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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Currently I'm running a Xonar Xense with the PC350s it came with, but I'm looking at getting something open and an external DAC.

My goal is to have a setup that I can bring with myself to work and works on all the platforms I'm using (obviously this applies to the DAC) so, that is windows, linux 3.x and os x (currently mavericks later on probably yosemite).

My budget for the headphone is $200, at the very most $240. I'm not necessarily looking for new, something used from ebay works for me. For the DAC I'd prefer it for under $150, but if there is something great in the $200 range I might consider it.

The use case for this setup is mostly metal (more specifically mostly technical death), and also games and movies but I have less and less time for these sadly. I really like having detail in the low end for my music, but I don't want overwhelming bass.

I'm wearing glasses so the headphones have to be comfortable with them. I find the PC350s very comfortable for me, the cups are large enough, the cushions are great and it is light enough, although sometimes I feel it could clamp a little harder. At work I have a pair of Pioneer SE-M390s, now the only positive thing I can say about these is that they are light, other than that, the cushions are not thick enough, they sit on my ears, make them hurt after an hour, the top band doesn't help at all sadly. So comfort wise I'm looking for large cups, a little more clamping force than what I currently have and I think I prefer the leather cushions on the PC350 over the cloth on the Pioneers when considering just the material. As I mentioned at the top I'm looking for open headphones this time.
On the sound side of things, I find that the PC350s lack bass, very much. The CX880s I use when getting around have really good detail in the low end, I like their sound in general for IEMs. The Pioneer at work, well let's just not talk about that.
For the DAC I'm looking for something portable, as I said I want to take this setup with me to work every day. As it needs to work on multiple platforms I'm looking at something with USB input (maybe optical, but the macs don't have optical out).

I'm not really planning on using the components I currently have, I may end up buying the headphones first and the DAC later, in that case I'll be using the Xonar Xense for that time.

I'll be using these indoors always, at home, at work and If I have to travel probably on the train/bus and in the hotels. Detachable cable would probably be a plus, but it definitely isn't a deal breaker, as I'd unplugging it from the DAC anyway. Platforms will be my desktop running windows 8.1 and various linux distros, a macbook pro and an iMac. As I said previously content is mostly music and a few hours of gaming or movies in the evenings.
 

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The Asus Xonar Xense comes with a PCM1796 DAC chip and a built in headphone amplifier.
So I think it would work fine with whatever new headphones you get.
So whatever new USB/DAC/amp you get you can just leave at the office.
(FiiO E10K USB-DAC-Amp, $75)
And spend the rest of your budget on headphones.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacoboy View Post

The Asus Xonar Xense comes with a PCM1796 DAC chip and a built in headphone amplifier.
So I think it would work fine with whatever new headphones you get.
So whatever new USB/DAC/amp you get you can just leave at the office.
(FiiO E10K USB-DAC-Amp, $75)
And spend the rest of your budget on headphones.
I agree with this. As for headphones, the SoundMagic HP150 might be what you're looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacoboy View Post

The Asus Xonar Xense comes with a PCM1796 DAC chip and a built in headphone amplifier.
So I think it would work fine with whatever new headphones you get.
So whatever new USB/DAC/amp you get you can just leave at the office.
(FiiO E10K USB-DAC-Amp, $75)
And spend the rest of your budget on headphones.
That's a sound plan too, but the reason I want a departure from the Xense is that it basically has no support on linux sadly, I love the card though.

At the moment I'm looking for option, and what you mentioned is looking like a good one anyway, thanks
thumb.gif
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aximous View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacoboy View Post

The Asus Xonar Xense comes with a PCM1796 DAC chip and a built in headphone amplifier.
So I think it would work fine with whatever new headphones you get.
So whatever new USB/DAC/amp you get you can just leave at the office.
(FiiO E10K USB-DAC-Amp, $75)
And spend the rest of your budget on headphones.
That's a sound plan too, but the reason I want a departure from the Xense is that it basically has no support on Linux sadly, I love the card though.

At the moment I'm looking for option, and what you mentioned is looking like a good one anyway, thanks
thumb.gif
The Asus Xonar Xense uses the C-Media CM8788 audio processor, I would be really surprised if Linux did not support the CM8788.
(But I'm not a Linux expert)

Just checked around, I can find talk of a Linux driver for the CM8788 chip-set as far back as 2008.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tacoboy View Post

The Asus Xonar Xense uses the C-Media CM8788 audio processor, I would be really surprised if Linux did not support the CM8788.
(But I'm not a Linux expert)

Just checked around, I can find talk of a Linux driver for the CM8788 chip-set as far back as 2008.
Yes, the processor has support, for example the STX works, which is almost the same card, but the Xense never got into the support card lists for some reason, there is a community 'hack' the supposedly makes it work with code from the STX driver, but I'm not too sure on that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

Your location says hungary.

Can we get a budget in your native currency and a few websites that you can purchase from please?

It makes things a lot easier that way.
As I said I'm mostly looking for something used from ebay, the prices and availability aren't very good here sadly. Anyway if you really want to you can check extreme digital (you can switch to english in the top left), for the price point it's 60k HUF at the very most.
 

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Have you considered 'In ear monitors'
My brother wears glasses and he uses in ear monitors and convinced me to try them
I've ordered some from China, 'Original Xiaomi Mi Piston Headphone Updated Version Brown'
Cost about $US25- plus postage, worth a try at that price to see if you like the concept
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm wearing IEMs (Sennheiser CX880) every day, while commuting, I like them, but I can't really use them for more than like 3 hours, after that they start getting uncomfortable.

I'm looking at DT990 or AKG Q701, anyone, opinion about those?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aximous View Post

I'm looking at DT990 or AKG Q701, anyone, opinion about those?
DT990: lots of bass and treble
Q701: neutral sound, bass light, great soundstage.

The 990 is much more comfortable than the 701. Overall just very different headphones, if you like one you probably will hate the other. Both would benefit greatly from amping.
 

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I'm not sure if you have access to massdrop but you might want to check out the AKG K7XX. From the sounds of the review it has the classic AKG signature tinted on the low end. Which makes it great for both critical listening and enjoyment of metal.

You can probably snag a magni/modi combo used for $150-$175. New is $200.

If you can get the AKG K7XX, which are currently on massdrop for $200, then a used magni/modi combo for $150. You'd fall right in your price range, and have great products.
 
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