New to PC high quality audio
Feb 27, 2013 at 5:03 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 10

Sierra419

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Ok, I'm new here so please bear with me.  I know a lot about computers and I'm pretty knowledgeable on home theatre equipment but I'm totally new to the ins and outs of high quality audio.  I currently own a pair of Tritton AX Pros that I use for Xbox and PC, but mostly PC.  My AX Pros just plug into their Dolby box and then optical into my mobo.  I'm wanting to upgrade my head phones to something really nice. I've decided I want the Q701's (please don't try to talk me out of them or recommend something else, I've had headache after headache narrowing it down to these after looking at mad-lust-envys list).  So my main question is this:
 
Say I buy the Q701's for PC gaming- then what?  
 
I've heard I need an amp- if so what good but cheap amp do you recommend? I also heard I need a sound card in my PC. If that's the case cant I just use the integrated 7.1 surround sound thats built into my P8z77 mobo or do I really need a dedicated card just for a pair of headphones? What else would I need?  Do I need a mixamp of some sort? If I need all of this then its going to start getting pretty expensive.  I thought the Q701's were expensive enough but all this on top of it? Would I just be better off buying Astro a40's and calling it a day?
 
Please DO talk to me like I'm completely stupid and will have no idea about what you're saying because I probably wont understand half of what you say and I don't want to miss anything.  
 
Thanks.
 
Feb 27, 2013 at 5:23 PM Post #2 of 10

Just The Doctor

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well first off, you made an excellent choice (in my opinion) on the headphones, i have the k702s, which are pretty much the same thing, but with no quincy jones branding and dont look quite as amazing, and i love them.  they take quite a bit of power, and can barely get up to 1/2 my listening volume on an ipod, and about 1/2 on my computer.  as far as amps, for a realatively low price, ive heard good things about the FiiO EO7K which is around 90 bucks new, for less, you can get a cmoy, and if you want something a little better, but just for at home, ive heard the objective 2 is great.  Im looking into purchasing the O2, once i have it ill give you some feedback.  on a computer i think an amp isnt really nessescary, but it improves sound, and provides more power for hard to drive headphones like those.  im not the most knowledgeable on this, but from what i know, those are good options.  for more money ive also heard good things about the schiit asgard
 
Feb 27, 2013 at 5:44 PM Post #4 of 10

Sierra419

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Well my amp wont be traveling, it will sit 95% of the time.  So do I need an astro a40 mix amp type thing, or a sound card or anything like that on top of an amp? For the money I'm going to spend I want it to sound its best.  I dont want to get super expensive headphones and not have an audio quality difference from the AX Prs that I have now.
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 7:29 PM Post #5 of 10

Sierra419

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Ok, so after a ton of research I think I'm going to go with a Sound Blaster Titanium X-Fi HD Sound Card.  Would this card provide enough to power properly drive the Q701's without having to buy an amp?
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 8:31 PM Post #6 of 10

TwelveTrains

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From what I've read..POSSIBLY. The X-Fi Titanium HD is easily the best card you can get for gaming (cuz it has CCSM-3D).
 
But the amp built into the X-Fi isn't quite as good as some. It says it supports up to 330 ohms, but I've heard sometimes an external amp is better.
 
Don't know for sure though, as I haven't used them, I have just have the regular X-Fi Titanium (non-HD). Which can only drive efficient cans.
 
Even though the 701's are only 62 ohms, they are not that efficient sensitive. 
 
I've read the Schiit Valhalla or Lyr pair really well with the 701's, but that might be going overboard.
Maybe Asgard?
 
Feb 28, 2013 at 9:07 PM Post #7 of 10

Sierra419

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Do you think that titanium xfi hd card can properly drive a pair of dt990's with no external amp? Money is tight and I don't want an amp if the card provides more than enough power for a dt990
 
Mar 1, 2013 at 1:50 PM Post #8 of 10

Sierra419

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Ok, I need help making a decision. What's better: a fiio e9 and excellent sound blaster card or fiio e9 and fiio e17 dac? Would they sound the same? What would be different? If I went with an external amp/ dac would I still get simulated surround sound audio like Dolby Headphone? How would that effect the soundstage of the phones? Or will it? I don't want to get these nice phones and an amp and a dac just to get plain old stereo sound while gaming.
 
Mar 1, 2013 at 7:10 PM Post #9 of 10

cel4145

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To get Dolby Headphone or CCSM-3D surround you need a sound card that offers those features.

Then if you use an external DAC with that sound card, you have to use optical out from the sound card to the DAC to get those features. A USB-only DAC will NOT work.

So you could

(1) Get the Titanium HD and add a headphone amp later (since it has a good DAC, skip the DAC)

OR

(2) Get the Asus Xonar DG, which is much cheaper than the Creative card ($30 on Amazon), a DAC with optical input, and a headphone amp (or DAC/headphone amp combined with optical input). The Asus Xonar DG has Dolby Headphone.
 
Mar 1, 2013 at 8:43 PM Post #10 of 10

Honkytime

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I run a Titanium HD  running a Schiit magni with Beyer dynamics 770 pro (250 ohms). I ran the 770's for about a month out of the titanium Hd  before buying my magni. I found that the titanium drives the 770 good but i really wanted to hear them threw an amp so i bought the magni. the amp just made all the difference in the world i could hear sounds that are non existent and it just seems to really define the clarity of music. I find the CCSM-3D to be crystal clear and precise on the titanium HD. the Titanium HD is the best all around sound card if you like to game and listen to music, if you want to listen to music only get an asus xonar stx as it has headphone amp capable of driving headphones to 600 ohms vs the titanium 300 ohms. the only major drawback for the titanium HD is that once you plug in the headphone into the headphone jack it kills the RCA outputs outputs so when you want to listen to your speakers you have to unplug your headphones.
 

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