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New Headphones HELP

Discussion in 'Sound City' started by sreeve1993, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. sreeve1993

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 9, 2011

    Posts: 458

    Location: Central London

    Hi guys,

    Wondering if anyone could kindly help me with choosing a new pair of headphones?

    At the moment I'm using HyperX cloud with a Asus Xonar do 7.1 SC.

    I've seen the AKG 702 and the Beyedynamics 990 and need help with choosing one?

    Headphones will be used mostly for gaming, and from what I read the 702 are more for competiveness and the 990 are more fun factor. Has anyone used both and if so what would you recommend?

    Also would my soundcard be effective driving these headphones or will a amp be better?

    If I need a amp please link me to a best bang for buck.

    Budget is around 100-120 by the wa

    Thanks guys
     
  2. EsaT

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 3,773

    Location: Finland

    For competititiveness/details K702 is extremely good...
    And especially for Dolby Headphone's bass bloat above neutral bass just isn't good.
    (Or is your card one of those without DH? What's the specific model?)

    DT990's "stock" bass is really too much for Dolby Headphone/DH's bass bloat too much for it.
    For Creative's binaural simulations DT990's bass fits lot better.

    AKG K712 is basically completely same as DT990 and anyway out of budget.
    AKG K612 should be somewhere between K702 and K712.
     
  3. sreeve1993

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 9, 2011

    Posts: 458

    Location: Central London

    Thanks for your reply.

    Here is my soundcard https://www.overclockers.co.uk/asus...s-sound-card-90-yaa060-1uan0bz-sc-002-as.html

    It does have Dolby headphone and with the settings DH but I tend to switch off and leave it on stereo when gaming.

    In fact my budget would probably be £100-120 for the headphones alone and whatever best bang for buck if needing an AMP to get best results. It's my bday so wouldn't mind treating myself

    At the moment though I'm feeling pushed towards the AKG K702
     
  4. EsaT

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 3,773

    Location: Finland

    Completely lame 100 ohm output impedance of that card (makes SB Z's 20 ohms look great) isn't exactly best for damping factor with lower impedance headphones.
    Beyer's 250ohm impedance would keep (electric) damping factor more decent
    But it definitely won't like DH's bass bloat.
    Though at least AKG's don't have huge impedance variation of Sennheiser HD500-series which would cause bass bloat with that output impedance.


    With that closed Kingston also having strong bass (at least original HyperX Cloud has) and likely as closed can with not good sound stage don't wonder if you haven't used Dolby Headphone.
    Lack of proper sound stage just breaks binaural sound really badly...
    First minute of this should have clear sense of sound coming from farther away (than next to/from inside ear) and from different distances:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1_20T8x_OI
    If there's no feel of that that's because of those HyperXes.
     
  5. V F

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 13, 2003

    Posts: 14,224

    Location: UK

    I always thought there was something dodgy about Dolby Headphone on my Steelseries 840. It was way too loud. Let alone the echo. It's a horrible feeling.




    I simply let the normal 5.1 go to the headphones, as Dolby is horrid. Maybe at some point I'd go for the K712/optical to stereo analog converter to replace the wireless set for the console. Wireless is at least handy since it is 8 - 9ft away.
     
  6. EsaT

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 3,773

    Location: Finland

    It's pretty obvious that many people just don't care about details and think that the more there's bass the better the sound.
    But for anyone caring about details Dolby Headphone starts sounding bad really fast with above neutral bass headphones.
    Listening it first time was quite shock after all "Dolby this and that" hype and how supposedly good those Xonars are for headphone gaming.

    And while neutral bass makes it more tolerable there's still that lot stronger echo feel than with any Creative algorithm.
    It really reminds me about atmosphere of public paths.
    No doubt with some wonky frequency response gaming trinket it could sound even weirder than with good headphones.
     
  7. sreeve1993

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 9, 2011

    Posts: 458

    Location: Central London

    @EsaT your input has been really helpful!

    I've had my soundcard for like 5-6 years now so if it's recommended for me to replace it I defintely would. I've had my money's worth out of it.

    I've made my choice and I'm going for AKG k702. Would you recommend me getting a AMP for this?
     
  8. sreeve1993

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 9, 2011

    Posts: 458

    Location: Central London

    I've just bought the AKG K702

    Will my soundcard be okay to drive these headphones?

    As I've been reading that these headphones are hungry to drive. I'm new to all this 'sound' stuff so any feedback will help me :)
     
  9. Marsman

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 9,954

    Unless it's a STX/II, Xense or Phoebus, then not really. The headphones will work, but you'll end up with thin sound and probably a lack of volume.

    D1/X, D2/X, DS/X; none have a headphone amp. DG/X does, but is a bit weedy compared to the STX/II and not really good enough for the K702 and similar variants.

    Soundblaster Z is a step up from the DG/X's amp, but even that is found a bit wanting.

    Soundblaster AE-5 would be ideal, but is around £120.
     
  10. V F

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 13, 2003

    Posts: 14,224

    Location: UK

    Yeah, I had to get a sApII to drive them on the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude.
     
  11. Marsman

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 9,954

    That's a good point and something I'd forgotten about.

    Could just connect a DAC/amp to the sound card's optical out. That way there is benefit of a better amp and possibly DAC as well, while still being able to use the sound card's DSP effects, such as Dolby Headphone in this case.
     
  12. sreeve1993

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 9, 2011

    Posts: 458

    Location: Central London

    I had a feeling that would be the case. Thank you for your help.

    What would you recommend me to buy? I've been looking at the Fiio Ek17 and Bravo Ocean, but I don't fully understand what I need.

    Being able to still use my DSP effects sounds like a good idea instead of just letting my soundcard rot.
     
  13. sreeve1993

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 9, 2011

    Posts: 458

    Location: Central London

    @V F I might just do the same as you as it's more in budget :)

    Is yours the SMSL Sap-2 pro?
     
  14. Marsman

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 9,954

    Is it the DG/X you have?
     
  15. sreeve1993

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 9, 2011

    Posts: 458

    Location: Central London

  16. Marsman

    Sgarrista

    Joined: Oct 18, 2009

    Posts: 9,954

    Yeah. Had one myself years ago until it died. Got a DAC/amp after that.

    Getting an amp and connecting it to the DG/X's headphone amp will certainly be more cost effective, but I'm wondering about the possibility of double amping. In VF's case, the Prelude doesn't have a headphone amp already.

    SMSL do some DAC/amp units, but I'm not sure how well something like the SD793II or M3 will drive the K702. I remember seeing another member post some time back that the SMSL M3 he had really wasn't driving his Beyerdynamic DT990 250 Ohm well enough. While they are 250 Ohm compared to 62 Ohm of the AKG's, the K702's are harder to drive than the Ohm rating suggests.

    SMSL M6 will have enough power, but that costs as much as a SB AE-5.
     
  17. V F

    Capodecina

    Joined: Aug 13, 2003

    Posts: 14,224

    Location: UK

    Yeah. I checked out his impression before purchasing. It's got a lot of power and doesn't colour the sound. No sp/dif on it since I wanted to keep it running through the soundcard DAC.

    I had the AMP at a maximum 8 - 9 o'clock.

     
  18. EsaT

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 3,773

    Location: Finland

    D/A converters themselves aren't capable to driving any kind loads directly and there's always some buffer/opamp.
    And cheaper headphone output amps aren't even that good at driving heavier (low impedance) loads.
    If you check datasheets of used opamp it often shows performances from line input load impedance levels to maybe 600 ohm, or at most couple hundred ohm, level.
    With lowest distortion etc always when load (=current) is smallest.
    Having line input as load simply means output doesn't get stressed at all.

    Of course if there's voltage gain involved and its cranked up too high that could cause signal to clip and that's going to feed next stage garbage.
    Also in case of high input signal voltage and fixed high gain in "final" amplifier only small amount of its volume control range can be usable:
    Volume can be simply too high if turning know any more, with eventual possible clipping from running out of voltage swing in case user keeps ignoring serious hearing loss level SPL.


    So while doable there are lot more possible problem causes compared to good sound card doing it all in one with DAC and output amplifier designed to fit together.
    And of course you have one more device on desk and one more "power brick".

    And if wanting actually capable headphone amplifier price starts to increase fast.
    I mean what's the point of getting separate device, if it's some so and so device questionable in its ability to drive any headphone you might throw in?
    If able to assemble it or have friend to do it Objective2 is very well priced, but preassembled we're talking about Sound BlasterX AE-5 price level.
     
  19. EsaT

    Mobster

    Joined: Jun 6, 2008

    Posts: 3,773

    Location: Finland

    That Fiio is one of marketing Hi-fi devices with vague specs to mask it's not true high end headphone amplifier having what it takes to guaranteedly drive any headphone in every situation.
    Like using fit for certain ohm range headphones, which completely disregards wildly varying power requirements of different headphones.
    And using total bullcrap peak to peak value instead of proper RMS value for max output voltage...
    I mean that 7,8Vpp is twice the actual peak voltage, which is square root of 2 times the RMS value and we're down to not so impressive ~2,8V.
    And that value marketing chose is likely best case value.

    For comparison "normal good" sound card output gives out 2Vrms into higher ohm headphones like 250 ohm Beyers!
    Sound BlasterX AE-5 is capable to fair 5Vrms output with 2,8Vrms reached around 32 ohm load.


    Again tube stuff isn't really actual Hi-fi being less accurate than semiconductors with their higher distortion.
    (where does high fidelity mean higher distortion?)
    And in case of tube being used as output stage then output impedance isn't going to be good.
    Also any "warm" sound smoothing of signal can only do harm for binaural cues lowering immersion from what K702 is capable of.


    That uses overhyped TPA6120 with need for output resistor to keep it stable.
    So would expect that so and so 10 ohm impedance meaning it's really not universally truly good for any headphone.
    https://reference-audio-analyzer.pro/en/report/amp/smsl-sap-II.php#rw3

    Ideally output impedance would be always at most 1/8th of headphone impedance.
    That keeps possible frequency response changes at insignificant level and electric damping factor high for good headphone driver control.
    (better driver control = more accurate signal reproduction)

    Like you can guess hit quite a "swamp" about five years ago, when trying to find reasonable cost way to have two possibly very different electrical demands headphones connected to PC.
    (other for friend because don't have speakers)
     
  20. sreeve1993

    Gangster

    Joined: Feb 9, 2011

    Posts: 458

    Location: Central London

    This just sounds like a right pain. Most of the Amps that seem to be ideal for the k702 are too expensive for me or are out of stock or unavailable in the U.K.

    I've been doing a lot of research into the K702 and I just can't seem to find anything in budget. As paying such a price just doesn't seem worth it, in what I want it for.

    I only want the headphones for competitive gaming. Something better than my hyper x cloud. However the reviews of these K702 sold it to me.

    Most of the information you're providing is like a new language to me too as I have literally no knowledge in this field.

    @V F with how you're using your k702 what's you're opinion on the smsl sap2 connected to your soundcard?