Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Best sound card for headphones
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Best sound card for headphones

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
So, I'm looking at sound cards. I'll be primarily using them for med-high end headphones, so I'm wondering what would be the best primarily for gaming and music.

I'm considering the Xonar Essence STX, but thats 3 years old now and I'm wondering if theres anything newer out that I should also take a look at.

I'll be primarily using it for gaming/music.

Also, is there going to be a tangible difference in sound quality (worth the 160 dollar STX), when going from the latest realtek ALC892 onboard audio controller? I know its come a long way.

I have Denon AH-D1001's but I'm thinking about upgrading my headphones too. What should I upgrade to for the best gaming audio?
No Explosion!
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 2600K @ 5.1Ghz ASUS P8P67 EVO Asus GTX 580 + GTX 580 DirectCU II Corsair Vengeance 8G CL8 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25 80gb Win7 Ultimate BenQ XL2410T, HP ZR24W Blackwidow Ultimate 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Enermax Revolution 85+ 950W Silverstone FT02 Black (no window) Death Adder BE 9HD 
  hide details  
Reply
No Explosion!
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 2600K @ 5.1Ghz ASUS P8P67 EVO Asus GTX 580 + GTX 580 DirectCU II Corsair Vengeance 8G CL8 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25 80gb Win7 Ultimate BenQ XL2410T, HP ZR24W Blackwidow Ultimate 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Enermax Revolution 85+ 950W Silverstone FT02 Black (no window) Death Adder BE 9HD 
  hide details  
Reply
post #2 of 39
There's also HT Omega Claro Halo w/ built in amp (if you need it that is).
If your cans don't require an amp to drive them there's no need though, you coudl just save yoruself a few bucks and get a real amp when you need it.

EDIT:

Your current cans don't have very high resistance (32 Ohm), you don't really need an amp to drive them.
Edited by candy_van - 6/10/11 at 12:41pm
Stugots III
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 4.5GHz ASUS Maximus V Gene EVGA GTX 1060 SC 2x8GB G.Skill 2133MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
250GB 850-EVO | 1TB EZEX | 2TB F4 It BURNS! H100i | NB Pros Windows 10 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung S27H850QFN Filco Majestouch I Seasonic X-560w Fractal Arc Mini R2 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech G502 Corsair MM300 HT Omega eClaro SHURE SRH-840 | Audioengine A2+S8 
  hide details  
Reply
Stugots III
(16 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K @ 4.5GHz ASUS Maximus V Gene EVGA GTX 1060 SC 2x8GB G.Skill 2133MHz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
250GB 850-EVO | 1TB EZEX | 2TB F4 It BURNS! H100i | NB Pros Windows 10 Pro x64 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Samsung S27H850QFN Filco Majestouch I Seasonic X-560w Fractal Arc Mini R2 
MouseMouse PadAudioAudio
Logitech G502 Corsair MM300 HT Omega eClaro SHURE SRH-840 | Audioengine A2+S8 
  hide details  
Reply
post #3 of 39
The STX is probably the best soundcard for music out there atm. You should definitely hear a difference from onboard. You'll really appreciate it with higher impedance/lower sensitivity 'phones. I have the D2000s and they simply could not be driven by my onboard (same chipset as yours), and they are only 32 ohms.

Do you like the Denon's sound signature? Are there any areas you wish they would do better?
post #4 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman23 View Post
The STX is probably the best soundcard for music out there atm. You should definitely hear a difference from onboard. You'll really appreciate it with higher impedance/lower sensitivity 'phones. I have the D2000s and they simply could not be driven by my onboard (same chipset as yours), and they are only 32 ohms.

Do you like the Denon's sound signature? Are there any areas you wish they would do better?
Sorry how do you have the same realtek controller? I thought they put an updated one on the P8P67 boards. ALC892 is supposedly a significant improvement over the previous gen. I could be totally wrong though, just what I heard.

I do like the Denon sound, but to be honest I don't have much to compare it to. The only other audio I have currently is the Sennheiser 555's and I hate them.

The one thing I guess I would like is maybe a fuller sound with more Bass, but I can't complain too much.

Also, I hear that Windows 7 and sound cards do not get along all that well. Has this been fixed? or is it still an issue.
No Explosion!
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 2600K @ 5.1Ghz ASUS P8P67 EVO Asus GTX 580 + GTX 580 DirectCU II Corsair Vengeance 8G CL8 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25 80gb Win7 Ultimate BenQ XL2410T, HP ZR24W Blackwidow Ultimate 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Enermax Revolution 85+ 950W Silverstone FT02 Black (no window) Death Adder BE 9HD 
  hide details  
Reply
No Explosion!
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 2600K @ 5.1Ghz ASUS P8P67 EVO Asus GTX 580 + GTX 580 DirectCU II Corsair Vengeance 8G CL8 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25 80gb Win7 Ultimate BenQ XL2410T, HP ZR24W Blackwidow Ultimate 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Enermax Revolution 85+ 950W Silverstone FT02 Black (no window) Death Adder BE 9HD 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 39
I've got an ALC889. Your ALC892 is basically an 889 that can encode audio in DTS on the fly.

I've had two STX and a small assortment of other sound sources and haven't heard a difference worth anywhere near what I paid. On top of that, the STX is a bit of a gamble if you plan on setting it to 44.1KHz like you should. At 44.1KHz with certain headphones, it'll give you white noise.

That said, I've only listened with JVC HA-RX700s (and AD700s but they're junk), so maybe your headphones could show a difference that mine could not.
sinep
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 930 GA-X58A-UD3R MSI GTX 650Ti Corsair XMS3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 4TB + Crucial M4 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium Asus VG248QE </3 Sidewinder X4 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Wheel Mouse Optical Sideways Puretrak Talent Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 + Red Sony MDRZX300 
  hide details  
Reply
sinep
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 930 GA-X58A-UD3R MSI GTX 650Ti Corsair XMS3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 4TB + Crucial M4 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium Asus VG248QE </3 Sidewinder X4 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Wheel Mouse Optical Sideways Puretrak Talent Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 + Red Sony MDRZX300 
  hide details  
Reply
post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 
You're the first person tell me that you don't hear a worthwhile difference.

My Denon's are slightly better than the AD700, but I am considering an upgrade. If I spend the money, I'd rather spend MORE money to notice a bigger difference.
No Explosion!
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 2600K @ 5.1Ghz ASUS P8P67 EVO Asus GTX 580 + GTX 580 DirectCU II Corsair Vengeance 8G CL8 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25 80gb Win7 Ultimate BenQ XL2410T, HP ZR24W Blackwidow Ultimate 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Enermax Revolution 85+ 950W Silverstone FT02 Black (no window) Death Adder BE 9HD 
  hide details  
Reply
No Explosion!
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 2600K @ 5.1Ghz ASUS P8P67 EVO Asus GTX 580 + GTX 580 DirectCU II Corsair Vengeance 8G CL8 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25 80gb Win7 Ultimate BenQ XL2410T, HP ZR24W Blackwidow Ultimate 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Enermax Revolution 85+ 950W Silverstone FT02 Black (no window) Death Adder BE 9HD 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 39
Xonar STX gets my vote
post #8 of 39
From my experience with low end stuff, the big differences come from the headphones/speakers, so if you spend more, it should be on them instead of your sound card/DAC, and I would get a DAC--with an amp if needed.
Edited by cuad - 6/10/11 at 1:31pm
sinep
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 930 GA-X58A-UD3R MSI GTX 650Ti Corsair XMS3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 4TB + Crucial M4 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium Asus VG248QE </3 Sidewinder X4 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Wheel Mouse Optical Sideways Puretrak Talent Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 + Red Sony MDRZX300 
  hide details  
Reply
sinep
(11 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 930 GA-X58A-UD3R MSI GTX 650Ti Corsair XMS3 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Seagate 4TB + Crucial M4 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium Asus VG248QE </3 Sidewinder X4 
MouseMouse PadAudio
Wheel Mouse Optical Sideways Puretrak Talent Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 + Red Sony MDRZX300 
  hide details  
Reply
post #9 of 39
Thread Starter 
Maybe he tinks I'm a regular user. Most people don't need a sound card, but most people also don't need 2 Gtx 580's, a 120hz monitor and an IPS, or overclock to 5.1ghz.

I'm not most people. I love good sound. I'm tempted to spend more if the difference is bigger, but I also don't want to just waste money needlessly.
No Explosion!
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 2600K @ 5.1Ghz ASUS P8P67 EVO Asus GTX 580 + GTX 580 DirectCU II Corsair Vengeance 8G CL8 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25 80gb Win7 Ultimate BenQ XL2410T, HP ZR24W Blackwidow Ultimate 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Enermax Revolution 85+ 950W Silverstone FT02 Black (no window) Death Adder BE 9HD 
  hide details  
Reply
No Explosion!
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 2600K @ 5.1Ghz ASUS P8P67 EVO Asus GTX 580 + GTX 580 DirectCU II Corsair Vengeance 8G CL8 
Hard DriveOSMonitorKeyboard
Intel X25 80gb Win7 Ultimate BenQ XL2410T, HP ZR24W Blackwidow Ultimate 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Enermax Revolution 85+ 950W Silverstone FT02 Black (no window) Death Adder BE 9HD 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 39
Regardless of the debate on how much of a difference there is in sound quality, if you start moving into higher end headphones you will NEED an amp, that isn't a question. As I said before, I have the same onboard audio chipset and it simply could not drive D2000s well, and they can be driven out of my Zune! If you like the Denon sound, the D2000s are a BIG step up from the D1000s. However, since you cite gaming as an interest, I might look at the Beyer lineup as well. They're known to do quite well with gaming. Sennheiser HD600/650 might be something to look at too, although I don't know if you will find them to be dynamic enough after Denons.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Cards and Computer Audio
Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Best sound card for headphones