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Getting the Sennheiser HD 598. Would I need a sound card?

#11GregsplintercelPosted 12/21/2013 9:02:10 AM
DV8ingSources posted...
Well the setup I used to show my bud was a 5.1 Yamaha surround sound system with some 777 tower speakers for the front left and right. That's in my home theatre area and not my gaming corner though. Currently I'm only using my sennheiser 558 headphones (my 598's were eaten by a friends dog...Wish it were just the cable not the headpiece). I have an old logitech X530 5.1 surround sound setup hooked up but rarely use it.


I'm really thinking of getting the 558 or 598 headphones. do either of them have good bass as well as amazing sound quality ?
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#12DV8ingSourcesPosted 12/21/2013 9:13:07 AM
Gregsplintercel posted...
DV8ingSources posted...
Well the setup I used to show my bud was a 5.1 Yamaha surround sound system with some 777 tower speakers for the front left and right. That's in my home theatre area and not my gaming corner though. Currently I'm only using my sennheiser 558 headphones (my 598's were eaten by a friends dog...Wish it were just the cable not the headpiece). I have an old logitech X530 5.1 surround sound setup hooked up but rarely use it.


I'm really thinking of getting the 558 or 598 headphones. do either of them have good bass as well as amazing sound quality ?


They are nearly identical in form but I have found my 558's to have the edge with bass which is great for movies and some gaming but you can dial in the 598's a little tighter for other things. If you like bass you can't really go wrong with some 558's. Chances are unless you had a nice setup before you will be quite surprised at just how clear a nice set of headphones can be.
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#13betatechPosted 12/21/2013 9:45:51 AM
If you want bass, the 558s are probably going to be better, I personally own a pair of 598s though because I didn't want anything with too much bass (it's still there though) and overall I like them.
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#14GregsplintercelPosted 12/21/2013 10:36:01 AM
DV8ingSources posted...
Gregsplintercel posted...
DV8ingSources posted...
Well the setup I used to show my bud was a 5.1 Yamaha surround sound system with some 777 tower speakers for the front left and right. That's in my home theatre area and not my gaming corner though. Currently I'm only using my sennheiser 558 headphones (my 598's were eaten by a friends dog...Wish it were just the cable not the headpiece). I have an old logitech X530 5.1 surround sound setup hooked up but rarely use it.


I'm really thinking of getting the 558 or 598 headphones. do either of them have good bass as well as amazing sound quality ?


They are nearly identical in form but I have found my 558's to have the edge with bass which is great for movies and some gaming but you can dial in the 598's a little tighter for other things. If you like bass you can't really go wrong with some 558's. Chances are unless you had a nice setup before you will be quite surprised at just how clear a nice set of headphones can be.


So they should go well with my Xonar Essence STX sound card ?
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#15PraetorXynPosted 12/21/2013 3:51:52 PM(edited)
MasterDonGero posted...
You don't need to, but a good sound card would provide better quality audio. And if you're an audiophile, you'd want a high quality sound card.


You only need a sound card if you care about virtual surround audio effects in games. For that purpose, the best sound card is the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD (get the unofficial drivers rather than Creative's, as they're very bloated; you should get the unofficial Asus drivers if you go that route as well).

What you will really need is a quality amp (possibly an amp/DAC combo). The reason is because the headphones have impedance. The HD 598's have only 50 Ohms, but an amp will still make them sound much fuller.

These are your possible setups:
1. Sound card (S/PDIF out) > DAC (S/PDIF in) > Amp > headphones (best quality you can get as the better DAC will be used instead of the sound card's DAC, all the sound card does is give you CMSS-3D or Dolby Headphone).
2. Sound Card (S/PDIF out) > DAC/Amp combo (S/PDIF in) > Headphones (Pretty much the same as above. This is the setup I use, a good DAC/Amp combo with S/PDIF in is the Audio-gd NFB 11.32).
3. Sound Card > Amp > Headphones (Using sound card as DAC).
4. Motheroard (S/PDIF out) > DAC (S/PDIF in) > Amp > Headphones (really the best quality you can get if you don't need the gaming audio effects).
5. Motherboard (S/PDIF out) > DAC/Amp (S/PDIF in) > Headphones (pretty much the same as 4).
6. Motherboard (USB out) > DAC (USB in) > Amp > Headphones
7. Motherboard (USB out) > DAC/Amp (USB in) > Headphones

What it basically comes down to is if you don't need CMSS-3D or Dolby Headphone, you're better off not buying the sound card. If you have the sound card and are using an external DAC as well, you need to use S/PDIF so the sound card's internal DAC doesn't molest the sound.

As for recommendations, the stuff I'd recommend would be the Audio-gd NAB 11.32 (Compass 2 would be better but it's more expensive) and get your optical audio/coax audio cables from bluejeancable.com as they're cheap and have great quality.

For a more budget oriented setup, I'd suggest the Schiit Magni amp for $99 (the Modi DAC is also $99 and accompanies it if you want that to make a really good setup for the price). In between would be the Schiit Asgard 2 for $249. Their better amps for the most part are tube amps, so you have to worry about what tubes sound good etc., but those will be better for music.
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#1632x2zPosted 12/21/2013 4:04:36 PM
You need a sound card. Onboard Audio is great but why buy expensive headphones that you're going to use with low quality onboard audio (relative to a soundcard anyways.)
#17Nightmare2398Posted 12/21/2013 4:46:59 PM
depends on your motherboard, some have decent onboard audio (realtek alc 1150, alc 898, core3d from gigabyte) but anything below the alc 898 is crap. a decent sound card for cheap is the asus xonar DS or DSX
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#18JohnnyBananas26(Topic Creator)Posted 12/22/2013 3:04:44 PM
I have the ASUS P8Z68-V LX 1155 ATX. PraetorXyn's post is pretty confusing to me because I don't understand any of that stuff. So I shouldn't get a sound card if I don't care bout surround? But in movies, and sometimes games, isn't that important?
#19DV8ingSourcesPosted 12/22/2013 3:06:13 PM
JohnnyBananas26 posted...
I have the ASUS P8Z68-V LX 1155 ATX. PraetorXyn's post is pretty confusing to me because I don't understand any of that stuff. So I shouldn't get a sound card if I don't care bout surround? But in movies, and sometimes games, isn't that important?


A good sound card will make a difference but its a small one compared to the days of old where onboard was absolutely atrocious. Only get one if you can comfortably afford one.
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#20JohnnyBananas26(Topic Creator)Posted 12/26/2013 12:22:00 AM
Do I need an AMP if I am getting a sound card for my desktop? Because this is really confusing especially when I look at the back of the AMP and I don't know what connection goes where. I was thinking of getting the

http://www.amazon.com/PCI-Express-XONAR-ESSENCE-STX-90-YAA0C0-0UAN00Z/dp/B001OV789U/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1388045368&sr=8-1&keywords=asus+essence+stx

and if I NEED an amp I would get

http://www.amazon.com/Schiit-SCH-07-Magni-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B00CICPMA6

What do you guys think?