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Audio technica ATH M50 (Integrated soundcard or Dedicated sound card)

Discussion in 'Headphones (full-size)' started by stimmi, Oct 13, 2012.
  1. stimmi
    I just ordered the Audio technica ATH M50 headphones and i plan on using them for listening to music,watching HD (and 3d) movies and playing games.I will basicly use them for everything sound related. I know they arent the best headset but i dont have the cash to get the high end ATM. Also from what i have heard they should sound amazing compared to the price.
    What i have been wondering is if my Integrated motherboard soundcard will bottleneck (ruin) the audio or if there is going to be a big difference? . I used to have Sennheiser 595 and a creative soundcard (cant remember the name) for my gaming a few years ago and the sound was just amazing compared to the motherboard chipset. The gunfire sounded real in some games and it was just amazing. Should i go for a new soundcard aswell or just stick to the motherboard and save a 180 dollars?
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Asus Xonar DG ($26) or DGX ($41) sound card, should improve the sound quality over your motherboard's built in audio.
    If your really into FPS gaming, a refurb X-Fi Titanium (non-HD) sound card, $43
  3. stimmi
    Thanks for the reply.
    Do you think the X-Fi card will give me better performance for music and movies compared to the Xonar DG and DGX you mentioned?
    I think the music would be my top priority, followed with games and movies
  4. Roller
    In all honesty, the ATH-M50s aren't really a great set for gaming, their soundstage is far too cramped, even for a closed set. It's curious you used to have a set of HD595, as the HD598 would be a quite valid alternative/upgrade to them.

    If your budget is up to $180, get a Creative X-Fi Titanium HD and be done with it. It has stellar gaming performance that's unmatched by anything on the market, and has some of the best music and movie performance of the consumer market.

    The regular X-Fi Titanium will work too, but with lower quality outputs.

    What you have to keep in mind is that any sort of 3D audio support from games will benefit from running on a X-Fi powered card (there are brands that license the Creative X-Fi chip, like Auzentech), and gaming does suffer when running on other hardware, like Asus cards.
  5. stimmi
    Thanks for the reply
    Ok so basically here is my situation.
    I still have my old 595 set but its gotten worn out and it probably wont be long til they start failing.
    So i ordered the M50s because of all the reviews but i still have the option to change my opinion for another set.
    I heard the Ultrasone HFI-580 were prety good too and they are in the same price range ad the M50s.
    Would you recommend different headphones and a sound card update for my budget? my budget it around 300 (400 max with a soundcard)
    I will use the headset for everything i do including listening to music,playing games and watching movies.
    The music sound i probably a top priority for me but i also want to be able to play games and watch movies.
    I can probably get another headset for gaming if thats an issue but i need the set im plaining on buying to be good for
    listening to music and watching movies with good quality.
    Should i change the headphones or are the M50s the best around this budget for what i plan on doing with them?
  6. Roller
    Well, if the HD595s are just physically worn, they still work, unless there are sound issues.

    I easily recommend the Ultrasone HFI-580 over the Audio-Technica ATH-M50, they have better soundstage, a more engaging sound, also easy to drive. Keep in mind the HFI-580 have a noticeable bass presence, which can be good if you lean to more bass oriented music genres as well as games and movies benefitting from this. The Ultrasone HFI-780 is a more balanced set that handles a wider range of music genres better.

    I most definitely recommend you to upgrade right away from your onboard audio chip to a proper soundcard.

    With your budget in mind, you can get the following:
    Creative X-Fi Titanium HD - http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Blaster-Titanium-Internal-SB1270/dp/B0041OUA38/
    Ultrasone HFI-780 - http://www.amazon.com/Ultrasone-HFI-780-Surround-Professional-Headphones/dp/B00101XVH2/

    Both the soundcard and the headphones are around the $300 mark. Since you've specified you could stretch your budget to $400 if it included a soundcard, I think you could add a headphone amplifier as well, something like a PA2V2 or a Fiio E11, both amps costing around $60. With that soundcard + amp + headphones, you will get a quite nice setup for music, games and movies alike.
  7. stimmi
    Thanks Roller.
    I will probably switch them out and go for what you recommended. The 595s are worn out physically (2nd repair so far) but i cant be certain about the sound although i feel they arent what they used to be but that may just be the lack of a proper sound card . I think ill start by ordering the soundcard and even the amp and see if the sound improves with the 595s and if i feel like
    thats not working ill go for the HFI-780s . Im kind of hoping that the sound card and amp will improve the performance, Ive had the 595s for years now and its the best headset ive had and im a bit nervous going for headphones.
    Do you know how a new set of HD595s compares to the HFI-780s?
  8. cel4145
    I'm pretty sure that they don't make the HD595 anymore. You'd have to get the HD598. 
    I have the 780s. Great bass impact, but a little more balanced response over the 580s. More mid presence. 
  9. Roller
    The soundcard and amp alone will provide a healthy improvement over running the HD595s on an onboard audio chip without additional amplification. And again, if your HD595s have no sound issues, you can keep using them until they fall apart or you're struck with upgraditis :wink:

    The first thing you have to keep in mind is that the HD595 are open and the HFI-780 are closed, so there is some soundstage tradeoff, but overall the HFI-780 are simply more engaging.
  10. stimmi
    Thank you very much Roller! :)
  11. Roller
    Glad to help :)
    And do post back how the new hardware is working out for you when you get it.
  12. Dexter M
    OP didn't deliver.
  13. cel4145

    Thanks for reviving a 4 month old thread to tell everyone that :rolleyes:

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