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What first? Headphones or a card?

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May 11, 2010 9:43:24 PM

This should be an easy question for some of you sound card experts here. :) 

I've got a pair of Bose Around-Ear TriPort Headphones right now, and they seem to be pretty good. In fact, they're the best I've ever listened to.

I'm running them off of an integrated Realtek audio chip on my MSI 790FX-GD70 motherboard, though, and I've been thinking of getting a better sound card. The Asus Xonar Essence to be more specific.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My question here is this: What is going to be holding me back more... my headphones or my integrated audio chip? I'm aware that those Bose cans aren't the most expensive around, but that's probably because of their relatively cheap build... the sound quality from them is spectacular.

Any thoughts?

More about : headphones card

May 11, 2010 9:58:11 PM

I'll definitely recommend you get the card.. Headphones can be upgraded at any point later.. I won't say your integrated sound chip is holding you back though if you can listen to the audio very cleanly without any hiss.. BTW which headphones are you using??
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May 11, 2010 10:09:50 PM

http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/headpho...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Actually, I don't know what's causing it, but when my PC goes into standby, there's an extremely loud hiss coming from my headphones. It's loud to the point that I can hear it half way across my room. Of course, they're plugged into the front panel audio jack, so I've never really taken the time to unplug everything and pinpoint the source.

They were $30 more when I bought them from Bose, too... :( 
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May 11, 2010 10:42:05 PM

The large hiss is caused by the back current mostly.. This happens since the sound chip is not isolated and shares the power structure.. A dedicated sound card will solve this.. However, sometimes the ability of the drivers to pick up the noise structure also causes it but i doubt that in your case..

P.S. - Hope you don't mind but personally, i find BOSE products not worth the cost
they charge..
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May 11, 2010 10:56:45 PM

It's fine... I know what you mean about BOSE's prices...
They were actually my first pair of 'good' headphones over the $30 things you can buy at WalMart, so I decided to go to their walk-in store in Pennsylvania and try out a pair first. Sure, I could have gone to the Egg and found something built a lot better for the same amount of money, but it was kind of like buying a monitor or office chair... I'd rather go and try them out first.

In defense of my Bose phones, they're extremely comfortable, and as long as you're careful with them, they shouldn't fall apart like most people are saying they do... just don't stand on them and you'll be fine. :) 
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May 11, 2010 11:22:50 PM

I would say get a sound card first the ASUS Essence or an HT Omega Claro Halo both have excellent headphone AMPS and will make any headphones sound great and when you do get a quality headphones on one of those cards it will blow you away.
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May 12, 2010 1:16:41 AM

Another quick question then...
What exactly do you call a 'quality' set of headphones? Any links or suggestions?
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May 12, 2010 3:25:06 AM

Sennheiser are known to be some of the best headphones you can buy.
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May 12, 2010 1:29:15 PM

Ditto on on the Sennheiser, the asus card is probably the most highly recommened card around, but I wouldnt shy away from the new Creative x-fi that's just been confirmed http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/Sound-Blaster-X-Fi-THX,ne...
I have an x-fi Fatal1ty and a MOTU 828 and the x-fi holds its own with the best of them, and if it's coming out at the $100 range, it's not to be sniffed at. OF course it's not an audiophile's dream card but if it's as good as it sounds it'll defo give as much for the money.
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May 12, 2010 9:24:50 PM

I've heard of nothing but driver issues with Creative. If you got one, great, but I wouldn't buy one.
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May 13, 2010 12:59:20 AM

The baseline here is audio over headphones and so creative automatically goes out of contention.. Atleast till you don't decide to get an external headphone amp.. Sennheiser is a good brand but I'll never bother with their cheaper stuff.. They are just not that good enough.. Its best to get a quality headset which though little expensive, will serve for a long period of time.. Grado is an excellent brand you can look into.. Also take a look around www.avforums.com for more precise recommendations..
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May 13, 2010 2:40:35 AM

Kewlx25 said:
I've heard of nothing but driver issues with Creative. If you got one, great, but I wouldn't buy one.

I am so tired of people dissing creative about driver issues they had a little problem when vista came out and changed its whole audio configuration if anything its Microsoft fault that creatives cards had problems. Since then creative has come back and has fixed all their issues I hate people like you that bash good companies for one flaw that happened Please do some research before posting some nonsense about a problem that has been fixed over a year ago. I have been using an X-Fi Titanium for awhile now and the sound quality is spectacular and I have not had 1 problem with it. It runs perfect on Win 7 64bit without issue so please take your uninformed comment somewhere else.

For a soundcard to use with audiophile headphones you want a card with a good headphone amp like the 2 cards I suggest in a previous post.
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May 13, 2010 2:20:59 PM

saaiello said:
I am so tired of people dissing creative about driver issues they had a little problem when vista came out and changed its whole audio configuration if anything its Microsoft fault that creatives cards had problems. Since then creative has come back and has fixed all their issues I hate people like you that bash good companies for one flaw that happened Please do some research before posting some nonsense about a problem that has been fixed over a year ago. I have been using an X-Fi Titanium for awhile now and the sound quality is spectacular and I have not had 1 problem with it. It runs perfect on Win 7 64bit without issue so please take your uninformed comment somewhere else.

For a soundcard to use with audiophile headphones you want a card with a good headphone amp like the 2 cards I suggest in a previous post.


"[...]They had a little problem when vista came out[...]"
ROFL. BSODs continued into Win7 and that's a few years AFTER Vista came out. In the WoW forums, almost all people complaining about WoW crashing their comps had Creative cards, rest were bad/old video drivers. Always fixed when they removed/disabled their Creative cards. This was an on going issue for almost 2 years. No other sound card company had issues BSOD'n on a regular basis. Made you wanna use onboard.

Creative is good? They falsely sued Aureal into bankruptcy and even now Creative's top sound cards still can't do 3D sound near as good as my $20 A3D card from the late 90s.

edit: Creative makes good hardware, just not drivers. Well, they may be good now.
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May 13, 2010 4:01:31 PM

Creative cards still have tons of issues; they STILL haven't permanatlly fixed the SCP issue...Nevermind that quality wise (measured in SnR), Creative is only on part with the best Realtek chipsets (108 SnR) compared to ASUS/HT Omega/Auzentech (at least 116 SnR). Throw in out of the box DDL/DTS-C, replacable O-amps (select models at least), and stable drivers, and its a no brainer. ASUS in particular has better cards then Creative at every price point.
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May 14, 2010 9:57:28 PM

I agree on Creative... yes, I've heard good things about them too, and I'm sure there are people who would stick up for Creative, but there are just too many cases of things just not working with them. I've never had a single problem with Asus, and the Xonar Essence is supposedly one of the best headphone cards in its class.

I agree on Sennheiser, too, but I just don't have that kind of money to spend for a pair of headphones. If I just kept my pair of Bose cans I'm using now, would I notice a difference if I'd buy the Essence, or would I be better off getting a pair of Sennheisers instead, and just use onboard audio?
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May 14, 2010 10:09:46 PM

I had a pair of sound isolating Shure head phones that sounded really nice. They make some pretty decent pro gear.
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May 14, 2010 10:25:04 PM

Alright, I've spent over $800 on headphones myself (I returned most though). Let me tell you this, Bose is not that good. They are very colored and very overpriced for the sound quality they give.

If you are a bass head:
Beyerdynamic DT770, the most comfortable I've ever used: http://www.amazon.com/beyerdynamic-DT-770-Stereo-Headph...

Cheaper: Audio Technica ATH-M50: http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-Studio-Monitor-Hea...

The DT770s have more bass, but the ATH-M50s are much more neutral and balanced. I would give the DT770s the nod for bass and detail and give the ATH-M50s the nod for neutrality, guitar reproduction, and treble.

For gaming:
Audio Technica AD700s: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The AD700s don't have much bass, but what they do have is pleasantly detailed. The detail, clarity, and quality of reproduction is unmatched by any headphone under $250. They also have great imaging, meaning you can exactly pin point the location of the sounds in your head. For jazz and classical this is an amazing quality. For gaming, these will give you the edge in combat, they helped immensely in BFBC2 and MW2.

For heavy metal and hard rock:
Grado SR125i: http://www.amazon.com/Grado-Prestige-Series-SR125i-Head...

They don't have the most bass, but their guitar reproduction and the "in your face" presentation is simply second to none. This is the signature Grado sound, and it is very nice. Be aware that the treble can be a bit harsh at times.

Now, if you want to go the in-ear monitor route I can help you there too. In-ear monitors tend to sound as good or better at the same prices as full sized headphones, but they manage to isolate more sound, and take less to push.

Now for sound cards:
Cheap:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Expensive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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May 15, 2010 2:09:01 PM

As someone already suggested, I'll probably go with the Asus Xonar Essence (Looks better than the Omega, has shielding, and everyone says it just sounds better), and wait a while for a good pair of Sennheisers. I'm going to get flamed at for this, but I just can't see a pair of $89 headphones being noticeably better than these Bose ones. I just can't. If I'm going to buy a better set of cans, then I might as well save up money and get something that I'll never have to upgrade again, instead of spending another hundred bucks on something that's basically the same as what I have now.
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May 15, 2010 3:27:05 PM

The Asus Xonar Essence and the Omega use the same sound processing chip, but they come with slightly different components so they sound only *slightly* difference, but have different software. You can't go wrong with either.

I understand your difficulty, it's hard to imagine how overpriced Bose are at times. You must remember that all those headphones I posted are by brands you likely have never heard of, so they have to be competitve. In honesty, a par of $30 JVC RX700s with some dynamat put in the cup, sound better than your Bose and are up there with all the ones I mentioned. It all comes down to subjectivity. I hate the colored sound of Bose, meaning I hate the exaggeration employed to make people who have only heard really crappy equipment think Bose is so amazing, its all about marketing and not the actual product. You can use a digital equilizer to get any form of coloration you want with any headphone, not just the sound Bose sticks you with.

The thing with sound is that, everyone likes something different, this is why I gave you a broad range of phones to choose from.

What do you listen to? What are you looking for in a headphone? Wht do you like in a headphone, deep bass, punchy bass, boomy bass, exaggerated midrange, ect.

Tell me this and I will find you plenty of good options. You may like Sennheiser, but you may not too, you need to match these phones to your needs and forget the brand. The only Sennheiser headphones I recommend are the HD 595, HD 600, and the HD 650, I find the rest not worth the money over similar sounding headpones. Also if you are looking into in-ear monitors, the Sennheiser IE7s and IE8s are excellent, both sound very different from the other so the IE8 isn't just better despite the price.
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May 16, 2010 1:21:36 AM

I know what you're saying about Bose's sound quality... I wish I could say that I agree, and I probably would if I had actually ever heard a pair of high-quality phones on a dedicated card. I'm really not a big fan of Bose right now, either. Once I got these to my house, that's when it dawned on me that they weren't exactly what I had paid for. Really, after about an hour of wearing them, they start to hurt the top of my head because all that's up there is a 1/2 inch wide sharp metal strip covered in some thin fabric. :( 

This isn't going to help much, but I listen to pretty much everything through these. More specifically, just about every type of music imaginable and gaming. Yes, I know that the Essence isn't the best 'gaming card', but that isn't my priority. I'd like a pair of phones that are as precise as possible in playback - if I want it to sound any warmer or have more bass, then I can always use the EQ to do that.

Oh, and I was looking at a pair of Sennheiser 595's on NewEgg earlier today. And I'd only buy in-ear headphones as a last resort.

Any thoughts?
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May 16, 2010 1:26:32 PM

if you buy in-ears, yes its last resort, but you may be internest in sennheisers new IE range

sennheiser IE 6,7,8

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May 16, 2010 1:28:04 PM

the sound stage is huge on the IEs

and i have the IE7 which good treble, good bass, very warm (instruments also cut nicely), but mostly of all it has a huge soundstageand its very cormforting to listen to.
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May 16, 2010 2:10:48 PM

someguynamedmatt said:
I know what you're saying about Bose's sound quality... I wish I could say that I agree, and I probably would if I had actually ever heard a pair of high-quality phones on a dedicated card. I'm really not a big fan of Bose right now, either. Once I got these to my house, that's when it dawned on me that they weren't exactly what I had paid for. Really, after about an hour of wearing them, they start to hurt the top of my head because all that's up there is a 1/2 inch wide sharp metal strip covered in some thin fabric. :( 

This isn't going to help much, but I listen to pretty much everything through these. More specifically, just about every type of music imaginable and gaming. Yes, I know that the Essence isn't the best 'gaming card', but that isn't my priority. I'd like a pair of phones that are as precise as possible in playback - if I want it to sound any warmer or have more bass, then I can always use the EQ to do that.

Oh, and I was looking at a pair of Sennheiser 595's on NewEgg earlier today. And I'd only buy in-ear headphones as a last resort.

Any thoughts?


The days of "gaming" sound cards making any difference at all are long, long gone.

Precise as possible playback! Your talking like an audiophile! :D 

The AKG 701 has a nice amount of base and is extremely precise and musical:
http://www.amazon.com/AKG-K-701-WHITE-HEADPHONES/dp/B00...

The Audio Technica AD700s, don't have much bass, but their soundstage and imaging is second to none:
http://www.amazon.com/Technica-ATH-AD700-Audiophile-Hea...

The Audio Technica ATH-M50, it is very neutral and precise with a decent, fun bass, but it has very little soundstage, still better than Alessandro or Grado though. These are what I have connected to my PC 24/7:
http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-Studio-Monitor-Hea...

The Alessandro MS-1 and MS-2 are modified Grado headphones for a more neutral sound and are quite precise, though the sound stage is small and "in your face":
http://www.alessandro-products.com/headphones.html

The Beyerdynamic DT880 are extremely comfortable and are neutral and precise, though the bass will be slightly less powerful than the K701, but it will go deeper.
http://www.amazon.com/beyerdynamic-DT-880-Premium-Headp...

Note that for the Beyerdynamic DT880 and the AKG K701, you will need an amplifier.

The K701 loves tube amps, and this is a great, affordable one: http://cgi.ebay.com/Little-Dot-MK-II-SKU93-Portable-Hea...

The DT880 needs a full amplifier, not a portable one, so it is only an option if you can provide that.

There are a lot of good recommendations for certain price ranges. Hope it helps.
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May 16, 2010 2:12:03 PM

someguynamedmatt said:
This should be an easy question for some of you sound card experts here. :) 

I've got a pair of Bose Around-Ear TriPort Headphones right now, and they seem to be pretty good. In fact, they're the best I've ever listened to.

I'm running them off of an integrated Realtek audio chip on my MSI 790FX-GD70 motherboard, though, and I've been thinking of getting a better sound card. The Asus Xonar Essence to be more specific.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My question here is this: What is going to be holding me back more... my headphones or my integrated audio chip? I'm aware that those Bose cans aren't the most expensive around, but that's probably because of their relatively cheap build... the sound quality from them is spectacular.

Any thoughts?


I think first you should buy a sound card. Because if you have a nice sound system with a crappy sound card you wont get a "crystal clear" sound. I always recommend SoundBlaster X-Fi Sound Cards (specially the fatal1ty series or something like that), but that Asus card u showed there seemed to be very good.

For the headphones, I DONT like headphones at all, but bose IS a fantastic brand :D  . I prefer to buy some 2.1 +1 speaker set. I'll recommend you a Edifier X3, which has a nice subwoofer with sum nice speakers ;)  . I dont like 5.1 at all.

Speakers: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3SvD2Y1Gks

Sound Card (Creative X-Fi): http://us.store.creative.com/PCI-Express-Sound-Blaster-...

Good luck and sorry for my bad english, lol!
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May 16, 2010 2:23:29 PM

Quote:
<Huge List>


Those are all some pretty nice phones, but I've still got a few questions. I see you didn't mention those Sennheisers in there anywhere... did you just leave them out or do they have a different sound quality to them?

Also, as long as they're accurate, I'd prefer to stay on the bass-ey side of things... I like phones that can hit hard if it's called for, but not to the point that they're like the Bose ones I have that hit hard all the time. :) 
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May 16, 2010 2:28:21 PM

Dude, Just keep your headphones if they're good enough for you. No need to go out spending $200 for better sound, it just sound stupid to be honest...
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May 16, 2010 4:46:55 PM

juicycrapachino said:
... No need to go out spending $200 for better sound, it just sound stupid to be honest...


Some people have different priorities than others. Instead of spending $200 on a better graphics card or such, I'd rather have better sound quality. I wouldn't have made this topic if I felt they were good enough for me. ;) 
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May 16, 2010 5:58:45 PM

lol thats the same for me.
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May 16, 2010 6:16:35 PM

Well, let's be realistic about things. I'm running a Radeon HD 5770 on a Phenom II x4 965 right now, and it runs Just Cause 2 completely maxed out. Of course, I'm also running it on a 1280x1024 or something monitor that came with an old Dell I bought too... probably should be my next upgrade after a sound card and some headphones. Anyway, if playing your average game maxed out at 1280x1024, or at medium settings at 1600 by whatever isn't good enough for you, then you may very well be unpleasable. And chances are, if you have a 5970 on an i7-890x processor, then you probably neglected to get a dedicated sound card, and your audio is comparable to mine right now. Take that. :) 

Just my two cents on getting a balanced computer.

Back to the topic. Any thoughts on the Sennheiser HD595's?
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May 16, 2010 9:04:21 PM

someguynamedmatt said:
Quote:
<Huge List>


Those are all some pretty nice phones, but I've still got a few questions. I see you didn't mention those Sennheisers in there anywhere... did you just leave them out or do they have a different sound quality to them?

Also, as long as they're accurate, I'd prefer to stay on the bass-ey side of things... I like phones that can hit hard if it's called for, but not to the point that they're like the Bose ones I have that hit hard all the time. :) 


Yep, your right I forgot to talk about the Senns. The Sennheiser HD 595s are pretty detailed, but they lack bass and are very flat, so not very musical. This creates a sound that just isn't precise to me, and isn't very musical. The HD 595s are great phones for mixing tracks and professional applications, but the HD 600s are just so much more musical with more detail, better bass, and a lot more engaging.

The Sennheiser HD 595s are a very aquired taste. If you want to hear the music without any color or tonal changes then they are good, but precise and musical is not part of their strong points. I usually say that the HD 595s are the flattest sounding headphones I've ever heard, which is great for some people, but not for a lot.

If you want some bass, then your in luck. You will find that there is a difference between good bass and Bose bass. Bose bass is muddy, grimy, and simply very lacking in detail. It is great if you are one of those people with 2-3 of the cheapest, loudest, sub woofers in the back of your car being ran with an underpowered amplifier where all bass notes come together into a single rumble. Now you know this isn't the same as the bass that the Bose reproduce, but it is the closest I've heard outside of Beats by Dr. Dre.

The AKG K701 will give you the best bass, detail, and precision all while being fun, but they are costly. Another pair of headphones that are very precise and neutral, but not flat, with a good amount of bass are the Audio Technica ATH-M50s. I use these exclusively with my PC because they are fun for music and fun for gaming. I would have to say that the K701s are unmatched, but they end up being ~$400 with an amp. Another good option if you want to go a little lower on bass than the M50s or K701s, but retain detail that is very close to the K701s and a bit better than the M50s, are the Shure 840 which are ~$200. The 840 and the M50 don't need an amp to sound their best as well.

Do note that the ATH-M50s are $200 headphones, but Audio Technica are very lenient about the resale price of their products, so they end up being about $100.
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May 16, 2010 9:09:53 PM

juicycrapachino said:
Dude, Just keep your headphones if they're good enough for you. No need to go out spending $200 for better sound, it just sound stupid to be honest...


I see your 5770 is overclocked to 1Ghz on the core.

Dude, just keep it at stock, otherwise it will just produce more heat. No need to overclock for a little bit better graphics detail because everyone knows it's all about the gameplay, it just graphics stupid.

See, doesn't work that way huh?
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May 16, 2010 10:49:31 PM

Why buy a graphics card at all in that case? If your board has onboard graphics, you don't really need it, do you?... it just graphics...

:lol: 
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May 16, 2010 10:55:23 PM

The K701s sound pretty good to me, and looks pretty comfortable, too. Well, I guess the only comparison I have is basically a knife wrapped in fabric, but oh well. :) 

I don't mind spending a little extra money on a good headphone audio system, as long as it will last, and it's physically impossible for sound to get any better than it can be now. It's not like nature's going to be releasing another version of DirectSound every year... The only way I can see a need to upgrade this is if someone finds a way to wire the computer straight to your eardrum. I don't see that happening any time soon. :D 

And I take it I should avoid Dr. Dre's like they're the plague?
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May 16, 2010 11:24:04 PM

Dr. Dre's will make you sick with the bass, at the expense of everything else.

Also, I once owned a pair of K701s and loved them, but they were stolen and I've yet to be able to truly replace them.

May I make a suggestion? Don't go too overboard now. I used a pair of Grado SR80s for 3 years and were plenty happy. I then broke them and researched new ones. I ended up spending a ludicrous amount of money on different headphones and amps, most of which I sent back. I settled on the K701s. Then my in ear monitors broke, Etymotic ER6, which I use on the go. I researched again and settled on the Sennheiser IE8 for a week, they cost $400, and I ended up buying another pair, the JVC HP-FX500s. I was really curious about the wooden enclosure and driver diaphragm in each bud and a read a raving review. Their characteristics were different from anything I had ever owned, but I was still curious. They cost $150 to import. I ended up returning my IE8s because I fell in love with them. Then when I lost my K701s to theft ~6 months later I bought a pair of ATH-M50s to replace them, which were totally different from my FX500s and only slightly similar to my K701, they are my first pair of closed headphones, and I loved them too. Now if I could come up with ~$400 for a pair of K701s and a good amp, I likely would, but I am happy as it is now too.

Long story short, I found that there is a level of sound quality that is easily achieved, and anything after that is just reaching for that last 10%.

Don't get me wrong, the K701s are wonderful, but you are coming from Bose, and I doubt that you can really appriciate them as much as I would $800 later from this hobby.

My point is this, even a good pair of $100 headphones will be a good upgrade, so I would recommend that you head over to Head-fi.org, ask some questions, read some reviews, and find places to audition these yourself, unless you have the patients and money to buy a few and pick one you like then send the rest back.
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May 16, 2010 11:39:23 PM

Quote:
Don't go too overboard now.

I'm not sure how you can say that after posting your half-page story. :D 
But yeah, this is the first thing I'll be buying for my PC in about a year, so I'm well due for an upgrade somewhere or another.

Quote:
My point is this, even a good pair of $100 headphones will be a good upgrade, so I would recommend that you head over to Head-fi.org, ask some questions, read some reviews, and find places to audition these yourself, unless you have the patients and money to buy a few and pick one you like then send the rest back.


Probably another good idea. The only problem is that, where I live, I'd have to drive for about ten hours in order to get to the nearest pair of headphones of this quality. I figure that since both you and the people at Head-fi (I'm not a member there, but I've certainly done some reading) would recommend the K701s. Yes, true, I probably won't be able to truly grasp how good the sound quality is because of what I have now, but I figure that if it saves me $200 from buying another pair, then it's worth the sacrifice.

Wow, it's amazing how much I've learned about headphones in the last two days. :wahoo: 
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May 17, 2010 12:06:50 AM

drive for about 10 hours??? ur kidding me...
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May 17, 2010 12:36:44 AM

Ah, it probably isn't that long, but there certainly isn't an audio store in any relatively close cities. Computers and technology aren't really a booming business in these parts of the United States...
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May 17, 2010 12:39:59 AM

OP do you live near a guitar center? You can find the Shure 440, 840, and others there sometimes.

Also take a gander through the phone book to make sure, and call any place that sounds likely, it is what I did for my IE8s.

And I'm glad you seem comfortable with the K701s, I can't imagine you being disappointed at all, they are amazing.
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May 17, 2010 12:49:11 AM

Nope, no guitar centers in a reasonable distance.

A couple last questions for you before this thread ends up dying from lack of anything else to ask. :( 

First, if I'd go out and buy a pair of 701s, what all would I be able to use them with? I know that they'd work with my PC, assuming I got the Asus Xonar Essence along with them, but would I be able to use them with an LCD television? I'm sure that they wouldn't exactly sound good with an MP3 player, either...

Secondly, I've been told over and over again that a lossless media player sounds better than Windows Media Player. Is this true? If it is, to what extent?
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May 17, 2010 2:01:30 AM

It all would work fine. The LCD TV may not sound too great, but it will work fine.

Your MP3 player would work just fine, most sound good. A Creative Labs, Cowon, or Sansa MP3 player would sound damn good.

With the amplifier, you should be fine. If you are thinking about a more portable use with these, then research a good portable amp for the K701s on Head-fi.

As for the player, Foobar 2000 is my preferred, look on Head-fi for all the reasons why.
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May 17, 2010 7:24:49 PM

I wasn't really thinking about it at the time, but I guess a television would really be limited to the quality of audio that the cable company gives you.

Lol, and my MP3 player only cost me about $20, so it isn't exactly what you'd call 'good'. I wouldn't be taking them anywhere, either, so I'll probably end up using the Bose ones with it if I were to buy a new pair. I mean, they aren't the best out there, but they certainly aren't worthless, either... :) 
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May 17, 2010 11:36:20 PM

If you ever find the need to go portable, you really need in ear monitors. Headphones are just not user friendly on the go.

One of the most detailed, crystal clear, and precise in ear monitors are the Head-direct RE0:
http://head-direct.com/product_detail.php?p=38

They go head to head with in ear monitors that cost multiples of their price. In shear detail and clarity, I would rank them up there in the ~$300 range. If you don't believe me, head over to Head-fi and show my more than 10 major users who don't own and love a pair. I never bought them, but I auditioned them and I really enjoyed them. Just don't expect thundering bass, it is there and it goes deep, but it is pretty neutral.
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May 18, 2010 6:42:10 PM

oo the impedence seems high for a IEM 64 ohms? its nto too high, but i usualyl only see 16s, i mean ur never gonna relaly pair an IEM with a headphone amp lol
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May 18, 2010 8:26:10 PM

MEgamer said:
oo the impedence seems high for a IEM 64 ohms? its nto too high, but i usualyl only see 16s, i mean ur never gonna relaly pair an IEM with a headphone amp lol


It means very little in the long run. An IEM is louder at lower volume levels than headphones, and most decent portable sources can push 64 Ohms to begin with. Also, the ohm rating doesn't tell the whole story, there are many other factors.
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May 18, 2010 10:10:07 PM

AMW1011 said:
It means very little in the long run. An IEM is louder at lower volume levels than headphones, and most decent portable sources can push 64 Ohms to begin with. Also, the ohm rating doesn't tell the whole story, there are many other factors.

Very true, but I honestly don't plan on needing any IEMs of this quality any time soon. I'd rather spend all of my budget on one good pair of bulky headphones and a quality sound card, than on an extra pair of IEMs.
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June 4, 2010 12:55:48 AM

Ah, well, this thread just came back to life after my two hour browsing session on NewEgg. I've picked out the K701s as my next set of cans, but now I just ran into a cement wall after reading hundreds upon hundreds of reviews on the Egg. Here's what I've got so far from it:
Quote:

Onboard Audio sucks because it isn't an audio card. Understandable and somewhat true. Xonar cards suck because they have old drivers and aren't Creative cards. Creative cards suck just because they're Creative cards. Everything else sucks for no absolute reason. Hmm...

Well then...
Despite the meatheads on the Egg who rate it 1-3 because they just don't know what they're doing, I've picked out a new card that won't cost more than my whole graphics subsystem.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Also running at 192khz, it's $40 cheaper than the Xonar Essence, and comes with a front bay adjustment panel which I'll probably use more than any other button on the actual tower. It may not be an actual headphone amp, and excuse me if I'm wrong, but the system I have right now (onboard/Bose) can be cranked up loud enough to make my ears bleed. I'm not sure if I need all that extra power.
Any better suggestions around or under that price range? I decided to get a better HDD/SSD or a second 5770 too, so I'm trying to budget things out a little bit now.
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June 4, 2010 5:04:20 AM

someguynamedmatt said:
Ah, well, this thread just came back to life after my two hour browsing session on NewEgg. I've picked out the K701s as my next set of cans, but now I just ran into a cement wall after reading hundreds upon hundreds of reviews on the Egg. Here's what I've got so far from it:
Quote:

Onboard Audio sucks because it isn't an audio card. Understandable and somewhat true. Xonar cards suck because they have old drivers and aren't Creative cards. Creative cards suck just because they're Creative cards. Everything else sucks for no absolute reason. Hmm...

Well then...
Despite the meatheads on the Egg who rate it 1-3 because they just don't know what they're doing, I've picked out a new card that won't cost more than my whole graphics subsystem.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Also running at 192khz, it's $40 cheaper than the Xonar Essence, and comes with a front bay adjustment panel which I'll probably use more than any other button on the actual tower. It may not be an actual headphone amp, and excuse me if I'm wrong, but the system I have right now (onboard/Bose) can be cranked up loud enough to make my ears bleed. I'm not sure if I need all that extra power.
Any better suggestions around or under that price range? I decided to get a better HDD/SSD or a second 5770 too, so I'm trying to budget things out a little bit now.


Creative cards aren't bad, but I still don't trust them from their problems that seems to keep reoccurring, mostly software.

Here is a good card in the price range. It uses the same chip as the Asus you were going to get, but its a little lighter on the features.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 4, 2010 7:11:51 PM

That looks good... I've always heard good things about Omega. The only problem I may have with it is that with my CrossFireX Setup, I'm not sure if I'll have a regular PCI slot left on my motherboard, or with the dual-slot 5770s. I'll check that for you...

UPDATE:

Here's what I've Got:

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=======================

In order:
PCI Express x16. Taken by first 5770.
PCI Express x1. Covered by that 5770.
PCI Express x16. Open.
PCI. Used by Network Card.
PCI Express x16. Taken by second 5770.
PCI. Covered by that 5770.
PCI Express x16. Open.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So basically, I have no PCI ports open. The only one that isn't covered is used by my wireless adapter. What I could do here is, since I still have two open x16 slots (I'll have to check the speeds with x16/x16 cfx), I can go ahead and buy a better PCIe wireless card to replace what I have now, and then use that PCI slot for the sound card.

EDIT:

Better yet, how would this card do?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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!