Audiophilia: Headphones, Amps, DAPs, and Empty Wallets

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  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    Trajan45 wrote: »
    Short version, I thought my old PC headset was dying so i tossed it then later discovered that actually the front audio port on my PC just had a bad connection (the classic only left side audio works) so I have been using my PS4 wireless Gold headset that has a wireless USB connection. the pads on these have literally started disintegrating black fabric onto my body and apartment so my partner wants to buy me new headphones for my birthday. I have a snowball mic on my desk so I don't even really care about a mic on the headphones. My computer does not have bluetooth options and I don't like that plugging audio cables into the back of the PC requires me to override my normal speakers and constantly go under a desk to change them.

    My partner sent me this link to ask if this seemed like a good option after googling best gaming headsets so I'm assuming this is the budget range ($125)
    https://www.amazon.com/SteelSeries-Arctis-Fidelity-Gaming-Headset/dp/B07B32GY9Z/ref=as_li_ss_tl?th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=insider04-20&linkId=9ec3fff05ccaabe4df6ba1f780a2e2fc

    Are these a good option?
    Are there stronger recommendations in this range or given that I don't need a mic, are there quality headphone recommendations in the same price range that might have/have the ability to be connected via USB.
    I'm agnostic on wired/wireless except if i can use while charging.

    For USB, it's probably one of the only good options along with the Hyper X series. Not sure I understand the speaker thing, your motherboard only has a line in and out?

    Personally if I had a nice Mic like you do, I'd get the best sounding headphones I could afford. You can get a 3.5mm splitter if the speakers have their own volume control or a USB sound card might work (you'd just have to use Windows sound to swap between devices).
    I'd personally get a USB dongle like Sabrent USB External Audio Adapter ($8), which not only opens up your possibilities for headsets to anything with a 3.5mm TRS plug (earbuds, IEMs, whatever), but generally will outlast any headset that you buy anyway.

    On the PC itself is has the full audio panel on the back but ive never been able to get both speakers and headphones to work with that at the same time. Supposedly the realtek audio controller lets you remap the different ports but windows 10 apparently no longer uses that or natively has that ability and I haven't had any luck trying to get an old version to work (I'm not sure why).

    I didn't know they had USB dongles like that though. I guess im not surprised. They have infinite kinds of audio adapters.

    I Do Design | I PSN- Subtle_Ties | 3DS: 3840-5210-2008 (Subtle)
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Hahnsoo1 wrote: »
    Trajan45 wrote: »
    Short version, I thought my old PC headset was dying so i tossed it then later discovered that actually the front audio port on my PC just had a bad connection (the classic only left side audio works) so I have been using my PS4 wireless Gold headset that has a wireless USB connection. the pads on these have literally started disintegrating black fabric onto my body and apartment so my partner wants to buy me new headphones for my birthday. I have a snowball mic on my desk so I don't even really care about a mic on the headphones. My computer does not have bluetooth options and I don't like that plugging audio cables into the back of the PC requires me to override my normal speakers and constantly go under a desk to change them.

    My partner sent me this link to ask if this seemed like a good option after googling best gaming headsets so I'm assuming this is the budget range ($125)
    https://www.amazon.com/SteelSeries-Arctis-Fidelity-Gaming-Headset/dp/B07B32GY9Z/ref=as_li_ss_tl?th=1&linkCode=ll1&tag=insider04-20&linkId=9ec3fff05ccaabe4df6ba1f780a2e2fc

    Are these a good option?
    Are there stronger recommendations in this range or given that I don't need a mic, are there quality headphone recommendations in the same price range that might have/have the ability to be connected via USB.
    I'm agnostic on wired/wireless except if i can use while charging.

    For USB, it's probably one of the only good options along with the Hyper X series. Not sure I understand the speaker thing, your motherboard only has a line in and out?

    Personally if I had a nice Mic like you do, I'd get the best sounding headphones I could afford. You can get a 3.5mm splitter if the speakers have their own volume control or a USB sound card might work (you'd just have to use Windows sound to swap between devices).
    I'd personally get a USB dongle like Sabrent USB External Audio Adapter ($8), which not only opens up your possibilities for headsets to anything with a 3.5mm TRS plug (earbuds, IEMs, whatever), but generally will outlast any headset that you buy anyway.

    On the PC itself is has the full audio panel on the back but ive never been able to get both speakers and headphones to work with that at the same time. Supposedly the realtek audio controller lets you remap the different ports but windows 10 apparently no longer uses that or natively has that ability and I haven't had any luck trying to get an old version to work (I'm not sure why).

    I didn't know they had USB dongles like that though. I guess im not surprised. They have infinite kinds of audio adapters.
    Realtek is in everything, but it's pretty terrible. :/ (apologies to people working at Realtek)

    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
    Naphtali
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    Nvidia has a beta version of microphone noise cancelling software, but it only works with RTX cards. There are a couple of videos of people blowing fans and making all sorts of noise and it's all completely cancelled out with no noticeable degradation of audio quality. You can edit some configuration files to get it work on GTX cards but it significantly impact framerates. However, for video conferencing/calls that's a non-issue.

    https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2020/04/you-can-get-nvidias-rtx-voice-noise-filtering-without-a-pricey-rtx-card/

    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | FFXIV: Jarvellis Mika
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Cormac wrote: »
    Nvidia has a beta version of microphone noise cancelling software, but it only works with RTX cards. There are a couple of videos of people blowing fans and making all sorts of noise and it's all completely cancelled out with no noticeable degradation of audio quality. You can edit some configuration files to get it work on GTX cards but it significantly impact framerates. However, for video conferencing/calls that's a non-issue.

    https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2020/04/you-can-get-nvidias-rtx-voice-noise-filtering-without-a-pricey-rtx-card/
    I find that Krisp AI works really well for noise cancelling, too. I have a kludged together plug-in on my DAW that uses it, and it's remarkable. Discord now has Krisp built-in, and it works pretty well.

    Apparently, Krisp can work on Zoom, too, per the Krisp blog:
    https://krisp.ai/blog/zoom-noise-reduction/

    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
    Trajan45
  • KoopahTroopahKoopahTroopah The koopas, the troopas. Philadelphia, PARegistered User regular
    Ack. Possible delay of Pandas incoming depending on if you got in under 1000.
    posted by Drop Inc.
    May 23, 2020 • 10:19AM PDT
    Panda June Delay

    Hey Friends,

    Unfortunate news— we’ve run into a production delay that will likely impact many June orders. These circumstances are still evolving, but at this point, it looks like we’ll be able to ship ~1000 in June, with the remaining June orders shipping in July.

    While the overall production schedule is moving smoothly, we’re missing one critical driver material. This material is produced in Europe and, while our supplier expected to be done with local lockdowns on Monday, they’re experiencing some bureaucratic delays and won’t be open for another few days. This means the critical driver material will not arrive in time to meet our June fulfillment schedule. We expect it to arrive shortly, so we hope to see minimal impact beyond this delay.

    We’re able to produce ~1000 units of Panda with material our supplier provided before lockdown (they had to shut down in the middle of our order). We’ll use these units to fulfill orders on a first-in/first-out basis.

    Everything else (all the headband parts, the AAA amp modules, batteries, chipsets, etc) is ready for full production (all units ordered and more). So once this final driver material arrives, it’s full steam ahead on all remaining orders. We expect to fulfill the July and August orders as planned.

    For everyone who paid an extra $30 on IGG to get your Panda in June, if your order ships in July (or any time after June) as a result of this delay, you’ll receive a $30 refund/credit (we’re working with IGG on logistics, their platform doesn’t have an easy way to do partial refunds, so it might have to be Drop credit). We don’t know exactly who will be impacted today, those who are impacted will be notified directly once quantities and allocations are confirmed.

    Thanks for your patience as we manage the evolving global circumstances. We’ll post another update in a couple of weeks.

    Twitch: KoopahTroopah - Steam: Koopah - Extra-Life 2020: KoopahTroopah
    Switch: KoopahTroopah - PSN: Koopah089
  • DixonDixon Screwed...possibly doomed CanadaRegistered User regular
    Yeah I was just reading the email. My order was already a July order, but I feel for those in June that get hit by the delay.

  • Trajan45Trajan45 Registered User regular
    It's a first in first out, I'm 90% sure I was on the back half of the orders since I was a late buyer. No big deal, I figured as much and not much you can do about supply chain stuff during this time.

    Origin ID\ Steam ID: Warder45
  • initiatefailureinitiatefailure Registered User regular
    Is there any difference in the various usb bluetooth adapters when it comes to using wireless headsets?

    I Do Design | I PSN- Subtle_Ties | 3DS: 3840-5210-2008 (Subtle)
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    edited May 25
    Is there any difference in the various usb bluetooth adapters when it comes to using wireless headsets?
    A lot of Bluetooth wireless headsets have their own proprietary adapters. Barring that, just make sure that your headset supports the version of Bluetooth that your adapter has (generally, both adapters and wireless headsets are backwards compatible, but it's good to check). I think the current version of Bluetooth is 5.0, but that came about in 2016, so a lot of older headsets will be version 4.2 (which should still be compatible with all prior versions of Bluetooth). Note that in order to enjoy true lossless audio (as opposed to almost-lossless audio codecs like LDAC or Apple's proprietary one), both the headset and the adapter probably both need to be Bluetooth 5.0 to have enough bandwidth.

    Beyond that, Bluetooth 5.0 also increases the transmission range by a huge amount, so it's worth investing in even if you aren't an audiophile. The extended range is super nice.

    Hahnsoo1 on
    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
  • redundant_pairingredundant_pairing Registered User regular
    Got a schiit fulla 3 for one of my rigs, I'm going to recommend it.

    https://www.schiit.com/products/fulla-1

    Trajan45Donovan Puppyfucker
  • useruser Registered User regular
    So I'm gonna be picking up a new phone soon and with it the auspicious return of a 3.5mm headphone jack, and I happen to know this phones built in music app can play lossless codecs like FLAC.

    I wondering what the go-to mid-rangish budget ($150-$500 on the long range) earbuds are these days?

  • Vic_HazardVic_Hazard Registered User regular
    I've recently moved into a new apartment and am gonna set up my sound system. I have B&W683s powered by a Nad M3 amp, hooked to a Blue Sound node 2.

    I'm wondering if there's any pitfalls about hooking this up to a computer that might affect sound quality? Unfortunately the node is fairly finicky about desktop use, it's easy to connect wirelessly to with my phone and play spotify that way but if I want desktop sound I pretty much have to plug it straight in by 3,5mm from the node into my motherboard.

    The optimal scenario would be if they could act like speakers for my TV as well as general spotify use.

  • Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Vic_Hazard wrote: »
    I've recently moved into a new apartment and am gonna set up my sound system. I have B&W683s powered by a Nad M3 amp, hooked to a Blue Sound node 2.

    I'm wondering if there's any pitfalls about hooking this up to a computer that might affect sound quality? Unfortunately the node is fairly finicky about desktop use, it's easy to connect wirelessly to with my phone and play spotify that way but if I want desktop sound I pretty much have to plug it straight in by 3,5mm from the node into my motherboard.

    The optimal scenario would be if they could act like speakers for my TV as well as general spotify use.

    The easiest way is probably going to be a source switch like a Schiit SYS (there are cheaper options which do exactly the same job, but it's shiny and looks nice!)
    You'd just need some 3.5mm to stereo RCA cables to go from your sound card/mobo headphone output and your tv headphone output into the switch, and a stereo RCA cable from the SYS to your Nad amp, and you can ditch the Node altogether? Just run Spotify off your desktop.

  • KoopahTroopahKoopahTroopah The koopas, the troopas. Philadelphia, PARegistered User regular
    edited June 10
    Pandas Update: TL;DR: If you get an email today for an address you're in the first shipment, if not today then you'll get one later in July.
    Panda June Update
    Hey Friends,

    Good news, the first batch of Pandas is on track per our last update. We’ll be able to produce and ship 1000 units between now and the end of June.

    Tomorrow we’re going to send a survey email to confirm your shipping address. We’re using a tool called Backerkit to do this, so the email will come from Drop via Backerkit.

    If you get an email tomorrow, you’re in the June batch. If not, your order will be fulfilled as part of subsequent shipments. The rest of production remains on schedule and we expect to fulfill July and August orders as planned.

    In the Backerkit email, you’ll be asked to pay any applicable government-mandated taxes and confirm your shipping address. The word “reward” is hardcoded in the Backerkit tool, so please note, “reward” means the product you purchased (nothing to do with rewards points).

    Please be sure to complete this process as soon as you can. We will not be able to ship your headphones until this questionnaire is completed in its entirety.

    Please Note: Those who ordered the additional boom mic will receive a second Backerkit email confirming the same taxes and details. We will not be able to ship your boom mic until this questionnaire has been completed in its entirety.

    Finally: If your order included a t-shirt or a keycap, these will ship separately from the headphones.

    That’s it for now. We couldn’t be more thrilled to get Panda in your hands in the coming weeks. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the Discussion tab.

    Thanks, everyone.

    KoopahTroopah on
    Twitch: KoopahTroopah - Steam: Koopah - Extra-Life 2020: KoopahTroopah
    Switch: KoopahTroopah - PSN: Koopah089
  • NaphtaliNaphtali Null Registered User regular
    Got a schiit fulla 3 for one of my rigs, I'm going to recommend it.

    https://www.schiit.com/products/fulla-1

    Alright, I'll bite. What's the actual advantages to having a DAC over just going direct to your PC's headphone jacks? I threw down on the Pandas so if I'm going into this whole audiophile land I guess I should bone up on knowledge.

    B.net: Naphtali#1830 | Steam | Nintendo ID: Naphtali | PSN: EI-Naphtali | Wish List
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    edited June 10
    Naphtali wrote: »
    Got a schiit fulla 3 for one of my rigs, I'm going to recommend it.

    https://www.schiit.com/products/fulla-1

    Alright, I'll bite. What's the actual advantages to having a DAC over just going direct to your PC's headphone jacks? I threw down on the Pandas so if I'm going into this whole audiophile land I guess I should bone up on knowledge.

    Much higher sound quality because of higher quality components and extra amplification (if the DAC is also an amp) that will provide more extra power to headphones for higher should they need extra amplification to sound their best. Outside of very high end motherboards whatever the built in sound chip may be is pretty much an afterthought and is the cheapest available that isn't complete garbage.

    The Schitt Fulla is a good start but there are a few other $100'ish DAC/Amp combos like SMSL Audio M3, FiiO K3, iFi Zen DAC, and others that are also worth considering.

    Cormac on
    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | FFXIV: Jarvellis Mika
  • NaphtaliNaphtali Null Registered User regular
    Cormac wrote: »
    Naphtali wrote: »
    Got a schiit fulla 3 for one of my rigs, I'm going to recommend it.

    https://www.schiit.com/products/fulla-1

    Alright, I'll bite. What's the actual advantages to having a DAC over just going direct to your PC's headphone jacks? I threw down on the Pandas so if I'm going into this whole audiophile land I guess I should bone up on knowledge.

    Much higher sound quality because of higher quality components and extra amplification (if the DAC is also an amp) that will provide more extra power to headphones for higher should they need extra amplification to sound their best. Outside of very high end motherboards whatever the built in sound chip may be is pretty much an afterthought and is the cheapest available that isn't complete garbage.

    The Schitt Fulla is a good start but there are a few other $100'ish DAC/Amp combos like SMSL Audio M3, FiiO K3, iFi Zen DAC, and others that are also worth considering.

    So if you're using onboard sound, it should be an improvement (assuming you actually have a headset that would take advantage of the DAC/amp), but if you're using a higher end soundcard improvements maybe be on a far lesser note, is what you're saying in a nutshell?

    B.net: Naphtali#1830 | Steam | Nintendo ID: Naphtali | PSN: EI-Naphtali | Wish List
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    edited June 10
    Naphtali wrote: »
    Cormac wrote: »
    Naphtali wrote: »
    Got a schiit fulla 3 for one of my rigs, I'm going to recommend it.

    https://www.schiit.com/products/fulla-1

    Alright, I'll bite. What's the actual advantages to having a DAC over just going direct to your PC's headphone jacks? I threw down on the Pandas so if I'm going into this whole audiophile land I guess I should bone up on knowledge.

    Much higher sound quality because of higher quality components and extra amplification (if the DAC is also an amp) that will provide more extra power to headphones for higher should they need extra amplification to sound their best. Outside of very high end motherboards whatever the built in sound chip may be is pretty much an afterthought and is the cheapest available that isn't complete garbage.

    The Schitt Fulla is a good start but there are a few other $100'ish DAC/Amp combos like SMSL Audio M3, FiiO K3, iFi Zen DAC, and others that are also worth considering.

    So if you're using onboard sound, it should be an improvement (assuming you actually have a headset that would take advantage of the DAC/amp), but if you're using a higher end soundcard improvements maybe be on a far lesser note, is what you're saying in a nutshell?

    Kind of. A dedicated sound card is going to be better than anything built into a motherboard. However, an external DAC/Amp is going to be orders of magnitude better than either.

    If you're serious about getting the best audio quality you can and have spent a few hundred dollars on a set of headphones you owe it to yourself (so long as it's within budget) to get a good DAC/Amp. Even headphones that don't need amplification will benefit from extra power and cleaner amplification that comes from something that isn't inside a computer. There are a lot of good options in the $100-300 range and you're going to have to spend a lot more money to get something noticeably better.

    The Pandas look to primarily be used as wireless headphones and have a built in amp for that mode. You could look into getting a USB Bluetooth adapter that supports LDAC such as the Fiio BTR5, or running them via a USB cable using the Panda's built in DAC/Amp

    Cormac on
    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | FFXIV: Jarvellis Mika
  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    Naphtali wrote: »
    Cormac wrote: »
    Naphtali wrote: »
    Got a schiit fulla 3 for one of my rigs, I'm going to recommend it.

    https://www.schiit.com/products/fulla-1

    Alright, I'll bite. What's the actual advantages to having a DAC over just going direct to your PC's headphone jacks? I threw down on the Pandas so if I'm going into this whole audiophile land I guess I should bone up on knowledge.

    Much higher sound quality because of higher quality components and extra amplification (if the DAC is also an amp) that will provide more extra power to headphones for higher should they need extra amplification to sound their best. Outside of very high end motherboards whatever the built in sound chip may be is pretty much an afterthought and is the cheapest available that isn't complete garbage.

    The Schitt Fulla is a good start but there are a few other $100'ish DAC/Amp combos like SMSL Audio M3, FiiO K3, iFi Zen DAC, and others that are also worth considering.

    So if you're using onboard sound, it should be an improvement (assuming you actually have a headset that would take advantage of the DAC/amp), but if you're using a higher end soundcard improvements maybe be on a far lesser note, is what you're saying in a nutshell?
    One of the main problems of onboard sound (or even an internal soundcard, at times) is that it's highly susceptible to electrical interference from other components within the case, especially the motherboard, CPU, and various fans. It often manifests as static or buzzing sounds. The component quality is much lower on the vast majority of onboard motherboard sound, too, not to mention the shitty drivers (90% of the time it's Realtek, and Realtek drivers are terrible, often adding unnecessary latency while not improving the quality).

    External DAC or Audio Interfaces can have their own problems (usually resulting from power supply issues, like dirty power, bad USB cables, whatever), but those are far easier to remedy. You can't exactly rip out the built-in sound chip on your motherboard.

    Di87pOF.jpg
    PSN: Hahnsoo | MHGU: Hahnsoo, Switch FC: SW-0085-2679-5212
  • NaphtaliNaphtali Null Registered User regular
    But your onboard sound is still the go-between the software playing your music and the DAC, so how does electrical issues at the PC side not still have some impact in that scenario?

    B.net: Naphtali#1830 | Steam | Nintendo ID: Naphtali | PSN: EI-Naphtali | Wish List
  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    edited June 10
    DAC's in PC situations run off of USB or occasionally optical (both completely bypassing onboard sound) which minimize or eliminate any possible electrical interference. Worst case and very very rarely you can buy a USB ground loop isolator to go between the USB port and the USB cable going to the DAC.

    Cormac on
    Steam: Gridlynk | PSN: Gridlynk | FFXIV: Jarvellis Mika
    a5ehrenHahnsoo1BlackDragon480
  • DixonDixon Screwed...possibly doomed CanadaRegistered User regular
    I thought the Pandas have an on-board DAC, is there a benefit to using an external unit?

    Or do you mean because you will be using them wired. I think over wire the DAC is bypassed but I can’t recall.

  • KamarKamar Registered User regular
    edited June 12
    Worth noting that on-board audio quality varies wildly in ways that aren't always related to motherboard cost. Maybe google your specific audio chip (look it up in mobo specs) and see what people have to say.

    I had a dirt-cheap budget board with one of the Realtek chips that was comparable to any of the widely recommended low-end DACs at the time, though I can't for the life of me remember what it was.

    ...currently, I have an ALC887 chip on my ancient LGA1150 board and should probably consider a DAC.

    edit: Also Windows 2004 update killed my proper driver set in favor of using its default again so my headphones aren't amped, no wonder everything's seemed a bit quiet lately.

    Kamar on
  • KamarKamar Registered User regular
    Since I mentioned it, worth saying...if you're using onboard and have a Realtek audio chip on your motherboard, it's worth installing the actual drivers instead of using windows defaults so you get their little management app thing. And then make sure you go in and click the connector that your headphones are on and retask it to be headphones (assuming it doesn't ask if they're headphones when you first plug them in) to get them properly powered.

    I have no clue if this is a thing for newer motherboards, mind, because mine is ancient, but yeah.

  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User regular
    edited June 12
    Hey everyone, I have a set of Sennheiser HD580's that I love but I've never had an amp or a dac for them. They are entirely for my PC but I'd like to get an amp to fully realize how nice they can be because I hear this is a good idea. It seems that they have an impedence of 300, meaning I can't just a fiio k3 because it won't drive them well enough. But I can get a schiit Magni 3+ Heresy, which seems like it'd be good, but then I have no DAC. My motherboard is an Asus TUF Gaming x-570-plus which has a "Realtek S1200A Codec" on it.

    So, is getting a 100 dollar headphone amp going to be a noticeable improvement for those cans? There's the fiio k5 pro which looks real good, but it's sold out everywhere. And should I also go ahead and grab a Modi 3 for the DAC or is that necessary at this time? Someone else told me a JDS Atom+Modi? I've been doing a lot of research and I'm somewhat confused, plus have had someone tell me a headphone amp is just going to amplify noise and not actually help anything which seems to not be the general wisdom I'm reading. Help/suggestions appreciated!

    SniperGuy on
    Twitch Streaming basically all week
    SniperGuyGaming on PSN / SniperGuy710 on Xbone Live
  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    edited June 13
    Quick reviews of some more low-end stuff: (context: I recently got the new iphone se, which doesn't take normal headphones any more, so I figured I'd try out some wireless ones to see how they go).

    XY-7 "true wireless earbuds" (just google xy-7 earbuds and pick your favorite vendor; they're about $15-20 from China, more expensive if you buy them locally). They're fine; sound is acceptable, they don't fall out of my ears, the mic pickup is okay if I need to use it. Touch-to-pause is useful, none of the other controls seem very helpful for what I do. I've switched to using these by default with the phone, they're small enough, sound good enough, and have enough battery life to listen to things when walking the dog or whatever.

    Mpow H19 IPO ANC bluetooth headphones. (CDN $50-60). Again, fine; I'm using these when working from home for voice calls, because I got tired of the cable on the wired headset getting caught on things. Battery life is about a week or so; comfort is "not too bad but I like taking them off every couple of hours". Sound quality is, well, it sounded okay until I tried listening to music that I've heard before, and then I realised that it's "okay" but not more than that. Fine for remote meetings, fine for walking the dog, not the greatest if you've heard good quality audio. (my "home office" is in the laundry room, so I also wanted something with active noise cancellation. They pretty much completely remove bass, and a bit of mid, and they make treble significantly quieter -- they're not magic, but when walking outside they mean I can hear podcasts when walking over what would be a freeway in US terms with a lot of traffic, without having to boost the volume, so they're good for that, and if laundry's running then they cut that out a lot as well. But I literally got shivers when switching back to HD600s, because my ears had got used to these, and I'd forgotten just how much better the music was meant to sound. (and this is HD600s into the mic socket on the work laptop, not even a particularly good source)

    XT-11 bluetooth has-a-neck-wire earbuds (I'll link these ones). They cost $3 They feel like they cost $3, and they sound like they cost $3. _but_ they actually do work as wireless earbuds, which, for that price, is pretty impressive. Not sure about the ergonomics of neck wire -vs- no neck wire, I'll give them a go and see how they do.

    (edit: the microphonics are pretty bad; outside, they make a _lot_ of wind noise because while they fit okay, they protrude from my ears, and the control / battery blob is at a super awkward place on the cable so it sort of rattles around in the corner of my vision, unless I tuck them into the back of my shirt).

    djmitchella on
  • KamarKamar Registered User regular
    I hadn't worn my SportaPros in a while because the cushions got shredded, forgot how good they sound for what they cost.

  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    Hey everyone, I have a set of Sennheiser HD580's that I love but I've never had an amp or a dac for them. They are entirely for my PC but I'd like to get an amp to fully realize how nice they can be because I hear this is a good idea. It seems that they have an impedance of 300, meaning I can't just a fiio k3 because it won't drive them well enough. But I can get a schiit Magni 3+ Heresy, which seems like it'd be good, but then I have no DAC. My motherboard is an Asus TUF Gaming x-570-plus which has a "Realtek S1200A Codec" on it.

    So, is getting a 100 dollar headphone amp going to be a noticeable improvement for those cans? There's the fiio k5 pro which looks real good, but it's sold out everywhere. And should I also go ahead and grab a Modi 3 for the DAC or is that necessary at this time? Someone else told me a JDS Atom+Modi? I've been doing a lot of research and I'm somewhat confused, plus have had someone tell me a headphone amp is just going to amplify noise and not actually help anything which seems to not be the general wisdom I'm reading. Help/suggestions appreciated!

    Yes, for those headphones it might be the best $200 you've ever spent. The 580, 600, 650, etc require an amp to sound their best. The Atom and Modi combo would be fine, but I'd personally get the Magni + Modi or the Atom + Atom DAC just to have matching components. Same price and very similar sound, so just go with whatever you like the looks of better. Another option if you want an all in one solution could be the iFi Nano iDSD Black Label, Audioengine D1, or AUNE X1s.

    On cheap headphones an amp may not do very much or be detrimental, but on higher end power hungry headphones amps are basically a requirement. Even headphones that don't need additional amplification will still sound better when powered by a good external amp that isn't built into a phone, sound card, or motherboard. An amp is going to provide cleaner, clearer, and interference free sound/amplification to whatever is plugged into them.

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  • Trajan45Trajan45 Registered User regular
    edited June 12
    Dixon wrote: »
    I thought the Pandas have an on-board DAC, is there a benefit to using an external unit?

    Or do you mean because you will be using them wired. I think over wire the DAC is bypassed but I can’t recall.

    Yeah I was looking at this for the boom mic, but plugging anything in kills all electronics in the headphones.

    EDIT: So if you plan on using them wired, a DAC might not be a bad idea. So far my Sound blaster Z works fine, it has a 600 Ohm Maxim MAX97220 amp in it.

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  • Trajan45Trajan45 Registered User regular
    Pandas Update: TL;DR: If you get an email today for an address you're in the first shipment, if not today then you'll get one later in July.

    I figured I was in July, and it looks like it. I'm ok with it. There's always a chance that based on feedback from the first batch they make some minor tweaks.

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  • DixonDixon Screwed...possibly doomed CanadaRegistered User regular
    I was already originally July so I’m hoping it doesn’t get pushed into August.

    KoopahTroopah
  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User regular
    Is there any reason I can't plug a generic headphone splitter into an amp? After talking with more folks I'm leaning towards getting a JDS Atom Amp and a DAC of some sort (probably a modi 3 in black, it'll match and has more inputs) but I often have my wife and I sitting at the same PC for streaming stuff and right now we're just using a generic headphone splitter. She's got a pretty generic pair of headphones she uses but they have an inline volume control. So theoretically, I can control volume for myself with the amp knob and she can use the inline and we'll both get the same audio? I was looking into having her plug into the front panel of the PC but that's not working for me (It mutes the rear output despite me changing that setting in the realtek audio console thing)

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  • Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    Do you mean like a single input, double output plug adapter?

    If you have things connected to both outputs, they can do fucky things with impedances, possibly damaging your amp.

  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    I have one of the massdrop O2 headphone amps on my desk with a standard 3.5 splitter coming out of it, one goes to desktop speakers, one goes to headphones, it works fine. But it's not putting out an awful lot of power, it's not driving real speakers or anything.

    Volume dial on the amp controls the headphone volume; combination of that + volume dial on speakers controls speaker volume.

  • SniperGuySniperGuy Also known as Dohaeris Registered User regular
    I have one of the massdrop O2 headphone amps on my desk with a standard 3.5 splitter coming out of it, one goes to desktop speakers, one goes to headphones, it works fine. But it's not putting out an awful lot of power, it's not driving real speakers or anything.

    Volume dial on the amp controls the headphone volume; combination of that + volume dial on speakers controls speaker volume.

    Yeah something like this would be ideal. But I don't wanna damage the amp or the headphones. If there's some sort of active splitter I can get to mitigate that it would be good.

    Or even better, if I could convince my pc to output from both the back and the front. Oh, or I guess I could run headphones into the green port on the back, USB to to the dac, tell green headphones to listen to the USB audio?

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  • UrielUriel Registered User regular
    I think I need to save up and replace my hd568s (I think that's what they are)

    I keep having to get aftermarket cords because they keep twisting badly where they plug into the headphones and cutting out to mono and it's annoying.

    If I save up like 150 usd for a set what should I look for these days? I mostly just listen from my galaxy s9 but sometimes plug into my pc. Mostly metal music but I don't like unnaturally boosted sounding bass.

  • Hahnsoo1Hahnsoo1 Make Ready. We Hunt.Registered User regular
    SniperGuy wrote: »
    I have one of the massdrop O2 headphone amps on my desk with a standard 3.5 splitter coming out of it, one goes to desktop speakers, one goes to headphones, it works fine. But it's not putting out an awful lot of power, it's not driving real speakers or anything.

    Volume dial on the amp controls the headphone volume; combination of that + volume dial on speakers controls speaker volume.

    Yeah something like this would be ideal. But I don't wanna damage the amp or the headphones. If there's some sort of active splitter I can get to mitigate that it would be good.

    Or even better, if I could convince my pc to output from both the back and the front. Oh, or I guess I could run headphones into the green port on the back, USB to to the dac, tell green headphones to listen to the USB audio?
    @Sniperguy What you are looking for is a different kind of Headphone amp (why are they called the same thing??) called a headphone distribution amp, one that takes an input and splits signals to multiple headphones. Something like a Behringer HA400 Micro Amp might work for you, although I'm not sure how well they drive your particuliar headphones.

    Your best bet, though, in this use case is to get a headphone amp or DAC that supports multiple outputs, like a Pro-Ject Head Box S2. They are typically designed to drive multiple headphones and usually also have separate volume controls.

    Also, If you are using a DAC, then you are using the outputs from the DAC. The outputs on your PC will only output PC onboard audio.

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  • CormacCormac Registered User regular
    Uriel wrote: »
    I think I need to save up and replace my hd568s (I think that's what they are)

    I keep having to get aftermarket cords because they keep twisting badly where they plug into the headphones and cutting out to mono and it's annoying.

    If I save up like 150 usd for a set what should I look for these days? I mostly just listen from my galaxy s9 but sometimes plug into my pc. Mostly metal music but I don't like unnaturally boosted sounding bass.

    What are you doing that's causing the cable so much stress that they're coming unplugged? Unfortunately, at this point you may have worn out the 2.5mm connection on the headphone and may have no choice but to replace them.

    With that in mind do you prefer headphones that go over your ears, ones that sit on your ears, or are either kind ok? Something like Audio-Technica ATH-M60X could be a good option, but if you don't like headphones that sit on your ears then forget them.

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  • UrielUriel Registered User regular
    Cormac wrote: »
    Uriel wrote: »
    I think I need to save up and replace my hd568s (I think that's what they are)

    I keep having to get aftermarket cords because they keep twisting badly where they plug into the headphones and cutting out to mono and it's annoying.

    If I save up like 150 usd for a set what should I look for these days? I mostly just listen from my galaxy s9 but sometimes plug into my pc. Mostly metal music but I don't like unnaturally boosted sounding bass.

    What are you doing that's causing the cable so much stress that they're coming unplugged? Unfortunately, at this point you may have worn out the 2.5mm connection on the headphone and may have no choice but to replace them.

    With that in mind do you prefer headphones that go over your ears, ones that sit on your ears, or are either kind ok? Something like Audio-Technica ATH-M60X could be a good option, but if you don't like headphones that sit on your ears then forget them.

    I prefer ones that go over my ears all the way like the sennheisers.

    As to cable stress it's mainly the shorter aftermarket cables you can get for them (I didn't like the super long cable that came in the box, go figure though I ended up losing it on accident when we moved) tend to be braided and I feel like that can cause a lot of twisting near the 2.5mm end over time as the braids are far too stiff.

    The 2.5mm connector is fine. It's the wire that's messed up, I can tell with my multimeter in continuity mode, the right channel is intermittent.

  • CampyCampy Registered User regular
    Does anyone know of a good software solution for monitoring of my own voice when using headphones?

    My V-Modas have a pretty decent seal on them, so I find it hard to hear my own voice in game, which seemingly makes it hard to talk!

    I've tried windows built in "Listen to this device", but there's a significant delay to the output which is even worse.

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