Need help with new computer setup
May 1, 2015 at 12:44 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

sexpot

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Hello Head-Fi community!
 
I'm looking to build a new mITX computer and need help with setting up the sound. The board I'm looking to use is the Asus z97 Impact. What I want to do is plug my 2.1 speakers to onboard sound and my AKG Q701's to a dedicated headphone amp. I was thinking of the Schiit Magni but my concern is whether I can toggle between headphones or 2.1 speakers in windows.
 
I currently run a mATX build which has a dedicated sound card, Sound Blaster Z, and it fully handles what I want. I have my headphones plugged into the dedicated headphone jack and speakers into the regular sound jacks. Sound Blaster's software lets me toggle between headphones or speakers in windows, thus no need to manually pull out plugs.
 
Question - Can I do what I currently do with the Sound Blaster Z in a mITX platform? If so, would my assumption above work with the Schiit Magni? If not, how do I replicate my current sound setup!
 
Thanks for you time everyone :)
 
May 1, 2015 at 1:39 PM Post #2 of 10

superjawes

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I would think that the mobo would determine whether you can switch between outputs.

If you are getting a headphone amp, something like the Schiit Magni Uber has preamp outs, which means you would have to plug/unplug your headphones to switch, but it is a very simple solution. If you upgraded to include a Modi (or similar DAC), then you could also use your DAC for improved sound to your speakers. Just a thought.

Oh, and if you do get an amp, you might be better off connecting the amp to the line out (as opposed to a headphone output). This will provide your amp with a clean signal without double amping.
 
May 1, 2015 at 1:47 PM Post #3 of 10

sexpot

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Hmm, sound clarity to my speakers isn't a big deal. I looked into the Modi and they have 2 L R outputs in the back which won't work with my current speakers as they're a single 2.5mm jack.
 
I guess I was just hoping someone had experience with an external amp on an mitx platform :s
 
May 1, 2015 at 1:54 PM Post #4 of 10

PurpleAngel

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  I'm looking to build a new mITX computer and need help with setting up the sound. The board I'm looking to use is the Asus z97 Impact. What I want to do is plug my 2.1 speakers to on-board sound and my AKG Q701's to a dedicated headphone amp. I was thinking of the Schiit Magni but my concern is whether I can toggle between headphones or 2.1 speakers in windows.
I currently run a mATX build which has a dedicated sound card, Sound Blaster Z, and it fully handles what I want. I have my headphones plugged into the dedicated headphone jack and speakers into the regular sound jacks. Sound Blaster's software lets me toggle between headphones or speakers in windows, thus no need to manually pull out plugs.
Question - Can I do what I currently do with the Sound Blaster Z in a mITX platform? If so, would my assumption above work with the Schiit Magni? If not, how do I replicate my current sound setup!

Is your computer setup mostly for music or are you also into FPS gaming or other?
 
The SB-Z comes with separate headphone and speaker jacks, where as the Asus Z97 Impact uses the same jack for front speakers and headphones.
The Schiit Magni 2 Uber headphone amplifier comes with a separate line-output, which could be used for speakers.
So plug the Magni 2 Uber into the motherboard's shared front speaker/headphone jack and the headphones and speakers into the Magni.
 
For something cheaper, you could get the FiiO E10K ($76) USB-DAC-amp, it has separate headphone and line-output jacks.
But as it's USB, it will bypass all the features of the on-board sound card, which is fine for music and stereo audio gaming.
 
May 1, 2015 at 1:54 PM Post #5 of 10

nepherte

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Wether you can switch between several audio devices depends on the operating system, not the motherboard. In windows for example, the mixer allows you to switch between all detected audio devices. In more recent versions of Windows (I believe 7 or higher), you can select an audio device per audio stream / application.
 
May 1, 2015 at 2:06 PM Post #6 of 10

superjawes

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Hmm, sound clarity to my speakers isn't a big deal. I looked into the Modi and they have 2 L R outputs in the back which won't work with my current speakers as they're a single 2.5mm jack.

I guess I was just hoping someone had experience with an external amp on an mitx platform :s
Adapter
Cable

These would let you connect your speakers to a Modi's output, or the preamp outs of a Magni 2 U.
 
May 1, 2015 at 2:15 PM Post #7 of 10

cel4145

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You might also look into the Audio-GD NFB-15. It is a dac/headphone amp/pre-amp with optical, coaixal, and usb digital inputs, and the choice of connecting your speaker through the pre-amp so you can use the volume control OR using the DAC in it as a line out direct. It will also easily drive your Q701s to very loud volumes.
 
May 1, 2015 at 2:50 PM Post #8 of 10

sexpot

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  Is your computer setup mostly for music or are you also into FPS gaming or other?
 
The SB-Z comes with separate headphone and speaker jacks, where as the Asus Z97 Impact uses the same jack for front speakers and headphones.
The Schiit Magni 2 Uber headphone amplifier comes with a separate line-output, which could be used for speakers.
So plug the Magni 2 Uber into the motherboard's shared front speaker/headphone jack and the headphones and speakers into the Magni.
 
For something cheaper, you could get the FiiO E10K ($76) USB-DAC-amp, it has separate headphone and line-output jacks.
But as it's USB, it will bypass all the features of the on-board sound card, which is fine for music and stereo audio gaming.

 
My computer is currently setup for fps gaming (csgo) as priority. I currently use a Sound Blaster Z to connect both my AKG's and desktop speakers at once, using the Creative software to switch between the two. What I would like to do is downsize computer case as I'm moving and desktop space is really limited. By doing so, I'll have to move to a mITX system board and remove the sound card.
 
I would like to retain my current setup but I'm not sure if that's possible without the Sound Blaster Z.
 
Two questions if I get the Schiit Magni 2 Uber:
1) Can I toggle between desktop speakers or headphones while both are connected at once?
2) Does it bypass the onboard sound software? Will I lose features such as Virtual Surround?
 
May 1, 2015 at 3:05 PM Post #9 of 10

cel4145

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1) No. See the manual, and you'll notice there is no toggle switch for this: http://schiit.com/public/upload/PDF/magni-2-uber-manual.pdf. If you want that feature, look into the NFB-15 I mentioned.

2) If using the Modi, you need to connect to your computer using optical, not USB. A headphone amp like the Magni by itself doesn't bypass the soundcard at all.
 
May 1, 2015 at 8:42 PM Post #10 of 10

PurpleAngel

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My computer is currently setup for fps gaming (csgo) as priority. I currently use a Sound Blaster Z to connect both my AKG's and desktop speakers at once, using the Creative software to switch between the two. What I would like to do is downsize computer case as I'm moving and desktop space is really limited. By doing so, I'll have to move to a mITX system board and remove the sound card.
 
I would like to retain my current setup but I'm not sure if that's possible without the Sound Blaster Z.
 
Two questions if I get the Schiit Magni 2 Uber:
1) Can I toggle between desktop speakers or headphones while both are connected at once?
2) Does it bypass the onboard sound software? Will I lose features such as Virtual Surround?

 
On the Magni 2 Uber, when you plug in the headphones, it mutes the line output.
There is no toggle or switch on the Magni 2 Uber, for controlling output.
 

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