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Senn HD598 amp/DAC/sound card help? (First Headphones)

  1. ZachFacee
    Christmas is coming up and i'm really looking forward to getting my first quality headphones and becoming a audiophile!
    So basically I have decided on getting the Senn HD598 as my first headphones. I would be using these for gaming, Skype, movies, and especially music. I know that these headphones are bass heavy, and I wouldn't consider my self a bass head either; however, I think i'm looking for a amp/DAC that would help the bass a bit more while keeping the sound stage and good mid.
    Because i'm using these for multiple purposes, what do I need for these cans?
    Is a sound card my first priority for a multi-use purpose?
    What amp/dac combo should I get, with or without the soundcard?
    Is an Amp alone good for the Senns, or does a DAC make a big difference?
    Besides the headphones, I would put around a $150~ budget. Ive seen some things I want, but do not know much about it. The HIFIMAN - EF-2A look good.
    I know i'm leaving out a lot of information, so if you could please ask more questions to see what I actually need that I would be happy to answer :xf_eek:)
    Over all, I just want the HD598 and would like some affordable recommendations for a amp, amp/dac, or a sound card.
  2. ZachFacee
    Forgot to mention this is for desktop/non-mobile use. 
  3. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z (SB1500, retail box) is $100.
    Comes with a CS4398 DAC chip :) and a headphone amplifier.
  4. ZachFacee
    I looked this up and found mixed reviews, is this the best approach for my situation (i don't even know if I need a soundcard) or would a slightly more pricey one be better? Ive heard tube amps are good with senns, but if I need a soundcard then I would gladly take this, Just making sure i'm getting the best.
  5. PurpleAngel Contributor
    An Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used $60) and a Schiit Magni headphone amplifier, new $99, should provide some nice sound quality.
    The Xonar DX/D1 comes with a CS4398 DAC chip :) and the Magni has a very low impedance :)
    But the HD598 is not a bassy headphone, no matter how much you spend on a DAC or headphone amplifier, it will not make the HD598 a "Bassy" headphone, I think you will find it has a decent bass, more like just enough to do the job.
  6. ZachFacee
    Thank you very much :xf_eek:
    I'm aware that the HD598 are not bassy, and that's exactly what I want, but with a little bass enhancement for some genres of music I think would be nice.  
    I'm really looking forward to discovering the world of audio and becoming an audiophile and thank you for your help on what to get for my new Senns. 

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