Beyer DT250-80, which sound card for this headphone?
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ThatGuy

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Hi, this is my first post. After doing some research on this forum, it seems like Beyer DT250-80 is the best headphone for PC gaming.

But which sound card should I use? I'll be using the headphone for all kinds of new/old PC games, mp3s (I don't own much audio CDs), and divx.

1. I heard Turtle Beach Santa Cruz is good for music but not so good in 3d positioning, while Audigy is exactly the opposite. If I have to go Audigy, should I get Audigy 1 or 2? BTW, how do on-board sounds compare to these sound cards?

2. I have a 10+ year old receiver sitting on my desk, I'm worrying that it may degrade sound quality when it's played through it. Do sound cards have enough power to drive Beyer DT250-80 by itself?

 
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Snufkin

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The TBSC has excellent 3d support, especially for headphones. What it doesn't have is EAX HD which the Audigy does.

Onboard sound, as a general rule, doesn't compare at all to a decent soundcard
 
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ThatGuy

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I went to Creative's website and I couldn't find EAX support in Audigy 1. Is it only available in Audigy 2? How important is EAX for music and gaming?
 
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Mesiaz

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I've been using my DT250-80 with a SantaCruz for almost half a year now, no problems whatsoever. I havn't compared the sound quality to a audiogy or a sb live though.
 
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Goober

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The Santa Cruz or maybe one of the Hercules cards that also use the CSxxxx series chips like the Fortissimo 2 or 3 would be a good choice. I've heard that TB has dropped support for the SC so that might be something worth considering.

I'm waiting on this new Revelation 7.1 from M-Audio to come out. I don't know if it'll have any gaming capabilities but if it does then it'll be one sweet card.
 
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taipeileviathan

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on paper, these are the only things that i've noticed that the audigy 2 has and the audigy 1 doesn't have

- true 24-bit/192 kHz processing (altho this may be just another lie)
- dvd-a compatibility
- 24-bit/96kHz recording (another lie?)
- dolby 6.1

as for eax, audigy 1 has the same exact thing (eax advanced HD). so browse those features above, see if u have any need for them. if u don't, then the 1st generation audigy will do just fine.


imho, when games use eax well, the experience is sooo much more immersive than without eax, so if gaming is a large part of ur purchasing considerations, i'd go with the audigy. and altho the TBSC is a better source for music, if u're listening to mp3's that have a bitrate of less than 192, then it really doesn't make a difference...
 
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halcyon

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Some corrections and additional info:

1) TB SC is decent non-high end audiophile people for music listening, but it also resamples all CD (44.1/16 data) to 48khz, alhtough it does it better than either Audigy. I wouldn't plug a good set of headphones straight to either card though for serious music listening, I'd buy a separate amp. I've tried the built-in amp in my Hercules GTXP (similar to TB SC) and it's not that great.

2) TB SC is very good in game 3D positioning (especially with headphones, as stated), but does not suport EAX advanced HD, which IMHO is a minor issue at this point in time, because so few games support it now (or are planned to support it in the next few months)

3) Both audigy and Audigy 2 have trouble with resampling algorithms. Audigy 1 destroys high frequency content. Audigy 2 introduces bad intermodulation distortion. Both can be audible even on standard playback equipment. I would not recommend either card for serious music listening. TB SC is ok though IMHO (I have the Hercules equivalent of TB SC).

4) As I've read it the dropping of support for TB SC was rumour that Turtle Beach denied.

5) EAX support is the same both in Audigy 1 and Audigy 2. In this respect they are exactly the same and can even be used with the same (Audigy 2) drivers. Audigy 2 offers NON-processed 192kbit/24bit D/A-conversion and un-processed 24/96 passthrough for certain type of bitstreams.

6) EAX is not important to music at all. On the contrary, if you activate ANY effect in Audigy cards, your digital audio bitstream will get resampled to 48 kHz with audible results.

EAX can improveve reverbation effects in some games however, but I don't think it is so great that one *must* have it for games.

7) M-Audio Revelation will have (based on preliminary data): sound quality that will be *excellent* in music playback, decent game support (based on same routines as TB SC), non-resampled bitstream passthrough (good thing to have for cd playback), better analog section, ASIO drivers and DVD-A support. The only thing lacking based on specs is the EAX Advanced HD, which is exclusive to Audigy series at this point. In other ways it looks remarkably better and should sell for less than USD $100 street price. I'm personally seriously considering this card.

9) Output impedance will have a great impact on your sound quality. With the phones you have, I'd go for a 120 Ohm output. This can be tricky to find though. Most headphone amps will give you near zero ohm output impedance (Corda headamps having either 0/120 output). Most receivers (integrated amps) and a lot of the cd player headphone output will have an output impedance greater than 100 Ohms (some will have too high impedance, causing again slight coloration in the sound). Again, a headphone amp with a selectable output impedance would ensure better sound quality than hooking straight to the sound card. Of course, you have to decide for yourself how much you are willing to spend for that last remaining 20-40% of performance in audio quality.

I don't want to argue the perception about EAX2 and how important that is. Some people really like the EAX2 support as done by Audigy (as compared to the non-Creative versions), but i don't think the difference is that great IMHO.

I hope that helps some in choosing the sound card of your choice.
 
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bangraman

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It's not the best for PC gaming. The Audio-Technica ART series are superb for PC gaming (although they still may not be the 'best'). Very heavy but exceptionally comfortable, and OUTSTANDING 3D positioning. The W100, A100Ti, and A900 are the only headphones I have in which I can start a first person shoot-em-up game with EAX, close my eyes, turn around a bit, point to where the sound is coming from, open my eyes and find my finger pointing exactly where the source is. Even behind me. The Beyer DT250-80 just does not compare. If you're in the UK and willing to come to London to collect them, I can get hold of an ATH-A900 for slightly less than what the DT250 is selling for in many shops (dont all rush, I don't do it for a living), and in the US, Audiocubes sell it for $199, a mere $30 more than the DT250 (by Headroom).
 
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ThatGuy

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I think I'll just go with Audigy 1, since it'll be over my $300 budget if I'm buying a more expensive sound card and a headphone amp.

Quote:

Of course, you have to decide for yourself how much you are willing to spend for that last remaining 20-40% of performance in audio quality.


Interesting point. If I can't use 250-80 to its full potential, I'll be wasting 20-40% of the money on the headphone. Sadly getting the best-fit amp for this headphone http://www.headphone.com/layout.php?...tID=0010010006 will add $200 to my budget. There are probably better sound cards than Audigy and TBSC, such as M-Audio Revelation you mentioned, but I may risk incompatibility problems with the operating system and the softwares.

Didn't know I wouldn't be able to hear the best sound without the amp, maybe I should I go with a lower-grade headphone.

Quote:

Output impedance will have a great impact on your sound quality. With the phones you have, I'd go for a 120 Ohm output.


I found the manual for my old Pioneer twin cd receiver. In the specs section it says:
--------------------------------------------------------------
STEREO TWIN CD RECEIVER:XC-P410T
Amplifier section
Continuous Average Power Output is 22 Watts per channel, min., at 8 ohms from 40 Hertz to 20,0000 Hertz with no more than 0.9% total harmonic distortion
. (blah)
. (blah)
. (blah)
Input (Sensitivity/Impedance) ...................... Video: 150mV/50k[I see Ohm symbol here]
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Is that the Impedance rating you're referring to? The spec doesn't say anything about the headphone output. The other area I found the word impedance is in the Speaker System, it says 8 Ohm, but I guess that's unrelated.


Quote:

If you're in the UK and willing to come to London


I live in Canada, thanks for the offer though
 
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halcyon

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ThatGuy,

Whatever quality headphones you have, if you only attach them directly to a medium quality soundcard, you can't get anywhere near 100% performance out of those particular headphones.

If you buy a good sound card and a good headphone amp, you will get the best out of your headphones, whatever the headphones are.

Of course, at some point you will not be able to hear much of an improvement as the headphones will be a factor in the overall quality.

However, I don't think your choice of headphones is bad (based on what I've read) and I think that Audigy without a headphone amp would limit the sound quality these headphones could offer.

But like I stated, it's up to you to decide how much you want to spend. A $100 sound card with those headphones will not sound crap or bad by any means.

AS for your integrated, you would need to find out the 'output impedance' for the 'headphone output'. That was the one I was referring to.

regards,
halcyon
 
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ThatGuy

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Quote:

AS for your integrated, you would need to find out the 'output impedance' for the 'headphone output'. That was the one I was referring to.


It doesn't have anything for headphone output. Oh well...


Thanks for the great advice everyone
 
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Guyferd

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Bangraman:
what??? the dt250 is a slouch when compared to the AT series? man... that is truly disgraceful for us beyer owners...
Sadly, but I think it may be true. I have tried AT-AD7 and the headphone is very nice given its $130 price tag, good and reasonably priced.
From what I heard the 100ti is good too. The w100 to my ears if very fine and musical.. I luv them but never bought them coz they are too delicate. I am afraid that I would scratch the wooden enclosures.. well..

But from your comment it seems that beyer is a turd when it comes to gaming, then I think I would propose to you beyer dt770pro. i think it will rival the 100ti in terms of positioning and bass. hehhe....

try it and post your comments. Dun forget to pair it with at least creek obh-11
 
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bangraman

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I think a gaming headphone shouldn't need plugging into a headphone amp for it to be effective. To get sufficient volume for those footsteps and rustles to be fully audible I had to plug the DT250-80 into an amplifier to boost the output a bit and even then the spacial effects were off. The 770's would be even worse, a (good) amp is mandatory given their specifications.
The A900 for example will work directly off the speaker out socket on a SB card to sufficiently rumbly levels.
 
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Gluegun

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Dude, just get an Audigy 2 OEM from Newegg when Newegg gets the OEM's in stock...
 
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