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sound card for HD558

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
i just scored a pair of hd 558's for pretty cheap. 150 canadian.

i am using a z68-ud7-b3 motherboard, and dont know if i should just continue using the onboard audio, or if i should get a sound card. i know i can get external devices from Fiio (sorry if i got the name wrong).

i guess my question is, is the sound card really worth it. i have seen some at ncix for decent prices, like a dsx for 69.99 or a dg for 33.99

im currently using siberia v2's and they are just not comfortable.

so would something like a 33 dolar sound card be ok with this set.

stupid question. will it make a difference if i use the 1/4 plug or the standard 1/8 size that would go into a sound card.

thanks!
post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by luca717 View Post

i just scored a pair of hd 558's for pretty cheap. 150 canadian.

i am using a z68-ud7-b3 motherboard, and dont know if i should just continue using the onboard audio, or if i should get a sound card. i know i can get external devices from Fiio (sorry if i got the name wrong).

i guess my question is, is the sound card really worth it. i have seen some at ncix for decent prices, like a dsx for 69.99 or a dg for 33.99

im currently using siberia v2's and they are just not comfortable.

so would something like a 33 dolar sound card be ok with this set.

stupid question. will it make a difference if i use the 1/4 plug or the standard 1/8 size that would go into a sound card.

thanks!

shouldnt be in difference in sound going from a 1/4 to a 1/8 plug smile.gif

something like a ASUS Xonar DG should sound better smile.gif
Edited by ozlay - 4/17/14 at 6:43pm
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post #3 of 11

I agree that changing the plug should result in very negligible difference in sound. Putting on the adapter might weigh down the cord, depending on how your cords are placed in your setup but typically isn't a big deal either. Using an adapter is more clumsy if you want to take the thing on the go. IMO the quarter inch plug looks sexier though. :D

 

On the other hand, I don't think changing from onboard to a DG will make much of a difference. Depending on whether your motherboard can drive the headphones fully of course. Personally I'd get an overkill setup so I never have to upgrade again (like O2 combo), but I understand if you don't want to do that right now.

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post #4 of 11
I have been using HD555's for almost 8 years and they are still running strong - You will be very happy!

My P67 Sabretooth's onboard audio could not hold a candle to any of the sound cards I have used - but they were both higher end products.
I am 100% behind the idea of getting a sound card.
Since sound cards can be used from system to system, I 'd get the best one you can swing. Try seeing what is for sale used on the OCN forums.

My Sennheisers step down plug is pretty high quality, so I don't think I lose a thing using it. If you use the front panel audio jack you might need to connect it to the sound card instead of the motherboard.

One final thing - Creative's drivers used to suck in a big way, but they seem to have gotten their act together. So keep that in mind when reading older product reviews. They actually released some W7 drivers for older pci connectored products and now my daughter has a sound card that was sitting unused before.

Cheers thumb.gif
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
When I look at cards, anything I should be looking for. Like for the headphones would 5.1 or 7.1 make a difference? Or what things should I be looking for. Like when you buy a video card you would prefer more VRAM, anything I should be keeping an eye out for?
post #6 of 11
Some sound cards are more aimed at music than gaming - so keep that in mind when reading up on them.
My X-Fi Titanium had excellent gaming sound, but only so-so music reproduction. My SoundBlaster Z is better at both.

I 'think' the 5.1 and 7.1 settings are only beneficial with speaker setups. My card goes from 5.1 setting to headphones once they are plugged in, so I don't what it is doing internally.
I like Creative's SBX Pro Studio functions and having an equalizer function. My guess is other brands will have similar features.

Since you are running crossfire make sure you match the card to the slot you can access.
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post #7 of 11
Naturally the 558's are very neutral sounding, and really need a proper equalizer setting to "wake them up". My onboard audio (which is better than $30 sound card) just wouldn't take these headphones to their true potential. I am using Sound Blaster Titanium HD and once I adjusted the equalizer, my 558 headphones sound 10x better. On a mid range sound setup the headphones just sound flat no matter how I set it up.

IMO, a sound card is only worth it if you'r going to purchase a quality unit. My brother had a $30 sound card and it wasn't even noticeable difference at all from his onboard. He ended up pulling it and now it sits in a drawer with other unused computer hardware.

If you'r going to want something noticeably better I would suggest saving up for a good one, it will outlast the rest of your computer hardware anyway. My Titanium HD is the only computer hardware that hasn't needed an upgrade in years so the $150 price isn't as hard on the wallet.
post #8 of 11
One thing I have always read you must do, and I still do, is to delete the on board audio drivers as well as disabling the onboard audio.
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post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
I ordered a asus xonar dgx because it had a built in headphone amp. Should be ok. It's PCI 1x but should fit in an 8x
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by luca717 View Post

When I look at cards, anything I should be looking for. Like for the headphones would 5.1 or 7.1 make a difference? Or what things should I be looking for. Like when you buy a video card you would prefer more VRAM, anything I should be keeping an eye out for?

5.1 and 7.1 are only used in surround speaker setup and have no effect on headphones. IMO, the whole 7.1 thing is all marketing junk that barely anyone is going to ever use, which is why I bought my Titanium HD which has RCA. It's much more useful because I can hook it up to my stereo and also input RCA from my Xbox One into my PC and have quality audio for playing Forza 5.
Quote:
Originally Posted by luca717 View Post

I ordered a asus xonar dgx because it had a built in headphone amp. Should be ok. It's PCI 1x but should fit in an 8x

Yes, it will still work.
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