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post #11 of 19
For pure gaming AD700 are very good but for movies/music i will look somewere else,for the sound card Titanium HD is the best one for gaming and very good for everything else.
In my case i decided to get the AD700 and get another (cheaper, in the $50 range) cans for music/movies.
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post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Just a small update, i've all but order the Titanium HD sound card, that part is set.

For the cans the more I think about it the more I prefer these to be for music over gaming, while both are important I find myself in a music mode probably twice as often as I find myself in a gaming mode so they would take the preference.

With that considered I would think that I may want to steer away from the AD700's a bit since they lack bass from what i've read, but if so what is a better choice that will allow me to stay under my hard cap budget of 300 and still give me all around performance? Would the ATH-M50's or Sennheiser HD595's suit me better?
Edited by magicmike - 8/10/11 at 7:38pm
post #13 of 19
I went to an audiologist yesterday who said I had perfect hearing. A few weeks before, I went to an otolaryngologist who told me that both of my ears were normal. I've owned two xonar STXs, a titanium HD, a titanium fatal1ty pro, a Xonar DG and a FiiO E7 USB DAC and have compared each to my onboard Realtek ALC889 using a couple low end headphones: JVC HA-RX700s, AudioTechnica ATH AD700s and Beyerdynamic DT 990 PROs. You have a Realtek ALC892, which is an 889 with an added, but useless, feature: on the fly DTS encoding. If there's nothing obviously wrong with your sound I strongly recommend passing on the titanium HD and spending most of your budget on headphones. The difference between my realtek ALC889 and any of the sound sources I listed above was audibly non existent. On the other hand, the differences between each headphone--improvements and regressions--are clear beyond all doubt.
Edited by cuad - 8/10/11 at 8:25pm
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post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuad View Post
I went to an audiologist yesterday who said I had perfect hearing. A few weeks before, I went to an otolaryngologist who told me that both of my ears were normal. I've owned two xonar STXs, a titanium HD, a titanium fatal1ty pro, a Xonar DG and a FiiO E7 USB DAC and have compared each to my onboard Realtek ALC889 using a couple low end headphones: JVC HA-RX700s, AudioTechnica ATH AD700s and Beyerdynamic DT 990 PROs. You have a Realtek ALC892, which is an 889 with an added, but useless, feature: on the fly DTS encoding. If there's nothing obviously wrong with your sound I strongly recommend passing on the titanium HD and spending most of your budget on headphones.
Interesting comment, my buddies that are pretty big into music have essentially beat it into me that the sound card is the most important.

I'm not against shifting down to a cheaper card than the Titanium HD to throw more money at headphones if that would be worth it, but i'm not sure if I really trust staying with onboard sound card, but I look forward to more opinions on this.
post #15 of 19
Here's a guy who would agree with me. http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/...-ampsdacs.html

I would still get a sound card if I were you just to test the waters. I'd just make sure that I bought it from a place where I could return it for a full refund hassle free. Ideally I would get a Xonar Essence STX or Titanium HD and a Xonar DG to test. If you get only a $200 Xonar Essence STX and hear a difference, you won't know if that difference could have been attained with the $30 Xonar DG, but if you only get a Xonar DG and don't hear a difference, you're going to wonder if you should have spent more. That is the process that I went through, anyway.

Also speaking for me is my own "success" at gaming with only my Realtek ALC889 and JVC HA-RX700s. Viewable here: http://www.xfire.com/profile/cuadicl...hots/crysiswh/
Edited by cuad - 8/10/11 at 8:32pm
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post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cuad View Post
Here's a guy who would agree with me. http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/...-ampsdacs.html

I would still get a sound card if I were you just to test the waters. I'd just make sure that I bought it from a place where I could return it for a full refund hassle free. Ideally I would get a Xonar Essence STX or Titanium HD and a Xonar DG to test. If you get only a $200 Xonar Essence STX and hear a difference, you won't know if that difference could have been attained with the $30 Xonar DG, but if you only get a Xonar DG and don't hear a difference, you're going to wonder if you should have spent more. That is the process that I went through, anyway.

Also speaking for me is my own "success" at gaming with only my Realtek ALC889 and JVC HA-RX700s. Viewable here: http://www.xfire.com/profile/cuadicl...hots/crysiswh/
eh, the first link doesn't actually agree (or disagree) with you at all.
The difference also highly depends on your output equipment. That and also the music you listen to (see dynamic range).
post #17 of 19
Titanium HD is a solid choice. As for the cans, here are the options I would recommend:

ATH-M50-Solid Bass, very good all around headphone. One of the most recommended headphones on head-fi. Aren't too great with gaming.

Ultrasone Headphones 550 and up (HFI or PRO)- Great Bass, great soundstage with S-logic. These are what I'd go with for a mixture of music+gaming.

Sennheiser HD555- Very solid choice. Decent Bass, balanced everything else. Good for gaming as well. Popular on OCN.
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post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post
eh, the first link doesn't actually agree (or disagree) with you at all.
The difference also highly depends on your output equipment. That and also the music you listen to (see dynamic range).
This quote right here is exactly the thought that I came to independently after a short time going through audio equipment. I only came across this blog a few days ago while I was trying to gather opinions on amps. There are lots of straw-men made out of my posts, which is why you might think that I am in favor of some other idea.
Quote:
IS AN AMP OR DAC NEEDED? The short answer is: "probably less than people think". A lot of people have no real complaints with the sound they're getting without an amp or DAC, but they buy one as others claim they make a huge improvement in the sound. Some buy one and don't notice much difference, and some claim significant improvements. Sometimes the perceived improvement is mostly psychological--a well documented phenomena much like how a more expensive wine often tastes better than a much cheaper wine until you put them both in plain brown paper bags. See: Subjective vs Objective Debate

Read More...

Edited by cuad - 8/11/11 at 4:40pm
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post #19 of 19
However scientifically IM levels are well within audible ranges in soundcards for example. As I said, highly depends on the dynamic range of the track and test equipment apart from the soundcard.
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