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Headphone amp

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
So... What's the best bang for the buck headphone amp on the market right now?

Thanks.

Cans: Planning on getting Sennheiser HD 515 (suggestions welcomed here as well).
post #2 of 11
Don't bother unless you're taking your headphone on the go with an MP3 player or something. Headphone amplifiers are not necessary for just about all headphones under $100. That's a fact. As long as you have a decent sound card or other sound source, it'll be able to power it.
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyMaster View Post
Don't bother unless you're taking your headphone on the go with an MP3 player or something. Headphone amplifiers are not necessary for just about all headphones under $100. That's a fact. As long as you have a decent sound card or other sound source, it'll be able to power it.
That's the thing though, I'm gonna be using the onboard sound with the HD 515s (don't have money for a dedicated sound card at the moment with the whole SB upgrade and such).
post #4 of 11
Here's the thing: You buy an amplifier and what you're doing is just amplifying noisy output from your onboard. It's also going to cost you about the same or at least as much as something like an used X-Fi XtremeMusic from the For Sale forums or something like the Asus Xonar DS/DG. You can get a pretty substantial improvement over your ALC892 with just a $50 sound card. Think about that.
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post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by RallyMaster View Post
Here's the thing: You buy an amplifier and what you're doing is just amplifying noisy output from your onboard. It's also going to cost you about the same or at least as much as something like an used X-Fi XtremeMusic from the For Sale forums or something like the Asus Xonar DS/DG. You can get a pretty substantial improvement over your ALC892 with just a $50 sound card. Think about that.
Definitely that ^.

There's a term used a lot in audio; garbage in, garbage out. You could put a £1,000 headphone amp and £1,000 headphones after onboard sound in the signal path and it's still going to sound complete garbage because of the poor quality of the onboard sound.

You'll benefit much more from a soundcard as RallyMaster suggested.
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post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for taking the time and answering my questions you guys.

So... If I get an ASUS Xonar DS/DG (DS is the better one of the two right?) I'm gonna have 0 issues with sound amplifying?

Thanks again.
post #7 of 11
get the essence STX, built in headphone amp!
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbiker033 View Post
get the essence STX, built in headphone amp!
Out of my budget mate.

Hmmm, the Xonar DG has a built in amp....
post #9 of 11
Also I wouldn't get the HD515. Bad value for money there. Music tastes? Budget for both headphones and soundcard?
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post
Also I wouldn't get the HD515. Bad value for money there. Music tastes? Budget for both headphones and soundcard?
Music taste:

- Drum & Bass
- Punk & New York Hardcore

Gaming:

- Battlefield Bad Company 2
- Killing Floor
- Left 4 Dead 2
- Crysis

Bare in mind that I'm planning on spending around ~$60 for headphones, so suggesting HD 555s or whatever = no good. Same with sound card, ~$50.
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