Which headphones/equipment for X-Fi?
Jul 18, 2008 at 11:28 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2


New Head-Fier
Jul 15, 2008
Hey all,

I have researched a lot into headphones and sound cards and I'm really lost now. I'm building a new rig for games/movies/producing so I'm going to be throwing an X-Fi card in the machine. I also want to buy a nice pair of headphones (not too expensive but good for producing/music) which I want to hook up to the X-Fi.

The problem is, from what I've read, you need a headphone amp to get the best results out of these high-end headphones when plugging them into a PC Sound Card. I was considering in purchasing the X-Fi elite pro as apparently it has higher quality dacs than the other models. My productions involve a lot of heavy VSTi & VST use, so I'm guessing the better dacs I have in my system, the better sounds I will produce as a result?

Now I was looking at the Sennheisser 555/595's and the AKG 240S/701.. but really I need to stick around the $200 - $250 mark for headphones at this point. How loud will the sound be hooked up thru the x-fi elite? and will it make a difference as to whether its plugged into the elite box or the back port on the sound card itself? I've read that PC Sound cards just don't cut it for high-end phones.

I've read that you can get USB/amp dacs to use for high-end headphones & quality music listening. Would this alter the quality in production tho when creating a track using vsti/vsts with the Elite Pro dacs? The way I understand it is that basically the usb dac becomes a filter where the sound comes out from your sound card into the usb dacs and then from there to your headphones (basically bypassing the sound card). Will the end result (the finished track being rendered, still be processed by the Elite pro DACS?)

I'm sorry if I don't make much sense.. I'm only really just starting to get into this audio stuff as I want my productions/music to sound better, and I need to know what the hell I'm doing before I make a purchase lol. Unfortunately I don't have much of a budget, so there's not much I can do about this at this time.

So far my plan was basically to spend $420.00 on an x-fi elite pro (I know its not a semi-pro card for music, but I need it for games.)

and around $200 - $250 on headphones

So my budget all up including sound card & headphones is basically $670.

So to summarize it all up:

a) it must be good for gaming
b) it must be good for producing music with heavy vsti/vst use.
c) it must be able to power a set of decent quality headphones for producing/mixing.

$600 - $700 bux just ain't going to cover this is it? heh.

All suggestions welcome, and sorry about so many posts regarding all this stuff, I just keep finding out new information, and need to make sure I make the right purchase(s) for my needs.

Thanks so much guys!

P.S - I'm going to ring the guys over at Headphonic | Australian Headphone Specialists: Buy Etymotic, Alessandro, Audio Technica, Ultimate Ears, Talisman, Meier Audio and more tomorrow as well and see what they have to say about all of this.

Matty B.

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