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Old Jan 21, 2021, 07:52 PM   #1
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SuperGeil
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Headphones Audio Thread (DAC, Headphones, Speakers)

Being an amateur audiophile, I wanted to know about your setups as well as your goals.

After spending some good amount of time on the Sound BlasterX G6, I am more than impressed. Sound quality wise, I think it sounds just as good as DAC's 3x the cost. If you are all in on headphones, there is no reason in my opinion to consider any other DAC under $300.

Not sure what my end game is just yet. Probably should consider a subwoofer for my monitors.
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Old Jan 21, 2021, 10:11 PM   #2
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My speaker setup is listed in my specs. I also use that Focusrite to power my headphones, the R70x, and my UERMs.


They're all calibrated, and all sound pretty close to each other. I have no further needs or desires.


I've also compared them to setups with speakers where each one costs as much as a house. When calibrated, they sound about the same too.


Past a certain point, room treatment is more important than the speakers themselves.
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Old Jan 22, 2021, 02:10 AM   #3
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I don't have anything particularly impressive. Decent stuff, but relatively inexpensive compared to audiophile-level stuff. Everything sounds good and I didn't break the bank.

DAC: iFi Nano iDSD
Speakers: Emotiva Airmotiv 4s
Headphones: Sony MDR-7506

I'd consider getting a new DAC. I'm not even sure if I want to get a sub. The speakers do fine by themselves.

Audio stuff is tough. It's easy to spend a lot of money. And when I spend a lot of stuff I find I end up being disappointed. There are diminishing returns.
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Old Jan 22, 2021, 03:15 AM   #4
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I have EVGA NU Audio paired with Audio Technica ATH2000x.I run DSD stuff.
I prefered to invest in a small footprint audiophile like expensive sound card + high end headphones.
The speakers part is not such high end.The amplifier is an Onkyo a-9010 + Cambridge audio SX50 speakers.
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Old Jan 22, 2021, 08:11 AM   #5
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I'm looking at grabbing some Sennheiser HD6xx cans in the not so distant future. The DAC on my AE-5 is exceptional, and the amp quite powerful. It's strong enough that I stopped using my current AKG K7XX through my Schiit Magni 2 Uber. My desktop speakers are Klipsch 2.1 ProMedia, the god speakers that have stood the test of time.

I'm slowly working my way to a home theatre/music setup in my basement, so my desire for a PC audiophile setup has continued to dwindle.
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Old Jan 22, 2021, 11:40 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by metroidfox View Post
My speaker setup is listed in my specs. I also use that Focusrite to power my headphones, the R70x, and my UERMs
I don't see your specss
You use an audio interface as your DAC & headphone amp?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ugly View Post
I don't have anything particularly impressive. Decent stuff, but relatively inexpensive compared to audiophile-level stuff. Everything sounds good and I didn't break the bank.

DAC: iFi Nano iDSD
Speakers: Emotiva Airmotiv 4s
Headphones: Sony MDR-7506

I'd consider getting a new DAC. I'm not even sure if I want to get a sub. The speakers do fine by themselves.

Audio stuff is tough. It's easy to spend a lot of money. And when I spend a lot of stuff I find I end up being disappointed. There are diminishing returns.
You did good on the DAC and Headphones, no experience on the speakers. I would most likely pay for the Nano over the k5 Pro. I think it is worth it for sure.

The thing with DACs, they dimish in what they provide much quicker than headphones or speakers. at 150 you get a sizable jump in quality over onboard, but past 200, you are splitting hairs almost.
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Old Jan 22, 2021, 11:56 PM   #7
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I have EVGA NU Audio paired with Audio Technica ATH2000x.I run DSD stuff.
I prefered to invest in a small footprint audiophile like expensive sound card + high end headphones.
The speakers part is not such high end.The amplifier is an Onkyo a-9010 + Cambridge audio SX50 speakers.
That is super end game audio.
I mean you are set for life with the ''DAC'' and Headphones provided driver support.
Have you tried 1990's vs ATH 2000s?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nunz View Post
I'm looking at grabbing some Sennheiser HD6xx cans in the not so distant future. The DAC on my AE-5 is exceptional, and the amp quite powerful. It's strong enough that I stopped using my current AKG K7XX through my Schiit Magni 2 Uber. My desktop speakers are Klipsch 2.1 ProMedia, the god speakers that have stood the test of time.

I'm slowly working my way to a home theatre/music setup in my basement, so my desire for a PC audiophile setup has continued to dwindle.
Plus or normal AE5? The Sound blaster and NU audio stuff should be considerably better than most DAC's, even compared to DAC's above their price range considering all you are getting. Solid set up.
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Old Jan 23, 2021, 12:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperGeil View Post
I don't see your specss
You use an audio interface as your DAC & headphone amp?

Yeah.
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Old Jan 23, 2021, 05:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperGeil View Post
That is super end game audio.
I mean you are set for life with the ''DAC'' and Headphones provided driver support.
Have you tried 1990's vs ATH 2000s?



Plus or normal AE5? The Sound blaster and NU audio stuff should be considerably better than most DAC's, even compared to DAC's above their price range considering all you are getting. Solid set up.

I don't have problems with drivers.I run only stereo and headphones.I don't use EQ.
The evga new audio pro is even better made for headphone.I may buy that at some point.The choosing of ATh2000x was on purpose after seeing this reviews

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAw-lHLT9bk&t=3s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jU-VaMytd2k
I wanted highs and mids as detailed as possible.The sound stage is awesome.
DT1990 doesn't excel at that. Also the DT1990 has 250 ohm impedance.THe ATH2000x has 40 ohms.

Also i want to point out that i use analogue RCA inputs on the Nu Audio because the Onkyo a-9010 sounds much much better on analogue.This amplifier is the lowest end of Onkyo and the DAC is what it is at this price.
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Old Jan 23, 2021, 05:47 PM   #10
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Also the DT1990 has 250 ohm impedance.THe ATH2000x has 40 ohms.
I love Z reviews
What would the impedance bother you per say?
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Old Jan 23, 2021, 06:49 PM   #11
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Plus or normal AE5? The Sound blaster and NU audio stuff should be considerably better than most DAC's, even compared to DAC's above their price range considering all you are getting. Solid set up.
Normal AE-5. I don't think the "plus" existed when I purchased it, or at least I didn't know that was a thing.

I had the ATH-AD1000X. Those were my first ever pair of cans I purchased myself with the purpose of going after high-end sound quality. I was rather disappointed with them; while the highs and mids are really bright and shine, the lows are so terribly bad that they feel empty with any type of music that uses bass; I primarily listen to metal (Megadeth, Pantera, Judas Priest, Ozzy, etc etc). Even for gaming, while footsteps sounded clear, the booming of explosives was just a sound, not a feeling. I then went with the AKG+Massdrop K7XX, which definitely have a bit better lows, but retain the showcased mids and highs. I also found the AD1000X terribly uncomfortable.

I'm really looking forward to my next can upgrade. I'm due for one; I've had these K7XX for at least five years, and they've gotten beat up over time. I've moved three times with these damn things
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Old Jan 23, 2021, 11:03 PM   #12
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Sound Blaster Titanium HD and Sony MDR 7506 is all I use for computer audio.
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Old Jan 23, 2021, 11:27 PM   #13
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Really like the variety of people's headphones in this thread.
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 01:06 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nunz View Post
Normal AE-5. I don't think the "plus" existed when I purchased it, or at least I didn't know that was a thing.

I had the ATH-AD1000X. Those were my first ever pair of cans I purchased myself with the purpose of going after high-end sound quality. I was rather disappointed with them; while the highs and mids are really bright and shine, the lows are so terribly bad that they feel empty with any type of music that uses bass; I primarily listen to metal (Megadeth, Pantera, Judas Priest, Ozzy, etc etc). Even for gaming, while footsteps sounded clear, the booming of explosives was just a sound, not a feeling. I then went with the AKG+Massdrop K7XX, which definitely have a bit better lows, but retain the showcased mids and highs. I also found the AD1000X terribly uncomfortable.

I'm really looking forward to my next can upgrade. I'm due for one; I've had these K7XX for at least five years, and they've gotten beat up over time. I've moved three times with these damn things
The ATH2000x is kinda the oposite.There are not bassy.The bass is there but is much more subtle.I encourage you to try them.One of the Z-reviews that i posted above have both of them head to head.What he said about 2000x is true.Gaming with 2000x is so delicious.The soundstage is awesome and the sound details are so rich.
I also have ATH-M50 that are closed heaphones and there is plenty of bass.Not my liking for what music i listen.
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 01:13 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperGeil View Post
I love Z reviews
What would the impedance bother you per say?

When i see high impedance i have to take in consideration if i can drive them.The funny thing is even if the soundcards say that they support impedance up to a certain point i read that in some cases using a headphone dedicated amp is still necesary to pull all the details out and be punchy.
With the 2000x at 40 ohms i can drive them with my FIio M6 too.
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 01:38 AM   #16
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Glad to hear such nice things about the AE-5 and Audiotechica's AD series. Been consider the AE-5 and the Audio-Technica ATH-AD900X's. Because the Xtrememusic is ancient at this point and I don't think I've owned a pair of open back headphones

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Old Jan 24, 2021, 08:22 AM   #17
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I would not recommend the AD900X for the reasons I posted above. Check out the Sennheiser+Massdrop HD6XX or AKG+Massdrop K7XX. I'm a big fan of the Massdrop headphones as it's the exact same build as the HD650s and K712, just significantly cheaper. You're getting $500+ dollar cans for $200.
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 08:42 AM   #18
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I’m running the venerable Sound Blaster Z paired with the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pros 250 ohm. I’m dumping the sound card for a Schiit Fulla 3.
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 08:45 AM   #19
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at my desk i use my denon avr 2808 receiver via spdif with an old set of logitech 5.1 speakers

when its piped thru to the tv its a yamaha 7.1.2 setup via hdmi with a mix of paradign, vegas and energy speakers
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 08:54 AM   #20
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I’m running the venerable Sound Blaster Z paired with the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pros 250 ohm. I’m dumping the sound card for a Schiit Fulla 3.
I think you'll see quite an improvement. I wouldn't want to run high ohm cans off of a discrete sound-card; I just don't think these amps are meant for it, even if they say they can technically drive it. I love Schiit products! They make great stuff and priced quite fairly.
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 09:00 AM   #21
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Normal AE-5. I don't think the "plus" existed when I purchased it, or at least I didn't know that was a thing.

I had the ATH-AD1000X. Those were my first ever pair of cans I purchased myself with the purpose of going after high-end sound quality. I was rather disappointed with them; while the highs and mids are really bright and shine, the lows are so terribly bad that they feel empty with any type of music that uses bass; I primarily listen to metal (Megadeth, Pantera, Judas Priest, Ozzy, etc etc). Even for gaming, while footsteps sounded clear, the booming of explosives was just a sound, not a feeling. I then went with the AKG+Massdrop K7XX, which definitely have a bit better lows, but retain the showcased mids and highs. I also found the AD1000X terribly uncomfortable.

I'm really looking forward to my next can upgrade. I'm due for one; I've had these K7XX for at least five years, and they've gotten beat up over time. I've moved three times with these damn things
Interesting, I heard nothing but good things about ATH and game accuracy. But ya, I'm not a big fan of open back for music, or movies. For games and mixing, they are nice. I would probably prefer semi-closed back above all else.

Mass Drops can be hard to find since they are crowd sourced bought in bulk headphones. But highly recommended.
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 09:11 AM   #22
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Don't get me wrong, the cans were fantastic for game accuracy in the sense that the incredibly wide sound-stage makes it easy to pinpoint locations, and because of the empty bass and bright mids, you can hear footsteps over anything else; however there's just no oomph to the cans and that's where I disliked them. Playing games like Battlefield or Hell Let Loose with explosions and **** all around you and there's really no response from the cans was very disappointing to me.

I like open-back for music as well mainly because the more open sound-stage makes live concert recordings sound much more "immersive", at least to me.

If I could have it my way, I'd have 20 different pairs of cans to choose from sitting in my basement
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 09:13 AM   #23
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I’m running the venerable Sound Blaster Z paired with the Beyerdynamic DT 770 Pros 250 ohm. I’m dumping the sound card for a Schiit Fulla 3.
I would consider the G6 for 30ish more. Very good virtual surround sound and direct mode for non-gaming is high quality as well. The DNR is superior. The amp is powerful as well.
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 09:17 AM   #24
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at my desk i use my denon avr 2808 receiver via spdif with an old set of logitech 5.1 speakers
This screams late 2000's to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nunz View Post
Don't get me wrong, the cans were fantastic for game accuracy in the sense that the incredibly wide sound-stage makes it easy to pinpoint locations, and because of the empty bass and bright mids, you can hear footsteps over anything else; however there's just no oomph to the cans and that's where I disliked them. Playing games like Battlefield or Hell Let Loose with explosions and **** all around you and there's really no response from the cans was very disappointing to me.

I like open-back for music as well mainly because the more open sound-stage makes live concert recordings sound much more "immersive", at least to me.

If I could have it my way, I'd have 20 different pairs of cans to choose from sitting in my basement
Ja there is no one set of headphones. I think that is what makes Audio so interesting to me.
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 01:02 PM   #25
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This is my setup, and end game status for me. The cleanest, and most pure audio you can get....

Schiit Audio Modius Dac + Asgard 3 amp into a pair of Beyerdynamic DT1990 Pro's. I did a pad swap on the 1990's to a set of Dekoni Elite Hybrid. The most detailed, and superb imaging on these. I've owned a ton of headphones now, and I ended up selling almost everything after hearing the DT 1990's (AKG K7xx, HD58x, Monoprice M1060's, etc.), they made everything else sound like ****. They easily rival headphones twice their price. For desktop speakers, I'm running Edifier R1850DB paired with a 10" Dayton Audio sub, all coming out of the Modius. The Asgard 3 is the most powerful single ended headphone amp you can get currently, I believe until you go balanced.





Until I possibly start spending upwards of thousands of dollars, it doesn't get any better than this audio wise for desktop.

Last edited by Ghastlyone : Jan 24, 2021 at 01:10 PM.
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 01:40 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by SuperGeil View Post
This screams late 2000's to me.



Ja there is no one set of headphones. I think that is what makes Audio so interesting to me.
it def is, receiver is from 2008 and speakers are from 09-10 if i recall
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 02:23 PM   #27
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I actually just switched up my setup

soundcard creative G6 > spdif to Fiio BTA5 > drop panda bluetooth headphones (using LDAC)

for mic audient evo 4 > mxl 700 (currently debating an upgrade as I have had this mic for over a decade)

when I feel like using wired headphones I use a set of audio technica MDR7b
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 03:02 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghastlyone View Post
This is my setup, and end game status for me. The cleanest, and most pure audio you can get....

Until I possibly start spending upwards of thousands of dollars, it doesn't get any better than this audio wise for desktop.
German Engineering. I'm for sure getting a pair of DT1990's now. I was on the fence with a couple of others.


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Originally Posted by Gandalfthewhite View Post
I actually just switched up my setup

soundcard creative G6 > spdif to Fiio BTA5 > drop panda bluetooth headphones (using LDAC)

for mic audient evo 4 > mxl 700 (currently debating an upgrade as I have had this mic for over a decade)

when I feel like using wired headphones I use a set of audio technica MDR7b
Another G6.
For MIC I use a Steller X2 into a Art Tube MP into a BBE 282ix. This is not for games, this is for work. For warm but detailed clean pronunciation, this is perfect for my needs. The BBE is my secret weapon.
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 04:07 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by SuperGeil View Post
I would consider the G6 for 30ish more. Very good virtual surround sound and direct mode for non-gaming is high quality as well. The DNR is superior. The amp is powerful as well.
That was my other choice. Both are on the way. The loser gets returned.

I should have added I paired the Beyerdynes with a modmic kit to make them a headset. A DAC with a mic input is preferable.

Wow, the G6 gets a lot of love from reviewers.
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Old Jan 24, 2021, 04:21 PM   #30
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Wow, the G6 gets a lot of love from reviewers.
Main reason I got them. The spec sheet is overkill, but I could not argue with what people were saying. The Sound Blaster connect software is what really puts the icing on this gives your headphones a big advantage over other dacs just because all the things you can do with the software for games and movies.

Go direct for music though. The SBX (effects mode) kills music, but awesome for movies and games.

What shocked me the most, was that creatives drivers/software is actually giving them an advantage today. 5 years ago, I would have said bs.
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