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DT880s: Upgrade or stay?

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Howdy folks! I'm here today with a couple of questions (forgive me, I'm NOT an audiophile):

1. I've owned a pair of DT880 250ohm cans for the past year. They're nice, though they don't feel very beefy and the non-EQ'd audio sounds muddy on my Soundblaster Z. I was looking at a couple of options: the Sennheiser G4ME Zero/One and the Philips X2. Obviously one is twice the price of the other, but should I upgrade or just stay where I'm at? I play lots of FPS games, listen to trance and metal music as I work, and enjoy sound-packed action movies.

2. For my current soundcard, should I get an amp for it? With EQ I can achieve some nice sound (here is my EQ settings), but the highs are very sharp to my ears and they sound...analytical? Very clean, but not fun. Could getting an amp solve this problem, and if so which one? I'm tried talking about this before, but no one really takes me seriously when I describe non-EQ audio as "muddy". I don't really understand the appeal of it for consumer use, but that's just me.

Either way, an preemptive thanks for any assistance rendered!
post #2 of 17
The DT880s are very good headphones, one of the mid-fi top 3. Those other headphones you linked are probably not as good as the 880s, technically speaking.
However, it sounds like you're after a very different sound signature to what the 880s provide. The DT880 is fairly neutral, and is designed more for analytical listening. Ideally, you never want to be using EQ with your headphones, EQ is just bad tongue.gif
It sounds like you would enjoy a more bass-heavy headphone, like the DT990 or DT770, and that way you would not have to use EQ to make your headphones sound the way you want them to.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your response, Kaiser.

That's definitely a possibility here. These headphones are fantastic and clear, but they're not my cup of tea. Is there a difference between the DT770 and DT990? And are there any other choices on the market with more "fun" acoustics? My limit is ~$300, though under is better.
post #4 of 17
Looking at that EQ and doing some comparison, no wonder the treble sounds 'sharp'..gees!

EQ is fine when used properly and when it is a quality one. The one on the Creative sound panel is far far from quality.
If I have time, I'll create a proper EQ for the DT880 250.
post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
Sounds good, Kiwi!

I have the highs set that way so I can actually hear them, though the trade off is that voices can be very sibilant and higher-pitched noises can be piercing.
post #6 of 17
The Sennheiser gaming headsets will be a significant downgrade. The biggest difference between the DT 770 and DT 990 is that the former is closed (providing isolation and probably more bass impact) while the latter is open (leading to a bigger sound stage and more airy sound). Your DT 880 is mostly open, and mostly neutral like KaiserFrederick said.

The DT 990 and DT 770 should sound more "fun" or "exciting" since both the bass and treble are accentuated. The Philips Fidelio X2 should be more "relaxed" sounding since I believe it is said to have warm mids, maybe slightly subdued treble, and maybe slightly boosted bass but you may want to read reviews of it.
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The Wish Granter
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post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 
Hey, thanks for your post, Boredgunner. I went ahead and pulled the trigger on the Philips X2, I certainly hope that they have what I'm looking for in terms of warmth and "fun"ness.

Will post and update once I get them in!
post #8 of 17
This sounds like a lack of proper power to me, they'll sound muddy if the soundcard isn't providing enough clean power to them. Have you tried them with other sources? Do you have a hi-fi or AV-Receiver to try them with to compare?
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post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately I don't have those on hand, though it's probably definitely an issue with the sound card. I even got a replacement for it and the same thing happened.

Edit: Should I grab something like the Schitt Magni for the DT880 and X2 to give it more power, or would I possibly overamp my cans? I could get something like the Fiio E10K for a DAC/Amp combo, but would it still be able to use the sound card's features and how would I accomplish this?

Sorry, I've never used these before so I'm struggling in trying to figure out how these components would work together.
Edited by Airmanator - 1/9/15 at 1:17am
post #10 of 17
About 95% of how your setup sounds right now is due to that EQ curve. I can guarantee you that what you are hearing is nothing like how the sounds were mastered in the studio. You want some highs to be emphasized, but don't want shrill highs at other times.

It is very hard to make headphones sound neutral, but that doesn't sound like what you are going for. If I were you, I would just buy a pair of Grado headphones and be happy.
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