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DT-770 (250 Ohm) with Xonar DGX?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by Corvin25, Apr 9, 2019.

Sound Card?

  1. Stick with Xonar DGX

    0 vote(s)
  2. Upgrade to Sound Blaster Z

    0 vote(s)
  3. External DAC with Sound Card

    0 vote(s)
  4. External DAC without Sound Card

    0 vote(s)
  1. Corvin25
    Hi, figured this might be the better sub-forum to post in.

    I just purchased the DT-770 250 ohm set yesterday, and I also have the ASUS Xonar DGX sound card installed in my computer. I LOVE the way they sound, certainly a step or two above my ATH-M50x, but I'm not sure I'm getting the best possible experience. According to ASUS, the card's amplifier goes up to 150 ohms, but that concerns me, as my DT-770s are 250 ohm cans. I've tested them with my on-board audio (MSI Audio Boost 4) and despite the on-board card boasting a 600 ohm amplifier, the DGX is so much better it isn't even a comparison. But I'm still wondering if I should upgrade.

    My research hasn't availed me, so I have a couple of questions:

    Do I need a sound card that can amplify higher impedance headphones? One such card is the Sound Blaster Z, which goes up to 600... Or will my Xonar DGX (amp up to 150) be enough? Is it worth the upgrade?

    I like my music fairly loud, but not so loud that it's painful. Nothing that would damage my hearing in the long run.
    Does the impedance matter that much at relatively low levels of volume? Like, 80%? Or is that impedance really only an issue when you're BLASTING them? I don't like "movie theater" or "rave club" levels of loudness, if that helps. I like 80s music and sound clarity. I also regularly play games on my PC.

    Does a powerful amp affect more than the volume?
    My Xonar DGX is giving these headphones quite a decent volume, I have absolutely no trouble hearing anything. But does the actual sound quality get affected as well? Or is it just the loudness?

    Lastly... can an external headphone amp be used WITH a sound card like the Xonar DGX? Like, plugging the amp into my sound card's audio jack? Or is it better to use only one or the other?
    If it's simply a matter of buying a $30 amp to just give them a little more juice to work with, I'd rather do that than spend $150 on a new sound card. I'd also get to keep the improved gaming audio drivers.

    And if an amp/DAC is needed, can a good budget brand be recommended? (single listener)

    (I have disabled the motherboard's on-board audio as suggested in another thread.)

    Please respond soon, thank you!

    P.S.: I'm aware that an 80 ohm DT-770 PRO set would be better for this, but unfortunately the store I buy my headphones from doesn't have them available. And the performance warranty they offer is an absolute must.
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    My two cents.
    Replace the Xonar DGX with the SB-Z (Sound Blaster Z) card, the SB-Z has a better DAC chip and more powerful headphone amplifier.
    The SB-Z's headphone jack has a 22-Ohm output impedance, which is fine for 250-Ohm headphones,
    lower impedance (Ohm) headphones might get a bloated bass.
    I've had no real issue with plugging 50-Ohm Sennheiser HD558 headphones, into an SB-Z card.

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