Recommendations for Sound Cards for HD 598's?
Jun 4, 2013 at 11:00 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

funxion

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As per the title, can anyone recommend sound cards for the HD 598's?
 
I'm looking at the ASUS Xonar DG and DX cards, but I really don't want to spend too much, so I'm leaning toward the DG. Is the DG going to lack anything since it's PCI and not PCIe like the DX?
 
Jun 5, 2013 at 4:34 PM Post #3 of 15

LegendX48

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iirc the xonar DX is the pci-e version of the D1 not the DG. That aside I can't really say much for either, I've used the DX before but only for about a day or less, can't really recall. All I remember was being extremely disappointed with it (used it with a pair of Sennheiser HD 448s) because the sound quality wasn't on par with that of the onboard sound on my now 4 year old HP laptop. 
 
Jun 5, 2013 at 8:46 PM Post #5 of 15

LegendX48

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I wouldn't put much weight into my opinion on the DX though, as I said I used the thing for less than a day lol
 
Unfortunately I can't recommend anything as I'm in the same situation as you right now except I have the HD 558 instead and I've been looking at stuff like the asus xonar essence stx and (after asking in a thread) the aune t1 amp/dac but both are well over $150
 
this thread http://www.head-fi.org/t/628167/sennheiser-hd-558-gaming-music-amp-dac-burn-in may help a little, I know its geared more toward the 558 but the 598 has the same drivers and impedance and such. This thread as well http://www.head-fi.org/t/650744/essense-st-stx-worth-it-dg-sennheiser-598-at-the-minute
 
You may want to take a look at the HD 598 appreciation thread as well but there's a ton to read >.> http://www.head-fi.org/t/541039/sennheiser-hd-598-appreciation-thread/1680 
 
Jun 5, 2013 at 9:18 PM Post #6 of 15

funxion

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I mean I'm not really too interested in fine-tweaking and getting too involved in the audiophile stuff. I just want a sound card with an amp that has Dolby Headphone so I can use the HD 598's for gaming and music.
 
Edit: I think the Essence is a little too much for me. I just want something simple that will give me a noticeable change from on-board audio and allow me to utilize Dolby's virtual surround sound.
 
Jun 5, 2013 at 9:50 PM Post #7 of 15

cel4145

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The Xonar DX/D1 do have pretty good sound output, but they don't work very well with headphones. There's no headphone amp in them. It's really just a line out. You need a headphone amp to connect to them.

So with headphones, you either to have go with the entry level DG/DGX or the higher models ST/STX in the Xonar line to get a built in headphone amp. Many people find that the DG/DGX is an upgrade over onboard audio, but not everyone. It really depends on how crappy the audio implementation is on your computer.
 
Jun 5, 2013 at 10:00 PM Post #8 of 15

funxion

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Quote:
The Xonar DX/D1 do have pretty good sound output, but they don't work very well with headphones. There's no headphone amp in them. It's really just a line out. You need a headphone amp to connect to them.

So with headphones, you either to have go with the entry level DG/DGX or the higher models ST/STX in the Xonar line to get a built in headphone amp. Many people find that the DG/DGX is an upgrade over onboard audio, but not everyone. It really depends on how crappy the audio implementation is on your computer.

Alright, so of those two, do you have a preference? Or is the only difference is PCI and PCIe, so whatever is accessible is what I should get?
 
I don't really know how amps work or how much they are, so to get one on top of the $90 I'd be spending for a DX, wouldn't it make more sense to just get a DG/DGX?
 
Jun 5, 2013 at 10:16 PM Post #9 of 15

Logistics

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Maybe you should just get a basic card that supports dolby and dts, like an audigy 2 iirc, and then see this thread:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/590296/headphone-amp-under-100-to-drive-50ohm-headphones
 
Jun 5, 2013 at 10:25 PM Post #10 of 15

funxion

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Quote:
Maybe you should just get a basic card that supports dolby and dts, like an audigy 2 iirc, and then see this thread:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/590296/headphone-amp-under-100-to-drive-50ohm-headphones

I'd rather get it all-in-one if possible...
 
What basic card do you know of that has Dolby Headphone and DTS?
 
If I have to spend more and go with something like the Xi-Fi Titanium HD's, I don't mind if it's really worth the jump in price.
 
Jun 6, 2013 at 4:53 AM Post #11 of 15

Magiv9

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I know you said the STX may be expensive but I've been using mine for about 2 years now and is still working great.
I just had a look at the DG and DGX and TBH, I wouldn't buy it at all and just use the pc onboard sound card for the HD598, I don't even know where my x-fi xtreme gamer is but it never broke and is somewhere collecting dust.
 
if possible, save for the ST/STX.
It has a dedicated 1/4 headphone amplifier if you ever decide to upgrade your headphones in the future and the additional coaxial output was something I 'never' planned on using but am doing so right now, along with the line in to record ps3 audio etc.
It's just an all round good solution with the normal, high gain and extra high gain setting for headphones up to 600ohms.
I'm not saying it would drive 600ohm headphones perfectly but 'volume wise', it can pretty much power any headphones you plug into it.
 
If you're planning on using 5.1 speakers etc, then maybe not the card for you.
 
Jun 6, 2013 at 9:50 AM Post #12 of 15

funxion

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I'd be using it with headphones and 2.1 speakers. I may go with it, but the price is a little hefty. If I can get one for around $140-150, I'm going to snatch it.

Basically my dilemma is should I buy a cheap DG just for the Dolby Headphone to convert my HD 598's or buy the STX for a lot more, but concurrently upgrading my overall audio quality.
 
Jun 9, 2013 at 12:43 PM Post #14 of 15

Arsis

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It's not a card but the Fiio E10 is an excellent match for the 598. Only $75. I find the bass boost switch to be just right for those cans.
 
Jun 9, 2013 at 12:49 PM Post #15 of 15

cel4145

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I'd be using it with headphones and 2.1 speakers.


The STX would be the better choice than the Titanium HD for that. I might be wrong, but I believe from what I have read that when you plug in either the headphones (or it might be the speakers), the THD shuts down output to the other automatically, and it can be a hassle with the jacks on the back of your computer to plug and unplug. No software control for this.

The STX has separate RCA jacks for line out (speakers) and a full sized headphone plug on the back, and it has a software control panel that hangs out in the sys tray. To switch output between the speakers and headphones, you just open up the Xonar panel and change one menu item.
 

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