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AV reciever, Soundcard and Headphones Questions

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
I bought a Onkyo HT-S5300 7.1-Channel Home Theater in a box for Movies, Music and gaming and i don't like it for a couple reasons-

1. I couldn't get 5.1 to go through properly "hooked up via optical from mobo", so i just went with a 2.1 setup
2. Everyone complains when i use it
3. Will probably sell it unless there is a use for it

Therefore I am considering buying some headphones and possibly a sound card-

Budget for headphones and sound card "if needed" $250

Main uses for headphones-

Music- 50% - Dubstep to Metal to just about everything else
Gaming- 50% - BFBC2 to Fallout to Stalker to Dirt 2 to just about everything else

Questions-


1. Sound card to headphones VS. HDMI from video card to receiver to headphones?
2. Would there be a significant difference in quality in the above scenario?
3. If so, what sound card would you recommend under $100? The ASUS Xonar DX 7.1?

Headphones-

1. How much sound do the Sennheiser HD555/595 leak?
2. Do they provide adequate bass for music like dubstep to metal to just about any kind of music?
3. Sennheiser HD555 modded or HD595 or neither?
3. If neither, what would you recommend? the Audio-Technica ATH-M50?
Edited by gotasavage2 - 3/21/11 at 2:44pm
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post #2 of 4
Sound quality from a Sound Card will be better than a graphics card via HDMI. The graphics card is only a bridge so the sound hasn't been rendered. If hooked up to a TV, the TV will render it and as you can probably guess, it won't do the best job. I would recommend the Asus Xonar DX. Great card even though its not top of the line (just repeating what others have said ). The AudioTechnica ATH-M50 and M50s is a great starter for audiophile quality headphones. You should consider Grado, Ultrasone, Denon (a little bit on the expensive side. The AH-D2000 is a little above $300), AKG, or Beyerdynamic.
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post #3 of 4
M50s are great for music but lack the sound stage for gaming.

If you have a pretty decent receiver I would suggest spdif out from the onboard to the receiver and run ur headphones off that. Try to do some research on what kind of DAC ur receiver has.

If you were having 5.1 issues its because spdif/toslink only handles 2.1 pcm or 5.1ac3/dts (ac3 is dolby digital) when acting as a passthrough and letting your receiver do the decoding.

The hdmi on ur gpu can actually pass 5.1 pcm (decoded by ur pc) audio to ur receiver.

With just spdif like u were trying before us get 2.1 only unless you selected passthrough as ur output device and actually played a game or a movie with a bitperfect dolby or dts track. Then ur receiver would have decoded 5.1 in those situations.

U can simulate 5.1 with dolby digital live, but only some sound cards support it, it sounds terrible, and it eats cpu cycles cause ur just transcoding ur audio out.
    
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rmp459 View Post
what kind of DAC ur receiver has
This is what DAC it has direct copy and paste-

192 kHz/24-Bit Burr-Brown DACs Improve Jitter Performance to Deliver Clearer Sound
High-quality Burr-Brown DACs (PCM1690) work to optimize analog audio performance on the HT-S5300’s A/V receiver. These DACs perform advanced 24-bit signal processing and support sampling rates of up to 192 kHz, all while maintaining high resistance to clock jitter and offering a 113 dB dynamic range.

Here is a link to some in depth technical jargon

Im not sure if it is any good but hopefully you can shed some light on it,

How would headphones sound on the receivers DAC VS. a soundcards?

Thanks for the other info about toslink and hdmi 5.1 +rep
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