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Audiophilia: Headphones, Amps, DAPs, and Empty Wallets

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  • bobsbarricadesbobsbarricades Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    well pc is more important, but I think I'll jump on the SS v2's w/ usb. If I'm unsatisfied poo, but I hear they sound super with an Astro Mixamp, and then could apparently get better with a proper Dolby soundcard?

    question - I have surround analog outputs on my mobo and I assume it's not a dolby signal but it IS surround so is it possible to combine the analog outs of my mobo into a digital toslink that would then be Dolby - or is there some sort of information ontop of what the DAC gets that makes it "Dolby?"

    I also really wish there was good wireless...badly =(

    bobsbarricades on
  • AiserouAiserou Registered User regular
    I'm glad you guys are already talking about Mixamps and DDL signals, because that was confusing as crap for me when I set mine up and I'm pretty sure it's set up incorrectly currently, gotta check it this weekend.

    Question for people with the Astro Mixamp - there are two buttons one it, one for power, and one for (I think) Dolby Pro Logic.

    If my sound card is outputting the proper DDL signals, should the Pro Logic button be on or off for the best surround sound (with stereo headphones)?

  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    The button on the Mixamp switches it from 2-channel to surround mode, so regardless of what kind of signal it's being fed you'll need to have the button on for surround sound.

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  • acidlacedpenguinacidlacedpenguin Registered User regular
    So how about car audio?

    I'm so sad, I haven't owned my car for a year yet and I've blown one of the front speakers. I'm afraid because I get the feeling that car audio is like the Passchendaele of the loudness wars and I bet pretty much anything I'm going to find at Futureshop/Bestbuy is going to be 100% catering to the "herpaderp I've got more watts in my Neon than a wind turbine generates per hour" crowd. I know my "upgraded" audio has an 8" rockford-fosgate woofer in the back, so it's possible rf provided the oem speakers too?

    I'm going to investigate whether the speakers are covered by warranty, but if not would it be wise to replace both front speakers so I don't cause some kind of weird unbalanced sound issues? Are aftermarket speakers generally able to fit under the car's stock speaker grilles? I'd like to avoid changing the look of the interior of my car if at all possible, really trying not to look like some kind of meathead ricer.

    any thoughts?

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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
  • symbolsorsymbolsor Registered User regular
    question - I have surround analog outputs on my mobo and I assume it's not a dolby signal but it IS surround so is it possible to combine the analog outs of my mobo into a digital toslink that would then be Dolby - or is there some sort of information ontop of what the DAC gets that makes it "Dolby?"

    I don't think there's a way, unfortunately. I've seen a few analog-to-digital type converters but only in stereo with no surround support. If there are, I bet they cost a bit more, at which point you might as well get a soundcard.

    I'm stuck on the other end of this, I'd like to get my Xbox with 5.1 (running through my soundcard currently). My card doesn't have a Digital Input though, so I'm pretty much stuck upmixing it with Pro Logic. If there were a cheap way to just pass-through the signal then I'd be set. Haven't found any option like that though, other than just buying another card with optical input. I wish my digital-out could go digital-in too. I couuuuld just get an Astro Mixamp but then I'd be switching my headphone jack all the time.

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  • bobsbarricadesbobsbarricades Registered User regular
    symbolsor wrote: »
    I'd be switching my headphone jack all the time.

    it's the switching madness that has me looking at some way to get the g930 to work with ps3. it seems so EASY especially with the ps3 having updated to allow audio to come through usb as well as chat. might just get the g930...they have Dolgy Headset tech and supposedly sound pretty good. one day maybe someone will crack them to work with a ps3 too. I can't believe so many people have so many of the same wants out of headsets...and yet of ALL the manufacturers none of them meet said requirements.... -.0

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    So how about car audio?

    I'm so sad, I haven't owned my car for a year yet and I've blown one of the front speakers. I'm afraid because I get the feeling that car audio is like the Passchendaele of the loudness wars and I bet pretty much anything I'm going to find at Futureshop/Bestbuy is going to be 100% catering to the "herpaderp I've got more watts in my Neon than a wind turbine generates per hour" crowd. I know my "upgraded" audio has an 8" rockford-fosgate woofer in the back, so it's possible rf provided the oem speakers too?

    I'm going to investigate whether the speakers are covered by warranty, but if not would it be wise to replace both front speakers so I don't cause some kind of weird unbalanced sound issues? Are aftermarket speakers generally able to fit under the car's stock speaker grilles? I'd like to avoid changing the look of the interior of my car if at all possible, really trying not to look like some kind of meathead ricer.

    any thoughts?

    Under a year old? It should be covered under warranty. Otherwise, any reputable car audio outfit will have speakers that fit the hole and sound good. Alpine, Focal, JBL... They all sell a range of speakers from budget to 'holy fuck my wallet is crying'. You don't have to fit six amplifiers and a second alternator if you don't want to. Most brands will have a range for the hurf durf hella gigawatts crowd, a range focused more on sound quality, and a range of cheaper stuff that they sell in Autozone.

    chrishallett83 on
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  • bobsbarricadesbobsbarricades Registered User regular
    @symbolser - let me know if you find any good soundcards with optical out/in that aren't painful on the piggy.

    and if anybody has actually used the g930 compared to...i don't know anything post up. I may go the same route as you and just run audio into a tos-in and pump it out to the g930 - if I need to chat I can just call the ONE friend I play online with instead of all this psn chat hassel=/

  • symbolsorsymbolsor Registered User regular
    I was mainly looking at the M-Audio 2496 because it would add a ton of inputs that I could use without any of the stuff already taken care of by my real soundcard. Plus I'd get some midi inputs and the like, which would be fantastic. I was also considering the HT Omega Striker which would only be good for passing the 360 audio to my card but has too much overlap with what I already have a great card for. On the other hand, I could see someone pairing that up with the Astro or maybe a receiver (ha!)

    Not sure if it gets any cheaper for an optical in/out than that HT Omega (with DDL at least.)

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  • bobsbarricadesbobsbarricades Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    The omega seems right. Maybe I can find a deal to bring it down a bit or just grab it later.

    On the software side, how does win7 handle passing an incoming optical signal?


    o snap...
    - a pretty penny but I can switch between pc and ps3 WITH A SWITCH!!!! A SWITCH!!!!!!!!!!!!! OODLES...poodles...i think I just found my much too expensive birthday present. Anybody use these guys? what's quality like?

    bobsbarricades on
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    @bobsbarricades If you're comfortable spending $250 you're still better off getting a Mixamp and a good headset such as a Sennheiser PC-350. Better build quality, better sound quality because you have control over what headphone or headset you're using with it, and a far fewer cables to switch out when switching between a console and PC.

    Cormac on
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  • bobsbarricadesbobsbarricades Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    @cormac - the wires are debatable. The way I see it to hook up to PC you just plug in USB. For PS3 you plug in USB and optical. USB for PS3 is for voice and I assume power. My PC mobo pulls 3x standard USB power even when turned off so to me, and I just sent off a ticket to confirm, I can leave the USB in my computer, optical from PS3 and then just switch the toggle for each respective system. Also, I can use the stereo headphone out to consolidate my 2.1 speaker system instead of having to crawl under my desk or buy a 30 dollar switcher.

    Recon=$200. Astro=SS Siberia v2 USB=~$100-$130. g930=$100. The astro seems like a huge pain to me because if I buy another set of headphones, it's already at the 200$ mark the recon is at. I also will only get the stereo signal from my onboard and not a dolby signal unless I buy a new sound card and to match the convenience of the Recon I'd have to also buy AT LEAST a TOS switcher and a lav clip on mic adding ANOTHER wire. That's if I use my own studio cans. If I want to get a pair of senny's or even a standard SS v2 that's another hundred bucks to the mix. So an astro setup has me paying at LEAST 300$ (230$ if I don't get the soundcard, $160 if I use my cans) and I still have to deal with a slew of changing wires back and fourth from 2.1 speakers, ps3 optical, mini-2xmale RCA cable

    No I think my best bet is the g930 but if the Recon works as I think it should I'd gladly pay the $200 for convenience and get a better sounding 2.1 system to boot. Of course, Logitech couldn't help on any level regarding future plans to work with the ps3 but if I bought the Omega Striker @symbolser recommended I'd only be 20$ short of the Recons (which is a viable option as well because I hear the mic on the Recon can be less than desireable and it's range is only like 15 ft as opposed to the g930 which does 40-60; allowing me to plug it in to my macbook [and 300gig music library] to go lay down in the next room and relax). Technically I could just run the analog out of ps3 to the line in on my onboard and save money there too. :shrug: either way I look at it the Astro keeps me wired, costs the most, and causes more hassle than any other option (still waiting to hear back from SS about the posts on-line I've seen of the v2 USB working with the PS3 - possibly the only option I'm considering where I'm still wired - and in that situation I MIGHT get an astro down the road since I'd have resigned myself to wires at that point ^o^)

    akldjfaoisjfoaeinvojonafal;dfjaw357un340b5u[3 SUCH A WASTE OF BRAIN POWER!!!!!

    bobsbarricades on
  • CaedereCaedere S'no regrets BIRDIESRegistered User regular
    edited March 2012
    EDIT: Question resolved! Went with a sound bar, will see how it goes. =O!

    Caedere on
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  • Joe KJoe K Registered User regular
    what's a sound bar?

    sortof a center channel speaker that also provides front left and right, and sometimes sub.

    they're an interesting idea, but honestly, i'd rather just buy decent speakers and run the wire right to get surround sound...

    since we're talking about emptying wallets and audiophilia... I've been using http://www.parts-express.com/ for most of my audio gearing needs... everything you need from complete sets to BYO...

  • KadokenKadoken He's a dandy guy In SpaceRegistered User regular
    Handgimp wrote: »
    Kadoken wrote:
    Handgimp wrote:
    Kadoken wrote:
    Hey, I'm new to this thread, but I have a problem with my headphones.
    On my old motherboard, this headset used 7.1 surround sound, but since I bought my new one, it only does stereo. Perhaps there's a sound driver online and maybe a CD that came with the headset. The sound card might be the problem.

    Are you using a separate soundcard or onboard sound? What operating system? Details, man. :)

    Windows 7, onboard, plantronics headset, this one http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16826265064.

    My only idea is that the old motherboard/driver was pushing Dolby Headphone to simulate 7.1 and the new one doesn't, but I don't recall seeing that feature on any motherboards. Sorry.

    I found my problem. My current headphones (Which are a lightweight redesign of my old headphones which I returned yesterday) are apparently stereo, and the cheap $25 ones at Walmart, which I broke two of them in three weeks because the plastic is cheap, we're surround sound. I have to spend $20 more Naga headphones (up from $50 at Bestbuy) to get surround sound. Wunderbar.

    I like my current headphones though, perhaps in the future when ai have surplus money I'll buy a new one.

  • verbelverbel Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    How would the recons compare to HD 555's I wonder because I would really like a set of wireless cans. I don't really need the built in mic though. Sennheiser RS 180 look nice but I don't know if I can stomach the price increase just for wireless.

    verbel on
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  • Joe KJoe K Registered User regular
    verbel wrote: »
    How would the recons compare to HD 555's I wonder because I would really like a set of wireless cans. I don't really need the built in mic though. Sennheiser RS 180 look nice but I don't know if I can stomach the price increase just for wireless.

    i use a seperate, high quality mic, specifically the blue yeti http://www.bluemic.com/yeti/ . Plugs right into USB, headphones go into that, and the sound quality is simply amazing. I also managed to pick it up for $80.

    There's also the "blue snowball" which is cheaper, but still delivers the great sound. The on headset mics simply dont have enough hardware to be decent quality.

  • bobsbarricadesbobsbarricades Registered User regular
    verbel wrote: »
    I would really like a set of wireless cans.

    people will always tell you that you don't need wireless ^o^ I actually just ordered them and will do some comparisons between my rp-21's and sony MDR's and post up here. They won't come in till next week though so I'll try to remember to mention you in the post when I do. crossing my fingers that everybody IS NOT right =)

  • verbelverbel Registered User regular
    verbel wrote: »
    I would really like a set of wireless cans.

    people will always tell you that you don't need wireless ^o^ I actually just ordered them and will do some comparisons between my rp-21's and sony MDR's and post up here. They won't come in till next week though so I'll try to remember to mention you in the post when I do. crossing my fingers that everybody IS NOT right =)

    Awesome I am curious to hear what you think of them. I know I don't need... them but I want to be wireless. I have cables everywhere and I get tangled all the time. Plus being able to get up and walk around my office while still listening to my headset would be really nice.

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  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    So my old headphones are more or less at the end of their useful life, can anyone recommend some good replacements for gaming/movie watching purposes?

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Senny HD558s or Denon AH-D2000s.

    Can you tell I like closed cirumaural cans? XD

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  • minor incidentminor incident a crow, a scavenger type Registered User regular
    Seconded the Sennheiser HD 558s. For the money, they're just about the best damn headphones on the planet.

    My sister needs some help. She just had to rush her cat to the emergency clinic because he was peeing blood. The little guy needs a $2500 surgery to survive, and she has no money left after paying for major car repairs last week. If you would consider sharing this on your twitter/facebook/whatever, that would be greatly appreciated. If you have a few dollars to pitch in and help her, that would be even more amazing of you. http://www.gofundme.com/clq06k
  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    But the 598s are soooooooooooo much prettier.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    I prefer open circumaural, for what it's worth.

    Just something to consider, as there are excellent headphones in both categories, so it might help if we knew your preference.

  • minor incidentminor incident a crow, a scavenger type Registered User regular
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    But the 598s are soooooooooooo much prettier.

    They are, but the 558s use the same driver. Almost identical sound in a cheaper package. Such a crazy value!

    My sister needs some help. She just had to rush her cat to the emergency clinic because he was peeing blood. The little guy needs a $2500 surgery to survive, and she has no money left after paying for major car repairs last week. If you would consider sharing this on your twitter/facebook/whatever, that would be greatly appreciated. If you have a few dollars to pitch in and help her, that would be even more amazing of you. http://www.gofundme.com/clq06k
  • electricitylikesmeelectricitylikesme Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I prefer open circumaural, for what it's worth.

    Just something to consider, as there are excellent headphones in both categories, so it might help if we knew your preference.

    I can't really tell the advantages of each type, but I've always used closed to date.

    electricitylikesme on
  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    But the 598s are soooooooooooo much prettier.

    They are, but the 558s use the same driver. Almost identical sound in a cheaper package. Such a crazy value!

    I know that was true for the 555/595, but read somewhere that it was no longer true for the 558/598. Dunno.

  • minor incidentminor incident a crow, a scavenger type Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    But the 598s are soooooooooooo much prettier.

    They are, but the 558s use the same driver. Almost identical sound in a cheaper package. Such a crazy value!

    I know that was true for the 555/595, but read somewhere that it was no longer true for the 558/598. Dunno.

    I can confirm as an owner both sets that the 558 uses the same drivers as the 598. Also, the much publicized "hack" of removing the foam inside the housing of the 555 to "turn them into" 595s still works wonders on the 558.

    Essentially the 598s are manufactured to tighter tolerances than the 558, so the 558 is a liiiiitle more of a crapshoot, but can typically be every bit as perfect as the 598s. Especially after tearing out a good chunk of the high density foam inside.

    minor incident on
    My sister needs some help. She just had to rush her cat to the emergency clinic because he was peeing blood. The little guy needs a $2500 surgery to survive, and she has no money left after paying for major car repairs last week. If you would consider sharing this on your twitter/facebook/whatever, that would be greatly appreciated. If you have a few dollars to pitch in and help her, that would be even more amazing of you. http://www.gofundme.com/clq06k
  • minor incidentminor incident a crow, a scavenger type Registered User regular
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I prefer open circumaural, for what it's worth.

    Just something to consider, as there are excellent headphones in both categories, so it might help if we knew your preference.

    I can't really tell the advantages of each type, but I've always used closed to date.

    In general, open phones give a more natural sound because you can hear your environment. More like listening to speakers in your room, than having all outside noise blocked out and speakers stuffed up against your ears. They also have a wider soundstage (the feeling of openness and distance between the right and left channels) than closed phones.

    Of course, they also leak sound like crazy. My wife can pick out lines of dialog from 8 feet away when I'm watching a movie with my Senn 558s on.

    In general, I prefer open phones on the high-end, but I've got a couple pairs of mid-range closed phones for when I need to not disturb people. Although, honestly, I really prefer in-ear monitors for times like that. I've spent way more money on IEMs (including one set of custom IEMs) than I have on closed headphones.

    My sister needs some help. She just had to rush her cat to the emergency clinic because he was peeing blood. The little guy needs a $2500 surgery to survive, and she has no money left after paying for major car repairs last week. If you would consider sharing this on your twitter/facebook/whatever, that would be greatly appreciated. If you have a few dollars to pitch in and help her, that would be even more amazing of you. http://www.gofundme.com/clq06k
  • symbolsorsymbolsor Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    I literally just did the foam mod to the 558's and am listening to stuff now. Sounds just a bit more open, with maybe a little more detail? Sounds pretty good. Oh man, maybe a little more bass too, I don't remember that. Definitely recommend doing the mod if you have these, just based off the last few minutes.

    Anyone here use Foobar2000? I've been messing around with the layout and plugins:
    Spoiler:

    symbolsor on
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  • minor incidentminor incident a crow, a scavenger type Registered User regular
    symbolsor wrote: »
    I literally just did the foam mod to the 558's and am listening to stuff now. Sounds just a bit more open, with maybe a little more detail? Sounds pretty good. Oh man, maybe a little more bass too, I don't remember that. Definitely recommend doing the mod if you have these, just based off the last few minutes.

    Anyone here use Foobar2000? I've been messing around with the layout and plugins:
    Spoiler:

    Yep, totally. It makes them brighter, more open, and I also noticed a bit more a focused 'oomph' in the bass, with less 'muddiness'. Totally worth doing. It's not night and day, but it's absolutely a clear improvement.

    My sister needs some help. She just had to rush her cat to the emergency clinic because he was peeing blood. The little guy needs a $2500 surgery to survive, and she has no money left after paying for major car repairs last week. If you would consider sharing this on your twitter/facebook/whatever, that would be greatly appreciated. If you have a few dollars to pitch in and help her, that would be even more amazing of you. http://www.gofundme.com/clq06k
  • WeretacoWeretaco Cubicle Gangster Registered User regular
    Stop talking Sennheiser, you're making me want HD650s again (my favourite headphone of all time)

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  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    650s? What is this, scrub town? 800s or nothing, man.

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  • WeretacoWeretaco Cubicle Gangster Registered User regular
    But the 800s are so ugly

    and the 650s are so nice :)

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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
    598s are still prettier.

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Burtletoy wrote: »
    598s are still prettier.

    You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

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  • BurtletoyBurtletoy Registered User regular
  • AntihippyAntihippy Registered User regular
    edited March 2012
    Creamy.

    I think the AKG 242s, AKG K550 and sony SA5000 are the prettiest headphones I have ever seen.

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