the NUFORCE UDAC 2 - HEADPHONE AMP/DAC (100$)be good enough?
    Open to input on other devices aswell. Only problem is that im from Norway and the lack of brands.......
    Thanks in advance and just some links to the 2 mentioned.
  2. gt40
    why not O2 of JSD labs? 
  3. Leonarfd
    I cant get em here in Norway, I can always go trough ebay. But the problem then is that if something goes wrong with it, it costs 40-80$ just to send the item back.
  4. MalVeauX
    Seeing as the K550 is completely efficient and will not be benefiting much, if any, from additional amplification beyond what a basic device can output, I don't see why you would stress spending so much more on that equipment than you did on the initial headphone which doesn't require such equipment.
    A simple inexpensive sound card would be fine.
    Or an external USB DAC/AMP would be fine, like the Nuforce or a Fiio E10, etc. Even then, overkill for amplification, but you can at least benefit from the DAC portion.
    Very best,
  5. PurpleAngel Contributor
    An Asus Xonar DG or DGX sound card for your computer and a Fiio E11 portable headphone amplifier (with a few extra batteries).
    The Xonar DG(X) should come with a better DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) then the one built into your motherboard
    and also has Dolby Headphone 5.1 surround sound.
    The Fiio E11's headphone output has a really low impedance (.5-Ohm) which is a benefit for low Ohm (32-Ohm) headphones like the AKG K550.
    You can plug the E11 into the Xonar DG(X) and your laptop.
  6. Speakerphile
    Personally, I feel as though these benefit greatly from an amp.  I really disagree with the direction from AKG that these were intended for use with portable devices.  HUGE difference in sound quality.  Currently using with a NuForce HDP.  
  7. Leonarfd
    Thanks for the reply. I will get  the Asus Xonar DSX and try it alone first, if im satisfied I stay with it. Might get the Fiio E11 if needed, soon christmas aswell need to have something my wife can get to me:D.
  8. Leonarfd
  9. ObeyurMaster
    It seems like you've made up your mind, but you can also consider getting the Fiio Alpen E17.
  10. PurpleAngel Contributor
    If you really into FPS gaming, a refurb Creative Labs X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) PCI-E sound card ($50) might be a better choice.
    I'm not sure on sound quality verses the Asus Xonar DGX.
  11. kozmo
    I can't speak for the compatability with any of the soundcards mentioned, but I can say that the K550 responds very well to the O2 & ODAC combination.
    You could bypass ebay and purchase direct from JDS , Audiopoutine, Epiphany and I believe there is someone in Switzerland?
  12. Leonarfd
    The cost of the taxes in to norway is way to much.

    Just ordered both the Creative Labs X-Fi Titanium HD and an cheaper one Asus Xonar DSX. I will test both an d deliver back the one I dont want to have. Depending on how much better they are, not always you can tell the difference that easy.
    I might get a usb amp/dac in the future though just for listening to music.
  13. Massacare
    Fiio e10 maybe? If you feel the bass on K550 is kinda lack, just turn on the bass boost :D. Or if you want a better one, Fiio E17. :D
  14. Leonarfd
    Thanks alot for the input guys, ill get back again once ive tested both.
  15. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The Asus Xonar DSX does not come with Dolby, just DTS.

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