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Xonar DX/XD + Magni 3 + AKG k702

  1. Skeleth
    Hello dear readers.

    I kindly ask you for a help.
    I have Xonar DX for a few years. AKG 702 a month and today i finally got Magni 3.

    Here is a picture from Xonar DX manual (several pages connected together for better overview)
    manual link: https://www.manualslib.com/manual/1039812/Asus-Xonar-Dx.html?page=10#manual

    As you can see Magni can be connected to one of these slots:

    No.2 Headphone/Front Output Jack(rear panel) with a "built-in high quality amplifier"


    No.6 Front panel Audio (front of the case)

    I would love to know which one should i choose and why.
  2. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The Front Audio Panel connection can pick up noise that might be generated inside the case.
    So use the Headphone/Front Output jack.
    Max out the volume setting in the Windows controls and control volume using the Magni.
    So turn down the volume on the Magni, before maxing out the Windows volume.
  3. Skeleth
    Wont be the built-in amplifier on Headphone/Front Output jack causing problems ?
  4. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The Xonar DX does not have a headphone amplifier, it's only a line-output port, that also pretends to be a headphone jack.
  5. Skeleth
    I dont get it. Why would they write it in the manual then ?
  6. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    You can't even connect the Magni directly to No. 6, why would you consider that? And even if you do hook up the front panel connector first, that means you'd have to run the cable from the front or sides or top of the chassis, which will just keep getting in your way.

    You have to use No.2.

    A lot of things that are written are also unreliable, like anything written by...oh wait, can't write it here, Head-Fi forbids any mention of things that will start arguments, especially when it's not related to audio (even if I'm making a point about something related to audio, but I digress), so apparently I can't really make a point about this practice by soundcard manufacturers this way.

    So I'll try this one instead. Soundcard (and motherboard) manufacturers will also state that they have "Up to 600ohm Headphone amplifier!" That doesn't tell you that while the product can produce 500mW at 32ohms with only 0.01% combined noise and distortion, it's going to be at around 30mW at 600ohms at the same or near to 0.01% THD+N. You might be able to access more power, but by 50mW you could already be at 1% distortion and noise. If it otherwise sounds OK that's because they have High Gain - which they also label along the lines of "Pro G4M3R Ultimate P4Wn4g3 Ur M0M Wuz Fun QuAke5 the B3D L45T F0rTNite Mode (>120ohm Headphones)" (OK, that's an exaggeration, but they practically call it anything but plain "high gain mode" as on hi fi amplifiers, because they think that their target market are idiots who bangs every mom out there) - set really high, but that doesn't change how loud it can be before it clips on otherwise sane gain levels.

    That or it does have a headphone amp output stage, like two op-amps designed to drive headphones, and then assume that anybody connecting $200 Logitechs will not know there's a problem with the sound by using an amplified output for headphones.

    In other words, everything related to those soundcards including the manual are actually written by the Marketing Dept.
  7. Skeleth
    Thank you for your answers guys.

    Now we are getting to the second question.
    With this setup of mine i can use both Low and High gain settings on Magni.

    Should i prefer one of them or it doesnt really matter ?
  8. ProtegeManiac Contributor
    If you can get to your preferred volume level on low gain then might as well keep it there as high gain can sometimes make noise more audible.
  9. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Because it makes the Xonar DX sound like it has more features then it it does.
    Really any line-output jack can drive headphones in the 32-Ohm to 60-Ohm (which is most headphones), just not as well as a true headphone amplifier.
    The Xonar DX's headphone jack can drive headphones in the 32-Ohm to 150-Ohm range.
    Line-output jacks usualy have a high impedance (the DX's is 100-Ohms), which would give headphone sound a bloated (louder, less detailed) bass.
  10. Skeleth
    Got it.

    Thank you.

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