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Folks - which sound card?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Currently, I am looking at:

ASUS Xonar Essence STX
Creative SB Titanium HD
HT | OMEGA Claro Halo

The headphones I will be using is Sennheiser HD595.

I also looked at Asus Xonar DX, but I don't know if it will provide 50ohm impedance to fully power the HD595s

Purpose:
- Music
post #2 of 12
Vote for the claro here.
post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Iceman23 View Post
Vote for the claro here.
Any reason why you chose Claro instead of STX? Both are capable of producing excellent audio as far as I can tell.

EDIT:
Won't I be overpaying for the amped version of the sound cards? Can't Xonar DX produce same audio as STX or Claro, but unamped?
Edited by 23jewels - 3/31/11 at 10:58am
post #4 of 12
Most will tell you that HD 595's do not need to be driven by an amp, which is one of the STX's features. Yes, the sound quality is most likely the superior, but when you don't have the audio to make use of it, it's somewhat a waste of money.

I'm going to agree with Iceman, and say the Claro is best for your setup. Are you going to primarily be gaming or listening to music and watching movies?
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bovice163 View Post
Most will tell you that HD 595's do not need to be driven by an amp, which is one of the STX's features. Yes, the sound quality is most likely the superior, but when you don't have the audio to make use of it, it's somewhat a waste of money.

I'm going to agree with Iceman, and say the Claro is best for your setup. Are you going to primarily be gaming or listening to music and watching movies?
Alright! Here is how it breaks down:
90% music
10% for anything else out there to do on the computer.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by 23jewels View Post
Alright! Here is how it breaks down:
90% music
10% for anything else out there to do on the computer.
Unless you plan on upgrading your headphones sometime in the future, the Claro should be just fine for you. Anything over 300 ohms will need to be driven by an amp, or an STX.
Edited by bovice163 - 3/31/11 at 11:21am
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post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by bovice163 View Post
Unless you plan on upgrading your headphones sometime in the future, the Claro should be just fine for you. Anything over 300 ohms will need to be driven by an amp, or an STX.
Both Claro and STX are $200. In addition, will my HD595s take advantage of the built in amp?
post #8 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by 23jewels View Post
Both Claro and STX are $200. In addition, will my HD595s take advantage of the built in amp?
For music I would go with the HT Omega Claro Halo for music. Both it and the Asus Xonar STX are the best options for music.

I have the 595s, they do not benefit from a amp. Amplification simply increases the magnitude of the sound wave, giving it greater power to drive speakers. Headphones that have greater impedance take greater power drive them properly, and therefore require amplification. The 595s to not have high impedance and can be driven fine a unamped source. Many amps will change the source signal slightly (making it sound 'warmer' for instance) however thats not a factor to really consider in this situation.

However, there are other benefits to these cards other than the headphone amp, and will have other components that are higher quality which will generate a better signal.
Edited by Xazen - 3/31/11 at 11:45am
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post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xazen View Post
For music I would go with the HT Omega Claro Halo for music. Both it and the Asus Xonar STX are the best options for music.

I have the 595s, they do not benefit from a amp. Amplification simply increases the magnitude of the sound wave, giving it greater power to drive speakers. Headphones that have greater impedance take greater power drive them properly, and therefore require amplification. The 595s to not have high impedance and can be driven fine a unamped source.

However, there are other benefits to these cards other than the headphone amp, and will have other components that are higher quality which will generate a better signal.

Alright, thanks for your response. I do understand that Higher models would normally have higher grade components.

Claro is then. BTW I listen to *.flac, *.ape, and 320kbps audio most of the time.

In any case, thanks to all who contributed.
+rep
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by 23jewels View Post
Alright, thanks for your response. I do understand that Higher models would normally have higher grade components.

Claro is then. BTW I listen to *.flac, *.ape, and 320kbps audio most of the time.

In any case, thanks to all who contributed.
+rep
Not to mention you'll be kicking yourself in the future if you went ampless and want to upgrade your headphones.
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