What is the opinion of Reddit about the
FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)?

A total of 432 reviews of this product on Reddit.

5 points

·

21st Dec 2016

I had the same problem. Best way to get ride of this static would be to remove your analog audio from the inside of your computer.

I would get an external DAC/AMP or DAC/AMP combo. I use the FiiO e10k. $75 on Amazon It’s a pretty good little DAC/Amp.

4 points

·

26th Sep 2018

Properly powered, the 770-80 can deliver very deep, textured, powerful bass when the music calls for it. So, something is very wrong here :), but, it’s an easy fix.

Low volume and poor bass response are the first indicators that headphones are being underpowered. You need an amp. Might I suggest a FiiO E10K? It has excellent quality and is cheap.

2 points

·

19th Sep 2021

Another thing to keep in mind is that your computer or laptop will probably not drive them on their own. You’ll need an external DAC or headphone amp. I currently use the fiio E10k with my desktop and it works just fine. There might be less expensive options but this is really good for high impedance and low impedance like earbuds and M50x’s.

Also, as a glasses guy the standard earcups don’t feel too clamped down and I don’t feel too fatigued after a few hours of wearing them.

2 points

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30th Jun 2021

Ah, then maybe an external USB-audio may work. Sounds like maybe something is broken with the audio on the motherboard.

You’ll want something with a digital to analog (DAC) converter. USB sound cards have one built-in. Some headphone amplifiers may also have them included such as: https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2 . Good DACs can handle 24-bit/96 kHz while the higher end ones can go up to 192 kHz sampling.

I would aim to spend at least $60-150 or so especially if you want to support high end headphones. Going too cheap means sacrificing too much while too expensive gets really diminishing returns.

2 points

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22nd Nov 2020

He could use the onboard sound but I recommend a USB dac/amp like this because they will sound bad unless you have a sound card and even then I’ve heard there can be hissing and feedback.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fabc_JPQUFbPN6JPPQ

This is a good starter one, the k3 is a different model that is slightly better. There are a lot that people recommend like schiit and dragonfly but fiio is where I’d start

2 points

·

14th Sep 2020

It’s this fella here.

FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_Jm-xFbEP2JDQP

So it’s both but not powerful enough for my headphones. So I’ll try it when I get home and see if it works fine. Probably will.

1 point

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27th Jan 2022

I just bought a senn hd569, but it sounds arguably worse than my hyperx cloud IIs when plugged into my computer, would getting a dac fix this? I was looking at this one specifically

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_apa_glt_i_YZH1ERZBMQFAXXDANPYQ

1 point

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21st Jan 2022

I’ve had this happen with lower quality headphone amps (esp with very low impedance headphones). I’ve found that the headphone drivers on PCs often aren’t capable of driving heavy headphones.

I’m curious if you get the same result using a different jack (like one on your interface) or even a dedicated motoring amp.

TLDR: Troubleshoot your monitoring before you troubleshoot your mix.

1 point

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20th Dec 2021

Just get an amp or else the sound quality will be drastically worse. The DT 770 need an amp that delivers over 250 ohms of power so I recommend getting one. This amp/dac by fiio is a very cheap but good starting option.

1 point

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6th Dec 2021

!thanks

So no need for a Dac/Amp for the 80ohms my PC should be fine when its plugged into the board?
If it ever turns out I need an dac/amp, would that be good?
https://www.amazon.ca/FiiO-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr\_1\_14?keywords=fiio%2Bbtr5&qid=1638827476&sr=8-14&th=1

1 point

·

30th Oct 2021

$75 FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_CA81BG9AAM8YKP9JV8A8

Although for some reason the $40 Ugreen claims to have higher specs but it could be a translation error

In a kind of weird situation like that, with two products that can be returned easily on Amazon. I’d get both in one order, and then return the one that doesn’t perform as well.

I usually wouldn’t recommend that strategy but I wouldn’t have believed how good my $10 Ugreen dac is without trying it

Sometimes a more known brand can charge more for a similar or even inferior product. I recently saw a thread where someone was astonished that their $50 Edifier headphones sounded better than their $350 Bose quiet comfort. So it’s possible the $40 one may somehow live up to the description on the page and nobody talks about it because who the heck is Ugreen

1 point

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4th Aug 2021

I’ve had my dt770 for two days now and they sound amazing, thank you so much.

The volume output from the controller is okay, i don’t need more than that.

One question I have now. Is it worth connecting a DAC to my TV for an even better sound experience? Or will there be a noticeable delay streaming the sound from the Xbox -> TV -> Headphones? I’ve been looking at following https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?dchild=1&keywords=E10k&qid=1628057470&sr=8-3

1 point

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31st May 2021

Schitt audio do the best high end amp/dac’s and individual units but are a bit pricey and hard to find, if you are on a budget I would definetly check out some of fiio’s older stuff, it’s still great quality and can be a little cheaper my thoughts are if you are only looking for a headphone jack the E10K https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_5FWJTXC87GJ24XZJGVTV?psc=1

1 point

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27th Apr 2021

I bought myself the Magni 2 and Modi 2 from Schiit Audio (yes that is a real name). Both excellent and the best addition I’ve made to me setup. Not cheap though.

If you want an inexpensive but good DAC/amp combo you can’t go wrong with Olympus 2 by Fiio:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_imm_T2RBRMA9NMC8ZNHP2905
It’ll even run off an Android phone with a USB C to micro B cable.

1 point

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16th Mar 2021

You could try an external amp/dac like this.

This is the cheapest solution I can think of. It is odd that your EMI is still noticeable using your USB port. The Fiio E10k linked is shielded and should not pass along any interference.

Since it’s an Amazon purchase, if it doesn’t solve your issue you can always send it back.

Good luck!

1 point

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21st Jan 2021

So what do I put between me and my computer? I don’t know much about audio equipment. Would something like this work?

FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glc_fabc_4YqcGbTFE614N

1 point

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9th Jan 2021

If you don’t already, use the usb adapter and download the drivers if youre on pc. If that still doesn’t work, maybe consider buying a AMP/DAC like this one

1 point

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22nd Dec 2020

You’re probably right, so I think I might found something that’s more for me. What do you think: https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=zg_bs_13880161_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=JQR4GFRSPRJVT7ZR972X

I’m not familiar with DACs, but could this possibly work for my particular set of headphones and my desktop? If not, you think if I were to exchange my 250 ohms set for an < 80 ohms set my PC would be able to power it? I don’t know exactly how I find out the power output of my motherboard’s built in sound system, so I guess I gotta play the guessing game.

Keep in mind that despite the expensive set of phones I got, I’m not actually doing anything crazy like studio work, just casual stuff like gaming and listening to music. You think that $20 amp would be enough to just boost my sound enough to make most of the things I play and listen to loud enough?

Look man I’m just confused and I just wanna have a setup that I can work with. I can use all the help I can get.

1 point

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10th Nov 2020

In general I’ve had great luck with Fiio products. I did have one of the fiio do3k have an output issue that had me replace it (which they did, no questions asked).

I also had great luck with the Behringer uca202, but you can’t find them for less than $50 lately.

I would look at the Fiio E10K. The only issue I had with it was for some files I had that were greater than the normal bit depths.

I assume your hissing problem is some sort of a grounding issue.

1 point

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9th Nov 2020

I don’t have any experience with the 32 ohm version but the velour on the 80 ohm version is very comfortable. They clamp fairly tight (not uncomfortably so) so you get a nice isolation, both external sound coming in and not leaking sound out, if that matters to you.

If you do find the 80 ohm version is too quiet for you, which I’d imagine you won’t, you can pick up a combo dac/amp on the cheaper side like the fiio e10k. I used that for many years as my primary amp & dac and it works very well and I’d recommend it for a little more budget conscious option. If you want to splurge and get audio hardware to keep you set for life, I recommend Topping audio products.

1 point

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22nd Nov 2017

Not sure; this will be my first foray into amp-driven headphones. If you’re looking to drive them from a PC, this seems to be the consensus “cheap favorite” on most discussions; it is both a DAC and Amp:

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_3?tag=slicinc-20&amp;ascsubtag=7dcc300ccfa211e783fc36987a0a01ff0INT&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1507964103&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=fiio%20e10k

I personally bought a Schiit Magni 2 recently when they were on sale from Amazon, so I’m probably going to quest now for a Modi to pair with it.

1 point

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5th Nov 2018

I was hoping to spend up to $200 total. I have a FiiO e10k DAC AMP for my headphones. Can that be used as the Speaker amp?

Amazon link to FIIO E10k AMP/DAC

1 point

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12th Dec 2019

Sennheiser HD open back headphones (I forget which model) with a FiiO USB amp. Comfort and amazing sound. I got them in a bundle from Amazon about a year ago for under $200.

1 point

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19th Oct 2020

> but personally ive noticed when i use apple earphones on my own laptop, the sound,,,, is pretty bad lol and im wondering whether those headphones would still work on a Samsung phone and a laptop that kind of sucks

If the sound from your source sucks you’d probably be better off using one of these to replace the sound card in your laptop. I have one of these and they greatly improve the sound quality compared to those that are built into laptops.

1 point

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11th Oct 2020

Yeah I try to keep it simple as often as possible. You could look into a USB DAC, that would give you the ability to do the same thing.

I have the shittiest hearing from blasting bass into my ears when I was younger lol, but people tell me these DAC’s also give you higher fidelity audio, I can’t notice the difference though.

1 point

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31st Aug 2020

Hey so I have a <strong>FiiO</strong> E10K currently for my cans but I wanted to get a standing mic for casual use. Therefore I got the presonus audiobox usb 96 as an audio interface for the mic. Can I have both the FiiO and Presonus plugged into my pc as usb devices with no problems?

1 point

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7th Oct 2020

I would highly recommend getting an external DAC, here is the one I currently use. The main reason to get one is to avoid the electronics noise that happens within the computer case as well as crosstalk between the left and right channel, this can be massive for positional sound recognition.

I will caveat this by saying on-board sound solutions these days vary wildly in quality. Some produce nearly the exact same sound that a USB DAC will provide sound like the one I posted and some are awful with effectively mono sound because of high crosstalk with a continuous background hiss and an awful EQ. I would recommend doing some research in to testing of your onboard audio to verify its quality, or if the $75 is not a big deal and you just want to ensure you are not messing with that possibility thats fine too. This DAC for me is on to its 3rd computer and always puts out the same sound quality.

1 point

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4th Oct 2020

I’d do something to keep it from moving. Maybe tape the headphone cable near the connector to the side of the PC or something so, when you move your headphones around, you don’t wiggle the adapter. I really cannot overstate how pathetically weak & flimsy this thing looks & feels.

If the dongle turns out to be insufficient, or if you just want to go for something a bit more powerful right off the bat, I can recommend the FiiO E10K as a small, cheap DAC/amp with a pretty fun bass boost switch. I use one for my BeyerDynamic DT 990 Pro and it sounds great.

1 point

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5th Sep 2020

I recommend also picking up an amp to run these, a lot of people say they don’t need one if you’re going for a model under 250 ohms but in my opinion it makes a massive difference.
I run this amp (70$): FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_uw.uFb0DMXBX8
With the 80 ohm dt 770s that I picked up refurbished on amazon for 130$ and I’ve been really impressed with it

1 point

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6th Jun 2020

It’s most likely an issue with your motherboard. Analog audio bleeds in and out, so there is an internal crackling happening that you are receiving when you plug into your rear 3.5mm. The fix is to either use the front io jack if that doesn’t cause issues, or buy a DAC online. I’d recommend buying a DAC anyways as that will drastically increases your audio quality as well, albeit a little bit expensive of an option.
You can grab a FiiO E10K USB DAC/AMP from Amazon for $75.99 USD, which is a pretty good value and opens up the world of audiophile headphones later on if you so choose (even without diving into audiophile stuff, lower quality headphones are going to sound a good bit better too in my experience)

1 point

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1st Dec 2019

Would this be a noticable upgrade for me from my Asus Rog Strix X470-F?

I use Sennheiser GSP 302 headset and Edifier R1280DB speakers .

FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_qj.4DbGP4ADV6

1 point

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17th Nov 2019

You don’t get that deep surround sound kinda feeling in the game with the fiio Dac amp but It’s super clear and I love it and I’m still a sound whore while playing as I’ve been told in the past lol here’s the model I have . I sent the link oh and yes the quality is very good . FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_OPv0Db5PHN0J9

1 point

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9th Sep 2019

Generally if you take an analog signal directly out of your PC through the aux output the sound quality is dependent on your PC’s internal digital to analog converter (DAC) located on the motherboard. Manufacturers tend to cheap out this chip on budget boards so, if you want something more high quality I’d buy an external DAC like this, which can power both headphones and send a higher quality signal to a speaker since the device itself is taking bits of data from the USB on your PC and converting to an analog signal (removed from all the possible electrical interference from your PC internals or PC case).

1 point

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26th Apr 2019

I have considered it, but I heard that the 660s is slightly better. Thank you for responding.

Edit: I Also believe that my Dac/Amp can’t power the 6XX ( FiiO E10K )

1 point

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31st Jan 2019

Happened to me as well, I think it’s the fans inside the PC constantly on that’s creating a “static” though I could be completely wrong. the only way I know to avoid this would be to get an AMP/DAC combo such as something like the FiiO E10K

FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_hqOuCbEPXEGZD

1 point

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25th Nov 2018

Yeah I ended up getting the Bose QC35ii and a Blue Yeti. I was intrigued by the Astro’s mix amp tho and how it could improve audio quality. It’s $170 cad for the pro mix amp but I saw something similar on amazon for $89 https://www.amazon.ca/FiiO-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=mp_s_a_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1543183124&amp;sr=8-3&amp;pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&amp;keywords=dac&amp;dpPl=1&amp;dpID=41Taa5DTsKL&amp;ref=plSrch
I just wonder how much it will improve the quality and if it’s worth it

1 point

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24th Nov 2018

I was hoping to find something on amazon for an easy purchase

this is their number 1 seller is it good enough?

Or should I be looking over 100 bucks

1 point

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9th Oct 2018

I didn’t need an external amp for my g4me ones but that’s because my motherboard audio was solid. But if it’s lacking you can check out something cheap like this one: https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

It’ll clean up the sound and make them louder. Or if you’ve got money to burn you can get much more expensive things.

I’ve since upgrade from the g4me ones and now my gf uses them. But I gotta say, those are THE most comfy headphones I’ve ever used.

1 point

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10th Oct 2018

The only reason I thought about getting a mixer was for the eventual use of an XLR mic at some point, for which I’d need an audio interface anyway. But I guess I could use both that and a dedicated DAC/Amp as well if it comes to that.

Anyway, your suggestion is sadly a bit too pricy for my budget, but what do you think of the FiiO E10K? Is that one of the overpriced/overrated ones you were talking about?

1 point

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2nd Jun 2018

I actually used the E10 for while for my laptop. I used them right along side my 598 Cs. It’s a bit cheaper than the Fulla 2. Alternatively, you might be able to find a used Fulla (not Fulla 2) on eBay for around $50. No less, the E10K is $75 and a cheaper alternative to dropping $100

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_6?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1527946244&amp;sr=8-6&amp;keywords=fiio

1 point

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1st Apr 2018

I have a FiiO Olympus headphone amp for my computer, very similar to this. The front headphone jack has been broke for a while now so I have to plug my headphones into the rear-panel output. Which works, but I want to see if it will give the same sound quality. It feels like the “bass boost” switch doesn’t work when it’s connected to the rear-panel but I’m not sure.

1 point

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1st Apr 2018

I was talking about the headphones plugged into small/cheap desktop speakers. Which sounded like they were holding my heaphones (Razer kraken pro v2) back.

When you were talking about amps, I thought you were talking about something like this when mentioning amplifiers. A misunderstanding on my part.

The Xonar DG/DGX sounds like a good suggestion. Thank you 🙂

1 point

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11th Mar 2018

So I just got a steal on some Sennheiser HD 650s secondhand from a friend. (My last pair was Turtle Beach so I’m a bit out of my element with something this nice.) I plan to use them mostly for playing PUBG and other shooter games on my PC and listening to music mostly classic metal/rock/etc and maybe for playing guitar.

My understanding is that I need an amp to get the most out of them, I see people buying the 650s with the FiiO E10K USB but I’m not sure if this is suited for use with a PC? My soundcard has a similar yellow plug but I figured this device would use the digital audio port?

Worth note that since I want to use them for gaming, low latency is of the utmost importance. This puts me off the USB part.

Should I just go with this amp or is there a (preferably cheaper or similarly priced) alternative?

1 point

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5th Mar 2018

That is definitely sound card related then. Whether its a hardware or firmware issue is hard to say for certain. But if its not doing it from your monitor (which works exactly the same way that a usb interface works) definitely narrows it down to being your sound card (which is likely the built-in on the mobo). Either way you may need to spend a bit of money if you want to fix it.

I think the fact that you can still get clean audio after a restart suggests that its more a firmware/driver issue rather than hardware. Windows isnt known to be the best when it comes to things like that. So maybe it was caused by a recent update or something. Who knows, it may very well even be fixed in a future update. But the best way to eliminate that variable is to take it out of the equation. Thats why i suggest an external DAC like the Fiio E10K so that you aren’t relying on windows and can restart it independently of the computer.

1 point

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28th Mar 2018

I think a good upgrade would be sound quality. I was in the same position you are in now and honestly if you were to get a DAC it would boost your speaker quality and headphone quality tremendously. It’s a very noticeable difference in quality and I enjoy all of my games a lot more because of it.

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

Also what kind of headphones do you currently have? Since the DAC doesn’t ding your budget too much, a headphone upgrade might be something to consider.

1 point

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13th Mar 2018

Currently have sennheiser hd 558’s, What would be a solid upgrade from them? I just bought this amp https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=nav_timeline_asin?_encoding=UTF8&amp;psc=1 , now looking for good headphones. Mainly for gaming, already have mic so preferably no mic headsets.

1 point

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28th Feb 2018

Have you used the volume mixer and maxed the game’s sound?

If so, dunno. I just got myself this because my onboard audio included a lot of electric noise when above 50% on headphones and speakers, and this completely eliminated that, so I’m happy.

1 point

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4th Feb 2018

I was thinking about this: https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=lp_2529423011_1_1?srs=2529423011&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1517768105&amp;sr=8-1

It’s under my budget but the reviews seem great and this brand seems to be highly recommended. I guess it’s an all-in one type deal with this specific unit?

1 point

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11th Feb 2018

You need to convert your digital signal to an analog signal with a Digital-to-Analog Converter (DAC) and amplify that signal through a line out. There are many models, but that might do the job: https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1518323285&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=E10k

Get also a 1/8 to 1/4 adapter.

1 point

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2nd Dec 2017

This is vvery odd. I own both and I tried both but at the end of the day my old headset which is the Sennheiser 363D sounds better?

I mean how can the Sennheiser 363D sound better than the HD 599s + FiiO?

This is the model – https://www.amazon.co.uk/FiiO-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

1 point

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19th Dec 2017

From reviews I’m reading, it doesn’t really improve much. I’d suggest saving up some money for a nice DAC to really get the best audio possible from your headphones.

1 point

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10th Nov 2017

Depends on what Amp you want… if you are talking about the sennheiser ‘gaming’ amp.. probably not.. but they do sell other headphone amps.. however.. I don’t really think you need one for the 598s for PC as they have low impedance and your on-board audio should be able to drive them..

However, for better quality, go ahead and get something like this E10K from Amazon instead since it has a built in DAC, which would benefit the 598s more than just an amp. It has an Amp built in as well, so you can get both in one box.

1 point

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13th Nov 2017

They’re very comfortable, have good clarity, are cheap (don’t pay more than 55 for them, very easy to find them at 55 new), don’t require an external amp to be driven, have decent accuracy for their price. However, they almost completely lack any kind of bass, and the treble is a tiny bit emphasized, but I’ve used software equalization to fix them, and they’re pretty great.

People do overrate them often, but at the price point they’re absolutely terrific. I’m not sure how much of a difference lacking an external dac/amp would make since I do use an external pair but if you’re using a decent mobo with decent on board sound card, the difference shouldn’t be that big. If you’re using a laptop or have a poor sound card, I highly recommend that you get an external dac/amp combo or pair, they’ll be very worth it.

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

The FiiO E10K is often the budget dac/amp combo of choice. I personally use the Schiit Fulla 2 which costs $99 + 10 for shipping, and they’re very good but you’ll also need a 1/8 to 1/4 adapter for them. ~ $5

Edit: Just noticed that newegg has them listed at $55.

1 point

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13th Oct 2017

So I’m buying a Pixel XL 2 which has USB-C for audio (no included DAC).

However, there is a DAC converter included. Though I was thinking to do this instead:

• Buy a FiiO E10K – https://www.amazon.co.uk/FiiO-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1507928331&amp;sr=8-1-fkmr0&amp;keywords=usb+c+dac+converter

• Then get a USB-C to Micro-B, connect USB-C to phone then Micro-USB to E10K

• Then plug in my 3.5mm jack from my Hi-Fi earphones into the E10K

Would this work out alright? Apologies if this sounds a bit dumb, I’m a noob.

1 point

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13th Sep 2017

So the thing about headphones of this magnitude is that they require a larger amount of power than earbuds. This is due to the increased impedance. Your headphones happen to be 50 ohm impedance, which is not a HUGE amount but it is enough to cause a drop in volume & frequency range when using a low-powered output.

The solution would be to get a simple external DAC. I used this FiiO E10K with my HD598s and the difference is night and day between this and that normal audio-out. There are a large range of options for a DAC / headphone amplifier, but this one is pretty solid for the price. Without it, you are really missing out on the full potential of the headphones you just invested in.

As for why the headphones seemed “really good” for one day? It could be that the port you are using is connected to a series of other ports which draw power. For instance, if you are using the headphone port on the front of your desktop they may share the power connection with the front USB ports. This means if you have something drawing power from USB, the volume on the headphone jack may be reduced. In some cases there can even be audio interference and a humming or hissing noise in the background. Using a DAC will keep your audio separate from such issues.

Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

1 point

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5th Sep 2017

I’m looking for a pair of headphones that allows me to hear what is going on around me, but doesn’t drive my coworkers crazy. I’m not even sure if that’s possible…

Budget: Between $100-150 USD

Source: Desktop PC. Will eventually upgrade to a DAC. May reuse this one from home:FiiO E10K USB DAC.

Requirements for Isolation: None – Minimal. I will be using these at work and need to be able to hear what is is going on around me.

Will you be using these Headphones in public?: Yes, at work in a shared office.

Preferred Type of Headphone: Over-ear or on ear. I’m flexible on this if something else better meets the other needs.

Preferred tonal balance: I listen to a variety of genres so something that’s fairly versatile and balanced.

Past headphones: Cheap IEMs for music at work. Sennheiser GAME ONE’s for gaming/music at home.

Preferred music: Eclectic… Hip Hop, Folk, Rock

What would you like to improve on from your set-up: I’m tired of replacing my $30 IEMs every six months and am looking for a sound quality upgrade. I also want something that I can wear for 3-4 hours at a time comfortably.

1 point

·

30th Sep 2017

idk , what I have is a DAC/ Amp combo https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1506805954&amp;sr=8-2&amp;keywords=fiio+e10k
It works great, but I was recommended to leave the volume knob to the highest setting.

1 point

·

8th Sep 2017

Hmm… TV speakers are going to sound crappy no matter what, so I wouldn’t put money into trying to make them sound better. Despite all the crap thrown their way, Beats should sound decent enough. If they sound noticably worse hooked up to your PC than they do to your phone, a DAC might help. I’d buy from Amazon or a big box local so you can return easily if you’re not happy with it. A FiiO E10K will let you switch between your TV (or whatever you use for speakers in the future) and your headphones easily while sounding very nice.

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1504870914&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=e10k

1 point

·

3rd Aug 2017

Yes, it is quieter on the non-staticky port for me as well.

If you’re going to buy an external DAC, then the static or quietness will be a non-issue for you, as you will no longer be Z270X Gaming 7’s built-in DAC for your audio (as far as I understand it).

If you do decide to go the external DAC/amp route, it might be a good idea to get a USB one.

1 point

·

17th Aug 2017

I use a pair of M50X’s, along with this DAC headphone amplifier when I’m using my computer. The M50X’s already sound really great with a gloriously balanced sound signature (no overpowering highs or lows). The DAC is hard to describe, but it sounds like it separates the layers of audio better – even though my headphones sound fantastic by themselves, everything sounds even clearer and fuller with the DAC. I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone – it’s a bit of an investment – but if you have the money and listen to music on your computer a lot, I’d definitely recommend it.

1 point

·

10th Jun 2017

Looking for a DAC to complement my Sennheiser HD598’s. I’ve looked at some things but by no means am an expert and would like assistance, so anything helps!

Would like to keep it cheap and cheerful but I understand that quality comes with a price. would like to keep it around $100-$150 CAD.

from a brief search I found FiiO’s E10K that seems to have good reviews. Does this hold true? will it work well with the 598’s?

If you have any other suggestions, please leave them and I’ll be sure to look at them! Thanks in advance!

1 point

·

5th Jun 2017

> I’m using this USB sound card with no DAC or anything.

That soundcard is a DAC / ADC and Amp. Since there are absolutely no specifications about its output I cannot understand why it drives the HD598 so loud.

I highly recommend you do not listen louder than you are comfortable with…and listening at 1% system volume is not necessarily a terrible thing as long as you set your output to 24bit / 44.1KhZ.

> If I get a DAC, would I have to return to using my on board sound card instead of the USB card?

A DAC/Amp like the FiiO E10K completely replaces your current USB dongle and the onboard codec implemented on your mainboard.

1 point

·

1st Jun 2017

Just found your subreddit, and don’t know if it’s the place to ask this but at least point me in the right direction please.

My laptop audio output is broken and I was using a USB sound card (really cheap) to plug my headphones (Sennheiser HD 515) and I can notice the sound quality is not very good. But the sound card is also starting to fail (again, really cheap).

I though I would buy a new sound card or an USB amp. I’ve seen FiiO E10K USB DAC on amazon and I don’t know if it’s an overkill for my case. I just want decent sound for general purpose (sometimes flac format audio).

I thought the amp would be more future proof in case I buy a new laptop instead of a regular USB sound card.

Any thoughts?

1 point

·

30th May 2017

I see what you’re saying, i think i want to go with the Beyerdynamics DT770. As for the Amp, what do you think of this? is it good for that price point? Would there be something better for a little more? I really don’t want to spent a shit ton just to properly drive headphones.

1 point

·

13th Apr 2017

Not a bad budget for what you are looking for.. If you could stretch to 75.. This is probably one of the best you can find under $100-150.. I will look for something else though.

1 point

·

10th Mar 2017

No motherboard on the market is going to produce an audio signal with as much power as a good standalone amplifier can. Ever. Furthermore, if you really care about audio quality, I would also suggest a DAC. Fiio is a top rated brand and this is a DAC/Amp combo here. You plug it into your PC through USB and this will handle your audio by converting it from digital to analog and amplifying it to your output of choice

1 point

·

1st Feb 2017

The best place to start is with a combo or all in one unit, like this Fiio E10K. It is powered by a USB port, so it isn’t going to be able to power any 200ohm+ pair of drivers, but for anything in the 120ohm or below range, it will be perfectly fine, plus the Dac is going to sound better than any onboard audio’s dac. This also doubles as a portable unit in the event you decide to upgrade and get a better dac and better amp, you now have something for on the go you can use with a laptop, or with any PC you happen to LAN on or something.

You would then just have to purchase a USB cable, if you don’t already have it, but that is the only thing you need to purchase with a combo Unit. Schiit audio makes something similar called the Fulla, which you can purchase directly from them off their site. it is in the same price range and same performance, but supposedly sounds better.

As far as a real dac and amp go, the only extra costs are the USB cable and the RCA cables. There are no other maintenance costs or subscription fees or anything if thats what you mean by additional costs.

But starting off with a portable combo dac/amp is the way to go until you figure out what you like. Some people love solid state, others love tube amps, etc. And certain amps match well with certain headsets, depending on what sound signature you prefer. I prefer a bright sound with lots of treble, so my AKG K612’s pair really well with my Schiit Modi 2 and Magni 2. But if I were to go for a more bass heavy pair of cans, I might want to switch dacs as well.

1 point

·

5th Jan 2017

Ight, I’ll probably get this from amazon then. Do you think it would be worth it to wait for the DT990’s instead? They wont be here until Monday, so I don’t want to go 4 days with static, but if its a great improvement vs the E10k I’ll do it.

1 point

·

11th Jan 2017

Which amp/dac would go best with my 80Ohm Beyerdynamic DT770s? I am hearing a faint crackling/buzzing in my left earcup when listening from my PC. I did some research, and this is caused by interference between parts inside a computer and that an external dac is a solution.

I found the FiiO-E10K, but I was wondering if there was anything at a cheaper price that would give good audio quality or something superior at a similar price point, without the crackling/buzzing I have been hearing.

EDIT: Forgot to say that my motherboard has an audio chip integrated by Realtek® ALC887 according to their website.

EDIT 2: Also forgot to say, the volume of my headphones isn’t too low. They are loud enough, but like I said before, the crackling and buzzing isn’t too prominent, but I notice it sometimes.

1 point

·

12th Jan 2017

Reposting from yesterdays thread.

Which amp/dac would go best with my 80Ohm Beyerdynamic DT770s? I am hearing a faint crackling/buzzing in my left earcup when listening from my PC. I did some research, and this is caused by interference between parts inside a computer and that an external dac is a solution.

I found the FiiO-E10K, but I was wondering if there was anything at a cheaper price that would give good audio quality or something superior at a similar price point, without the crackling/buzzing I have been hearing.

Forgot to say that my motherboard has an audio chip integrated by Realtek® ALC887 according to their website.

The volume of my headphones isn’t too low. They are loud enough, but like I said before, the crackling and buzzing isn’t too prominent, but I notice it sometimes.

1 point

·

12th Dec 2016

Bummer. I had the same issue but just on the front. I ended up buying one of the FiiO DACs.

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

What’s nice is that it has a line-out on the back of it so I have both my headphones and speakers “live” at any given time and just adjust the volume depending on which I’m using.

1 point

·

28th Dec 2016

This is really what you want. A DIgital to Analog converter (better than what is on your mobo’s sound card), with a built in Amp. Will work on almost any pair of headphones, will sound 10 times better than your motherboard’s audio, and is best paired with audiophile cans.

Also, it connects to your PC via USB and pretty much requires no drivers. And it can play up to 96Khz which is honestly Hi-Fi enough (until you get into $600+ headphones imo).

1 point

·

17th Dec 2016

I have the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x Professional Studio Monitor Headphones and from the base cable connected to my PC it can’t reach where I’m sitting. My only option was to move my PC to a les than suitable spot for the time being. Any solutions for some form of extension for those headphones? Maybe something like this could help too?

1 point

·

30th Nov 2016

that’s my exact setup. 598SE with modmic. I use this E10K

Works very well.

Edit: Just noticed you want mic input as well. The E10K doesn’t ‘have this, but never found that to be an issue going straight to my PC.

1 point

·

4th Nov 2016

Why do you need a soundcard? The need for them was eliminated a few years back.

If you really want something for sound, then I recommend you the Fiio E10k

1 point

·

15th Nov 2016

Thanks for the input, FIIO was a brand that I saw pop up a lot specifically the E10K:

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1479168538&amp;sr=8-4&amp;keywords=fiio

However, I found that if I was going to purchase one I’d go for the cheapest I could find. Maybe I’ll just purchase the headphones now and then a FIIO later.

1 point

·

14th Oct 2016

like this one?

https://www.amazon.it/FiiO-E10K-OLYMPUS-computer-Amplificatore/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1476481663&amp;sr=1-1&amp;keywords=fiio+dac+usb

ps4 has digital audio auto if anyway, although i’m not sure about my MSI 990FXA-GD65 (too lazy to move the computer at the moment)

1 point

·

27th Oct 2016

The headphones are picking up electric noise form other components on the motherboard’s southbridge (GPU / USB Root).

the only way to fix this issue is to buy an external digital analog converter and amplifier that will take over the sound processing.

The most popular and competent entry level solution is the FiiO E10

If you want to spend more money than that, or if you are looking for a solution that you can use at your desk and portable (with your phone) as in the daily purchase advice sticky thread for a DAC/Amp unit.

1 point

·

17th Oct 2016

I have been looking around and found this

Would this and the DT 880 be good for on the go?

1 point

·

22nd Sep 2016

Title: [[PC] FiiO E10K Olympus USB DAC](/r/HardwareSwapUK/comments/53y4e9/pc_fiio_e10k_olympus_usb_dac/)
Username: /u/FPJarva
Original Post:
I’ve just upgraded to an Audio Interface so I no longer need this DAC, no issues with it, bought in November last year.

This is the exact model

I am a bot, and this action was performed automatically. Please [contact the moderators of this subreddit](/message/compose/?to=/r/HardwareSwapUK) if you have any questions or concerns.

1 point

·

7th Sep 2016

I do not have an amp/DAC, nor do I know a lot about them, but I heard a lot of good about the FiiO E10K.

1 point

·

29th Sep 2016

Will the FiiO E10K boost my bass in my headphones? I’m not really sure what it’ll do but I just wish my Fidelio X2’s had more bass,not too much to be overwhelmed but just some more, thanks!

1 point

·

30th Sep 2016

Budget – under 120€

Source – PC and iPhone

Requirements for Isolation – Mostly indoors on PC, msuic and games, maybe sometimes outside at the library.

Preferred Type of Headphone – Definitely over ear +++

Preferred tonal balance – Warm/basey

Past headphones – Razer open back headset, they broke so I’m using some on-ear JVC at the moment, but I’m not a fan of the on-ear aspect.

Preferred Music – Anything and everything

I live in France

Bonus Question: Do i need an amp or a sound card for my pc? I see people buy this but i don’t know how it works or how useful it is?

Cheers

1 point

·

9th Sep 2016

I’m thinking, that to get a sense of what i’d want, i’d have to get the train up to Trafford center or something and hope they have a good selection of headphones to try out(It should since it’s a huge shopping center). I doubt they’d have high end headphones on display for use, but i assume headphones by the same manufacturer would have similar qualities, and thus i could try a cheaper headphones by various companies and that’ll give me an idea of what their higher end ones sound like.

Yeah, i just listened to the song on my speakers and it is much less annoying than i found it was through my headphones aha.

I’d happily spend money on a portable amp, is there any you’d recommend? Or does that not matter as much as the headphone itself? I found this amp which seems like a good choice according to most reviews.

I’m a pretty patient person tbh, but would you say it’s worth waiting for them to become available again?

Nah, i think i understand it more now than i did before to be honest aha.

1 point

·

15th Sep 2016

You should be able to connect to a PA with an external DAC, headphone amp or interface. This FiiO headphone amp/DAC would do the job. I imagine you could find decent ones for less, but I’d be skeptical about paying less than $50. Not all DACs are equal, and a cheap one might be unreliable, fragile or just sound crap.

1 point

·

22nd Aug 2016

oh yeah, forget about buying Monoprice outside the US.

Get a FiiO E10K for the K7XX.

You might even like this more, because the E10K has a hardware bass boost.

1 point

·

1st Aug 2016

I figure since this is so basic it doesn’t deserve its own thread. However its not exactly tech support as much as a general inquiry.

I have a Fiio E10K USB. Normally I turn it off via turning the volume knob all the way down till it clicks off. Then I power off my computer. Vice versa when I’m powering on my system.

Is it better to turn this amp off or can I simply leave it on when my computers off? I’m mainly worried about damaging it while its in the ‘on’ state but with no power, then turning the machine on.

1 point

·

20th Aug 2016

From my understanding of DACs, it’s basically a thing that plugs into the back of my computer. From there, I can plug in a speaker or headset into the actual DAC itself, getting my audio from that. Does that sound about right? If not, someone please correct me. Thanks a lot!

Edit: the DAC in particular that I’m looking at is this: FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_Lz7TxbF0TG00W

1 point

·

23rd Jul 2016

And im over here with Turtle beach Earforce M7’s I got….never had any issue with popping at all .-. then again my master volume is at 27 and everything else is cranked up…

would you still recommend the E10K? for a set of gaming headsets till I can get a better set of cans?

My motherboard (AsRock pro3 Z77) is pretty good at filtering with the stock card…

but my audio setup is pretty lack luster in all aspects short of bass lol

1 point

·

27th Jul 2016

Hmm I’m really not sure what to recommend with a budget like that. You won’t be unlocking the full potential of the headphones with only $75. But a good starting point might be the Fiio E10K. And then you could upgrade later.

Also, you’ll need a 1/4″ to 3.5 mm adapter if you don’t already have one. Assuming the amp you buy is 3.5 mm. The HD 700’s do not come with one.

1 point

·

7th Jul 2016

You can uninstall the onboard audio and reinstall. Check device manager see if anything is missing. End result of you’re lazy and don’t want to tear apart your build to send it back buy a USB sound dac like this https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/

1 point

·

23rd Jun 2016

I suggest going with a USB DAC. Using Windows, Xonar software is difficult to know if you are setting it right without any “effects”. A Fiio E10k has a line out in the back and works great.

1 point

·

13th Jun 2016

I just checked what massdrop has to offer. I’m definitely going to wait a while. Maybe Black Friday will have something. If not, and especially if I’m lacking on research, I’ll probably settle on this: https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1465787295&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=dac+amp#customerReviews

1 point

·

18th Jun 2016
1 point

·

1st Jun 2016

i wouldn’t spend more than half your speaker price on an amp early on. Better to save some money and invest in better speakers. Your amp is fine in your current chain. what are you using as a source at the moment? if you don’t plan on upgrading your speaker system any time soon maybe go for a headphone amp (which will probably drive the headphones better than a new amp for your speakers with separate headphone out) like this one.

1 point

·

1st May 2016

It should be the same, maybe they just added a name.

They do look identical

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

you should be okay with the olympus 2 honestly, i think they added the name onto it to differ from the E10

9 points

·

15th Sep 2016

FiiO E10K Olympus DAC / Amp on Amazon

I am using it to drive a pair of Sennheiser HD 598 SE headphones at work.

Before you chastise me for open back in an office space, I listen at a relatively low volume, the ambient noise here is pretty loud, and I’ve okayed it with my cube neighbor who is rarely even at his desk.

Some initial thoughts:

  • The Bass switch is subtle enough (depending on the music) that I actually find it pleasant. Edit: Probably won’t use it much long term, but it’s nice for some kinds of music.
  • Size is smaller than I expected. Pencil for scale. (Sorry, no banana available)
  • Sound quality is quite nice for this purpose. You’ll hear from others that this is basically an entry level DAC and they’re not wrong. It works for me because I’m just using it to listen to lossy music (320mp3) at work and wanted something a little nicer than this old laptop’s onboard DAC.
  • I have Gain on Low and wouldn’t dream of raising it. OS volume sits around 70-80% and the physical knob on the amp doesn’t rise above 3 most of the time.
  • Installation was dead simple, but I’m running Arch Linux (ALSA + Pulseaudio) so there is no driver installation. I just plug it in and tell the media player which device to use.

The biggest issue I’ve been having so far is not the DAC’s fault, but the fact that my laptop is quite old and has a weak CPU. This led to some crackling when the CPU was under heavy load, so I’ve had to tweak a number of things (process priorities, disable “smooth scrolling” in my browser, etc) to eliminate it.

Otherwise it seems like a solid purchase.

6 points

·

20th Jul 2021

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2 If you want a budget DAC/AMP this is a good entry-level one.

However, do not install the FiiO software. It is outdated and will blue screen your PC. Just let windows install drivers for it.

3 points

·

9th Aug 2014

If your current audio DAC is fine, there may not be a reason to buy a seperate DAC, but that purchase will completely depend on your current setup.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but Amazon says the impedance of your headphones is 50 Ohms. This is an impedance spec that definitely will work fine without an AMP. However, should you decide to purchase an AMP (like the budget-oriented ones I’ll post here), such as the 02 from Mayflower, the FiiO E10k or one of the Schiit AMPs like the Magni, you would find that the audio quality of your headphones would increase, since their full potential will be unlocked.

The Schiit combo is very high quality for the money, and I believe you’d be pretty happy with it.

2 points

·

23rd Feb 2021

Fiio ek10. It should be enough, but don’t kill me.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/-/es/FiiO-E10K-amplificador-auriculares-negro/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_2?__mk_es_US=%C3%85M%C3%85%C5%BD%C3%95%C3%91&amp;dchild=1&amp;keywords=fiio+amp&amp;qid=1614062220&amp;s=electronics&amp;sr=1-2

&#x200B;

Stretched budget Fiio k5 pro. Great affordable mi-fi dac/amp. The dt990 pro is somewhat power-hungry headphones and needs some decent power.

Link:https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-K5-AK4493EQ-Amplifier-Headphone/dp/B07WT7TYWY

2 points

·

30th Jun 2015

> The slant of my musical opinion, I wouldn’t want the balance of the music I’m listening to artifically adjusted to suit the slant.

Ooh, this is an atypical one. Well, no shame in purist replication of sound, to be sure. Here’re some options for ya:

Probably my favourite pick in the $500 price range is Hifiman’s HE-400i ($425$499 via Razordog, depending on how you feel about open box). A neutral and very comfortable planar magnetic headphone, the HE-400i is characterized by a very mildly warm (slightly treble light) sound, with very linear and solid bass, and very good overall quality. The HE-400i is actually considered to be quite close to Hifiman’s HE-560, which is my own endgame headphone, and of truly atypical sound quality. The HE-400i is probably the strongest option here in terms of fidelity, but as an open-backed design it lacks noise isolation, and it isn’t famous for its soundstage and competitive gaming usage. It would also benefit pretty significantly from an amplifier – I generally recommend at least a FiiO E10K – which pushes the cost up a bit.

A more gaming-oriented option would be AKG’s K712 Pro ($360 via Amazon. AKG’s headphones are famous for their competitive chops, holding most of the top positions on MadLustEnvy’s gaming headphone guide for good reason, and while there are a scant few that outperform them in that capacity, few are priced comparably. The K712 isn’t to the standard of the HE-400i for overall sound quality, but it’s assuredly a head and shoulders above in competitive potential. Overall the sound is a tad on the bassier side of neutral, rolling off toward the lowest end of the bass spectrum due to the inherent limitations of its dynamic driver. Comfort is pretty much top notch on K700s with flat headbands, in my opinion: they’re light, their headband distributes what weight there is well, and the cups are quite spacious (though not quite of ideal depth in my opinion). The K712 would also arguably benefit pretty significantly from an amp, however, and it’s just as open as the HE-400i is, letting sound in and out essentially unimpeded.

Now, getting isolation means closed-back headphones, which seriously impacts competitive gaming potential – and soundstage in general – but there are still options in that regard. MrSpeakers’ Alpha Dog ($500 direct from Dan himself) would be the first that comes to mind. A heavily modified permutation on Fostex’s venerable T50RP driver, the Alpha Dog has been discounted pretty significantly pending its discontinuation (to the abject sorrow of much of the audio community), bringing it into your price range. Characterized by high isolation, a large soundstage for a closed headphone, high comfort, and a darker-side-of-neutral sound, the Alpha Dog may well be the ideal pick for you, though it, too, would likely benefit pretty significantly from an amplifier, which would push it over your price range. That said, it’s efficient enough to be run without one in the short run, if my calculations are correct, so you could snag one for the max of your budget and add amplification later on if you felt it necessary if the Alphas seemed right to you.

Another closed-back option on the cheaper end would be Oppo’s PM3 ($400 direct from Oppo). Luxuriously designed and neutral, the PM-3 is a portability-oriented planar magnetic, with the linear bass of the HE-400i but without its power requirements. It’s unlikely to compete with the HE-400i on raw sound quality (and quite possibly not the Alpha Dogs either), but as a cheaper, power-efficient model, it’s a fine “good enough” option if you want to shave a bit off costs. The build quality and isolation are both famously solid, though the Alpha Dog edges it out in broadband isolation by about 1.5dB, and the PM-3 also sports an integrated in-line mic, meaning you wouldn’t need to buy an attachable mic like a Modmic or ZM-Mic1. One drawback would be its less-than-excellent soundstage and positional audio, however, as the PM-3 really isn’t designed to compete on that front.

There are, of course, many more options in this price range, and if you like I can put forward more options, but these four are the ones which seem to most precisely match what you’re looking for here.

2 points

·

3rd Jan 2017

I have a few, but it depends on your budget. If you are looking for all in one DAC and Amp combos, the two I would suggest are:

BUDGET

FiiO E10K and the NuForce uDAC3

Both of those would be great options for a budget solution, and they are tiny so they double as a portable or mobile Dac/Amp. They get power from USB, but it should be enough to drive 50ohm headphones. The Fiio is going to be the cheaper of the two, around $75, and the Nuforce will be around $100. Sometimes the Nuforce uDac3 will be around $70-$80 on amazon, but it’s usually around $100.

MORE EXPENSIVE

If you have between $200-$300 budget, then I would recommend the Modi 2 and Magni 2 by Schiit Audio. It is usually referred to as the ‘Schiit Stack” (because you literally stack them on top of each other lol), but you don’t have to stack them.

If you go to their site, it will lists all of their amps, and all of their Dacs. The Magni 2 is the Amp, and the Modi 2 is the Dac. There are the basic versions (which is what I have), and they run $99 each if you order directly through Schiit, which comes out to $200 for the set. They also make an “Uber” version of each, which runs about $150 bucks per unit, which is $300 total. The differences between the standard and Uber version or sort of minimal, but the Uber version of the Schiit stack is regarded by many audiophiles as the best “budget” audiophile Dac/Amp setup. For the price, it rivals many solid state and tube amp and dacs that cost $500+ dollars.

I have the Standard version, and it sounds great with my AKG K612’s. There is a list somewhere of all of the headsets that sound great with the Schiit stack, and what kind of sound signature you get out of each. The best thing to do if you already know what kind of sound signature you like out of your headphones, is to find the Headphone + Dac/Amp combo that produces that type of sound, and pic that. But I would say that the HD598’s + the Schiit stack will be perfectly fine for you, but of course that will be up for you to decide if you were to go this route.

MY SUGGESTION

I would recommend the budget route, at least until you know what kind of sound signature you like. Some people want flat sounding cans, others want bright highs (probably really good for hearing gunshots and footsteps), others want a more warm sound, where the mids really break through the track and the bass really kicks.

The budget option will be a cheap way for you to determine if the HD598’s produce the type of sound you like. If they do, then you can upgrade your Dac and Amp in the future, OR just change to a different headset if you decide that you want more highs, or more low end.

2 points

·

3rd Aug 2018

It needs an amp, but the E10K is only $75 on Amazon.

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/

2 points

·

8th Oct 2020

Your best bet would usually be a USB DAC/amp like the FiiO E10K

2 points

·

22nd Jul 2020

A fiio usb dac and a set of audio-technica ATH-M40x headphones.

Had a set of the old model for 4 years, dj, travel, gaming. Still going strong and comfy.

Not cheap but the quality is spot on and you will not feel let down.

2 points

·

4th Oct 2016

Absolutely! I’m using a pair of m50’s from Audio Technica and they work great. You can connect them to the audio out of the headset (a little dongle that hangs with the rest of the cable trunk off the back of your head) or use them with an existing sound output device (I’m using a FiiO 10k), just make sure you set your audio inputs and outputs right in Windows.

2 points

·

8th Apr 2015

If you’re looking for just a DAC – The Schiit Modi 2 is superb value.

If you need amplification for those cans you could pair the Modi with a Magni 2 or you could consider an all in one solution, such as the famed 02ODAC.

While both of these solutions would be considered well priced by me, you may be looking for something lower priced, in which case I’d definitely suggest a fiio model.

If you want to elaborate on how you feel about these options, perhaps I/we could better suggest alternatives.

Best of luck!

1 point

·

18th Mar 2022

My headphones are 32 ohms, so not power demanding. Thanks for the info: I see two Fiio E10k listings on Amazon, an older model using micro USB and a newer model with USB Type-C. My laptop has a type-C port; is that model OK?

1 point

·

24th Feb 2022

I went with this tiny little bundle of joy. It’s so cheap that it is a crime not to buy it for the difference it will make to your music/games.

The only downside is now you can play your music so loud and clear, that it will hurt your ears the next day if you max it out.

FiiO E10K Headphone Amplifier

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00LP3AMC2/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1

I’ve had this a while, maybe there is a better version by now.

EDIT:

Sure enough, there is a newer version.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/FiiO-E10K-OLYMPUS2-TYPE-C-USB-dp-B098TKMNKG/dp/B098TKMNKG/ref=dp\_ob\_title\_ce

1 point

·

19th Dec 2021
ItemCurrentLowestReviews
FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)$75.98$75.984.5/5.0

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^Item&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Bot&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Trigger

1 point

·

17th Nov 2021

>FiiO E10K amp/DAC combo

The new E10K-TC is the same price.

1 point

·

30th Oct 2021

> $75 FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_apan_glt_fabc_CA81BG9AAM8YKP9JV8A8

is this good?

1 point

·

17th Oct 2021
ItemCurrentLowestReviews
FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)$75.98$75.984.5/5.0

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^Item&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Bot&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Trigger

1 point

·

16th Oct 2021
ItemCurrentLowestReviews
FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)$75.98$75.984.5/5.0

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^Item&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Bot&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Trigger

1 point

·

15th Oct 2021
ItemCurrentLowestReviews
FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)$75.98$75.984.5/5.0

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^Item&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Bot&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Trigger

1 point

·

14th Oct 2021
ItemCurrentLowestReviews
FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)$75.98$75.984.5/5.0

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^Item&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Bot&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Trigger

1 point

·

13th Oct 2021
ItemCurrentLowestReviews
FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)$75.98$75.984.5/5.0

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^Item&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Bot&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Trigger

1 point

·

12th Oct 2021
ItemCurrentLowestReviews
FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)$75.98$75.984.5/5.0

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^Item&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Bot&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Trigger

1 point

·

11th Oct 2021
ItemCurrentLowestReviews
FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)$75.98$75.984.5/5.0

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^Item&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Bot&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Trigger

1 point

·

10th Oct 2021
ItemCurrentLowestReviews
FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)$75.98$75.984.5/5.0

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^Item&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Bot&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Trigger

1 point

·

9th Oct 2021
ItemCurrentLowestReviews
FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)$75.98$75.984.5/5.0

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^Item&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Bot&amp;nbsp;Info&nbsp;|&nbsp;Trigger

1 point

·

9th Oct 2021

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/

You may or may not need an adapter in-between, but it should.

1 point

·

21st Sep 2021

What are the differences between the original and the new Type-C is there any other difference than Type-C? For me they’re the same exact price.

1 point

·

2nd Sep 2021

Hey man, I just looked around Amazon and found this FiiO E10K Headphone Amplifier and USB DAC

https://www.amazon.in/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-USB/dp/B00LP3AMC2

will that be good enough upgrade over my motherboard one and power the 80 ohm version ?

1 point

·

25th Aug 2021

I ended up gettingthis FiiO E10K. Hopefully it fixes the issue. Thanks for the help

1 point

·

24th Aug 2021

I would not make USB a do-or-die feature in your case.

Especially at $500, you can easily afford a dedicated USB DAC as well as a really nice speaker setup:

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/

1 point

·

10th Aug 2021

Schiit Fulla is the best option, unfortunately there is no stock at the moment according to their website.

The best second option is the Fiio E10K

1 point

·

22nd Jun 2021

I would think a dac/amp would correct the problem.

E10K is a good desktop amp for the money

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/

1 point

·

22nd Apr 2021

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2 a lot of people recommend this. I use this for my M40x / HD 598 SR / HD Jubilee 58x.

1 point

·

24th Feb 2021

These are both slightly above your budget but are very good.

Fiio k3 for 75 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fabc_B39NCAM2ZJS58QZ8ZNN1

Ibasso dc03 for 70
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08MTB2F14/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fabc_7Z321JS693G6ZSDP39W1

I think this one is supposed to be good but I can’t vouch for it personally
Temptotec sonata for 40
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084YX4MZD/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fabc_88765XSD19W8B8Z7R97V

1 point

·

31st Jan 2021

For those particular headphones I highly recommend getting an amp, I use this one with my dt770s https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_glt_fabc_07SFQ4NFJ5KSJTKG6FM5?_encoding=UTF8&amp;psc=1

1 point

·

17th Dec 2020

If the headphones don’t play audio when plugged in, but work on other devices (phone, iPod, other PC, etc.) then it is likely the PC audio port. I would also try a different set of headphones or speakers on the PC to see if they work. If you can deduce that it is definitely a bad audio output on the PC then you would need to add an external amp/DAC. I am not sure what the cheapest options are, but I would feel comfortable recommending a Schitt Fulla since it is a both a DAC and amp, and relatively cheap. There is also a FiiO E10K and the Audioquest Dragonfly.

Their may be cheaper options that will work okay that I just am not aware of, since I haven’t had to buy or look at DACs or amps for almost 5 years. Hope that helps though.

1 point

·

10th Dec 2020

Hi all, I have been battling this issue with connecting my speakers to my new computer for the past 2 to 3 months since I built my new PC.

The problem is trying to connect my JBL LSR305’s to my PC without creating an audible humming or static sound. I’ve done a ton of research as to why this could be happening and found that it could be coil buzzing, different types of feedback, or whatever. All of my fixes end up resulting in the same problem. When I connect the cable from my PC to my speakers, I can hear a quiet but very noticable humming and static sound. I can record it for you guys if it will help. If I plug the cord into my computer, I can hear the sound. If I unplug it from the computer, there is still a slight hum. If I plug the aux side of the cable into my mac laptop or iphone, the hum completely goes away. When I play games, the humming gets louder and quieter depending on what I do in the game (for example: different menu screens have different volumes and hums). If I plug my headphones straight into my computer, there is no hum.

My set up is I have a PC sitting on my desk and my two JBL speakers on speaker stands on the left and right side of my desk. I have a aux cable that splits into two 1/4 inch outputs that plug into my speakers. The aux able is plugged into my PC.

What I’ve tried is: putting my computer on the ground to distance the electronics away from the speakers, that didn’t work. I bought a DAC which I surely would have thought would fix this and it didn’t. It honestly makes the humming and static louder. Although if I plug my headphones into my DAC, there is no hum at all. I’ve updated all of my audio drivers. It sounds like it could be a grounding issue and I’ve looked up solutions to that are they are to try to put your speakers and computer on the same exact outlet (which they already are), I tried different outlets, same problem. I thought it was my wifi adapter, I unplugged that and there is still the same issue.

At this point I’m stuck. Is there something I’m overlooking? Any help is super appreciated. Thank you!

1 point

·

6th Nov 2020

Asus can call it “AmazingAudio22000” for all that matters. It still needs the correct driver. The ones Windows provides are only meant to be temporary. They’re generic, and don’t take full advantage of the actual hardware. Make sure you do this before buying anything. Last thing you want to do is pay for something you don’t need.

As for its quality, at the end of the day, it’s Realtek hardware (a company not really known for high quality gear). Sadly, companies love them as they’re cheaper than their competition, and most folks don’t care, or notice. I’m not sure on your region, but something like this, or this (I wouldn’t go below this) would be a good upgrade.

1 point

·

31st Oct 2020

Looking for some new headphones.

Budget: £200
Source: To use with my PC for gaming/music/general stuff. Ideally wired so I can plug into an amplifer (I’d probably get this amplifer https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00LP3AMC2/?coliid=I1S4Y6NMK6GTOJ&amp;colid=38ASTY0LA0QIX&amp;psc=1&amp;ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it)
Requirements for isolation: I would be using this at home on my PC. Isolation is a huge plus!
Will you be using your headphones in public?: No
Preferred type of headphone: Full sized
Preferred tonal balance: Usually a bit of a basshead, but I wouldn’t mind an overall nice quality balance
Past headphones:
Steelseries Arctis 7:
Not bad, but not great for me. Obviously this is headset with a mic and is wireless, but I am looking to get a sepreate mic on a clamp stand and seperate headphones. The wireless function is ok but the range cuts out whenever I go somewhere like the kitchen in our flat, so don’t really get much use out of it. Also pretty dissapointed with the mic.
Preferred music: Mainly lo-fi hip hop beats. Other than that a mix of hip-hop, pop, jazz
What would you like to improve on for your next setup?: Like I said earlier, I just mainly play games, listen to music, watch youtube. Getting a decent mic on a clamp stand and am wanting a good pair of headphones to match so I don’t have to worry about upgrading for a while. Headphones with good bass, good isolation would be great.

Location: UK

1 point

·

12th Oct 2020

i added an edit for this https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00LP3AMC2?tag=aaau-22

id recomend that as reviews say tis perfect for the purpose you require.

as for sound cards. if u want my personal opinion. u are wasting money on those headphones. if u are trying to go for some audiophile stuff u either go all the way (u arent) or u dont.

if u want good gaming sound quality there are better options than those headphones. if ur just listening to music thats fine. buy the thing in the link in this post.

as for soundcard recommendations i have none, just check the link i shared and go down the list and read the reviews.

1 point

·

26th Oct 2020

I put some entry level options at the bottom of my post for what you’d be looking for.

Lets start with the DAC portion. DAC stands for Digital to Analog Converter. Basically it takes the digital sound from your PC and turns it into something the headphones can understand (Analog signals). The better your DAC is, cleaner the sound, or rather more faithful it is to the source. A good DAC can improve things such as separation, positional audio, clarity. Think of being able to more easily pin point where a gun shot or footsteps are coming from in a game. Normally your pc is doing this for your pc headphone jack, but its not very good at it, better than it used to be but not as good as doing that processing outside of the PC.

Now I’m sure you know what an Amplifier is, so that doesn’t need too much explanation. Now as far as what it does for headphones… Well this depends on the headphone, it can help with cleaner bass response which is when the headphone would draw the most power. You can experience an increase in volume capability, and it can clean up the sound if they are power hungry headphones. That being said Phillips Fidelio X2HRs are pretty easy to drive. This will still give you an improvement overall, but it will be a more worth while purchase when getting a harder to drive headphone (but then again this amp/dac isn’t too powerful).

Good entry level recommendations:
https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&amp;keywords=dac+amp+combo&amp;qid=1603723507&amp;sr=8-3

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_3?dchild=1&amp;keywords=dac+amp+combo&amp;qid=1603723507&amp;sr=8-3

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

1 point

·

2nd Mar 2019

Look into these two. Both are prime items on amazon so if you don’t like them or they end up being too pricy or whatever it’s an easy return.

FiiO $75
Emotiva $229

FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_NJOECbT0SSB2M

Emotiva Audio BasX A-100 Stereo Flex Amplifier https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSCCRDH/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_7KOECbREEA49B

You will need the FiiO, or a dac of some kind if you don’t like the FiiO, to interpret the signal coming from your computer and convert that digital into analog so that the amp can do its job. (You very well may know this, but just in case). I’ve had that particular FiiO for 3+ years and it’s still doing great so it should last very well for you too. With the FiiO, only use the line out (3.5mm port on the back of the unit) to run to the amp. The front has variable gain and you can damage your amp.

Also, any standard usb cable will work, do not buy into the digital cable hype, as digital is an all or nothing source. This means that if a well made 10$ cable gets the signal where it’s supposed to go it will perform just as well as a 500$ usb cable. Same goes for HDMI.

Between the FiiO and the amp, try and go for a pretty well made 3.5mm to RCA cable, as the difference here will actually be noticeable.

The emotiva will probably outlive you, they weigh enormous amounts and have custom toroidal transformers and are AB circuits. In plain speak, they are built to perform, and they are a great value because of it.

1 point

·

16th Jul 2019

Price History


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1 point

·

19th Jul 2019

Price History


These prices aren’t just Black and White.
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1 point

·

24th Oct 2020

Check Amazon FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_EY9KFbDK3ZZDB

1 point

·

15th Oct 2020

Or should I get something like this with headphones? I found this on a 3-year-old post, so I don’t know if there are better options out there. Thanks for the help. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=nav_timeline_asin?_encoding=UTF8&amp;psc=1

1 point

·

1st Oct 2020

https://www.amazon.ca/FiiO-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_5?dchild=1&amp;keywords=DAC&amp;qid=1601583228&amp;sr=8-5

something like this for the speakers. If the microphone input also has noise then I’d just recommend upgrading to a mic that uses USB instead of 3.5mm.

1 point

·

29th Sep 2020

this

They sound great even w/o. Despite being 250 ohm my phone can drive them easily.

1 point

·

1st Sep 2020

Under $100 for a DAC and Amp there isn’t much out there thats truly great. The Schiit Fulla 3 is a good option though for $99. That would be my pick.

The Fiio E10k also comes to mind but I have no experience with it.

There are a handful of other options like a Fiio BTR3 and a few other dongle style DACs. Still the Schiit would be my choice.

1 point

·

31st Aug 2020

It does seem to be a decent amp/Dac made my Sennheiser nonetheless, just might be lacking in power depending on how demanding the headphones will be (I saw you want the dt770 which is a solid choice but which ohms you get it in matters).

You can still go for the uni if you don’t want to throw an extra 100 into the mic budget for a at2020.

If you decide differently and want a cheap Dac/amp no mic input

Fiio E10K
Fiio K3
Micca Origen G2

Are solid options

1 point

·

6th Aug 2020

No they do not.

This is the one I got https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_19?dchild=1&amp;keywords=headphone+amp&amp;qid=1596749452&amp;sr=8-19

To be honest I would wait until you get the audio interface and test it out. Really depends on the volume level you like to listen at. Before I got the amp my volume was pretty loud but not quite where I wanted, I can’t say for your case though. Definitely wait and see if the audio interface satisfies you before getting a headphone amp. It will definitely pump up the volume just depends how much you want/need.

1 point

·

16th Jul 2020

A very popular option in your budget range is the FiiO E10K Olympus 2. It’s an dac/amp.

If you are able to find a little more money, I would recommend the Topping A30. Here is a technical review. However that’s only a headphone amplifier.

The site audiophonics is a good resource for us europeans btw, I think they import the products they sell.

However, if you can actually get a little more money, I would greatly recommend you get the Topping MX3. Not only you would get the digital inputs and headphone output, but also you would also get speaker output. It also has bluetooth and a remote, so you could use it as a budget solution for stereo home theater. Here are some reviews: technical review, Zeos

SMSL AD18 does the same things but with a subwoofer output. However, it would appear the headphone out is not as good. Reviews: technical review, Zeos, Josh Valour

1 point

·

12th May 2020

I’d be weary of all of their EQ and gaming crap on top of it. Honestly, for a bang for buck scenario, try a Fiio e10k or K3. No 7.1/EQ malarky and will sound better than your soundcard.

https://www.amazon.ca/FiiO-E10K-amplificateur-casque-regular/dp/B00LP3AMC2/

https://www.londondrugs.com/fiio-dac-headphone-amplifier—black—k3/L0477841.html

(OOS on Amazon right now)

1 point

·

19th Nov 2019
1 point

·

30th Nov 2019

Price History


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1 point

·

30th Nov 2019

Do we need this with game one and hd599? Thanks a lot!

1 point

·

8th Sep 2019

more than likely you will need to select the rear output in the soundcard software .not sure with linux, not used it for a few years

as for the static , normally caused by the motherboard maker cost cutting on the build quality.

if your using linux , look into something external from fiio

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fiio-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

will work with any linux , windows , and will never cause problems and will sound better

1 point

·

21st Aug 2019

This Fiio is good for the price https://www.amazon.co.uk/Fiio-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/

Note that it has a line out, not a pre out. So I believe you need speakers with their own volume adjustment.

1 point

·

29th Aug 2019

An external DAC is almost always higher quality than an internal sound card.

You will also need an amp to power the headphones after the DAC.

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

I recommend that unit on a budget.

https://www.amazon.com/DX3-Pro-Headphone-Amplifier-Bluetooth/dp/B07KG9P3X3

That if you have more money to spend.

1 point

·

14th Jun 2019

Also the front panel jack wiring isn’t shielded very well. Just get a cheap USB DAC and never look back! I have this one https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LP3AMC2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1

1 point

·

7th May 2019

I have several DACs including the Schiit Modi and Fiio D03 only does optical to analog,
from the PC you need USB to analog, maybe you meant the E10?

This one will keep you under $25 and gets the job done, but the USB DAC market is huge.

1 point

·

18th Mar 2019

Hello all. I checked the sidebar and it was posted 4 years ago so I wasn’t sure if it was updated for 2019…

I am looking to purchase my 1st receiver which will replace my FiiO E10K DAC/AMP. I currently have a pair of JBL MKii305 powered bookshelf speakers and also an AKG K7xx headphones, both connected to my FiiO E10K DAC/AMP. I am looking for a minimum of 2.1 receiver to replace the FiiO E10K as it works great with my headphones, but not with the speakers. I would prefer 5.1 so I don’t have to upgrade later on. I plan on getting additional speakers and a sub for 5.1 in the future. My budget is $150, I’ve been looking at used receivers under $100 on craigslist and goodwill.com, but I don’t mind getting a new one if its highly recommended.

Budget: <$150 USD

Location: USA, SF South Bay Area

Use: Everything for my computer, movies, music, gaming. Speakers in a mid-size bedroom desk.

Headphones: AKG K7xx Headphones

Speakers: JBL MKii 305p Powered Speakers

DAC/AMP: FiiO E10K

Some examples of receiver I was looking at on Craigslist, SF South Bay area:

Denon AVR-1906

JVC R-X80

Onkyo TX SV636

Onkyo HT-R2295

1 point

·

15th Mar 2019

Hello all, seeking a receiver for my headphones and speakers on my computer. They are currently connected to my FiiO E10K DAC/AMP which sucks because I can’t control the volume for my speakers, need to adjust volume from the back of each bookshelf speaker. Need advice on what to look for in a budget receiver since this is my 1st receiver purchase. I am looking at receivers <$150 on craigslist, but I don’t know exactly what to look for. I plan on hooking up my bookshelf speakers and headphones and eventually add center speakers and subwoofer at the minimum. My speakers are powered, but need receiver with amplifier for my headphones! Thanks for any advice you guys can provide! 🙂

Budget: <$150 USD

Location: USA, SF South Bay Area

Use: Everything for my computer, movies, music, gaming. Speakers in a mid-size bedroom desk.

Headphones: AKG K7xx Headphones

Speakers: JBL MKii 305p Powered Speakers

DAC/AMP: FiiO E10K

Some examples of receiver I was looking at on Craigslist, SF South Bay area:

Denon AVR-1906

JVC R-X80

Onkyo TX SV636

Onkyo HT-R2295

1 point

·

13th Feb 2019

I’m 100% biased (because I own them) but the Massdrop K7xx, Fiio E10k Amp/DAC & a Modmic 5 is my current trio and yes, it’s expensive but it sounds tremendous, simply tremendous for the price.

&#x200B;

It blows my mind that this kind of high-end setup only costs ~$350 usd or so. My gf’s brother has the top-end Steelseries ARCTIS PRO Wireless and they sound like shit compared to my k7xx. I’m not kidding nor exaggerating. He wanted to return them after hearing my setup but couldn’t because he bought them on black Friday.

&#x200B;

The k7xx have an extremely wide soundstage which is just absolutely epic for positional shooters and excellent for ambient games like resident evil, bioshock, etc.

&#x200B;

If you check out reviews online (which you should), you’ll see that most reviewers agree, the K7xx punches WAY above its class at $200. It rivals headphones up to the $600 range in sound quality.

&#x200B;

I’ll take that over wireless “gaming-grade” garbage all day, every day.

&#x200B;

1 point

·

18th Feb 2019

There’s a bundle I may be buying, it comes with this though:

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

Would this be perfectly fine to use with it?

1 point

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7th Jan 2019

Before I get to the list, I need to address a major issue you have with this build. The Ryzen 5 2600X is a CPU only, it has no integrated graphics processor. Meaning that without a graphics card, you won’t be able to use the computer once it’s all built. Now onto the list, I’ll go one by one.

>1. I am NOT a serious gamer. I am a newer parent who doesn’t have much time to game already. I did just buy a few games for my PS4, but I wanted to give myself the opportunity to enter the PC gaming space as my time permits.

Since you’re not going to be a serious gamer, you can throw in an RX 570 and be able to play most games around medium/high settings at 60 fps no problem. Although, my recommendation is that you go with something like a Ryzen 2400G and save some money on a CPU you most likely won’t be getting maximum performance out of anyway (considering you’re not going to be playing online games). It’s about a $60 price difference that you put towards a better CPU cooler or just save in general.

>2. I value quality sound and I am a budget audiophile. I can’t vouch for the quality of the sound on the motherboard I bought, so I am open to buying the Creative’s Sound BlasterX AE-5 Pure card. I am curious if people think this is money well spent. I have no way of knowing how to speculatively compare my motherboard’s sound options compared to this card.

I enjoy good sound as much as the next guy, but I wouldn’t consider myself an audiophile so my advice should be looked into. That being said, from what I’ve heard, sound cards have been obsolete for a long time. There’s barely any difference from higher end motherboard sound drivers so I would recommend buying a DAC or Amp (or a DAC/Amp combo like this that my friend recommended to me). Again, just making it clear, I’m not all that interested in audiophile tech, so make sure you look into sound cards vs DAC/Amp comparisons.

>3. I mostly intend to use this PC for surfing the web, storage, listening to music, and streaming video. Again, PC gaming is something I intend on trying out because I’ve always wanted to, but I will not be playing any games that involve me playing with other people.

Everything I’ve said here so far covers everything in this point, except for storage. If I were you, I would take out the Samsung 970 Evo and replace it with at least a 1TB hard drive. Something the Western Digital Blue line or this really good value Seagate BarraCuda 4TB hard drive. Hard drives are slower than SSDs, but they can handle writing files for much longer than SSDs, which is important to long term storage.

>4. I would like to get a 4K monitor. I believe factors into what graphics card that I should consider buying. If this is true, I would like to know how that correlates to my card purchase. I’d also like opinions on ones that I should consider…keeping in mind my expected typical usage for the PC (outlined in #3)

4K gaming is extremely expensive, both in terms of money and component resources. You will need at least a GTX 1060 6GB or an RX 580 for 4k 30fps gaming. If you want 60 fps, then You would probably need a GTX 1070 Ti or GTX 1080 for 60 fps at anything above medium settings. I don’t recommend buying a 4K monitor if you aren’t willing to spend above $400 on the graphics card alone.

>5. I also need a UPS, so I am looking for ideas on that.

This isn’t really necessary, it’s just better for the stability of your computer during a sudden power outage. You can get a surge protector and it will pretty much fulfill the same purpose. The only difference being that a UPS allows you a few minutes of battery power to save any of your work and properly shut down your computer.

>6. Lastly…what do you all think of my build

Well, all of the points above pretty much sum up my thoughts. lol

1 point

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1st Dec 2018

Why is it the crappiest?

For sub $100, you’re probably looking at the FiiO E10K or something by SMSL.

1 point

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20th Oct 2018

Try a separate dac/amp for your pc. I don’t know where you’re seeing people listening to the 6XX with phones – 58X or 660s maybe since those are easier to drive, but I’ve never seen anyone run earlier 6 series on phones (maybe on the LG V10, but that phone apparently had some decent audio hardware). Maybe order a e10k or a DAC-X6 to see if you don’t have enough juice to drive these and return the it if the 6XX still sounds bad.

But yeah I also felt the same way when I first tried out my friend’s 650 a few years back and thought they sounded kinda bland, but back then I wasn’t used to how much bass open backs lack compared to closed backs.

1 point

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28th Aug 2018
1 point

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28th Aug 2018

Sorry I’m getting back to you so late, u/NebulousWolf, I had some traveling to get done over the week.

This is an amazing guide made from r/Zeos, u/ZeosPantera does a great job explaining the different budget/quality points. https://www.reddit.com/r/Zeos/comments/66xylk/guide_dac_amp_combo_units/

Personally, I use two, one for mobile and one at my media machine.

I use https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1535464702&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=amp+dac+combo for my at home work

&#x200B;

and https://www.amazon.com/Fiio-Portable-Headphone-Amplifier-DAC/dp/B0189EVGAG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1535464775&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=fiio+k1 for on the go with my macbook.

&#x200B;

I hope this helps, Cheers!

1 point

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6th Jul 2018

This is a good one, and it has a bass boost if you need it. Also has coaxial out to drive speakers.

You could also look at the Schiit Fulla 2 or the Magni/Modi stack.

1 point

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14th Jun 2018

Hmm.. Not a lot at that price level. FiiO E10K might be one option. And it would be portable.

1 point

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14th Jun 2018

I would go with the 80 ohm is you want something easier to drive and if your more into bass music. If you want better highs and more clarity in the music I would go with the 250 ohm, the 250 ohm will probably also be brighter sounding/more treble. The problem is the 250 will be hard to drive.

I did research on them in the past and from what I remember the 80 ohm may have slightly more bass and less mids compared to the 250 ohm. There probably isn’t a big difference in the two though, just 250 is harder to drive.

I would go with a Fiio E10K for a good entry level amp/dac.

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

Also check out Zeo’s amp/dac recommendation page. Schiit stack would be th next step up, but it’s $200 plus.

https://www.reddit.com/r/Zeos/comments/66xylk/guide_dac_amp_combo_units/

1 point

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22nd Jun 2018

That’s awesome, glad you were able to find something to make it work for now at least. You might look into buying a headphone amp or DAC or combo of the two (depending on what you want to do with it, how loud, and how much you want to spend).

  • I recently did a ton of research to buy a new pair of headphones (I ended up getting the Phillips Fidelio X2s and am very happy with them). You might check out /r/HeadphoneAdvice if you have any questions, and check the sidebar (as well as the sidebar for /r/Headphones). There’s a purchasing guide here that breaks them down by price. If you’re looking for a serious contender, JDS Labs has The Element for $350 that’s a combo amp/DAC. A lot of people also recommend getting a Schiit “stack”, where you’ll buy a separate amp and DAC allowing you to meet your exact needs as far as inputs, outputs, connections, power, etc. I think the Modi2/Magni3 gets mentioned a lot.

Another popular one for $75 is the Fiio E10k that has a simple 3.5mm headphone in and out, and a bass boost switch. You could plug the USB right into your PS4 and run the cable from your DualShock4, or you could use a cable adapter like you’re doing now, out from your TV to the E10k, and then a cable from that to your headphones.

—————

Right now, I’m using my home theater receiver’s headphone out and it’s made me realize that a decent pair of headphones can be a great pair of headphones when you have some power behind them. You could get a Desktop DAC (they’re really small generally, but they’re something that you’d just set up as part of your system and leave them there), or the Portables (which you can get in the form of USB thumb drives or other smaller devices). Investing in a good DAC will improve your soundstage of your headphones — the sense of sound imaging coming from further away from your head than those headphones, and improving the “location” from which the sounds come, if that makes sense?

  • When I bought my headphones, I also bought the Astro A40 MixAmp TR Pro and so far I’m not thrilled with it — you can’t use it with an XBOX One (because it needs to recognize the drivers) and I thought I’d be able to just use any optical output into it and get Dolby Digital but so far it doesn’t seem to work like that (although mine may be defective). Also it’s very strong on the treble and bass but almost nonexistent mids (and again, that may be because my headphones are “V” shaped and the mids aren’t as emphasized), but when I run the cord direct from the receiver it sounds mucccccccccch better. You can go in and program sound presets in an equalizer on the MixAmp but I haven’t had a chance to do that yet.

My point though, is that if you buy a good headphone amp/DAC combo, you can use it with any source (TV, movies, PS4, XBOX One, Wii, Switch, iPod, iPad, laptops, MP3 players, whatever). Just a simple input, hook it up to a power source (usually via a USB, or a wall outlet), and then a headphone cable to your pair and it will make a world of difference and make you hear things you’ve never heard before in songs you’ve listened to a million times. Obviously the more you invest into it, the better it gets. But I think $75 is a pretty decent entry point and you can always send it back if it doesn’t radically change things for you.

—————

Good luck whatever you do, happy gaming!

1 point

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11th May 2018

yep, i went with a FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier and have been very happy. $75.99 at the moment on amazon and it’s bang on your budget.

1 point

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20th Apr 2018

The FiiO E10K integrated DAC/amp works ok with the 6XX.

It also replaces your integrated soundcard of your computer.

1 point

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18th Apr 2018

Oh good, at least you figured out what’s going on. Yeah Gigabyte has some questionable quality control in some of their products.

Onboard soundcards aren’t always bad and if yours worked I’d imagine it would have been perfectly fine for your setup. I’m not sure you’d benefit much (outside of working audio) from a soundcard/amp/dac. As for PCI I don’t really know, I haven’t really ventured in that field much and an external amp/dac is almost always recommended here.

The cheapest (not bad, mind you) amp/dac that seems to be worth the money is the FiiO E10k. The only downside in your case is I don’t think any external setups or interfaces have a 3.5mm mic in, at least I haven’t seen one. I’d imagine you could keep the amp by your header mic in and just plug it in there with the audio in through the dac/amp.

If you stream, though, I highly recommend looking into a proper external mic as well, probably a condenser. The mics on headsets are acceptable for voice chat but if you want good audio for your voice the way to go is definitely an external mic. That would also leave you room to ditch headsets entirely and get a good pair of headphones :D.

1 point

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14th Apr 2018

This would do you just fine. Getting a new sound card would be a waste. At least this can serve multiple use cases:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_ttu0AbWVMKR7V

1 point

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14th Apr 2018

It seems that your comment contains 1 or more links that are hard to tap for mobile users.
I will extend those so they’re easier for our sausage fingers to click!

Here is link number 1 – Previous text “amp”


^Please ^PM ^/u/eganwall ^with ^issues ^or ^feedback! ^| ^Delete

1 point

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13th Mar 2018

Thanks for the recommendation! Could you share how this compares to a much simpler, cheaper model, a-la Fii-O E10K?

1 point

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9th Feb 2018

https://soundcloud.com/drdinkus/yee

Will give any feedback mostly during the evening today! After posting this track it finally hit me why all my stuff is quiet. I use a amp for my headphones :/. So while things are loud for me in my DAW they are really quiet on SC. What is everyone using to mix their stuff? Some speakers instead of headphones?

Amp I’m using: https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_23_bs_t_1?_encoding=UTF8&amp;psc=1&amp;refRID=ZFRMJRDVTDTAN6JKVGM2

1 point

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14th Feb 2018

Yeah, they are a little on the quiet side without an amp (rec1, rec2, or rec3). I personally did not like the 598CS that much, but you can always just EQ to your liking. They have some weird mid-peaks that are a bit harsh for me. The 770s and the 553s let you play with more bass without distortion for music as well. Although, the Senns are the most comfy by far.

1 point

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14th Feb 2018

Sorry for asking this question like so many others, but I just wanted to get a second opinion.

&nbsp;

I have just purchased a Beyerdynamics DT-770 (250 Ohms). I realized my existing sound card wouldn’t be able to power them as well as an amp. I was looking for a headphone amp and I narrowed my selection down to 3.

&nbsp;

Massdrop Objective 2 – $95 (Massdrop)

&nbsp;

FiiO E10K – $76

&nbsp;

FX Audio DAC X6 – $65

&nbsp;

Which of these (or others) would you recommend?

&nbsp;

Thanks in advance!

1 point

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15th Feb 2018

It’s this little guy FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_8BEHAbM1HYNB9

I’m not opposed to going with something else though. I appreciate the help!

1 point

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6th Feb 2018

The Fiio E10K might be a good option.

1 point

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3rd Feb 2018

I’m looking for an external USB audio solution to replace onboard soundcard but am confused as to what to get that will work well with my headphones. I have already tried a cheap USB external sound card from amazon but the sound quality was poor. Would something like this work? Or this?

Any advice would be appreciated.

(I have these headphones )

1 point

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3rd Feb 2018

I’m looking for an external USB audio solution to replace onboard soundcard but am confused as to what to get that will work well with my headphones. I have already tried a cheap USB external sound card from amazon but the sound quality was poor. Would something like this work? Or this?

Any advice would be appreciated.

(I have these headphones )

1 point

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10th Jan 2018

Hi I’m just delving deeper into the world of high-quality audio and I need a little help understanding what I should buy to go along with what I currently have. I’ll be getting the HD 6xx when they drop in March and I’m using the built in preamp on my AT LP120 with Edifier R1280T bookshelf speakers (which are also connected to an Echo Dot). I suppose the next step would be to get a DAC/Amp combo so that I can use the headphones with my turntable? I’m looking at the NuForce uDAC-3 DAC/Amp Combo on Massdrop ($60) and the FiiO E10K ($75). I also want to get a pair of closed headphones (maybe HD 598 Cs) in the next month or so since it’ll be a few months before the 6xx ship out.

I am planning on using the HD 6xx at home with my turntable and laptop and the closed pair with my iPod Classic and laptop while I’m out. These will be the first pair of “nice” headphones I’ll own.

I guess my questions are:

  1. Can I use a DAC/amp (ideally either of the two listed above) to listen to records by either hooking it up to the turntable directly or through the speakers somehow? Do I need a receiver for this? Do I need to split the turntable output? Should I running the my speakers through this DAC/amp also?

  2. If the DAC/amp won’t do the trick then what should I be using?

  3. Is there a difference in functionality between desktop and portable DAC/amps or is it sort of analogous to the difference between a desktop versus a laptop computer?

  4. Will I need a DAC/amp to use my headphones with my MacBook?

I don’t have a super-discerning ear since I’m still relatively new to the community, so please keep that in mind with any advice you guys can give me! I’ve crossposted to /r/headphones, but I figured I would ask here as well since there is some overlap and more responses can only help me better understand things. Thanks in advance!

1 point

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22nd Jan 2018

modern motherboards can power them fine, some chipsets are better than others. check your motherboard/sound software for options for amplification if it’s too quiet. if you hear any noise / hiss you’ll probably need a dac, if they are too low volume at max with amplification you’ll need a amp. I started with a Fiio e10k for my 6XX’s then upgraded to an JDS labs element the JDS is a lot more powerful, i think this helps when listening at low volume, sounds a lot better than the fiio or my mobo did at low volume to me anyway. make sure you turn off all effects in your software (right click speaker icon > playback devices > disable all enhancements). They are amazing sounding headphones for the money and you can go far (amp/dac) with them depending how much you want to spend. I’m at my end game setup now and couldn’t be happier with them. The fiio was less than a third the price of the element, I don’t think it gave me 3x the better sound quality, not even close, but astheticaly i love looking at it, so im happy. I’d still be happy listening to them out of my fiio though. 🙂

1 point

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11th Jan 2018

I have beyerdynamic DT 880 Premiums. Does this DAC/Amp combo look good?
https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

1 point

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1st Dec 2017

https://www.amazon.co.uk/FiiO-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

i noticed there is a gain switch on the back. perhaps i should use that.

thanks for your replies paul.

1 point

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27th Dec 2017

I’ve been thinking about buying a Fiio E10K DAC+Amp. Here is my question: I have a pair of Sony MDR-ZX600 non-monitor headphones, an old pair of Sanrupid SR-60D speakers(not much info on them on the web) and an Asus K56-CB laptop. Would a DAC+Amp combo make a great difference in sound quality of this setup? Do I definitely need monitor speakers/headphones to feel a serious difference? I will probably buy a pair of monitors eventually but, I’m on a budget right now so I’m thinking about going just for a DAC+Amp right now and upgrading rest of my setup later.

1 point

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1st Nov 2017

Can run something like this from behind and plug in your headphones whenever needed.

Wireless is also a viable option.

1 point

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17th Nov 2017

Thanks! What other things do I have to buy to make it work? Amazon recommends the FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier as well as the mod mic that you mentioned. Is this everything I need?

1 point

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30th Nov 2017

I just ordered the FiiO. Do you think this will be better? Or what else should I buy?
https://www.amazon.co.uk/FiiO-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

1 point

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25th Nov 2017

I am looking for a DAC/amp to pair with my new AKG K702 cans. Would love to stay at the 100 euro range – give or take 20€.

I have a couple of candidates – which one would be the best to go with the K702, if any? Any other recommendations?

FiiO E10K (Link)

Nuforce uDAC3 (Link)

AudioQuest – DragonFly USB DAC (Link)

Procaster DAC-03 (Link) – sorry, the manufacturer and seller is Finnish. Specs are as follows:

  • 24-bit / 96 kHz audio circuit

  • Output power: 350 mW @32 Ohm

  • Impedance: 16-300 Ohm

  • THD+N: 0,009 @ 1 kHz

  • Signal-to-noise ratio: 110 dB

  • Input: Micro-USB, for audio and power

  • Output: RCA, 3.5mm

1 point

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21st Nov 2017

I know the Schiit Fulla 2 and the FiiO E10K works if that helps.

1 point

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1st Oct 2017

It could just be the headphones but I’ve had an ASUS ROG motherboard before and there can be static you could get a sound or even a USB DAC.
Good sound card: https://us.creative.com/p/sound-cards/sound-blasterx-ae-5
Good DAC: https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

If these are expensive then look up on Youtube cheap DAC or sound card. personal recommend a DAC.

1 point

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12th Oct 2017

Im one of those “get a DAC/AMP, Studio headphones, and a standalone mic” type of people. I’d highly suggest looking into the FiiO e10k, Superlux HD668B Headphones, and either an antlion modmic or a blue snowball. It is a WORLD of difference in audio quality, for both the headphones and mic.

But if you dont want to take that path; The hyperx are a very stable choice, i’d recommend them much more than most/all other headset vendors.

1 point

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25th Oct 2017

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LP3AMC2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1

This is the amp I’m using. There’s only one adjustable volume knob though, so I’m not sure how to properly amplify it.

1 point

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12th Oct 2017

There are some who have argued a 6:1 ratio is fine… but there are also those who have argued that 8:1 isn’t adequate and that you need 10:1. I think it’s an inherently ambiguous ratio.

It’s a fairly cheap device. I would say get it and try it (preferably from somewhere like Amazon, where returns are easy) then if you think the sound signature is compromised, return it.

Every headphone is different, so it’s impossible to say whether or not there would be an audible difference until you try it.

There are a bunch of DAC/AMPs on the market though, so if you’re that worried about it, search for something else.

EDIT: For instance, the Fiio E10k has an output impedance of 1.04 ohms for only about $10 more.

1 point

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13th Oct 2017

Going off of this thread, it seems you might be better off getting either this or a seperate DAC + Amp at ~100$ each – for instance, this amp and this DAC. I own the DAC listed there and it’s great for my needs (50/50 split between high-quality mp3s and lossless).

1 point

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5th Oct 2017

I have a cheap DAC for mine, it definitely helps a lot. Audiotechnica has a good line here that are current, and you can also find previous years models which are cheaper but still really good like here on amazon. I also have heard really good things about beyerdynamic DT990’s, but you definitely need to get a good enough DAC for those.

The open-back models will have better soundstage than closed-back, but will be louder to other people around you.

1 point

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29th Oct 2017

Hi, I got quite a bit of trouble setting up my turntable, and I don’t think I found the right answers in the FAQ.
Problem is, I want to be able to switch between headphones and speakers.

I’ve already got a PreAmp, which gives me CD-Out and I’ve got my headphones plugged into this AMP. (Which I still want to be able to use with my PC) Speakers are yet to come, but I’m probably going to get Rokit Speakers.

Which additional devices do I need and how can I connect all that to my turntable?

I would highly appreciate any kind of help.
Thank You!

1 point

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17th Sep 2017

I’m trying to figure out how I can pair this with my computer. I wanted to get a dac/amp combo to power this thing but I’m unsure about what connections will work. I was looking into this thing but wasn’t sure how it’d connect to the speakers. Could I use something like this?

1 point

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16th Sep 2017

Hi!

Not too long ago I purchased the ATH-MSR7 Headphones, which definitely was a big step up from my previous Steelseries gaming headset. I noticed, however, that there seems to be some interference, which is especially the case when the Air Conditioner is turned on. It’s some kind of high pitch noise with some occasional cracking. I have the headphones plugged into a AT2020USB+ microphone. Directly plugged into the computer is worse.

Would a AMP+DAC help against this kind of interference? And while the ATH-MSR7 is pretty easy to run, would they benefit from an AMP+DAC?

I’m not super knowledgeable about audio yet, so I could use some advice. I’m currently living in Japan, and found 2 that might be interesting:

The Fiio E10K is of course pretty popular already. The Amulech AL-9628D doesn’t seem to be well-known outside of Japan (it’s a Japan based company), but it seems to be a bit more powerful, and is getting really good reviews inside of Japan. You can either run it through USB or the provided 100-240V AC Adapter. But honestly, DSD.. ASIO 2.1.. I don’t know much about it all.

Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

1 point

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28th Sep 2017

Hello I just got my FiiO E10K and my new headphones, sound is awesome. I’m not really sure how to handle the volume best. For example if I’m listening to a track, should I max the volume out (to 100%) in the player and only adjust volume via Fio or does it not matter which way I do it?

1 point

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7th Sep 2017

This little amp/dac combo from Fiio is very good for your use and under your listed budget.

1 point

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19th Sep 2017

Hi guys,

I just moved to a new studio flat and I’d like to update my current very basic setup: a Yamaha NX-U02 plugged into my laptop (Alienware R15 R3).

  • I’m looking for compact 2.0 speakers that will be sitting on my desk and used for music, gaming and movies; either from my desk or the couch which is 2 meters away. I might want to use headphones once in a while. The room is about 15 square meters so I don’t need much power (I rarely use the Yamaha at full volume).

  • The budget I have in mind is roughly 200 EUR (pretty much the same in USD I suppose), but the lower the better.

  • I don’t mind second hand but considering I don’t know much about audio gear and I’m in France I’m planning to buy new.

My first Idea was to get Audioengine A2+ but they’re a bit pricey.

What I have in mind now is a FiiO E10k with Roth Audio OLIRA1 speakers. I like the idea of having a separate DAC/Amp and the upgradability is a nice bonus, but I’m not sure it’s actually ideal for my needs.

I’m also looking at the cheaper EDIFIER Studio R1280T.

Any thoughts?

1 point

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10th Sep 2017

I use a FiiO E10K amp with my HD 600s on my laptop, works great.

1 point

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12th Aug 2017

I use this one together with some DT990 PROs, personally.

1 point

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29th Aug 2017

Got my pair of SHP9500S today with a VMODA BoomPro mic.

Plugged everything in and it seems that my board’s audio codec (ALC892) doesn’t have enough power to drive these. Wasn’t aware of that before purchasing.

Looking into either getting the FiiO E10K with a TRRS extension cable for the mic to plug into the back of my computer.

I was also looking at this Creative USB Sound too. Not sure which is the better option here for better quality and to future proof myself.

Any suggestions/guidance?

1 point

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19th Aug 2017

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

if this is the one you mean, then yes. sorry i should have mentioned, under $100 is preferred but i can go up to 150

1 point

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28th Jul 2017

well I use a Fiio E10K but that doesn’t take a mic input. I also have a Sennheiser GSX 1000 which is very good IMO, takes a mic and headphone input. expensive though!

If you do want something for separate mic/headphone jacks, a small USB card may be your best bet but I haven’t used anything like that.

If you’re after convenience, the Arctis 7 is a good quality unit. It’s wireless with its own DAC so you wouldn’t have to worry about that, while it also comes with a cable to use with a console. Definitely an easier option as you don’t have to buy any extras to get going, though the quality isn’t as good as a similarly priced pair of headphones.

1 point

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24th Jul 2017

Which dac amp do you use? What are your thoughts on the Fiio E10K?

1 point

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17th Jul 2017

Custom One Pro is basically a 16ohm version of the 770’s.

But even if you aren’t using an amp, the 80ohm and 250ohm will still sound better. I listen to the 80ohm 770’s off my motherboard myself.
source and some explanation

An Amp is nice for the 770’s though, but not required. The Fiio E10K is a good entry level dac/amp that works well with up to 250ohm headphones.

My advice: buy the 80 ohm 770’s now and buy an amp later

edit: also the custom one pro/32ohm 770s don’t come with those amazing velour pads.

1 point

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2nd Jul 2017

Hey guys, I have a few questions about purchasing some high end cans. I’m using two solutions for amplification so I’ll kind of start there.

I’m currently using a Harman/Kardon AVR 320 to power my HD 650’s and this is my preferred output. I don’t know if using a receiver is frowned upon but it was my dad’s old one and he let me have it for free. The other option I have is the FiiO E10k DAC/Amp but I feel like it has a bit of a different sound. It’s mostly for the office given it’s small size.

The reason that I bring up the device powering it is that I’m looking at the HD 800 S since its the best that they have to offer and the cost isn’t a concern necessarily. First of all, how much of a difference is there between the regular HD 800 and the 800 S? is it worth the substantial price difference if the cost isn’t a concern? Some reviews say that given how much you’d spend on the 800 you might as well get the 800 S. I’ve also read some negativity about the HD 700 so I feel skeptical about them but is it just people poking fun at the frequency response? And what should I use to power it? Sennheiser makes their own amp for them, what’s the general option on them?

Thanks in advance guys 🙂

1 point

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3rd Jul 2017

>Are “good” expensive headphones, like Sennheisers for getting loud sound? Because doesn’t an amp make things loud? Are good headphones worth it if I’m going to be listening quietly?

Well louder isn’t technically the right word even though amplifier have that effect.

See headphones drivers in the earcups are what actually produce the sound, and the quality of those drivers is what determines the quality of the sound.

Inside the drivers you have something called the voice coil. As current is pushed through the coil, it creates a magnetic field, which reacts with another magnet inside the driver and finally produces sound. Now to simplify a bit, the thinner the coil is and the less air between individual wires, the better sound you generally have. The design is much less prone to distortion and produces more natural bass. However as other have said, the gains can be pretty marginal.

Now having longer and thinner coil, means that for certain physics reasons I’m not going to go into here, you’ll need to push more power into that coil in order to produce a loud sound. This is generally referred to as headphone impedance. The higher the impedance the more power the headphones need, impedance is measured in ohms. For some comparisons;

  • Apple earbuds (as well as most other earbuds) are around 32 ohms of impedance.
  • HyperX Cloud II’s are around 60 ohms.
  • Sennheiser HD 600/650’s are around 300 ohms.

Personally I’d say that you’d want an amp at around 60-70 ohms, but that’s just me.

Now all of that aside, there are tons of great headphones out there that don’t need an amp at all. Like the excellent Audio-Technica ATH-M50’s or Sennheiser HD 598/599’s.


However for desktop use you don’t really want to get an amp by itself, you want to get a Digital Analog Converter as well. See the actual sound setup in most PC’s is less than ideal. It’s really easy o cut costs with motherboard audio while still making it sound at least decent. If you slap an amp on that, all the distortions and crap that your motheboard audio produces is going to be amplified by your amp and will ultimately make your new high end headphones sound like shit.

So you want a DAC. A DAC takes the digital signal from your PC, does some fancy techno magic on it and outputs an analog signal that can be fed to your headphones. This completely bypasses the horrendously bad soundcard on your motherboard and gives you a lot better audio.

For a simple and pretty cheap entry level DAC/Amp check out the FiiO E10K. It’s a nice little piece of gear that’s going to be enough to drive almost anything up until 250 ohms. Obviously there are a lot better options out there as well. But the E10k is a great entry level device that’ll improve your sound significantly. Pair that with some Sennheiser HD 599’s and you’re set for a long time.

Also if you want more advice check out /r/headphones/

1 point

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17th Jul 2017

Thanks for the suggestions. I have the 80 ohm model and i decided to give this a try https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B00LP3AMC2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1

1 point

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5th Jun 2017

Yes. I won’t compare it between my laptop speakers and IEM headphones. It’s just very big difference between those.

It seems that I don’t hear any hiss around when I plug my IEM but noticeably lower sound quality. Hence I’ll like to buy a DAC to upgrade it. An example of DAC that I’m talking about is this and this.

I don’t mind w/ the sound quality that my laptop speakers provide. Since I’m watching movies at a dorm which have very thin wall and I’m afraid that my movie annoys other people between my room, I’m thinking of using IEM to enjoy the movie instead.

I appreciate with all of your help. I might use EQ or something like Viper4Android for Windows to settle it around.

About the speakers you recommend, is it an old product ? It seems I can’t find it anywhere on my local e-shop websites.

1 point

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22nd May 2017

Looks good. However I’d recommend the arctic silver thermal paste as it is cheaper and regarded as quite good. I’d also recommend that instead of getting a soundcard, invest in a proper dac/amp such as the FiiO E10k for $75. You may want to get a liquid cooler for the 7700k as it is known to run hot. Other than that, it looks like a beast of a build.

1 point

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30th May 2017

Looking to get an external DAC for my PC. Here’s the 2 I’ve found:

Fiio E10k

Schiit Fulla

What are your thoughts on these? Also, do you have any other recommendations?

1 point

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7th Apr 2017

What’s the audiophile consensus on these? Do you need a subwoofer? How would they fair paired with the Fiio E10K Olympus 2?

1 point

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19th Apr 2017

The FiiO has pretty rave reviews. It also comes in under your budget, so that is always nice.

1 point

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28th Mar 2017
1 point

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19th Mar 2017

Hi all, between this product and this product which do you think is better? Are either of these products good at all? My use case is PC gaming, listening to high bit rate music, and watching movies and other desktop user things with 55-100 ohm impedance headphones. If neither of these products are half decent could you suggest something? My budget is about $60-$120 maybe a little more if there’s a sweet spot for price to performance a little higher. Thanks.

1 point

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29th Mar 2017

If you want to spend money on a premium audio solution, then just spend the money now on a proper USB DAC/ Headphone Amp rather than waste it on a “gaming sound card”.

1 point

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7th Feb 2017

The cheapest one I’ve found that I like is the Fiio E-10. It’s been reliable, powerful, clean and clear. But it’s like $75 on amazon. You might be able to find it cheaper elsewhere.

The SMSL stuff is pretty good those get down into the $50-65 range. There is cheaper stuff out there but I’ve never tried them. Like the Nobsound stuff highly rated but can’t personally speak on them.

1 point

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22nd Jan 2017

so you mean the ad700x wont be better then the x2? the x2 is very bass heavy and thats why i wanted a pair strict for gaming.

btw the fulla 2 is available on http://www.schiit-europe.com/

but not on their offical site http://schiit.eu.com/

hmm

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LP3AMC2/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1&amp;smid=A19NVE4G6SOT2C 75 $

compared to fulla 2 for 150$. still fulla 2 as im in EU?

1 point

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27th Jan 2017

Just want to say thank you for being so helpful I was on the r/headphones subreddit and got THIS Lol… whatever. But I have heard about the Fiio is THIS the one you’re talking about? I would do the same as you, makes sense considering then I could just turn up or down the volume within arms reach. Thank you again for some solid assistance. Not to make myself even more confused but is the Schiit Fulla 2 decent? I see it doesn’t have a bass boost button which I would appreciate sometimes like the E10k any thoughts?

1 point

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16th Dec 2016

your soundcard is not shielded properly and picks up electrical interference from other components on the motherboard. get your money back and buy an external DAC/Amp

1 point

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30th Dec 2016

These are very good for a deep and surprising bass which is probably what you are looking for. However they will need an amp like this or this

1 point

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8th Dec 2016

So I won a set of AKG K7XX Massdrop edition. I have $100 CAD for a DAC / Headphone amp. Any recommendations?

Not sure what information you will need. I listen to all types of music. I use both PC and Mac. I won’t be using these cans outside of my humble abode.

https://www.massdrop.com/buy/akg-k7xx-massdrop-first-edition-headphones

The headphones I won for reference.

https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pd_nS_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&amp;colid=1T7TFYMSTIC8T&amp;coliid=IFABLPNYPJ8KQ

How does this stack up to the competition in the same price range?
Any help is greatly appreciated!

1 point

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29th Nov 2016

I just ordered a pair of these tonight, but I’m lost on what amp to get. I am completely new to any sort of advanced audio like this and have only owned gaming headsets and meh-tier earbuds all my life. With that in mind, I don’t think I have the most discerning of ears yet and it would probably be a waste to spend 200 on a Schiit stack or 02+ODAC combo, especially considering that’s over double the price of my headphones! I would prefer to keep amp/DAC totals to be in the $100 ballpark.

&nbsp;

My first question – is a DAC even necessary for these? I’m still not entirely sure what it does, since all of the explanations I’ve seen have been in audiophile jargon that is gibberish to me. Can I get away with running only an amp or a amp/DAC combo?

&nbsp;

A cheap option I’ve seen while shopping around is a amp/DAC combo as mentioned previously. I’ve heard SUPER mixed reviews of pairing these 250-Ohm headphones with a Fiio e10k, some saying it works great, but others saying the complete opposite. I’ve also heard good and bad things about SMSL products like the SMSL SD793-II, one mention highly recommending the iBasso D-Zero Mk2, and another few people recommending the CMOY.

&nbsp;

What are my best options here? I would appreciate any help I can get. Sorry for the long post and thank you!

1 point

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25th Nov 2016

/r/avexchance or /r/hardwareswap for used stuff.

As for portable, a FiiO would be the best option.

1 point

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29th Nov 2016

I just ordered a pair of these tonight, but I’m lost on what amp to get. I am completely new to any sort of advanced audio like this and have only owned gaming headsets and meh-tier earbuds all my life. With that in mind, I don’t think I have the most discerning of ears yet and it would probably be a waste to spend 200 on a Schiit stack or 02+ODAC combo, especially considering that’s over double the price of my headphones! I would prefer to keep amp/DAC totals to be in the $100 ballpark.

&nbsp;

My first question – is a DAC even necessary for these? I’m still not entirely sure what it does, since all of the explanations I’ve seen have been in audiophile jargon that is gibberish to me. Can I get away with running only an amp or a amp/DAC combo?

&nbsp;

A cheap option I’ve seen while shopping around is a amp/DAC combo as mentioned previously. I’ve heard SUPER mixed reviews of pairing these 250-Ohm headphones with a Fiio e10k, some saying it works great, but others saying the complete opposite. I’ve also heard good and bad things about SMSL products like the SMSL SD793-II, one mention highly recommending the iBasso D-Zero Mk2, and another few people recommending the CMOY.

&nbsp;

What are my best options here? I would appreciate any help I can get. Sorry for the long post and thank you!

1 point

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3rd Nov 2016

Just pony up a little more and get this.

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

I hook up my cheap ANC headphones to them, it makes them sound better, use the rear port to hook up to my sony bluetooth speaker, it works great.

Or if you just wanna look cool and don’t care about anything else…

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B014FASL1A?psc=1

Then just use the onboard sound, send wire to the amp’s input, then plug headphones into the amp’s output.

1 point

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20th Nov 2016

Don’t waste your money on a sound card. Get a DAC + headphone amp combo.

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

1 point

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23rd Oct 2016

I recommend the FiiO e10k as an amazing budget external card. Also I think external sound cards are generally better for numerous reasons that are covered here.

1 point

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5th Oct 2016

I wouldn’t recommend Apogee personally. Their products are overpriced and seem to be marketed towards Mac audiofools with more money than sense.

I mean just take a look at the Apogee One. It’s an audio interface with a built in condenser mic that costs $349. Seems like it might be good for hobbyist singer/songwriters that want minimal gear and want their stuff to take up minimal space perhaps people using a laptop that live in a small apartment and like to do acoustic shows at a coffee shop.

Except it doesn’t have balanced outputs. I mean really who the hell pays $349 for an audio interface with only consumer level outputs?

People with more money than sense do!

Lets take a look at the product you want to buy. It’s $299 and it’s a headphone amp and DA. It has no balanced outputs, no balanced inputs, no XLR, no phantom power. Who the hell would pay that much for something so clearly lacking?!?!

If you really just want a quality DA and headphone amp get a Fiio: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LP3AMC2/ref=s9_acsd_hps_bw_c_x_1

At $76 it’s at least a decent price. They use great quality components and get excellent reviews all the time.

If you have a $300 budget and want a quality compact audio interface for both listening and recording go with a Motu Microbook IIc: http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/MicroBookIIc

Apogee is like Bose or Monster Audio. They overprice their gear and use all the money they rake in from you to spend on marketing so they’ll dupe some more customers into buying overpriced stuff. Even though the equipment is good, you can find similar stuff just as good for 50%-75% of the cost of Apogee.

1 point

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25th Oct 2016

For sound quality, you’re be better off investing in a DAC like the one I just linked to.

For the extra connection, you could likely get a USB to whatever you need adapter for cheaper than that sound card (Example)

1 point

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1st Oct 2016

Okay so i would definitely say buy Beyerdynamic headphones. You’ll have much better sound from those. The only issue is that the 250Ohm version would most definitely need an amplifier to power them properly and you’d end up dishing out a lot more cash. Something like a Fiio e10k would be sufficient. But that would run you another 70. Also, the version of the 990s you picked have a cheaper less comfortable version of the beyerdynamic velour earpads. Don’t ask me why, but i owned the straight cable version and the earpads were a lot more stiff.

But i still love to direct people towards the world of high quality headphones. And having a pair of open can’s gives the nicest feeling if you’ve been using a gaming headset your whole life(i made the transition myself a few years back).

What i would recommend is (if you’re still in the market for upgrading or whatever but don’t want to spend an absolute fortune) These Sennheiser headphones are a very good and affordable pair of headphones. They’ll serve you well without an amplifier even. Then i would pick a decen’t quality USB Condenser Mic(Audio technica at2020).

That’s the first route. The second would be a bit more expensive but a better setup for music listening. Grab a pair of the 250ohm DT990 pros, an amplifier that could power them properly(I own the OBJECTIVE2+ODAC REV B by JDS Labs, im a fan because it matches my HD650s very nicely and it’s cheapish). And then get an audio Mixer and the AT2035 as you suggested. That would be the boss mode route that would increase your audio quality like 500%(especially the microphone).

Sorry for the long post, i just wanted to share my stupid opinion lol.

Edit: just read that you replaced the a50’s. Sorry about the spamming then lol. Best of luck with your gaming!

1 point

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6th Oct 2016

Getting a 598 on friday. Figure I should grab a dac/amp to make it even better.

FiiO E10K

SMSL SD793 (or some other variant)

or a M2 (no clue which one there)

I’m pretty new to any of this, so i really have no idea which to gun for. Any input would be lovely.

Also, will I need to purchase another sort of audio cable to work with either of these dacs (to get my computers audio)?

1 point

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25th Oct 2016

Would this work?

1 point

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9th Sep 2016

And yes, people are complaining because it simply is not up to par with other similar priced units available. So I hope you’ll eventually stop recommending these PSUs. I’ve seen you recommend them very frequent and just really don’t like it.

JonnyGuru is an awesome PSU reviewer for sure, it’s my go to reviewer for sure.
But he’s not the only reviewer out there that really looks into a PSU it’s inner details.


Here is a review from TechPowerUp, that states the exact reason why a lot of people do not suggest the EVGA NEX G1 650/750W units.

> “Voltage regulation was not so good. Only the 5V rail did well. The other rails registered relatively high deviations that exceeded 3%. Also,the performance on Crossload tests is disappointing; the propriety group-regulation scheme that the FSP used on the secondary side of this unit is to blame for this. Finally, the 5VSB rail had a problem keeping its voltage above the minimum limit that the ATX spec sets during the 110% load test, but we won’t take its 5VSB failure into account seriously since we operated the PSU out of its specs on that test; besides, a full load at 5VSB is hard to reproduce during normal operations. Nevertheless, most units don’t have a problem here.”

Here is an other review from PCPer, that states the exact same.

> “Ideally we would like to see no AC ripple (repetitive) or noise (random) on the DC outputs – the cleaner the better! But in reality there will always be some present.”

> “The EVGA NEX750G power supply exhibited acceptable AC ripple suppression on all of the primary outputs but was overall higher than we would like to see on a premium grade, enthusiast power supply; particularly on the +3.3V and +5VSB outputs.”

Hopefully this clears it up!


As for sound cards, most people will be extremely happy by the on-board sound that’s available on motherboards these days. The sound quality improved dramatically over the last 2 years.

If you do want to get a sound improvement, the first place to start is with your headphones. Almost all “gaming” headsets that you buy these days are pretty much not great for music (unless you love high base styled music, then you might enjoy it well enough), movies & anything else than explosion sounds.
Positional sound stages on most gaming headsets are also not great. Because almost all of them are closed back designs, which reduces the 3D effect obtainable with open back headphones. Closed vs Open back headphones explained.
Now quickly adding the whole Gaming vs &quot;real&quot; headphones discussion that often pops up.

This whole 5/7.1 surround sound is hopefully done by software and can help to position the sound if it comes from your left or right, but open backed, 2.0 headphones are the best for positional sound stage and don’t require any additional software. Turn of all the surround sound software that you have and listen to this clip with your eyes closed. To understand how “surround sound” works on headphones.
The Sennheiser HD598 & AKG K701/2 are one of the best out there for this. This is great for games like CS:GO.
Source

If you have great headphones and still want to get more out of them, I recommend to get an external DAC/AMP. Over a sound card!
This means that you remove the audio signal completely away from the noisy PC that causes EMI. This video is a broad explanation of it and not just related to audio & PC units. But you can trust me, the inside of a PC got lots of it.
So an external DAC/AMP unit will remove the EMI completely. Since you use an USB cable to connect it to the DAC (digital to analog converter) which transforms the digital sound (10010100101) into an analog signal that we humans can hear.
The AMP or Amplifier makes sure that the headphones, earbuds or speakers get enough “power” to produce all the sound waves.

Sound card, DAC &amp; AMP explained is the video that explains the EMI much better.

This quickly becomes expensive, but there are a lot of great “value” options available these days. The most famous one is the FiiO E10K but I’m personally also a big fan of the Schiit Fulla
In terms of sound difference, I bet you that almost nobody is able to really tell them apart, aside from probably the people that made them. So in theory, the FiiO is the better value.
I just personally really love the Schiit company and thus support them. Their customer support is also very amazing.

Sorry for the wall of text, if you have any more questions. Don’t hesitate to ask!

1 point

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19th Sep 2016

You could use this DAC, like /u/flying_spaghetti_ has done. It’s good for the money and fairly popular. You don’t NEED it though, to have better audio. If you mostly use $5 ear buds, then these Superlux headphones should sound way better on their own without a DAC or amp.

1 point

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7th Sep 2016

what kind of amp should I be looking for? Does it matter? So many types on amazon.

edit: would this be ideal
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LP3AMC2/ref=crt_ewc_img_oth_1?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1&amp;smid=A1UG27DD7KR2HI

1 point

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15th Aug 2016

Yes, absolutely. Especially the fact that digital sound (the 010101100) inside a system will get distorted by the Electrico*Magnetic **I*nterferance from other PC components.
So when you bring those digital signals outside the PC and convert them to analog signals in their own dedicated DAC. You completely remove the distortion that will happen inside a PC.

Also the sound signature of many DACs & AMPs are different and we all have a different preference, but honestly.. for most people – the stock audio on most motherboards is more than enough these days.
If not, then they could buy some really solid value DAC/AMPs USB combo units like the Fiio E10K and be extremely happy. I’m certain that this AMP/DAC will perform equal if not better than the $233 sound card. I mean, it should perform better simply based on the fact that it’s outside the PC and thus won’t pick up any of the EMI.
I also personally own a FiiO M3 MP3 player and honestly, the sound that comes out of this tiny player, is better than my ~$80 sound card (ironic I know.. I bought it 5 years ago, I had no clue!) that I currently use.
So I can say with confident that FiiO is able to produce some high quality audio devices.


Awww, you make me blush man! I wouldn’t call myself a messiah! I sadly can’t help everyone here..
But thanks for such a nice compliment, really appreciate it.
I try to post on each thread and I often simply go to /r/new and check out what’s available. I sadly don’t have as much time lately anymore to post multiple suggestions each day. Since I also take my time for each suggestion.. sometimes even a lot of time, this one for example. It’s been a while since I had to split up my suggestion into 4 different comments.. 28.000 characters lol.

But I absolutely love doing it. I get such awesome replies back after most of my suggestions that it just drives me to come back and help people. It’s such an amazing feeling! I hope to eventually make it my job, to work in a PC store. I will apply for this maybe this year, but likely somewhere in 2017. Will have to see how my current job holds up, I work in a family business, so I can’t leave at any given time.

1 point

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21st Aug 2016

The HD598 reacts poorly to output impedance above 5 Ohm. Though the article states that the ALC889 “should be implemented” with a Z of 77 Ohm they didn’t measure it actually (or I skipped it).

Here’s an article about damping

The HD598 will absolutely work with your ALC889, but they will not sound like Sennheiser initially wanted them to sound. You can easily drive the HD598 with a desktop DAC/amplifier combo like the FiiO E10K

1 point

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5th Aug 2016

Max input power rating on the thing is 200mW. You could just pick up like a FiiO E10k or something similar instead of spending a lot on the AMP/DAC. But most motherboards don’t actually have a great DAC or AMP onboard, it sounds pretty tingy. They usually have a direct output connected straight to the board….

*I have the AKG 712s and they sound much, much, much better with the E17 FiiO vs just being plugged into a motherboard.
Edit: I just looked up your board, looks like this is the onboard processor for audio and I can’t find any information about the DAC inside the DSP or the output wattage. I would say it makes sense to pick up DAC/AMP.

1 point

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18th Aug 2016

I picked up an FiiO E10K a few weeks ago and love it.

If your client has a high impedance set of headphones then take a look at Schiit.

1 point

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27th Jul 2016

First time I wandered into this subreddit was yesterday, so I’m just a fellow noob, so keep that in mind 😀

I don’t know about them all that much, I personally have forwarded all of my research into the DT990 Pro’s, but I think the DT770 Pro’s have a V-shaped sound signature just like the DT990 Pro’s, meaning that bass and treble are “elevated”. I believe the bass is really strong in the DT770 Pro’s. Here’s some good discussion about the matter.

For the 250 ohm version I do think you will need an amp, but I think you will be just fine without an amp with the 80 ohm.

Here’s a video review of them, the cans in the video are the 250 ohm versions but I think the difference between the 80 ohm and the 250 ohm is just that the 250 ohm gives a more punchy and accurate sound, I dont think they are all that different in terms of sound signature.

If you do plan on getting an amp, you might as well get a DAC too. I’m planning on stepping into the audiophile world soonish too, and I’m planning on getting the DT990 Pro’s and this amp/DAC combo. People seem to say that it’s enough for the 250 ohm DT990 Pro’s, so I think it will be just alright with the DT770 Pro’s too.

Don’t be afraid to use Google, it’s your best friend at finding the best headphones for you! 🙂

Edit: I’m not personally all that interested in buying expensive things used, if I’m buying something expensive I might just as well buy it brand new, just to ensure it works as it’s supposed to.

1 point

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16th Jul 2016

I’m having computer issues. I’m hearing buzzing/humming and clicks and shit through my headset. I’ve been trying to fight it, but I’d learned that it’s most likely only going to be solved by getting a DaC and amp. I’ll also grab a headset at one point.

I’m not the biggest audiophile. I don’t listen to music or play my games in high volume at all. I do however dislike this stuff I hear.

For a DaC, is this generally pretty good? https://www.amazon.ca/Fiio-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2 It seems good to me, and it’s not expensive.

On top of that, I’ll want a good headset too. I can wait for a while and use the one I have currently. https://www.amazon.ca/Sennheiser-HD-598-Over-Ear-Headphones/dp/B0126HISOO?ie=UTF8&amp;me=&amp;ref_=olp_product_details I hear great things about this one (plus I missed the prime day sale on them, so I got to wait longer I guess), but I think I’d rather closed. What’s close to this that is closed?

1 point

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15th Jul 2016

You can plug them into the case no problem, but something like the Fiio e10k should improve the sound somewhat.

https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

1 point

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16th Jun 2016

For the electronics you could use the Fiio E10k which is a USB DAC/amp or the Creative E5 which is another USB DAC/amp but supports virtual surround.

For the headphones, HD598, K612. AD900x, A900x, K550, DT770 and DT770.

For the mic, something like this or this.

Thoughts?

1 point

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10th Jun 2016

Depends on your definition of “breaking the bank”. I’d recommend an E10k or a Schiit Stack (Magni 2+Modi 2).

1 point

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21st Jun 2016

Would a DAC be a bad idea? I was thinking of going with this and this

1 point

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2nd Jun 2016

Would some sort of audio jack/headphone amplifier work? Like this FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_VNfuxb1Q4JQCT

1 point

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29th May 2016

Looks good but maybe not so high quality. The Fiio E series is highly though of.

Edit: this one for example: http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2#nav-search-keywords

But i believe they have cheaper models also like E7

1 point

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6th May 2016

Thanks for the help, friend.

Is there anything else I need to pick up in order for it to work with my computer (cables/adapter/ect.) or would it be good to go as is? I don’t know a lot about audio equipment, so I don’t know if that’s a silly question or not.

1 point

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10th Apr 2016

DAC/amp option E10k or you could go more expensive if you wanted.

For the headphones, DT880, DT990, Q701, HD598, AD700x, AD900x, MS1, SR-125e, HE400, SHP9500.

For the mic, an option is the modmic and the BoomPro.

1 point

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26th Apr 2016

i am also a gamer and i can say that they are better than any other “gaming” headset ive ever tried-you definatly dont need a sound card or an amp but an amp/dac will help, im planning on buying the FiiO E10K https://www.amazon.co.uk/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-DAC/dp/B00LP3AMC2?ie=UTF8&amp;redirect=true&amp;ref_=s9_hps_bw_g23_i1

They are amazing headphone imo. Just buy them, you will not regret a thing

1 point

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29th Apr 2016
1 point

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24th Apr 2016

Friend of mine recommended the FiiO E10K and I was wondering if it’s worth it / what it does exactly?

I’m currently using my old sound card (Creative X-Fi XtremeMusic) with my Sennheiser HD598 headphones… I mostly use them for FPS gaming and listening to Spotify.

Any advice would be much appreciated!

1 point

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25th Apr 2016

Keep in mind that the memory architecture is a bit different. DDR4 is more efficient, trading off on the timings for clockspeed. Real world they are equally fast but DDR4 uses less power and more modern memory controllers (like the one found in Haswell-E) are more efficient.

The headphone amp + DAC I mentioned isn’t really something most people get into. Great way to boost your audio quality but even basic setups start at around $75 so most people spend the cash on their actual rig.

Sorry if I’m rambling a bit, back to the important stuff. What is your total budget?

1 point

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11th Mar 2016

Just an example, not necessarily a recommendation, and obviously it’s a very different price bracket but this line is very popular and relatively well priced for what you get: http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/

Something like that. This one is also a DAC (Digital Audio Converter). It doesn’t use the line out from your headphone jack, it uses USB and then converts from digital to analog itself, as well as including an amplifier.

However, if you want something to hook up to a receiver as well then look elsewhere (not something that uses USB input). These are much more common and scale from this price range into the thousands.

1 point

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3rd Mar 2016

http://www.modmic.com/products/modmic-4-0 these are amazing for a mic. DT 990 pro’s are some of the most comfy and best sounding headphones for 150, marked from 300. Open back though so people around can hear.

Get the 250 OHM ones and get this AMP/DAC http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2.

All just under 300 and a lot better everything.

1 point

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3rd Mar 2016

You’d probably get a better sound getting a dac/amp combo for the same price as the Magni 2. Something like the fiio e10k dac/amp combo might give you a more pleasant experience for a lower price than just an amp running out of your motherboard. Keep in mind that any interference from your motherboard will just get amplified by the motherboard. I’m sure there are some ~$150 ones as well, but to be honest I don’t know of many, haha! Good luck.

1 point

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25th Mar 2016

FiiO E10k. Decent amp for the price and is often paired with Sennheiser 598s, I would recommend to someone getting into the hobby.

1 point

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25th Mar 2016

Both are overkill for the headphones you have. What are you currently using for a source? Take a look at this post as well.

If you really feel that you need a DAC/Amp, the Schiit Fulla, Fiio E10k, or CEntrance DACport Slim would be much more appropriate.

1 point

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11th Feb 2016

>Lint free coffee filters are better.

Quite easy to get aswell, thank you for the recommendation.

>Personally I wouldn’t recommend Thermalfake because not only do they steal designs they’re also not exactly known for the best quality cases, a bit flaky. Their Versa H25 is cheap so that’s ok but really if you’re gonna spend $50-70 on a case there must be better alternatives.

I will try to find a simular looking case then, but I quite like the way it looks and the way you are able to customise it.

>Don’t buy a sound card, buy an external dac/amp. http://www.amazon.co.uk/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-DAC/dp/B00LP3AMC2.

I will look into this, as this seems like a nice little addition. But do you simply plug this into the audio jacks on the motherboard or does it require something else to function properly?

And thank you for your advice, I really appreciate it!

1 point

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12th Feb 2016
1 point

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16th Jan 2016

Don’t get a sound card. They aren’t useful unless you have surround sound.

Get a good DAC (digital to analog converter)
They act as an amp and deliver higher fidelity audio.
http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1452965490&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=DAC

As far as the mic cable goes, you might need to get an extension cable.

1 point

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8th Jan 2016

I cant decide what I need, this FiiO E10K which from my knowledge is a DAC/AMP in one or just a soundcard, was thinking about this one Soundblaster. I dont know a whole lot about this so the best thing for me is what I want. I have a good gaming PC and a pair of Sennheiser 598’s I dont like how they sound directly into my mobo so I want to try something else. What is the difference between those two products? Do they do the same thing? Thans in advance 🙂

EDIT: I have a msi gd65 gaming mobo

1 point

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7th Jan 2016

> io is a brand. They aren’t super amazing, but they are a decent starting point because they are relatively inexpensive and are still quite a step up from

so this would be a good a good option for the sennheiser 598’s or the Audio-Technica ATH-M50x?

1 point

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11th Jan 2016

They don’t really need amping, the HD598’s. The Schiit stack’s robustly constructed and will see you through a headphone upgrade, but something like this or this would work just as well.

1 point

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3rd Jan 2016

Can always try uninstalling the sound drivers and doing a clean install.

If you have some money to spend you can always look into getting an external dac/amp like the e10k. Should be able to find one for ~$75.

1 point

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1st Jan 2016

thx, I was looking for one with more ports for my speakers and headset though.

This is the one I was scoping out in amazon.?

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

1 point

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5th Dec 2015

Thanks for the reply.

This gives me some peace of mind and i might as well start browsing ebay.

However, is using the audio interface a sensible idea in terms of cost/quality ?

What if i got a USB DAC instead? Presumably with analog sound control (I’ve googled around and people advise against using computer volume control with power amp+speaker setup).

Would this be a better option?

Most of the USB DACs with volume control i’ve seen so far are mega expensive, is there anything that would keep me happy under 100 Euros used?

What about a DAC like THIS ?

Has a volume knob, Line Out in the back which i presume bypasses the headphone amplifier (Correct me if i’m wrong) and a Headphone AMP too so i can use it with my headphones.

1 point

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2nd Dec 2015

Here is one, price seems a bit strange but that may be due to the Canadian dollar right now.

These headphones are amazing for quality, crisp sound. I’m not sure how good they are for spatial awareness and Sennheiser lacks a bit of high end but everything should be crisp and comfortable. Better than some random gaming headset.

1 point

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6th Dec 2015

I actually just got the slightly better HD598, and I was wondering the same thing. I have the slightly inferior Pro Gaming edition, but if memory serves, we have the same sound card.

That being said, from what I’ve been able to gather, you should be looking into a DAC+AMP, not a dedicated sound card. The one I’ve been eyeballing if the onboard sound card doesn’t pan out is the FiiO E10K.

Edit: Changed video card to sound card. Makes more sense that way.

1 point

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13th Dec 2015

You are probably best off buying a decent laptop like the Dell XPS 13 or 15, skylake editions with the i5 or better and 8GB of RAM or better, something like this http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msusa/en_US/pdp/Dell-XPS-15-9550-Signature-Edition-Laptop/productID.326871600 as well, you will never get good sound quality from an onboard sound card. So you will need to go for an external DAC/AMP combo, something like this http://www.amazon.com/Fiio-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1447788266&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=fiio+e10k … It has a headphone port that amplifies headphone sound as well as a line out port for sound systems / speakers.

I know the laptop is over your budget but think of stuff like battery life, portability, durability etc. You are going to want something nice, with a decent SSD, and that fits the bill. Cheers

1 point

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22nd Dec 2015

Looking for a dac/amp for the HD598’s, currently looking at the Fiio E10K or Fiio E07K

Budget – Under £100
Source – PC, maybe a Galaxy Tab but for now looking for something for home use
Location – UK/England

I’m fairly new to this stuff and just trying to get the most out of my current headphones

1 point

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30th Dec 2015

Fiio E10k is another good option, or their portable E07K.

Coming up a little bit, you can get the Dragonfly also.

EDIT: Sorry, updated to amazon UK instead of US.

1 point

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18th Dec 2015

Well this is awkward, i got it today and its working fine but i cant talk anymore. Are there any external sound cards that let me use my mic / or is there some way i get it to work with the one i have?

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

1 point

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6th Dec 2015

If you don’t mind not having a portable amp/DAC and don’t mind waiting a bit for delivery the Fiio E10k is a good choice on sale at Massdrop.

1 point

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10th Dec 2015

Two highly recommended options for a relatively cheaper budget:

FiiO E10k ($76 USD)

Magni 2 / Modi 2 stack ($198 USD for both)

Depending on your budget I believe either of these will be good options for you.

I own the FiiO E10K personally and love it. I have 3 pairs of headphones that I use with it. (Denon D2000, Denon D7100, Sennheiser HD 598.)

1 point

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4th Dec 2015

AMP requirement for the HD 560?

I currently own this DAC/AMP: FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_WYoywb713JVX2[1][1] AMP requirement for the HD 560?
Is this AMP enough to power these headphones?: HIFIMAN HE560 Over Ear Full-size Planar Magnetic Headphones https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K6JEYD4/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_MZoywb5NZNH06[2][2] Would I be missing out on sound quality if I did use this cheap amp?

1 point

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24th Dec 2015

You don’t need 5.1 for headphones as they output in stereo. If you can stretch your budget a little bit I would recommend something like this

1 point

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4th Dec 2015

AMP requirement for the HD 560?

I currently own this DAC/AMP: FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_WYoywb713JVX2[1]
AMP requirement for the HD 560?

Is this AMP enough to power these headphones?: HIFIMAN HE560 Over Ear Full-size Planar Magnetic Headphones https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K6JEYD4/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_MZoywb5NZNH06[2]
Would I be missing out on sound quality if I did use this cheap amp?

1 point

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16th Dec 2015

I’ve heard great things about this USB DAC/amp.

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

1 point

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27th Dec 2015

As you don’t explicitly state that you’re using an amp of any kind I’m going to assume you want to run your headphones off whatever you buy? If this is the case I would not go with a UCA202/222. The headphone output is pretty poor – certainly the weakest part of it. If you are plugging into an amp then it’s fine but if you’re using it to drive the headphones I wouldn’t personally bother.

Now, if (and only if) the SPDIF (optical digital output) is still working on your soundcard, I’d go for an SMSL SD793II. This has a better DAC than the Behringer and has a very good headphone amp built in. The only downside is that it doesn’t take USB inputs, you need that digital signal from your soundcard to plug into it. This is my recommendation – with the extra lead you may need to by it is probably bang on £50 and worth every penny.

As for alternative solutions, if you could happen to find another tenner then the Fiio E10K would be perfect if your soundcard’s optical out not work and you need to hook it up via USB.

If you can’t find the extra money and your optical out is buggered, then the SMSL M2 is a good option. Meant for portable use but nothing stopping you using it as you need to.

TL;DR SMSL SD793II.

1 point

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20th Nov 2015

Kinda new to this stuff, but would this theoretically provide better results than say a FiiO E10K?

I currently have a pair of DT770 80ohms and was looking for a DAC/Amp (plus for future headphones). So far, the FiiO E10K has been my go-to choice, but this sounds way more exciting (as I have a spare Raspberry Pi just laying around).

1 point

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29th Nov 2015

Don’t get a sound card, a sound card won’t get you any more performance out of your headphones than the one in your motherboard.

The only reason you would need one with those headphones is if you are hearing a lot of electrical interference with them. But even then, the sound card wouldn’t really help that at all.

You should get an External DAC/Amp if you really think you need it.

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

this is the very most you should need with those headphones.

1 point

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29th Nov 2015

Best bet is probably the FiiO E10K amp + DAC. $75.99 on Amazon. Should have no probs driving your HD598’s, uses a micro-USB cable, + about the size of playing card so definitely portable.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00LP3AMC2?keywords=FIIO%20E10K&amp;qid=1448451477&amp;ref_=sr_1_1&amp;sr=8-1

1 point

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20th Nov 2015

I’ve heard great things about the Fiio E10k, it’s an amp as well as a DAC. I’m planning on picking one up soon.

1 point

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9th Nov 2015

I thought this might best fit here. If I should post elsewhere, please let me know. I have a small budget. And I’m looking for a DAC / Amp combo. I’ve read though the DAC / Amp guide sticky and it seems like the FiiO E10K might be the way to go in my situation. But before I buy it I thought I would at least ask you guys here to see if there might be better options.

  • Budget < $100 US
  • Source Computer
  • Requirements for Isolation NA
  • Preferred Type of Headphone NA
  • Preferred tonal balance NA? Not sure. Think I like good mids with a bit of stronger bass.
  • Past headphones – Will be using DAC / AMP with HD518 / AKG K 240 / HD598
  • Preferred Music – Range between downtempo chill like SOMA FM Groove Salad & Lush, Baroque era classical and 80s and 90s metal.
  • What would you like to improve on from your set-up? – Looking for a DAC / Amp combo or 2 separate components for under $100. I’m looking at the FiiO E10K but was also looking at the combo: BEHRINGER U-CONTROL UCA222 plus the Nobsound® 6J9 But after my Bravo V2 crapping out, I’m a bit leary of cheap tube amps right now.
1 point

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30th Nov 2015

Hello all, I have a Yamaha R-S201 receiver hooked up to BS-22s. I’m asking for a DAC this christmas and was looking at the FiiO E10K DAC/amp. I know this would essentially be double-amping the signal – bad?

If so, can anyone recommend me a standalone DAC only for around $50? Thanks!

1 point

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2nd Nov 2015

The AKGs have a fairly easy to drive impedance compared to the 600+ ohm headphones that the O2+ODAC was designed to handle. I wouldn’t spend more than $100 on a setup to run a $200 set of cans though. The DACport or the $25 cheaper Fiio E10k would both perform extremely well.

1 point

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20th Nov 2015
1 point

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7th Nov 2015

You mean something like this?

1 point

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18th Nov 2015

This or this should work for you. The first is about $10 cheaper than the sound card, and the second about $20. Both can put out for headphones or to feed another amplifier. I would personally get the first as it accepts USB in and has more reviews, but that’s just me.

1 point

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25th Nov 2015

You’re looking for an external DAC (digital-analog converter, aka sound card) + amp combo (a DAC alone can’t drive headphones/speakers). The FiiO E10K and Audioengine D1 both seem to get a lot of praise and are pretty affordable. I’ve had an M-Audio Firewire Solo for years and have been happy with it.

Check /r/audio, /r/audiophile, /r/budgetaudiophile if interested in learning more. Be careful, hi-fi audio is a rabbit hole, and an unusually expensive one at that.

1 point

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29th Nov 2015

Probably not, since that USB would use your motherboards onboard audio chipset (which seems to not be working in this case.)

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2
This, however would work (and is more expensive than the splitter) because it converts the USB signal from the motherboard, and isn’t using the onboard audio chipset.

Have you verified on a Windows install like I said, with the drivers installed?

1 point

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10th Oct 2015

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

TypeItemPrice
CPUIntel Core i7-5960X 3.0GHz 8-Core Processor$899.99
CPU CoolerCorsair H100i GTX 70.7 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler$104.20 @ Amazon
MotherboardASRock X99 Extreme6/ac ATX LGA2011-3 Motherboard$243.99 @ SuperBiiz
MemoryCorsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory$194.99 @ Newegg
MemoryCorsair Vengeance LPX 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-2400 Memory$194.99 @ Newegg
StorageSamsung 850 EVO-Series 1TB 2.5&quot; Solid State Drive$344.06 @ Newegg
StorageWestern Digital BLACK SERIES 4TB 3.5&quot; 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive$195.99 @ Newegg
Video EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB HYBRID Video (2-Way SLI)$709.99 @ Newegg
Video EVGA GeForce GTX 980 Ti 6GB HYBRID Video (2-Way SLI)$709.99 @ Newegg
CaseCorsair 450D ATX Mid Tower Case$119.99 @ NCIX US
Power SupplyEVGA SuperNOVA 1000 P2 1000W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply$196.99 @ SuperBiiz
Optical DriveAsus DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS DVD/CD Writer$17.89 @ OutletPC
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 10 Home OEM (64-bit)$93.75 @ OutletPC
Case FanNoctua NF-F12 PWM 55.0 CFM 120mm Fan$19.89 @ OutletPC
Case FanNoctua NF-F12 PWM 55.0 CFM 120mm Fan$19.89 @ OutletPC
Case FanNoctua NF-F12 PWM 55.0 CFM 120mm Fan$19.89 @ OutletPC
Case FanNoctua NF-F12 PWM 55.0 CFM 120mm Fan$19.89 @ OutletPC
Case FanNoctua NF-A14 PWM 82.5 CFM 140mm Fan$23.20 @ Amazon
Case FanNoctua NF-A14 PWM 82.5 CFM 140mm Fan$23.20 @ Amazon
MonitorAcer H236HLbid 60Hz 23.0&quot; Monitor$159.00 @ B&H
MonitorAcer H236HLbid 60Hz 23.0&quot; Monitor$159.00 @ B&H
MonitorAcer XB280HK 60Hz 28.0&quot; Monitor$653.89 @ Amazon
KeyboardCorsair K95 RGB Wired Gaming Keyboard$179.95 @ Amazon
MouseLogitech G502 Wired Optical Mouse$59.99 @ Amazon
HeadphonesSennheiser HD 598 Headphones$150.99 @ Amazon
OtherFiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)$74.99
OtherSilverStone 1-8 way PWM fan hub$11.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total$5602.57
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-10-10 12:27 EDT-0400
  • The i7-5960x is mostly included for the programming aspects. If you’re ever doing CPU related work, it will kill it. For gaming, there are better, cheaper options, but those options will leave a bit to be desired for programming. Honesty though, this thing will still do great for gaming – especially when overclocked. (Also, PCI lanes are important – but also confusing. So if you want me to elaborate – just ask). It costs $900 in store at Micro Center.

  • I included 64 GB of RAM assuming that will be enough. If you actually need more than this, or want to upgrade later on, you can get 4 sticks of 16 GB of RAM, but it will cost $200 more for the same quantity. Speeds really don’t matter much – but this set is 2400 Mhz.

  • Two 980 Ti Hybrids. The idea is that they have an all in one liquid cooler built into them. This is really great for SLI because you remove the fear of overheating the cards and causing throttling, but you don’t have to watercool them yourself. For the case I included, the Corsair 450D, you’ll want to put one of the radiators on the rear exhaust, and the other in the front of the case like this. Here’s the thread about that build in particular.

  • The case fans I included are incredibly ugly. Sorry about that. They are, however, top-tier. They are absolutely amazing fans and have 6 year warranties. I included 2x140mm for the front, and 4x120mm to replace the CPU radiator fans, and the GPU radiator fans. It’s well worth it.

  • You may not have the desk space for 3 monitors, but I included them anyways. First, we have two 1080p monitors that are just alright. I don’t know how you value monitor real estate, but I found that having a second monitor improved my pc experience immensely. Three should be amazing for programming or just having multiple things up at once. The other monitor is a 28″ 4k G-Sync monitor. It’s absolutely spectacular for gaming. If you want higher than 60 FPS vs [email protected], then you can swap it out for the ROG Swift. Consider it though.

  • I suggest the Corsair K95 and Logitech G502. Some people like to talk poorly of the Corsair keyboards, but I own a K70 and it works amazingly well. The only beef I have is that it can be a bitch to clean. It looks fantastic when you do, though. The G502 is pretty much the best mouse for general use. If you have any specific quirks that you like in a mouse, let me know, that could change things.

  • The Sennheiser HD 598’s are brilliant. I don’t know if you needed headphones, but you said everything so I just went all in. I included a USB DAC / Amp for them because on board sound usually does not do these justice. I don’t know if you have a mic or want a standalone, so this is the flexible bit here. Do you want a headset with a mic built in? Are you interested in the Modmic 4.0 (Link? Interested in a standalone for really good sound quality?

  • The Fan hub is just so that you can have all of your fans change speed as the temps do. If you only use a 3 pin connector, sometimes it just runs them at max speeds, which can get annoying.

If you have questions about my suggestions, or about anything tech related really, reply or PM me.

1 point

·

2nd Oct 2015

Thanks so much for the thorough response.

Sadly my budget (now) has diminished quite a bit so I’m probably looking at £40-80 roughly. I’m terminologically bankrupt so all I really know right now is this:

  • The headphones are – ordinarily – 3.5mm, or at least seem to be as they fit in my PC’s usual sound port. They came with a gold adaptor thing that makes the jack way larger, I have no idea what this means or is called.

  • I assume the enlarged jack ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) is used in a certain port on an AMP to improve sound quality and that this can’t be done with a 3.5mm.

  • I need some way of getting my PC to connect to the AMP and for the AMP to connect to the headphones.

It’s the inbetween that I’m confused about. Would this http://www.amazon.co.uk/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-DAC/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1443811796&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=schiit+magni do the trick? I don’t think I can afford the Magni 2 and I’m struggling to find it at a UK retailer either way. Do you know if I’ll need any additional cables if I get this – assuming it works?

Sorry to pester you but in my ignorance I’m finding this pretty weird to approach haha

1 point

·

14th Oct 2015

Brand new E10K, for 75:
http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

>Will the MK2 be able to drive my speakers?
DACs, while having a very small amp, don’t drive anything. I don’t know if the ibasso has a line out; if it doesn’t you don’t want to double amp.

The E10K has a line out. You’ll want to connect the line-level out to a 3.5 MM → rca-y cable, then connect the left to your left monitor and the right to your right monitor.

Here are some probably decent cables that will get the job done:
http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Audio-Cable-Splitter-1-Mini/dp/B00004Z5CP/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1444834533&amp;sr=1-2&amp;keywords=3.5+mm+to+rca

1 point

·

2nd Oct 2015

Ah that makes sense. Do you know if this would cut it? I blew a lot of my budget on the 600s without understanding the importance of the DAC and AMP and would love a relatively cheap solution that at least improves the sound quality up to a point.

1 point

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27th Oct 2015

The Fiio E10k is a good, affordable DAC+AMP.

1 point

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24th Oct 2015

Here’s the comment I got from him.
https://www.reddit.com/r/headphones/comments/3pw5mt/daily_headphone_purchase_advice_thread/cway1cz

Thanks for letting me know, I went ahead and cancelled the order and I’ll get that E10k. I’m glad I decided to post in both subreddits.

Also just so I know for sure this is the one you were talking about right? Also is this the other one?

1 point

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15th Oct 2015

Thanks for the response. I will look into the USB audio interface. I have a headphone DAC/amp, but I’m quite sure it’s just for headphone usage?

(http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2)

1 point

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10th Sep 2015

/r/audiophile is a good starting point. Good resources in the sidebar. My speaker setup right now is a pair of old Magnavox 50watt nearfield speakers going through a Lepai LP-2020A+ amp. This is my setup in a nutshell, except I already had the speakers laying around. If you just need speakers and you’d like them to sound infinitely better than basic computer speakers, check out that link. It’s cheap, and it’s a really solid setup. Obviously you can get better gear, but personally I’m satisfied with this as far as speakers.

If you’re interested in headphones as well, that’s a whole ‘nother can of worms. Right now my daily-driver cans are a pair of AKG K553s powered by a FiiO E10K. The AKGs, as far as I know, were only available on Massdrop, but you can find them on Amazon and eBay for $150 or less. The FiiO E10K is an outstading little DAC/amp, and it’s super cheap. I highly recommend it for a first setup. If you upgrade your DAC and amp later the FiiO is very portable so it’s still useful for travelling.

1 point

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7th Sep 2015

This paired with either this or this would make for a solid headphones setup for gaming. They do leak sound in and out, however, so they aren’t the best for noisy environments. I do recommend looking for these. They’ve got a fantastic sound, and are a great buy. Don’t be afraid to buy used, as it only takes a little cleaning. If you require a microphone, this is a fantastic little mic, and can turn any pair of headphones in to a something similar, but superior, to a gaming headset.

1 point

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20th Sep 2015

i am using this

you can connect your speakers to the line out on the back and your headphones into the headphone port on the front.

i dont have too much experience with Dacs ive only used amps before but so far im enjoying how this puts out.

1 point

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17th Sep 2015

The Audigy RX has an internal headphone amplifier that can drive 600 Ohm headphones. This will be enough for the K240 MkII, however the Creative spec sheets are very unspecific. They don’t mention how much power the card delivers at different impedances. Furthermore, creative’s software suites are shitty to navigate. Also, a 7.1 sound card for headphones is unnecessary since the headphones are 2.0. For ~70€ you can get a FiiO E10K

1 point

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16th Sep 2015

Most of the time these are going to be plugged into the back of my desktop. What do you think of this? http://www.amazon.ca/Fiio-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=pd_cp_23_2?ie=UTF8&amp;refRID=05CJCJMMMTA0WXNCCVZC Sorry I’m not sure what a magni/modi stack is.

1 point

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26th Sep 2015

> Now, I’ve heard that the true quality of headphones is often limited by not using an amp

That varies. Not all headphones benefit from amping. I haven’t used these headphones personally, but if you post on /r/headphones, odds are there might be someone along who could help you with first-hand information.

> Or does the V-Moda prevent me from using an amp?

Don’t see why. You can connect your mic direct to the mic port and the headphones can be connect to the amp.

> what is a good budget amp that’ll do a good job but won’t cost over $100?

This, this (both USB DAC/Amps) and this (just an amp).

1 point

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23rd Sep 2015

Just try it with the built in sound card and see if you have issues.

Otherwise, the Schiit Fulla is in your price range, but I’m not sure on availability in the UK. It’s a bit out of your price range, but the FiiO E10k is probably the best bang for buck DAC/Amp out there.

1 point

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3rd Sep 2015

The SMSL in the previous post is not USB. So the Fiio E10k would be a better option for a laptop.

You may want to check out /r/audiorepair if you’re interested in repairing it yourself though.

1 point

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1st Sep 2015

Yes, but this does not have an amp, so it will not give you increased volume over your onboard audio.

You may want a DAC with an amp. The DAC converts the audio, and the amp amplifies it.

My friend has this one and it works well.

1 point

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12th Sep 2015

I’d recommend an external DAC. There’s a lot of noise interference inside a PC that can screw with sound quality. If you’re using decent quality headphones I would recommend something like this.

1 point

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4th Sep 2015

Brand new build. Done every single reinstall possible :/ I just bought a DAC which will be arriving Monday. If that doesn’t solve the problem I will send it back and get a different MOBO. Because all the reading online has pointed towards this being a running problem with Asus MOBO’s. Which is unfortunate because I like Asus and support them.

1 point

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4th Aug 2015

Good one: http://www.amazon.ca/Fiio-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

At least thats the one I use, I had the same exact issue (with a 970) as you thats because I drew audio from the back panel where there was a ton of interference, this Digital to Analog Converter moves that process outside your PC case, you simply plug it in to your headphones 3.5mm jack then plug your headphones/ whatever in it
🙂
10/10 would recommend because the fioo has two outputs :3

1 point

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25th Aug 2015

I’ve seen the FiiO E10K’s suggested a lot, which looks pretty decent but again I know very little.

1 point

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30th Aug 2015

What about this, http://www.amazon.co.uk/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-DAC/dp/B00LP3AMC2

Has amp and dac, plus i like the volume knob. Would that power it?

1 point

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22nd Aug 2015

Aww thats sucks. I don’t know what to get then, the x2’s are driving me crazy and everytime i ask someone to recommend a headphone it is always the 6xx’s. Can i ask though, what is the cheapest amp i can get to power the 650’s? Something like this be enough?

http://www.amazon.co.uk/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-DAC/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1440283013&amp;sr=8-4&amp;keywords=headphone+amp

Because i could always look around to see if someone has a pair of used 650’s for around £200 then just get this.

1 point

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28th Aug 2015

Is it truly woth it to buy an DAC/Amp? I’m thinking about buying the FiiO E10K but I dont know if it would be really worth it for me. I own a pair of Beyerdynamic DT990 Premium 32 Ohm. Is the bump in audio quality worth the 75 bucks? I’m no audiophile, but I do enjoy my music. What would you guys recommend?

1 point

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20th Aug 2015

Would there be a difference? Yes. Is it worth it? Not even close. The Essence ST would be a lot better than the U3, no doubt. The problem is that I can pretty much guarantee your on-board would also be better than the U3. The U3 is pretty bad as far as sound cards go. It only does max 48kHz, 16bit resolution. Even the sound chip on the motherboard for my old Pentium 4 could do 192kHz, 24bit res. Sure the SNR wasn’t great (90dB compared to the U3’s 100dB), but that can be fixed without a whole new sound card. If you’re having problems with your on-board audio (interference in the form of popping/crackling/hissing, or low volume due to high impedance headphones >150Ω) then your best bet is to go with an external DAC/Amp. It’ll get rid of the interference, can power high impedance headphones, and most importantly it’s much cheaper than the sound cards that are actually equivalent with modern on-board chips (the Realtek ALC1150 on most Z87 and Z97 Intel boards is very competent). I can’t stress this enough though, if you don’t have any problems with the on-board audio (remember, ditch that Xonar U3) and are using cheap headphones/speakers (yes, gaming headsets are in that category), that FiiO E10K I linked will be completely useless.

1 point

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24th Aug 2015

A soundcard is not what you want for improving your audio. You’d want a DAC. Something like this

1 point

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23rd Aug 2015

First, make sure you have all enhancement disabled in Windows. That might solve your issues with the cracking/popping, but won’t for the noise. That’s likely caused by interference from the other electronics in your computer.

If you do decide to buy a new soundcard or Amp+DAC, I would suggest looking at the FiiO E10k. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you might want to look at the Schiit Fulla. Both of those are USB.

1 point

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21st Jul 2015

The Modi is designed to be used with an amp as well. Typically the stack would be the Modi and Magni.

Another popular option is this: http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

1 point

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25th Jul 2015

An external DAC is like a soundcard that lives outside your computer, and thus away from all the electrical interference of your computer.

A lot of people who have high-end headphones use them. Here is one that comes with a headphone amplifier:

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

You could also get a USB DAC and then hook up the analog output up to a higher-powered amplifier designed for bookshelf speakers.

For example you could get DAC, plus this amplifier:

http://www.amazon.com/Dayton-Audio-DTA-120-Digital-Amplifier/dp/B00HFG3FYA/ref=dp_ob_title_ce

Plus these bookshelf speakers:

http://www.amazon.com/Micca-MB42X-Bookshelf-Speakers-Black/dp/B00E7H8GG2

Depends how much you want to spend.

I just use my mobo’s integrated audio hooked up to a cheap amplifier (Lepai LP-2020A+) plus ~$70 bookshelf speakers.

1 point

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14th Jun 2015

It is. But OPs is pretty overkill for the 80 ohm version. They cost more than the headphones separately :P. I’m using them with a FiiO E10K.

1 point

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5th Jun 2015

Ow right, I should really read your OP! I did read it tho, just forgot about it, sorry.

Do you allready own an optical drive?

Do you have the card reader as well?

You can buy both of these above as USB versions these day. I use an USB card reader personally. $2 on ebay and has been alive for over.. a year and works absolutely fine. I use it fairly often as well.
If you do got an optical drive allready, i’ll have to do some calculations and check the pricing on other cases. The Define R5 is pretty much the “big daddy” of the Define S. It’s almost an exact copy in layout, with the exception that the S got a lot more watercooling options since they removed everything in the front of the case and place the storage in the back and opted for no optical drives.

and.. this Creative Live Drive bay.. is looking very freaking old. No hate! 🙂


Sorry I went on a rant here!


So yes, you are somewhat correct about add-in audio cards or sound cards are pretty much dead to me now. It’s a fairly funny because I have a sound card myself in my system. But the audio has become a long long way now and it’s actually not as terrible anymore.

Now I am by far not an audio expert, but I absolutely love good quality audio. So here are my points about PC audio.

You should first focus on your headphones or speakers. If you have a $50 headset and buy a $200 sound card or external DAC/AMP. The improvements won’t be able to really justify the costs you just made. So you absolutely should start your audio at the bare bone basics. Your headphones.

There are a lot of factors that play into the “right” headphone. There are a lot of headphones on the market. I am very keen on over ear headphones. My personal ones right now are the Sennheiser HD598s. Funny enough, my first thought about it was.. yeah I need them. When I saw a picture of it, because of the brown and beige colours. I am a Noctua fanboy and they are very known for the brown and beige colours. But after doing a bit of research, I found out that they would be absolutely amazing for my music style and game that I play (CS:GO).

Anyway, I am going on a rant again. In short, no you don’t need a sound card anymore and you should first get good quality headphones before investing in external sound devices like a DAC/AMP.

DAC = Digital to Analog Converter.
AMP = Amplifier.

Very simply explained, an AMP “amplifies” the sound or makes it more noticeable. The DAC is the converter that converts the dignital signals over to analog that your headphones will need to play the music tones.

But to get into the “good” level of DAC/AMPs you have to spend at least around the $100. But for like a really solid one you quickly pay up to $200 without much trouble. Audio can get very expensive.

Now yes, a sound card will do a great job as well, but in terms of raw quality. Pretty much every external DAC/AMP will give you a better listening experience. I sadly don’t have the experience with the expensive external DAC/AMPs just yet. But I did have a go at the Fiio E10 is a very populair one (it’s improved slightly now) and that one costs you around the $75. And I really want to buy a Schiit Modi & Magni 2. Yes that is their name, they are amazing. If you want to know why they are called Schiit. One of the co-founders told his wife frequently that “I got shit to do” that she replied “why don’t you call the company shit since that’s what you’re always doing”.
Made me lol. But in terms of quality, they are actually freaking amazing. They are also very down to earth and don’t go very filosofical (however you spell that).
Here is their website and it’s freaking amazing. They litterly say “this is the only headphone amp you may ever need,” and.. if you want to have a good laugh, read the FAQ of that product.

Hope this at least answered your audio question! If you got any questions about it feel free to ask again.

1 point

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25th Jun 2015

Your onboard is probably good enough, you could look at something like this if you want a little extra amping.

Open headphones will offer better performance than closed ones at the expense of no isolation, would open headphones be suitable for you?

1 point

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15th Jun 2015

Ok well ram is pretty much all the same thing, this isn’t at all.

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1434315939&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=usb+dac

I think this looks better tbh and it’s a usb dac/amp combo.

And I sure trust FiiO more than Astro. Cheaper too.

1 point

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13th Jun 2015

They are o.k without one as long as you have solid motherboard. Anyway get them and try them out, they are very good. In case they don’t get loud enough, or you have audible EMI (interference from other PC components) you can easily solve the problem with a FiiO E10K or a Shiit Fulla.

Both pack more than enough power for the HD598 and are only recommended if your source device is really not up to the task of producing a clean signal.

1 point

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11th May 2015

Hm, pretty tight, but still doable. I would recommend the HE-400is plus a suitable amp or DAC-amp – if you can import it at a reasonable price, Schiit’s Magni 2 would be a good option, as would whatever local seller has Objective 2s, but in a pinch a FiiO E10k will work.

1 point

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5th May 2015

You really don’t need an amp to push them since the impedance is so low, but a DAC wouldn’t hurt. These pair well with the 558s and 598s: http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1430851611&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=FiiO+E10

1 point

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7th May 2015

A good dac

It’s a digital to audio converter.

1 point

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16th May 2015

If I were you I’d just get a cheap amp/dac like a FiiO E10k and call it a day. You get an entry level DAC/AMP that’ll probably go well with your DT880, and you can control the volume with a knob. You have the Koss you mentioned or the Shure volume control but I’ve heard the latter can be a bit noisy.

In terms of the Emotiva, it’ll probably be annoying to plug it in. 3.5mm to RCA from your PC then RCA to 3.5mm female to connect your headphones. Other options do exist in terms of the headphone amp/dac combo but I don’t really know what to recommend so maybe ask on the Recommendation thread. If you’re willing to cough up $50 for the volume control, might as well get an actual amp/dac. Just my 2c.

Keep in mind the emotiva is mainly for speakers. I believe they made them for active speakers in particular which needs an interface to control with ease. I own active speakers and luckily my amp/dac can control them without a separate volume control. I wouldn’t bother using them with headphones to be honest.

1 point

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26th May 2015

What’s your source? If you have a good PC with a Realtek ALC 800 or higher sound chip you are fine. If you have a laptop or a budget motherboard, you’ll need some extra juice to properly power an AKG headphone.

>$100 Option DAC/AMP: Fiio E10K

>$100 Option AMP only: Schiit Magni 2

1 point

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11th May 2015

Basically, no. The FiiO E6 is for portable use to drive low impedance balance armature IEMs. The 600/650 are intended for studio/home use. The FiiO E10K is a better budget amp/dac to drive them. But the Schiit stack (Magni + Modi) or the Obejective O2+ODAC would be the better recommended amp/dac combo to drive the 600/650

1 point

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5th May 2015

The Schiit Fulla and the Fiio E10K are both reviewed rather excellently and comfortably within your budget.

1 point

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19th May 2015

What kind of price range? The FiiO E10K is a good, reasonably priced option.

1 point

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21st May 2015

Scratch the sound card and get a external dac. Those give much better sound quality as electrical interference is virtually put out of the picture. This fiio one is one example

1 point

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25th Apr 2015

Sorry about the delay! My workload kinda ate my alive yesterday.

Bloody hell do they ever have you Britons over a barrel regarding pricing. The only brand that seems to have consistent pricing on both sides of the pond is HiFiMan.

So, let me lay out a bit of an issue, here: as I’ve said, in 95% of cases, soundstage/spatial imaging is mutually exclusive with isolation. This is because the headphones that are best at the former are open-backed, an acoustic design which allows air to exit to the rear of the drivers and makes a lot of things much easier, from a design perspective. Downside: obviously, functionally no isolation – a median of about 1-2dB. Now, I had initially planned to recommend the best closed option I could find, but since you rated gaming use over isolation, I’ll do a mix and note how high isolation the headphone in question is (including providing a measurement), as well as the other pros and cons.

Now then, on to the options:

The first thing that comes to mind when I look over your requirements and genre preferences would be HiFiMan’s HE400i. One of the most-loved headphones in the modern market, the HE-400i is a so-called “planar magnetic” design, which uses a network of conductive contacts printed onto a diaphragm rather than the traditional “cone speaker” setup of normal dynamic driver headphones. The result is a very unique sound presentation, and many feel that planar headphones are the single best option out there with regard to bass, as their design gives them significant advantages in sub-bass representation and bass impact in general. The HE-400i is also considered the “baby” version of my own headphones, the HE-560, and is often asserted to be 95% of the sound for 50% of the price. If that’s true, it really is something truly special, as the HE-560 is easily the best headphone I’ve ever heard. The HE-400i has the additional merit of being quite neutral while having, as said, strong bass impact, allowing it to flatter just about any genre under the sun (this, in fact, is why the HE-560 is my endgame: literally everything I’ve tried sounds great on it, and I can’t say that about any other headphone). Comfort-wise, HiFiMan put a very nice “suspension strap” headband for even weight distribution, and their special “FocusPads” on the HE-400i, which have a velour inner rim and ear-side area for breathability and comfort, and a pleather outer rim for better seal. I consider them the best pads out there, though I acknowledge that they could be just a hair bigger. The depth is fine, but the width could be an issue for people with truly large ears.

Now, the HE-400i isn’t without flaws. It is an open design with a measured 2dB of broadband isolation, which makes it essentially equivalent to nothing on your ears at all. It is also a fairly inefficient headphone, and would almost certainly require an amp. Beyond this, it’s quite expensive – £360 at the cheapest place I’ve found it, for a total of £420 with a reasonable DAC-amp to drive it. Now, it is available markedly cheaper from an American retailer with transatlantic shipping, but I’m not sure what import fees and shipping will add onto that. It’s also not the last word in gaming audio: though the soundstage of the HE-560s is quite impressive, and the sound truly astounding in detail, cheaper headphones I’ve tried such as AKG’s K700 series have bested it for sheer positional audio prowess. And, indeed, the next option would be…

AKG’s K712 Pro. Now this is what you call a gaming headphone: AKG’s K700 series has long been held up as the gold standard for gaming audio, and with a pair in my possession, I would definitely say that it’s not without good reason. With a neutralish sound (perhaps somewhat boosted on the bass, but not so much as the M50x), the K712 is an excellent generalist, and I’ve long considered the K700s to be the defining headphones for classical music, or anything else with lots of strings and a need for air and depth of presentation. I suspect that you will find the bass somewhat lacking in impact compared with your current headphones, but these will otherwise be a massive upgrade, particularly as the M50x is quite infamous for its tiny soundstage, while the K712’s is one of the largest out there. The K712 uses soft velour earpads which are quite large – a few people have issues with their ears touching the driver side, but I certainly haven’t myself – and a suspension strap headband which I consider one of the best out there, giving them top-notch comfort, particularly given their low weight.

It’s also pretty cheap, at £260, though an amp or DAC-amp wouldn’t be misplaced here, either: the K700s are low-impedance, but not easy to power. It, like the HE-400i, is almost completely open (5dB of isolation makes them slightly more isolating, but not by much), and the sound is a downgrade relative to the HE-400i in pure fidelity, and, arguably, for the genres you listen to, due to its slightly more analytic sound and less impactful bass.

Next up: Fostex’s TH 600. Often held up as one of the best bass headphones in its price range, the TH600 is an unapologetically bassy closed headphone with a rather legendary soundstage. While it doesn’t compete with things like the K712, it manages to give a very good showing of itself in that regard, perhaps for the same reasons that its isolation is quite mediocre, at 7dB overall. Nonetheless, this will keep noise out markedly better than the others, and if you want impactful, deep bass, it is one of the best options. The TH600 is also fairly easy to drive, which means it shouldn’t strictly require an amp, which could save you quite a bit. Comfort-wise, I’ve sadly not had a chance to demo it myself, but the word is generally positive. Though it uses a conventional headband, it’s supposed to be quite comfortable, and the pads are well-liked for pleather pads. Not the most ideal for warmer weather, though, so that may well be a point off in your books.

That said, it’s pretty expensive in the UK, though as with the HE-400i, I believe you can import it while staying within budget. The lack of isolation and very dark sound would be the other two potential flaws: the TH600 is great for bass, and its reviewers have claimed that it still does a pretty solid job on the mids and highs (and, indeed, it would definitely be a step up from the M50xes), but it’s not going to match the more neutral presentations of the HiFiMan or AKG on violins, for example.

Now, those’d be the “big three” that would immediately come to mind for me, given what you’ve said about your preferences and taste. There are a number of other headphones in this rough price range which are worthy of consideration, however – some Beyerdynamics, Audio-Technica’s higher end, potentially some of MrSpeakers’ modded Fostex units – just not necessarily as in-line with your preferences as I understand them. If you want more detail on any of the three, I’d be happy to provide it, and if you’d like more options, I’ll do some more price research and throw some more at you.

1 point

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25th Apr 2015

Okay, after what you said, I have ordered HifiMan HE-400i headphones (£360), FiiO E10K amp/dac (£62), NH-D14 CPU cooler (£58) and Arctic Cooling MX-4 thermal paste (£4). If my friends start complaining about any echo from the headphones, I might grab a clip-on microphone. In a few months I’ll grab two 970’s and sell my 780 Ti and whenever Windows 10 comes out, I’ll grab a Samsung 850 EVO 248GB SSD. That’s me done buying stuff for now. Now the big wait for everything to be delivered begins 🙂

Thanks a lot for your help, as well as /u/DMZ_Dragon and /u/Knocking.

1 point

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30th Apr 2015

I use the Fiio e10k It gets the job done and yeah, I had been using a much cheaper external amp before while it wasn’t as good as the e10k it was more then sufficient

1 point

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17th Apr 2015

Budget: Under $100

Details: Looking to get a AMP / DAC (standalone or combo)? for my Fidelio X2s that I’ll be ordering today or tomorrow. Just looking for some suggestions. I was looking at the FiiO E10K.

Thanks! 🙂

1 point

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6th Apr 2015

I have a fairly old motherboard with a pretty bad on board audio chip. There’s definite hissing even when my hyperx clouds are plugged in so I do believe that getting a DAC/amp combo would be required. Thank you for your help though! I will look into the E07. I only see the E07K on amazon and it’s a bit expensive. How about the E10K? This one here. And do you recommend the DT 770 Pro 32Ohms then with this DAC/amp? The price difference between the 32/250ohm and the 80ohm is about 50$. Is it worth the difference?

1 point

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17th Apr 2015

I know this is a little late for this thread but I figured someone may search for this and instead of PMing you. I thought I would mention it here.

Any suggestions for an AMP / DAC (standalone or combo)? It’ll be for my Fidelio X2s that I’m hopefully ordering today. I’m not looking to spend more than $100 as I’m already spending what I would consider a hefty amount on some great headphones. I was looking at the FiiO E10K. If I didn’t get a DAC/Amp then my X2s would just plug directly into my audio/headphone jack on my PC/laptop. Thanks again for all your advice/help! 🙂

1 point

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7th Apr 2015

Thanks for your reply. So this would take care of both?
FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_kG.ivb0X19ME7

1 point

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17th Apr 2015

I know this is a little late for this thread but I figured someone may search for this and instead of PMing you. I thought I would mention it here.

Any suggestions for an AMP / DAC (standalone or combo)? It’ll be for my Fidelio X2s that I’m hopefully ordering today. I’m not looking to spend more than $100 as I’m already spending what I would consider a hefty amount on some great headphones. I was looking at the FiiO E10K. If I didn’t get a DAC/Amp then my X2s would just plug directly into my audio/headphone jack on my PC/laptop. Thanks again for all your help/advice! 🙂

1 point

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30th Apr 2015

i had the Taishan (D3); thats a serious weak link imo- you are not going to experience any significant benefits from that verses any current pc onboard sound.

consider this option as an all in one http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1430382073&amp;sr=1-3&amp;keywords=fiio

PC > e10k > headphones

1 point

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17th Apr 2015

Oh man, I’m excited for you. Those look really comfortable and should be great for both music and CS:GO. What amp did you get?

I’m planning on buying new headphones today as well and I’ve been looking at amps but I can’t decide. I was looking at this FiiO E10K.

1 point

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4th Mar 2015

As was said by others, lose the soundcard, but with the amendment that if you ARE an audiophile, get a E10 from Fiio, or if you want even better sound, get a O2 + Odac. Next, get an i5 with a decent motherboard, then get the fastest SINGLE GPU you can get.

1 point

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24th Mar 2015

You sure? I checked amazon.ca before and the only one that comes up for me is this one which seems to be the first one.

1 point

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28th Mar 2015

the dac you listed may not have enough power to drive the 250ohm version. try this dac/amp combo for a little more than the cost of the xenyx.

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

there are other options available but this is the lowest priced option i could think of from the top of my head.

also before buying, look at the amount youre spending on headphones and amp and see if you could just get better yet easy to drive headphones without an amp for the total amount youre spending. on massdrop for example are akg k553s. different for sure from the beyers but theyre good quality (as based on my experience with the older brother, the k550) and easy to drive out of portable sources (32ohms). its just 140usd.

1 point

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29th Mar 2015

> need an amp for voice chat purposes

This is a strange statement. Voice chat is typically easier on headphones than music is.

But nevermind, let me answer your actual questions:

> I have heard good things about the Fiio E17

So have I, but I’ve never used it myself. It is battery powered, which may prove inconvenient. There are also cheaper options in the same price range: Monoprice has one (probably a white-labeled FiiO). The FiiO E10K is a USB AMP/DAC. Schiit also has one… but read on.

> would it be better for me just to buy a soundcard instead of the amp

A sound card is nothing more but a DAC/Amp. I prefer external DACs and Amps, as its easier to mix and match as I acquire more pieces. Sound cards tend not to be as high quality as external devices… but it really is just a matter of preference.

> Which amp would you recommend?

Don’t get an amp right now. Get the Q701s, listen to them, then decide if you need an amp.

An amp is one of the most expensive ways to improve your sound, and the Q701s don’t really need it. The dac/amp in your computer should be more than powerful enough for them. Heck, I just plugged my pair into my phone and it got ear-splittingly loud.

Instead of getting an amp, figure out if you need one:

Line noise: Turn the volume up to max, but don’t play any music. Plug in your most sensitive headphones (in-ears, most likely). You should hear silence. If you don’t hear silence, a good dac + amp will remove that line-noise.

Overall Power: Turn the volume all the way down. Plug in your listening headphones (Q701 in this case) and start up some music. Now turn it up until the music is playing at a conversational volume. This is the level at which you should be listening. If the volume dial is < 50%, then you don’t need an amp. If it’s between 50% and 80%, you may benefit from an amp. If it’s past 80%, get an amp. (my rule of thumb)

The most important thing though, is that the headphone is the most cost effective way to improve your sound. The amp/dac is a supporting cast ONLY. Collect them if you want (it’s fun after all), but don’t expect the same level of improvement that you got by getting your first headphone. In fact, today’s integrated dac/amps are so good, that any benefit you hear from an upgraded dac/amp may actually be the placebo effect.

In short:

  1. Get the Q701s
  2. Use them
  3. Figure out if you need a dac/amp. You probably don’t.
  4. But if you want to get a dac/amp anyway, get one that looks awesome. The Magni/Modi from Schiit are good choices.
1 point

·

14th Mar 2015

Depends on your price range. A great starter DAC is the FiiO E10K which has a DAC and an amplifier built in, highly recommended

The next step up would be for the Schiit Modi although, it doesn’t have a built in amp and requires the companion piece Schiit Magni

Those are the two I would recommend for sub $100 and $200

You could always try /r/audiophile and /r/headphones for more advice

1 point

·

28th Feb 2015

Yes openback headphones leak sound, while closed back headphones do not. The open design however doesn’t trap the sound waves inside the headphone. This results in a much wider soundstage. which is exactly what you want in games to exactly position sounds in your surrounding.

Regarding driver size: Audio Technica Wiki. Basically, the bigger the driver, the more pressure it can create. More pressure in closed headphones means more bass.

I think the QPAD QH90 is what you are looking for.

A decent entry setup is the FiiO E10K paired with the Sennheiser HD598 or HD558 paired with a ModMic.

1 point

·

3rd Feb 2015

You could try something like this for desktop use:

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=pd_cp_e_1

Same company has portable AMP/DAC combos as well. If you are going purely desktop, you could step it up a little bit into the Schiit stack.

1 point

·

26th Feb 2015

I just bought the Sennheiser HD598s. I am very excited to receive them. I was thinking about getting this FiiO E10 amp and have a couple questions:

  • I will also be using this as a gaming headset. Can I plug my shitty mic into this amp? It seems like an obvious ‘no’. But thought i would ask.
  • Would someone recommend an amp if the above answer is in fact ‘no’, and the below answer is ‘yes’?
  • In your opinion, has an amp made the difference with the 598s? For gaming or bass levels or depth or whatever. I haven’t seen an answer that sells me one way or the other, yet.

So excited to try out the open backs!
Thanks.

1 point

·

17th Feb 2015

Not exactly audiophile stuff, but I’ve heard pretty good feedback on the fiio e10k – if portability is also a concern. Otherwise, if its a desktop setup Sound Blaster Z has a great virtual surround sound for driving headsets. It’s internal so no need for an external amp/dac.

Again, this is not audiophile stuff – but basic upgrade of onboard mobo sound (older than ALC1150, newer onboard sound chips will probably sound as good as the above options) while keeping costs at a minimal

1 point

·

29th Jan 2015

I think the Soundblaster Z is by far the best soundcard for under $100. It was actually on sale for $70 two months ago. It offers not only the best virtual surround on the market today, but also a free 600 omh headphone amplifier, which is just nuts for value. In addition, the Z offers a free beam-forming mic in case you don’t have the money or need for buying an external mic for your headset, which is even more value. I don’t recommend the Zx or the ZxR as they are a waste of money and offer no extra value unless you’re a professional on Youtube or Twitch.

The Titanium series cards are all over 3 years old and scale poorly with modern games. They are great for music and movies, but not gaming. They are also fairly expensive for what they offer.

The Asus Xonar, STX, Essence cards are similar to Titanium cards in that they are poor for gaming, however they are epic for music. Most audiophiles swear by Asus cards for home theater setups. For PC use they are just awful though; Asus drivers are always 2+ years older than what they should be and always have compatibility problems.

Oh, as for a cheap external DAC/Amp, this is the way to go: http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1422512042&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=headphone+amplifier

Everyone on Headfi swears by it, but personally I went with the Soundblaster Z, as I needed both a headphone amp and a means to power my home 5.1 theater speakers.

1 point

·

21st Jan 2015

Those cans are only 38 ohm so I doubt you need an amp. Get the headphones first and see how they sound. It’s silly to assume you need to upgrade before you’ve even heard them. Everything might sound fine. A dac/amp combo would be a nice compromise if you really want to spend money. You get the benefit of an external dac as well as the external volume knob and some extra juice. Even if you don’t need the amp you will still have the dac going for you.

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_ph?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1421846304&amp;sr=1&amp;keywords=e10k

Also, why don’t you just get the ad900x with a zalman/v moda mic or something? Save yourself $100

1 point

·

30th Jan 2015

I’m planning on getting this DAC soon once I save up a little more.
http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=lh_ni_t?ie=UTF8&amp;psc=1&amp;smid=A2RI9OCHT7SAAA
I’m trying to get the best sound possible with these because a lot of reviews say it has awesome soundstage for directional audio.

1 point

·

27th Jan 2015

fiio e10k. I’m not sure you would benefit much from the amp, but the external volume knob is a great feature along with the DAC.

HifimeDIY has great standalone DAC’s as well

http://hifimediy.com/sabre-dac-uae23

1 point

·

23rd Jan 2015

Hey, I have a pair of HD 598s and just wanted to know if the FiiO E10k Would a good match for my headphones?

1 point

·

8th Jan 2015

Does your laptop sound worse than an iPhone or iPod? if so, something like a Fiio E10k could raise the quality without costing you a fortune. I doubt you would notice much quality difference between the fiio e10k and Shiit stack from QC15’s. http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

Alternatively if you can live without an analog volume dial you could opt for something like this and use the windows volume slider instead. http://hifimediy.com/DACs/ready-made-dacs/sabre-dac-uae23

1 point

·

23rd Jan 2015

I mean, those are great DACs, but would you really be able to tell the difference between those and a cheaper FiiO DAC?

1 point

·

11th Jan 2015

Are those monitors active?

If so, you can get away with a Fiio E10K and save some money.

If you want to spend more get a Schiit Modi 2 + Magni 2 Uber ($250 total).

1 point

·

24th Jan 2015

Are the FiiO E10K’s Good with these headphones? I have the same ones and I’m looking to get a good amp to go with them around the £50-£80 range!

1 point

·

26th Jan 2015

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

TypeItemPrice
CPUIntel Core i5-4690K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor$219.95 @ SuperBiiz
CPU Coolerbe quiet! Dark Rock Pro 3 93.3 CFM Fluid Dynamic Bearing CPU Cooler$89.90 @ Newegg
MotherboardAsus Z97-A ATX LGA1150 Motherboard$136.99 @ SuperBiiz
MemoryG.Skill Sniper 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3-1600 Memory$61.99 @ Newegg
StorageSamsung 850 EVO-Series 120GB 2.5&quot; Solid State Drive$86.98 @ OutletPC
StorageSamsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5&quot; Solid State Drive$229.99 @ Amazon
Video Gigabyte GeForce GTX 970 4GB WINDFORCE 3X Video $338.99 @ NCIX US
CasePhanteks Enthoo Pro ATX Full Tower Case$99.99 @ Amazon
Power SupplyRosewill Capstone 750W 80+ Gold Certified Semi-Modular ATX Power Supply$93.98 @ Newegg
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 (OEM) (64-bit)$91.99 @ NCIX US
Total
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available$1450.75
Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-01-26 15:47 EST-0500

Things I changed:

  • RAM:
    Changed to cheaper 8GB RAM kit. 8GB is more than enough for normal gaming. If eventually 8GB isn’t enough for you anymore you can always add another 8GB kit.

  • SSDs:
    Changed to the newer 850 evo SSD. they have the newer V-Nand chips, which are faster and have a much longer endurance rating.

  • Graphics card:
    Changed to cheaper GTX 970 as the Zotacs are way too expensive for the little extra performance they deliver.

  • Case:
    While the NZXT Phantom 630 is good case, for it’s price it’s not worth it IMO. The Phanteks Enthoo Pro has many more features for better prices. The Fractal Design Define R4 or even the R5 are great options too. The Be quiet! Silent Base 800 is another great case, but this one doesn’t have a window.

  • Power supply:
    Changed to higher quality power supply from Rosewill. You could also check out the EVGA G2 750w.

  • Soundcard:
    Don’t buy PCIe soundcards. They often have to deal with pc interference and aren’t that great for their price. The Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1 or the Schiit Modi 2 + Schiit Magni 2 perfrom a lot better. The Maverick Audio TubeMagic D1 is more focused for amazing audio quality and soundstage. The usage of tubes will make voices and instruments sound fuller. The Schiit Modi and Magni combo is a solid state design, which achieves higher volume levels and slightly more detailed sound.

If you don’t want to pay to much the Fiio E10K is another good option.

1 point

·

15th Jan 2015

I also love my HD 598s. After a couple months of onboard audio I opted for the Fiio E10K desktop DAC/AMP, mostly for the convenience of not having to reach to the back of my case every time I wanted to switch between headphones and speakers. I am very satisfied with this setup.

I know you mentioned keeping your desk space tidy, but the size of the Fiio is less than you would expect (smaller than my iPhone 4) and is hardly noticeable.

1 point

·

9th Jan 2015

if you’re not a discerning listener, then really any amp will work for you. The only amps that I know of that have a lot of analog volume wheels are the FiiO brands. They’re actually pretty reasonable for what you get. here’s one for 75 buck that would fit your need quite well.

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1420825350&amp;sr=1-3

1 point

·

29th Jan 2015

yes, it’s very good.
fiio e10k

0 points

·

2nd Feb 2019

Generally you only need to upgrade if it sounds bad, but a better set of headphones will make the biggest difference, then a headphone amp, then a dac.

What headphones are you using? And is your budget set at $50?

$76 will get you the fiio e10k, which is a good first-time dac/amp.

$110 gets you the fiio k3, which is the successor to the e10k and brings a ton of improvements.

The FX-Audio DAC X6 is a good budget option, especially if you just want to test the waters.

Lots of other options too; audio can become a slippery slope lol

0 points

·

20th Nov 2018

What headphones are they? You’ll want an external usb amp/dac

Cheapest one worth it IMO would be this Fiios Headphone Amp

FiiO E10K https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_pJd9BbGB8JEZ3

0 points

·

3rd Oct 2017

Good headphones, combine with a DAC. I recommend the FiiO E10K
https://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2

You will hear things you’ve never heard before.

0 points

·

29th Sep 2016

Looking for AMP (DAC too? I’m not sure.)

First time trying to get a pair of decent cans. I’m completely ignorant in what I should be looking for based on the specs of the K7xx. Is a DAC completely necessary? I heard an AMP is good for the K7xx but heard nothing about a DAC.

I can spend up to $100 give or take $25, but I already have a DAC/AMP combo in mind that seems good based on the reviews, but I’m not sure if that what I need. So I’m posting here to make sure.

Will the FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier be enough to power the K7xx to it’s fullest?

I’ll pretty much be using the headphones for gaming, movies and music on both PC and laptop for when I’m studying not at home.

I’m open to other suggestions, but a portable DAC/AMP is preferable. Although, I’m willing to sacrifice portability if it means significantly better sound quality.

Also, if it helps this is my motherboard. Could the built in soundcard be good enough?

0 points

·

26th Sep 2016

also this is recommended quite a bit link.

of coure if you have no money issues pay what you can for the best.

0 points

·

31st Aug 2016

Im looking for an AMP under 100 euros .

So far i only have this one in mind https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00LP3AMC2/?tag=

Im open to any suggestions as long as they are under 100

0 points

·

29th Jun 2016

First thing is, don’t get a sound card. A Digital to Analog Converter (DAC) or headphone amp will be much better. Here’s one for roughly the same price.

$1700 is a lot to spend on a build that has such a weak processor and memory as well as no Solid State drive. Honestly, unless it’s 100% necessary, lose MS Office and Student. Google has free versions of this software that work fine. Take a look at this build here:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

TypeItemPrice
CPUIntel Core i5-6600K 3.5GHz Quad-Core Processor$234.88 @ OutletPC
CPU CoolerCooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler$24.89 @ OutletPC
MotherboardAsus B150M-A D3 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard$74.88 @ OutletPC
MemoryKingston HyperX Fury Black 16GB (2 x 8GB) DDR3-1866 Memory$58.99 @ SuperBiiz
StorageSamsung 850 EVO-Series 500GB 2.5&quot; Solid State Drive$154.85 @ Amazon
Storage*Seagate Barracuda 2TB 3.5&quot; 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive$65.89 @ OutletPC
Video MSI Radeon R9 390 8GB Video $283.98 @ Newegg
CaseCorsair 750D ATX Full Tower Case$139.99 @ NCIX US
Power SupplyEVGA SuperNOVA NEX 750W 80+ Gold Certified Fully-Modular ATX Power Supply$69.99 @ NCIX US
Optical DriveLG WH14NS40 Blu-Ray/DVD/CD Writer$46.85 @ OutletPC
Operating SystemMicrosoft Windows 7 Home Premium SP1 OEM 64-bit$199.89 @ OutletPC
Wireless Network AdapterTP-Link TL-WDN4800 PCI-Express x1 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi Adapter$38.88 @ OutletPC
External StorageSeagate Expansion 4TB External Hard Drive$109.99 @ Amazon
Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
Total (before mail-in rebates)$1543.95
Mail-in rebates-$40.00
Total$1503.95
*Lowest price parts chosen from parametric criteria
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-06-29 15:48 EDT-0400

Ask me about any changes I made. Overclockable Skylake processor, DDR4 Memory, and a 8GB GFX card. All for less than your current build, and it’s much more powerful. A 500GB solid state drive is great for programs like Photoshop or editing software, as is the new processor.

Also, throw in that DAC and you have really good sound quality.

0 points

·

25th Jan 2016

Nice build, dont forget to buy a AMP/DAC for your headphones. Something like this would work well if you are on a budget http://smile.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1453741972&amp;sr=8-3&amp;keywords=usb+amp+dac

0 points

·

26th Dec 2015

audio in neither one of the ends of an aux cable is in digital format. To convert from digital to analog you need electronics in the form of a digital to analog coverter

http://www.amazon.com/FiiO-E10K-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1451092265&amp;sr=8-2&amp;keywords=usb+dac

0 points

·

25th Sep 2015

Until yesterday I didn’t know the same thing, people need to cut you some slack! But seriously, OP get something like this FiiO

Edit: just realised what beasts of a headphone you bought. Not sure if the FiiO E10K is good enough for the HD800s?? can anyone clarify this?