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How is the Ultrasone Pro 550/DJ1 Pro and do I need a sound card for them?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
Hi guys,

In a previous thread I was looking at Asus ROG headsets because I game equally between my laptop and desktop. I decided to take OCN's advice and not buy into the gaming headset gimmick, even if it does satisfy my needs, I'm looking for something more comfortable and will last longer.

I was originally looking at the AD700's, but I would like something with a a pit punchier bass because I listen to electronic music, and since I want to be immersed in games and movies. Which led me to the Ultrasones. They appear to be excellent well rounders, and they look pretty nice! Not sure about comfort though.

So this leads me to my questions... can anyone with these headphones please comment on how they sound during games/how they feel? smile.gif Also I read that these two models are pretty similar just different appearances, but on head-fi someone did say the DJ1 Pro has a wider soundstage. Which would you recommend more for a mix of games/movies/music and for comfort and style?

Finally, would I need any extra equipment to really make these headphones shine? I was thinking about getting a PCI-E sound card (maybe Xonar DGX or DS) but as I said I switch between my desktop and laptop a lot, so maybe a USB soundcard like the Xonar U3 and/or a external DAC?

Thanks!
Edited by apav - 2/1/13 at 9:10am
post #2 of 23
I have no experience with those headphones to say one way or another if they would be good, but for a decent external DAC, why not look at the FiiO E7 or the newer E07K? Either come very highly recommended.
post #3 of 23
Thread Starter 
Those look nice! How do they compare to an internal soundcard? (sorry audio newbie)
Edited by apav - 2/1/13 at 9:31am
post #4 of 23
The DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) and sound processing on the E7 is going to be much better than an internal sound card, and it has the big plus of doing all of the work itself, rather than having your CPU do it.

The other bonus is that it is a headphone amplifier as well, so it will be able to drive higher end headphones.

Some reviews:

http://www.head-fi.org/products/fiio-e7-usb-dac-and-portable-headphone-amplifier-black

The E07K is just an updated version of the E7. Either one would be great and would fit your need of swapping back and forth between your PC and laptop.
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
I know that all sound cards have DAC's, although discrete ones are much better. Then what is it sound cards have and DAC's don't? Like 5.1/7.1 surround sound virtualization? I'm a bit confused as I thought these were two different things with different purposes. I was under the impression that a sound card is the first thing you need to enhance headphones, then a DAC is optional. But what do I know, I'm just going by what I have read and tried to understand!

Can you plug speakers into a DAC? Besides my headphones I'll be using my desktop speakers, Logitech Z523 (2.1 surround).

Thank you so much for your help smile.gif
Edited by apav - 2/1/13 at 10:30am
post #6 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by apav View Post

I know that all sound cards have DAC's, although discrete ones are much better. Then what is it sound cards have and DAC's don't? Like 5.1/7.1 surround sound virtualization? I'm a bit confused as I thought these were two different things with different purposes. I was under the impression that a sound card is the first thing you need to enhance headphones, then a DAC is optional. But what do I know, I'm just going by what I have read and tried to understand!

Can you plug speakers into a DAC? Besides my headphones I'll be using my desktop speakers, Logitech Z523 (2.1 surround).

Thank you so much for your help smile.gif

I think, and someone will surely correct me if I'm wrong, that a device like the E7 does all of the sound processing, where the sound card depends, however little, on your CPU to do some of the work. That electrical signal between the CPU and sound card could introduce slight distortions in the sound. Using an external DAC would eliminate that.

Of course, so would good shielding (my front headphone jack, for example, has horrible shielding and I can hear electrical noise through it if I plug anything into it).

You will be limited to 2 channel sound with an external DAC, from what I've read (you will have to verify this before you buy anything, though). For speakers, if your speakers have a 3.5mm plug, they should work just fine.
post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
Yea I was looking for the surround effect, but I guess an external DAC would just increase the clarity. What if I did Xonar U3 (external sound drive) to external DAC? Would that sound good?
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by apav View Post

Yea I was looking for the surround effect, but I guess an external DAC would just increase the clarity. What if I did Xonar U3 (external sound drive) to external DAC? Would that sound good?

I hadn't seen that one before.

I do see at least 1 review stating that it is very similar to the FiiO E10 (a very well reviewed DAC). Provided that you were only using your headphones on your laptop or PC I think that the U3 would perform everything you want. It includes the headphone amp tech that makes the DG such an awesome sound card (especially for the $30 price of the DG) and you can easily move it between the 2 sources (laptop and desktop).

In that case, the dual-DAC may be overkill. I'd probably just go with the U3, honestly. Can't beat the price.
post #9 of 23
    
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Q8400 DFI LP DK P45-T2RS eVGA GTX 650 Kingston 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
2.8TB Total LG Super DVD Burner SATA VII Enterprise x64 Gateway FHD2401 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair VX550W NZXT Source 210 White Logitech G400 Razer Kabuto 
Audio
Creative Audigy 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by liquidzoo View Post

I hadn't seen that one before.

I do see at least 1 review stating that it is very similar to the FiiO E10 (a very well reviewed DAC). Provided that you were only using your headphones on your laptop or PC I think that the U3 would perform everything you want. It includes the headphone amp tech that makes the DG such an awesome sound card (especially for the $30 price of the DG) and you can easily move it between the 2 sources (laptop and desktop).

In that case, the dual-DAC may be overkill. I'd probably just go with the U3, honestly. Can't beat the price.

Only thing is it's a $30 usb sound card (price on usb sound cards are more than their PCI equivalents from what I can tell) so does that mean the sound quality is sub $30? And at such a low price, would that mean there won't be a noticeable difference in sound than my onboard audio? I heard somewhere that the purpose of this usb is to replace crappy laptop audio, so I would hate to buy this and not notice any difference on my desktop's P8Z68-V's onboard audio.
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