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Best option for gaming/music?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by smeksime, Apr 16, 2012.
  1. smeksime
    Hey fellow Head-fiers,
    So I'm stuck on a debate on which will be the most beneficial for me.  50% of the time I'm gaming and the other half I'm listening to music (dubstep, pop, classical, hip-hop). My option are:
    1): Asus Xonar Essence STX with Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pro 250 Ohms
    2) Fiio E11 with Beyerdynamic DT 990 Premium 250 Ohms
    So like the title said, which option should I lean towards?  One other thing... Does the Fiio E11 override the sound card if I plug it into the rear analog port? 
  2. NA Blur
    The DT990 have more bass than the DT770 which was a nice plus for me.
    If it were me I would go with the Total Bithead from headphone.com and pair it up with your favorite headphones.  The Bithead is built to last vs many of the issues I have been seeing with FiiO products as of late.
    To run the setup you would go Computer ----> USB  -----> Bithead ( USB ) -----> Headphones out ( High Gain )
    Set the output of your PC volume to 75% and use the Bithead to get the sound level you want.  Anything near 100% from your PC may cause clipping resulting in distortion.  This is the case with most amps.
    It would bypass your soundcard which is a good thing.  Internal soundcards are notoriously noisy because they sit so close to so much EMF.  My Bithead is super quiet compared to any internal soundcard I have tried.
    You may want to go with something like the Audio Technica ATH-M50 and the Bithead.  The ATH-M50 is a closed headphone which is nice for hearing footsteps and all of the little details in games.  They can be a tad hot if your room is toasty and they do not give the best soundstage, but for the price they are quite nice.
    If you are going for the ultimate headphone, within a reasonable price, the Denon AH-D2000 is for you.  They are amazing.  They sound great with nice tight bass especially amped.  They are very comfortable and the cord is bomber.  They are pretty spendy so other options may fit your budget better.
    If you are bent on getting the beyer DT990 ( 250 Ohm ) I am selling my very near new pair for $250 on the sale forums here.  Let me know if you are interested.
  3. danny93
    I was in the same situation as you last year and now I have DT770 pro 80´s and a Titanium HD with swapped out opamps for better bass and Im loving it..soundstage on the dt770 is great!
    However that time has come where I am thinking of upgrading...to the Denon D2000 or modding my DT770´s so let me know if you want them before I get the drill out :D ...there in great nick BTW! 
    I listen to allot of dubstep and the sub bass is amazing on the 770 pro 80´s (apparently better than the 250ohm versions!) 
    Also a dedicated soundcard will be much better than the E11 (which I have and tested!) although if you were to go the DT990 route then something like an external DAC and amp like Fiio E17 or E10 (cant remember which one) would be better than the E11 !
    Let me know if your interested in the DT770 ASAP please as I have a bit of spare time ATM so want to start modding soon if i dont sell them!
    Good luck  
  4. PurpleAngel Contributor
    External amplifier usually do not come with surround sound (for movies and games) for headphones.
    Asus Xonar DG (PCI) sound card, $15-$27.
    Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80-Ohm, good prices for used ones on eBay ($120-$140?)
  5. smeksime


    So then this would be best for gaming AND music correct?  The Total Bithead is in terms of music only the way I see it.
  6. MtnSloth
    For gaming with headphones, I would go with astro's mix amp pro. If you don't do FPS (or PVP in MMOs), then the surround sound benefits are not so important. See madlustenvy's thread . . .
  7. stv014
    The first option is fine, although with an open headphone like the DT990 instead (also available in the cheaper Pro edition), you may get somewhat better and clearer sound (but no isolation). I do have the DT770 Pro 250, though, and it sounds decent.
    The E11 does not override the onboard DAC, although it does improve the quality due to overriding the onboard amplifier, and not having to use the digital volume control, therefore maximizing the usually rather mediocre dynamic range of onboard audio. Note that it is a portable amplifier that is battery powered, and cannot be used from AC power, or while the batteries are being recharged.
  8. danny93

    that would be true if he was console gaming...but a soundcard such as any X-Fi with CMSS-3D will beat out the Mixamp easy! (I have have/had both!) DT770´s are probably your best bet for gaming and music (if bass is important to you which with the genres you posted I think will be)...with any X-Fi soundcard your gaming needs will be very much met IMO 
    Its a matter of preference between Dolby Surround and CMSS-3D but i prefer the later so would natrually reccomend a Creative card over an Asus...read a few reviews to try and be better informed! 
    the 80ohm DT770 have ALLOT more bass than the 250Ohm´s after reading more reiews...theres a reason why the 80ohm´s are the only ones that can be darthed i think!
    (BTW I think I am going to keep my Beyers...allot of used ones on ebay anyway which would be better for you as im in the UK) 
  9. PurpleAngel Contributor

    You can game with the Bithead, but only 2 channel (stereo).
    The Xonar DG would work for music and gaming (and movies).
    Dolby Digital for headphone 5.1 channel surround sound for gaming and movies.
  10. NamelessPFG
    Creative X-Fi Titanium HD + FiiO E9 + headphones of your choice (can't comment on either Beyerdynamic model since I've tried neither). I have yet to find a better sound card with gaming in mind, so long as you're only using stereo headphones or speakers (no analog surround channels)...well, there's the Onkyo SE-300PCIE, but that's never going to leave Japan at this rate.
    You might be able to do without the E9 amp and just run your headphones off the sound card directly, but if you're willing to pay up for some good gear, I don't think it's that much added expense.
    The Xonar DG is a great bang-for-the-buck budget option, but if you want the very best and can pay for it, it's not what you're looking for.
  11. smeksime

    I'm new to this and I'm wondering how the sound card and fiio e9 work together.  If it's not so much trouble, can you lightly elaborate what makes this a good combo?
  12. NamelessPFG

    The X-Fi Titanium HD has the proper X-Fi DSP, which gives it a substantial edge in gaming where DirectSound3D and OpenAL titles are concerned. (Read my PC gaming audio guide if you want more details on the gaming APIs and middleware in use.) It also helps that the analog output quality is excellent, and has some punchiness to its bass that I think you'd appreciate.
    The FiiO E9 is just a headphone amp. You feed it an analog signal from the sound card (and you ideally want the cleanest analog signal possible, which the Titanium HD does a great job of) or any other analog source, and the E9 will amplify the signal and then output the result to your headphones. It's not about making the signal louder; it's about having better control over the drivers in your headphones. Some headphones apparently need a good amp if you want to make the most out of them, like the Beyerdynamic DT770 and DT990 you mentioned, or other popular models here like the AKG K701/K702/Q701.
  13. danny93
    I have the Titanium HD and DT770 pro 80´s and did have the Fiio E9 but I sold it as it didnt add that much to the sound for the space it took up on my desk and the cost of it to justify keeping it
    It did tighten up the bass a little and it made the sound maybe a little more refined but for me at least I was very happy with the sound straight from the Ti HD 
    The quality of componants used in the Ti HD is really very good...apart from the stock I\V OpAmps(2114D) they are awful! A good combo I've tried is just to replace the stock I\V OpAmps(2114D) with LME 49720NA(or HA) and its a great and cheap way to dramaticlly improve your sound from the Ti HD...especially in the bass department...much more detailed too throughout the spectrum!  The synergy is good with the stock opamps in the buffers aswel the LME49710NA (if my memory serves me correct) BTW its very easy to change the opamps! Just pop in and out :wink: 
    The E9 may be something to try out in future maybe...as I can whole heartedly say you will be delighted with the sound without one...well as least I was [​IMG]
    Oh BTW make sure the Ti HD is the Rev.C one..its the newest, creative made some improvements on the card!
  14. NamelessPFG

    How do you check what revision the card itself is? I examined mine just to experiment with swapping out the JRC 2114D I/V OPAMPs with National LME49860NAs, and I couldn't find any obvious text mentioning a revision letter.
  15. danny93
    Id swap opamps more often but with dual GPU´s and the EMI shielding its a bit of a pain to keep swapping em out LOL 
    Just dug my old box out and it says (near the barcode) a bunch of numbers lol then "Rev C" after
    Not sure if there is any other way to find out, could probably tell what batch it was in somehow with a little googling via numbers on the PB

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