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Soundcard with headphone amp? (250 Ohms)

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by Kalsten, Nov 21, 2018.
  1. Kalsten
    Hi all,

    I am considering on getting a pair of Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro (250 Ohm), mostly for playing, as I am looking for something comfortable and open (I am using Grado sr225i right now, but they are super uncomfortable).

    I am afraid that the audio of my motherboard is not enough (Asus Z-170K) to power those headphones, so I am considering getting a dedicated soundcard that has a headphone amp. I don't want to break the bank, as it is mostly to play games. For music (and play guitar) I use a pair of JBL studio monitors connected to an external soundcard Line 6 UX1.

    I prefer something around the 50-70€ if possible.

  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    I own the DT990, but think the Soundmagic HP200 is a better headphone.
    Get the HP200 and plug it into the UX1, see if can drive it (well enough), before buying a sound card.
    For a sound card, try finding a good deal on a used Sound Blaster Z.
  3. Kalsten
    Thanks. The problem with the UX1 is that it does not allow me to have sound through the monitors or through the headphones, so that's a bummer. What I do know is, when I play, I change the sound in Windows to the onboard sound, and when I want monitors, to the UX1.

    I am considering to look for the DT990 32 Ohms version, but they seem more expensive and difficult to find. I am not looking for other headphones, as I want the dt990 because they are very comfortable.
  4. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    Grados aren't too hard to drive. At worst the motherboard might just have a high enough output impedance, which, despite what many people here say about how it's not much of a problem with a really easy load like Grados, I've had a NAD amplifier that made them sound like tin cans (can still get really loud though) and an OTL tube amp that made the bass wobbly.

    Problem is, other than the Sound Blaster X AE-5, everything has a high output impedance. You'll basically be gambling on which of the above examples you'll end up getting, which is probably the same thing you have with it now.

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