sound card with inbuit amp for beyer 880dt 600ohm
Jul 2, 2015 at 8:49 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 25

Emir

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Hi guys, I'm looking for a sound card that is also an amp that could drive my beyer headphones properly, I saw the Creative Sound Blaster Z, which says it can drive up to 600 ohm, but I've seen in forums it cannot drive 600 ohm properly.
 
If getting a sound card and a not inbuilt amp (like fiio 12) is a better option please tell me!
 
Please help me out!
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 11:21 AM Post #2 of 25

pifidelity

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At 600ohms, 96dB/mW sensitivity, I think you'd want an amp that does at least 25mW and 4Vrms (http://www.head-fi.org/a/headphone-power-calculator-spreadsheet). 
 
Schiit's Magni 2 should do you well I think, it's rated at 130mW @ 600ohms.
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 11:39 AM Post #4 of 25

pifidelity

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  ia there a sound card with inbuilt amp that could drive it?

 
It's hard to say, the power output specs for soundcards are definitely not as detailed as you would like, especially when comparing with amp manufacturers. I'll take a look around and let you know if I find anything. I'll also see if I can run some tests on my Essense ST (also has a built-in amp) if I get a chance later today.
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 11:39 AM Post #5 of 25

PurpleAngel

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  ia there a sound card with inbuilt amp that could drive it?

 
The Asus Essence/Phobus series or Creative SB-ZxR could decently drive 600-Ohm headphones.
What are you currently using to drive the DT880s?
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 11:45 AM Post #6 of 25

Emir

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Nothing. I connect them to the pc slot. That's why any improvement will be noticeable :)
Could you give me the exact name of the product?
Are you positive the Creative SB-ZxR can drive them? Does it have a better amp than creative sb-z (costs 4 times less)
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 12:22 PM Post #8 of 25

PurpleAngel

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  Nothing. I connect them to the pc slot. That's why any improvement will be noticeable :)
Could you give me the exact name of the product?
Are you positive the Creative SB-ZxR can drive them? Does it have a better amp than Creative SB-Z (costs 4 times less)

 
Asus Essence STX or ST or STX II
Creative Labs Sound Blaster ZxR
 
Technically the Sound Blaster Z can drive 600-Ohm headphones, but I doubt the SB-Z could bring out the best in 600-Ohm headphones.
 
How much could you budget for a sound card or external DAC amp?
 
Maybe even consider selling off the DT880 for headphones with a much lower Ohm rating?
Like Philip Fidelio series (only 30-Ohms)
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 12:34 PM Post #9 of 25

Emir

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I can spend up to 200-300 bucks, so the ZxR is affordable. Could it drive the the 600ohm beyer?
Also, I could exchange the 600 ohm version for a 250 ohm one. Should I do it? Do they have similar sound?
I use headphones mainly for watching movies, so a clear dialogue is important.
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 1:17 PM Post #10 of 25

cel4145

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If you have a $200 to $300 budget, get an external dac/headphone amp. That's the best choice to drive your new headphones.

For movies, Dolby Headphone virtual surround is nice, assuming you want virtual surround. You can get a Xonar DG or DGX sound card fairly cheap. Then get an external DAC/headphone amp that takes optical input. Connect it to the Xonar via optical, and you can still get the Dolby Headphone feature even though the external dac/headphone amp bypasses the DAC and analog output of the soundcard--so best of both worlds :)
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 5:05 PM Post #12 of 25

PurpleAngel

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  I think I might buy  the ZrX. Purpleangel, could you answer the questions I asked you before?

 
The question
Does the SB ZxR have a better headphone amplifier then the SB-Z?  
It should, the headphone amplifier chip the SB-ZxR uses is usually only used on higher end sound cards.
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 5:21 PM Post #13 of 25

Emir

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And the other questions?
 
"I can spend up to 200-300 bucks, so the ZxR is affordable. Could it drive the the 600ohm beyer?
Also, I could exchange the 600 ohm version for a 250 ohm one. Should I do it? Do they have similar sound?
I use headphones mainly for watching movies, so a clear dialogue is important"
 
Jul 2, 2015 at 5:39 PM Post #14 of 25

pifidelity

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It's hard to say, the power output specs for soundcards are definitely not as detailed as you would like, especially when comparing with amp manufacturers. I'll take a look around and let you know if I find anything. I'll also see if I can run some tests on my Essense ST (also has a built-in amp) if I get a chance later today.

 
 
Just to confirm a few things. 
 
I put my essence ST under a 600ohm load and measured about 6Vrms with my scope under it's highest gain mode (+18dB), that translates to about 60mW, enough for the 600ohm DT-880.
I'd think it's reasonable to assume the ZxR has similar power output. You should be OK with either card.
 
Probably didn't need this detail but I like to confirm things with numbers :)
 

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