Originally Posted by cuad
AKG q701 headphones and these seem to be a good possibility
I'm skeptical. Headphones.com says, "the AKG Q701 headphones are the culmination of Quincy Jones unprecedented input," which sounds like something Beats would say about their own headphones. All that aside, I don't know about $200+ headphones.
If i am going to go with the AKG q701 headphones, then i will need a amp,
Most likely a straight up lie. People say that if your headphone's impedance is ~60 ohms or more, then you need a super-special amp. However, I have headphones that are 250 ohms, and they get loud enough and sound good enough with the amp was built into my onboard and that is built into my current audio interface. Headphones.com says that the Q701s are 62 ohms.
a DAC other than the garbage motherboard one
Your motherboard's onboard DAC isn't necessarily garbage. Let me tell you somethin'. I got into this audio stuff a year or so ago, and the one thing that I've learned for sure is that there are lots of fanbois and nubs who say things they shouldn't. This thing that I've just quoted you saying is one of them.
What does surround sound do and how does it play into this situation?
Most music is stereo, which means it plays back through two channels, usually a left speaker and a right speaker, so it makes no sense to have surround sound (5 or 7 channel). I don't know how gaming audio works, but I think that some games will give you legit seven channel audio. However, surround sound is kind of a speaker thing, not a headphone thing, so if you want to use headphones, then surround sound is totally unnecessary. Games will also give you 2 channel audio, so don't worry about that. For 2 channel set ups (headphones, left/right speakers), there is such a thing as fake surround sound, where they take the 2 channel signal, apply some funny equalizer settings, and claim that your sound is improved.
Will open ear sound interfere or be two loud for microphone use (mmo games)?
You're talking about open headphones? I have a pair. They make it tough to watch porn discreetly, but I doubt they'd make your mic unusable.
I'll share what I do.
I bought a bunch of fancy sound cards all the way up the the Essence STX, and I didn't think they sounded better than my onboard, so I stuck with my onboard and a decent pair of headphones. One day, I wanted to get a fancy XLR microphone, so I bought an audio interface. It's basically an external DAC with fancy XLR microphone inputs. Now I plug my headphones into that.
What you should do: buy, listen, and return until you think you know enough to type like a dumb, bitter, and old man on the internet.
So you're judging a headphone you clearly have not listened to based upon what someone said on a website that seems catchphrasey. Jesus, why do you post here? Does anyone take you seriously? You're probably just a hair up above alienware because he's obviously trolling and you're just..I digress..
The purpose of an amp most of the time isn't to get you loud volumes. You can run DT880 600 ohms (a very difficult headphone to drive) off of an MP3 player at a normal volume. Does that mean it doesn't need an amp? To make the headphone run properly, hit the frequencies it's meant to etc it needs to have requirements met as far as voltage is concerned to make the driver work to it's potential. People that don't run these headphones on an amp or on a good amp complain about the performance of a headphone, most often times in the bass department.
You use a DAC from your motherboard. Enough said.
Originally Posted by billbartuska
Oh, there's confusion and lack of knowlegde here...............
First off bass is not mid-range. There's treble (high). mid range, and bass.
If at all possible, you should visit a hifi shop and audition headphones at various price points. All headphones (and amps, DACs, speakers, even interconnecting cables) all have their own "sound". Choosing one over the other is really a personal decision. What someone else may think is the greatest, may sound like crap to you.
First of all, there's mid-bass which is what MOST people notice as "bassy." The lower frequencies, while still audible have more to do with feel or in the case of headphones reverberation. So yeah, there's bass in the mids.
Originally Posted by billbartuska
And check out the Grado SR325is
Poor choice, terrible soundstage.
The AKG Q701s are not going to have the bass you're looking for in electronica. Take that into account. The DT880s are not going to have the bass you're looking for in electronica.
$500 to spend, Creative Zx sound card off the bat..that's about 109.
2 ways to go from here..one is to get HE-400s for $400 (or less if used) and be done. You have a top tier headphone with great bass, great sound stage and is a great headphone for the price range, but you'll probably want a better amp down the road... or... go with something cheaper. Get a proper amp for them and be satisfied until you're ready to move onto something better.
Other headphones to consider are the DT990s, Ultrasone Pro 900s. How much bass do you really want though? These are both bass heavy headphones. If you want less bass, consider A900X's.
As far as amps go, there are two to consider for your price range. The Schiit Magni and the Objective 2. There are of course other options, but I recommend these two.
I haven't had the chance to test the amp on the Zx, but I would assume it's going to be similar to the one on the STX and that's...not a great amp.