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Is an amp required for the Sennheiser PC360's?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So I'm looking into getting the PC360's for my new headset. I've read a lot of people saying you need an amp but on some review's they don't say anything requiring an amp. Is it REQUIRED for pc gaming?
post #2 of 11
You're required to use an amp to get any sound at all (like the thing behind every single headphone jack out there in existence), but that definitely doesn't mean that you're required to use a dedicated external amplifier.

As always, a dedicated amplifier may have different and hopefully better electrical performance characteristics, which sometimes can improve the sound quality in various ways and maybe even improve perception of imaging, like for positional audio cues. In practice, the difference between an integrated whatever amp in a modern onboard audio chip and a high-end amp is a whole lot less than the difference between some iBuds or cheap headphones and even a PC360, so it's not something to be that concerned about unless you have some money to burn and are chasing the small details.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
So I can just plug it in to the back of my motherboard? I'm fairly new to audio so excuse my "dumbness".
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reqkz View Post

So I can just plug it in to the back of my motherboard? I'm fairly new to audio so excuse my "dumbness".

Yes, that will work.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

Yes, that will work.

Yes. Thank you so much. +1 for you! thumb.gif
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Forgot to askk: How does this sound with onboard audio. I've saw a video saying you will need a soundcard if you want to bring out it's full potential.
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reqkz View Post

Forgot to askk: How does this sound with onboard audio. I've saw a video saying you will need a soundcard if you want to bring out it's full potential.

That's true. With higher quality headphones you can get a fuller sound with a good sound card. Some higher end mobos have a good on-board chip dedicated to accurate and distortion free audio. My sennheiser HD 280 pros sound way better in my Yamaha receiver than they do in my iPod. I've managed to get good quality audio out of my computer for music by tweaking the equalizer in iTunes. I haven't found a program that can equalize ALL of the audio signals for my computer.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reqkz View Post

Forgot to askk: How does this sound with onboard audio. I've saw a video saying you will need a soundcard if you want to bring out it's full potential.

That's what I was discussing the the first response. A better audio device may do a better job with D/A and amplification, and this could improve the sound quality some. IMHO words like "full potential" are not very helpful descriptions though, and they're mostly repeated by audiophiles that buy an expensive new piece of equipment and expect to hear that it has brought out more of the potential, whatever that means.

A sound card in particular may have some kind of DSP options that can be turned on or off, to significantly process the sound before it gets sent out, like for some kind of virtual surround. Some devices use Dolby Headphone (I'm not terribly a fan, but some people find it helps a lot of gaming); Creative devices have their own proprietary CMSS-3D, which I'm not particularly a fan of either. Again, many people find it helpful though. This is on top of the fact that the sound card may have better hardware capable of better D/A and amplification.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kappy03 View Post

My sennheiser HD 280 pros sound way better in my Yamaha receiver than they do in my iPod.

How so? If what you're hearing is mostly a fuller bass (centered around 90 Hz or so) and maybe a little more treble extension, then that can be explained by the Yamaha having higher output impedance. (There definitely are other differences, but I'd expect those others to be much more subtle.) This is typical for the headphone out on a lot of receivers. If you wanted you could build a 3.5mm M/F extension cable with a resistor in the L and R channels to essentially add extra output impedance to any source. Plug this into the source and the headphones in this cable, and you get a higher-Z output. However, unless you listen quietly, you're not going to be able to add much of a resistance without decreasing the volume by too much, since an iPod is not that overly powerful for an HD 280.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reqkz View Post

Forgot to askk: How does this sound with onboard audio. I've saw a video saying you will need a soundcard if you want to bring out it's full potential.

generally you'll be happy with the sound coming out of your mobo.

if you're a true audiophile and can appreciate lossless audio get a proper sound card.
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yay. Thanks you guys so much.
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