Questions about HD650
Jun 29, 2009 at 8:38 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 22

Flouse

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Hi guys, I have a few questions about the Sennheiser HD650. Now I know that there have been many posts about this before, but I have some specific needs and questions not completely covered in previous threads.

So anyways, I tried out these cans at a friend's place last week and was absolutely blown away listening to classical music and jazz.

Currently, I'm listening to music mainly on my computer using a Creative XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro sound cord, through a pair of old yamaha headphones. I'd like to get the HD650 to listen mainly to classical music, jazz, and occasionally rock music (mostly in FLAC or wma). However, the other thing I use my headphones for at home is for gaming.

My question is, how is the HD650 for gaming? Music is still my main use for headphones, but I would like the HD650 to be at least decent for gaming. Additionally, I know that I should be using a headphone amp and possibly a better sound card. Are there any recommendations for the things that go between my computer motherboard and the headphones? I'm willing to scrap the XtremeGamer for something better as long as both music and gaming are taken care of. The headphone amp I tried at my friend's place was well over $600, and I would prefer headphone amp/sound card to be under $3-400 total.

Thanks
 
Jun 29, 2009 at 8:42 AM Post #2 of 22

.Sup

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check out audioGD compass
HD650s should be great for gaming as they are very comfy. I use HD555s for gaming.
 
Jun 29, 2009 at 8:45 AM Post #3 of 22

parhelictriangle

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RE: your second question; for music I'd recommended forgetting about "sound cards." You'd probably get the best performance out of the HD650s with a good DAC and amplifier combo. The DAC will essentially replace the internal sound card of your computer, extracting the bits and converting them to a clean and properly-leveled analog signal to feed the headphone amp.

There are also plenty of DAC/amp combo units on the market--take a look both the computer-as-source and headphone amp forums.

Never tried my 650s for any serious gaming, sorry. Come to think of it, I haven't done any serious gaming since the great Starcraft Addiction of Ninety-eight.
 
Jun 29, 2009 at 10:31 AM Post #4 of 22

paaj

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HD650 is perfect for gaming. No worries there. You may want to think about an amp though. 0404USB is a nice DAC/AMP combo to get it started.
 
Jun 29, 2009 at 11:57 AM Post #5 of 22

NikZ

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I game a lot with the HD650. Mostly FPS. IMO HD650 sounds very polite in FPS games.
Everything trying too kill you sounds pleasant. No ear piercing bullet whistles or explosions.
Everything is so smoooooth. It's almost like a picnic. That's why I use HD650 for gaming.
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Jun 29, 2009 at 3:43 PM Post #6 of 22

feifan

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Quote:

Originally Posted by parhelictriangle /img/forum/go_quote.gif
RE: your second question; for music I'd recommended forgetting about "sound cards." You'd probably get the best performance out of the HD650s with a good DAC and amplifier combo. The DAC will essentially replace the internal sound card of your computer, extracting the bits and converting them to a clean and properly-leveled analog signal to feed the headphone amp.

There are also plenty of DAC/amp combo units on the market--take a look both the computer-as-source and headphone amp forums.

Never tried my 650s for any serious gaming, sorry. Come to think of it, I haven't done any serious gaming since the great Starcraft Addiction of Ninety-eight.



x2 -- computer as source > USB > DAC > Amp (or DAC/Amp) > HD650
 
Jun 29, 2009 at 6:26 PM Post #8 of 22

s4nder

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Quote:

Originally Posted by parhelictriangle /img/forum/go_quote.gif
For music I'd recommended forgetting about "sound cards."


Why? You can get very decent sound cards made by Auzentech, Asus or ESI for lower prices and with better components than external DACs.
 
Jun 29, 2009 at 6:39 PM Post #10 of 22

charliex

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Quote:

Originally Posted by fluffygdog95 /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Sound cards have their limits though. They must conform to a size limit. External DACs can be as big as two phonebooks stacked on top of eachother. This leaves room for lots of goodies.


What the hell does that mean? You're saying that if I get an external DAC the size of helicopter landing platform, it will be better?

PS - Outside of the Compass, what are we supposed to be looking at in your signature???
 
Jun 29, 2009 at 7:57 PM Post #11 of 22

Flouse

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Hey guys, thanks for the responses, especially so fast!

I've looked at some older posts and I see a lot of recommendations for the Little Dot MKII+ / MKIII, as people are saying they go well with the HD650, especially given their price; has anybody tried using these for audio outside of music (games/movies) and if so, what is a good DAC to go with it?

Also, the other option I see is to go with something like the ASUS Xonar STX or another sound card with a built in headphone amp, although there seems to be some mixed opinion with regards to if they can drive the HD650 properly. The STX probably won't be able to compete with equipment over say, $1000, but how will it compare to using a Little Dot/DAC or 0404 or Compass?

Finally, I guess I could get a box with both DAC and amp in it, like the suggested 0404USB or Compass.

What do you guys think (keep in mind that I have a gaming use as well as a music use for the headphones)? I'd like to hear more suggestions and opinions, they are very helpful.

Additionally, I think this might be a noob question, but how much does the choice of DAC depend on the format of the audio? I use FLAC and wma a lot, does that matter?
 
Jun 29, 2009 at 11:48 PM Post #12 of 22

Flouse

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Hey, I have heard that the Xonar is a pretty good source. Does it seem to be a good idea to get the Xonar STX and HD650 right now and use the Xonar STX's onboard amp for the time present, and then when I have more $ in the future, upgrade to using a better external headphone amp and simply use the Xonar as a source?
 
Jun 30, 2009 at 12:15 AM Post #13 of 22

fluffygdog95

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Quote:

Originally Posted by charliex /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What the hell does that mean? You're saying that if I get an external DAC the size of helicopter landing platform, it will be better?

PS - Outside of the Compass, what are we supposed to be looking at in your signature???



I was simply saying that with an external DAC there is more room for components. More room means space for chips and power filters and a lot of stuff I do not understand.

What was to be looked at in my signature was that Flouse has heard the hd650s and has inquired about the Compass. I was showing that I have those exact components with my computer as my source. This would make my statement of "the hd650s with the Compass are great for music and gaming" not a "from what I have heard," but actual first hand knowledge. I am sorry I may have offended you and provoked a harsh remark, but I was just trying to put some information out there to help Flouse. Which is the whole point of this thread. :]

Flouse,

If this was not made clear earlier by me, I believe the hd650 headphones when paired with the Compass DAC/amp would make you very happy and fufill many of your desires. If you would like to learn more about the Compass you can look in the amplifier section of this forum for the Compass thread. In this thread are links to information and also very knowlegable people on any questions you may ask. You will find out that the Compass is very flexible and also a great value. I assume you do not need any direction with the hd650 as you have shown that you have some information on that already.

This is all taken heed purely by your choice.

Thanks!
biggrin.gif
 
Jun 30, 2009 at 2:54 AM Post #14 of 22

Flouse

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Ah, I see what you are saying, but I do notice that I could get the STX for less than half the price of the compass right now (I see it on sale for $150 at a local joint).

All I'm wondering about is it I can simply use the STX for now (with the amp built-in), save a few bucks in the meantime, and then possibly splurge on a much better external amp (possibly getting a more expensive $500+ setup) in a few years, retaining the STX as the source. Does using the STX in this fashion really do that much to undermine the quality of the HD650? I keep hearing good things about it from some people this forum and elsewhere. What I want to do right now really is to get a feel for higher quality audio, and I thought that the HD650 would be a good place to start.
 
Jun 30, 2009 at 4:45 AM Post #15 of 22

olblueyez

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Quote:

Originally Posted by charliex /img/forum/go_quote.gif
What the hell does that mean? You're saying that if I get an external DAC the size of helicopter landing platform, it will be better?

PS - Outside of the Compass, what are we supposed to be looking at in your signature???



Translated for you it means there isnt one single sound card on the market that will amp the 650 properly. Got it?
 

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