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Quick question about headphone amp on a sound card

Last response: in Components
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January 8, 2011 4:46:32 PM

I ordered a set of Logitech G35 headphones. I've only had them for a few days and haven't used them for gaming yet. I did try them with music and I am not impressed compared to my HD280s. Hopefully I will have time this weekend to test the G35s with gaming. If I am still not impressed with them compared to my HD280s then I am going to look into a sound card that has a built in headphone amp like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

My question is if I use the front audio headphone jack of my Antec 902 case will I still be taking advantage of the cards headphone amp? I assume the answer is yes but I wasn't sure if the headphones needed to be plugged directly into the sound card to take advantage of the amp.
January 8, 2011 5:05:57 PM

Sorry to disappoint you but the answer actually is NO.. You won't get the amp output from the front audio jack.. Having said that, I don't think it even requires an amped output.. Also, getting a sound card is not going to produce any better sound from those cans..
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January 8, 2011 5:19:32 PM

Thank you for the response Emperus. I was thinking that getting a sound card that has Dolby Headphone would give better performance with gaming than the EVGA X58s on board sound. I know the HD280s don't require a lot of power since they are 64ohm and easy to drive. Of course having a bit more power from a dedicated sound card headphone amp can't hurt either.

Also, I figured it was worth a shot for only $23.00 after rebates.
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January 8, 2011 5:29:20 PM

Which sound card are you talking about..??
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January 8, 2011 5:35:17 PM

The one I linked to in my original post. Asus Xonar DG
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January 8, 2011 7:52:27 PM

I've read just about every review I can find on it. lol It appears to be a great card for the money.

I think I am better off selling the G35s or returning them and getting the Xonar DG to use with my HD280s. I am hoping to get in a few hours of gaming with the G35s this weekend. That should help me decide what to do. I wasn't impressed with the G35s with music but maybe I will be with gaming. Then again I might be more impressed with the Xonar DG/HD280 combo for both gaming and music.
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January 9, 2011 11:45:14 AM

The HD 280 is a better can anyday.. The G35 has virtual 7.1 audio which, IMO, is useless..
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January 9, 2011 8:27:45 PM

I used the G35s for a few hours of CODBO last night. I actually liked the "virtual" 7.1 surround effect. It wasn't anywhere near as good as a true surround sound setup but it did help locate where shots were coming from. In terms of sound quality they basically sounded muddy compared to the 280s. There was more bass with the G35s but not clean bass.

I think I am going to order the Xonar DG and try that out with the 280s. It has Dolby surround headphone so maybe it will give a similar effect to the G35s. The only thing I don't like is having to reach around the back of the computer to plug in the headphones when I want to use them. I like the convience of the front case jack. If I use the front case jack then I won't be taking advantage of the Xonar's headphone amp. Is there a way to leave them plugged in the back and I can just select where I want the audio to go in the Xonar menu?
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January 9, 2011 8:37:32 PM

I just read the Xonar manual. Leaving the headphones plugged in is not an option. The front speakers share the same jack as the headphones.

Are you positive the front case jack won't take advantage of the Xonar's amp?
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January 9, 2011 8:38:41 PM

Quote:
Do you have sdif connectors onboard?


Yes, my main board does have a sdif optical output.
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January 9, 2011 8:59:32 PM

I am using Logitech Z5500s that do have an optical input. Form what I've read the Xonar DG will only output stereo over the optical out. Plug it doesn't have Dolby Digital live like the more expensive cards do. So basically the spdif output of the Xonar is useless. The Xonar DG also is only 5.1 like the Z5500s so that isn't a problem.

Having to change cables at the back of the pc when I want to switch from headphones to speakers is the problem! lol

O yeah, just to be clear I don't own the Xonar DG yet. I was thinking about ordering it.
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February 8, 2011 5:23:58 AM

I finally got an answer on Asus's forum: http://vip.asus.com/forum/view.aspx?id=2011011509200563...

According to that post the same "headphone amp" is used for the rear as well as the front audio jacks. Regardless, I ordered a Xonar DG tonight. I will try both the rear and the front jacks while adjusting the "ohm" amp setting using my Sennheiser HD280 pros. In theory, if the amp is the same for both the front and rear jacks then they should sound the same. I will test both then post my results.

Hopefully they are the same and the DG sounds good with my 280s. I prefer using my Z5500s but when I can't I want a decent headphone setup to use with my 280s. My EVGA X58 onboard sounds great with the Z5500s but with the 280s it is lacking. Hopefully the Xonar DG is the cheap answer I am looking for.
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February 13, 2011 12:14:11 AM

I installed the Xonar DG tonight. Sure enough you can easily tell when you change the ohm rating even when using the front jack. I believe it is safe to say the front jack does utilize the same amp as the rear jack.

I am using Sennheiser HD 280s and they sound great with the >64ohm setting. The Xonar DG sounds much better than the EVGA X58 onboard I was using.

I also like that when I plug the headphones into to the front jack it automatically switches the sound settings to headphones. Then when I remove the headphones it switches back to 5.1. Very nice!

I am very impressed with the Xonar DG, especially for $23.00 after rebate!
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February 13, 2011 12:29:41 AM

beekermartin - Thank you for this thread. I just ordered the Xonar DG and should be gettting it soon.
All the reviews said it cant be beat for the money and actually compares favorably to mid range cards.
One site did a heavy duty review with all kinds of harmonic tests and it even beat the Xonar DS in some of them.
I do some light duty recording (daughter's guitar, keyboard and vocals) plus alot of music listening so this card should do the trick.

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February 12, 2014 2:58:51 AM

hello
beekermartin
have u tried spdif output of ur sound card????
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February 16, 2014 12:14:51 PM

I've only used the 6 channel analog outputs and the headphone output.
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