Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
h264

The Audio Board's Frequently Asked Questions, Pre-answered!

Recommended Posts

Yeah, this weekend I'll work on it

I didn't really double it, did I?

If only the FAQs were each on a separate post, then you could actually make links to the specific posts.


15" MBP TB

Serenity: Intel 4960x | ASUS X79-E WS | ASUS DCUII 770 | Corsair 750D || Blade Server: Intel 3570k | GD65 | Corsair C70 | 13TB

What Drive Should You Get?

Have a question? Please, don't hesitate to ask me over PM or on Twitter @Bladeof_Grass

Link to post
Share on other sites

However, there ARE points to having an Essence STX.  Very few points, like Surround sound visualization and aesthetics, or the 5 headphones it can drive well that cost many times this card's price.

 

I see your point on this sort of thing, surely 5 headphones is a bit of an exaggeration though. I'd have though there are lots of headphones this card could drive reasonably well.


Headset

Link to post
Share on other sites

 The beyerdynamic custom one pro: closed with the "bass port" got some good reviews.  

 

Yeah they're good, just the general consensus is open is better.

 

 

 T  I was very close to getting the Meze because of Logan's from TekSyndicate  review... still not sure of the quality of sound, since the "conspiracy" is overshadowing the product itself.  Not much reviews on the esmooths either.

 

Not a big conspiracy, most of the products on the market are OEM rebrands. Sound quality wise I'd guess they're worth half what they cost, and there's other brand floating around that sell wooden headphones, but if you like fancy packaging then there ya go.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

I see your point on this sort of thing, surely 5 headphones is a bit of an exaggeration though. I'd have though there are lots of headphones this card could drive reasonably well.

 

Let's see, it'll need to be at least 300 Ohms impedance AND under 100 SPL to even need the "High Gain" setting or under 85 SPL for the "Extra High Gain" setting, so:

 

Beyer DT880 600 Ohm

Beyer DT990 600 Ohm

Beyer Tesla T1

Beyer Tesla T5p

AKG K240M (the old 600 Ohm one that Quincy Jones ACTUALLY used in studio) (not made anymore, and the new version of it, the K242, is 50 Ohms)

AKG K1000 (Finally, something for that extra high gain setting!!!) (It's not made anymore, so it doesn't count)

Sennheiser HD600

Sennheiser HD650

Sennheiser HD800

Hifiman He-6 (5 watts per channel?!? Really, Hifiman?) (probably would get loud enough on high gain, and the impedance is too low!)

 

Uhhh, did I miss any?

 

Anything under 80 Ohms is incompatible due to the output impedance, and besides you'll have hardly ANY volume control at those low impedances or even higher impedances up to 250 Ohms

 

So, yeah 10, sorry man.  I was totally exaggerating.  It's not that the Essence STX is useless, it's just nobody makes these sort of headphones anymore.  Why are we still making amps for headphones that are going extinct?  It makes no sense.


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Let's see, it'll need to be at least 300 Ohms impedance AND under 100 SPL to even need the "High Gain" setting or under 85 SPL for the "Extra High Gain" setting, so:

hms)

Anything under 80 Ohms is incompatible due to the output impedance, and besides you'll have hardly ANY volume control at those low impedances or even higher impedances up to 250 Ohms

 

So, yeah 10, sorry man.  I was totally exaggerating.  It's not that the Essence STX is useless, it's just nobody makes these sort of headphones anymore.  Why are we still making amps for headphones that are going extinct?  It makes no sense.

 

Couldn't you insert an ohm resistor adapter to deal with the volume control? Then you would have things like the AKG 612 pro, the very cheap Superlux 330, 440 & 660 plus the head set versions of the 660. Beyer also do higher impedance versions of there studio stuff like the DT250 and 150 plus they also do the new T70 & T90, probably a T80 to come. Sennheiser HD26 Pro could be another option. Earbuds like the some of the Yuin range are very high impedance for an earbud.

 

I guess there aren't that many it just seemed a bit of a broad statement, not meaning to criticise.


Headset

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

Couldn't you insert an ohm resistor adapter to deal with the volume control? Then you would have things like the AKG 612 pro, the very cheap Superlux 330, 440 & 660 plus the head set versions of the 660. Beyer also do higher impedance versions of there studio stuff like the DT250 and 150 plus they also do the new T70 & T90, probably a T80 to come. Sennheiser HD26 Pro could be another option. Earbuds like the some of the Yuin range are very high impedance for an earbud.

 

I guess there aren't that many it just seemed a bit of a broad statement, not meaning to criticise.

 

impedance != resistance.  Resistance is impedance at a given sound frequency in this case.  That can vary GREATLY.  You can't just insert a resistor in-line.  There are things called "attenuators" that can work in this way, but they'd be a poor thing to put in FRONT of an amp.  Someone on Head-Fi attenuated his Magni by attaching them to the INPUTS on the amp.  You can't do that with the Essence STX though.  Besides, isn't it sort of silly that you buy a $200 sound card and then have to CUT it's power to make it work with your headphones?

 

But yeah, you are right, I was exaggerating a bit, but my point still stands that there are not many.  Feel free to criticize though, I can take it!


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

@h264 Thank you for the post, it was really informative!

I'm actually thinking of grabbing the ATH-m50s or the ATH-WS99s at the moment, but i am relatively torn between the two, whilst i do like the m50s for vocal music due to it's great balance, i highly prefer the WS99 for it's solid bass when i play games/listen to electronic ochestral music. May i know if my integrated onboard sound is good enough for either of the headphones? (I'm using an Asrock Z77 Extreme4-m)

And also, would grabbing the FiiO E10 with it's "Bass boost" button help the m50s sound closer to a ws99? If yes i might grab an m50 with a FiiO E10, or a WS99 with a FiiO E10 as well if the amp is highly recommended :)

Total audio noob here sorry :P

Link to post
Share on other sites

@h264 Thank you for the post, it was really informative!

I'm actually thinking of grabbing the ATH-m50s or the ATH-WS99s at the moment, but i am relatively torn between the two, whilst i do like the m50s for vocal music due to it's great balance, i highly prefer the WS99 for it's solid bass when i play games/listen to electronic ochestral music. May i know if my integrated onboard sound is good enough for either of the headphones? (I'm using an Asrock Z77 Extreme4-m)

And also, would grabbing the FiiO E10 with it's "Bass boost" button help the m50s sound closer to a ws99? If yes i might grab an m50 with a FiiO E10, or a WS99 with a FiiO E10 as well if the amp is highly recommended :)

Total audio noob here sorry :P

 

They should be fine with on board, because both have low impedance. The bass boost on the E10 is just an equalizer (you can do the same thing via software). The E10 is better in some technical aspects, but whether or not the difference is worth the price is up to the individual. My advice - try your on board for a while before buying the E10.

Link to post
Share on other sites

impedance != resistance.  Resistance is impedance at a given sound frequency in this case.  That can vary GREATLY.  You can't just insert a resistor in-line.  There are things called "attenuators" that can work in this way, but they'd be a poor thing to put in FRONT of an amp.  Someone on Head-Fi attenuated his Magni by attaching them to the INPUTS on the amp.  You can't do that with the Essence STX though.  Besides, isn't it sort of silly that you buy a $200 sound card and then have to CUT it's power to make it work with your headphones?

 

But yeah, you are right, I was exaggerating a bit, but my point still stands that there are not many.  Feel free to criticize though, I can take it!

 

Yes it was an attenuator i meant, i do own a 75 ohm one just in case there isn't enough play in the volume control. I was more thinking of people who already have something like an STX to know what there best options are, be it sell up and buy something else or buy a more more suitable headphone that would meet the specs as you suggest. It is certainly a small list relatively speaking but at least between us we have drawn together the most suitable headphones to these types of sound cards.

 

You clearly know your topic well, i always like to contribute so the information in the FAQ a fair and balanced view.


Headset

Link to post
Share on other sites

Open or Closed headphones? 

  • closed headphones
    • Prevent/reduce noise from and to surrounding environments.
    • Will have have occluding effect... hearing your own voice, heartbeat.. etc.
    • Tend to amplify little movements in cables and things attached to the headphone.  This is especially prominent in in-the-ear types.
    • Typically less ventilation.  Add in the leather/pleather ear cups, and it can get humid.
  • open
    • Low / non occluding effect:
    • More ventilation and less moisture trapping.
    • Very little or no passive cancellation of outside noises but better surrounding awareness
    • More sound emanating to surroundings 

 

Closed headphones can also produce reflection, and resonance.

Open headphones usually have a more open "airy" sound to them, and the sound sounds like it's coming from around you, while closed headphones have a bit more in-you-head sound.

Closed headphones also usually have punchier/boomier bass.


15" MBP TB

Serenity: Intel 4960x | ASUS X79-E WS | ASUS DCUII 770 | Corsair 750D || Blade Server: Intel 3570k | GD65 | Corsair C70 | 13TB

What Drive Should You Get?

Have a question? Please, don't hesitate to ask me over PM or on Twitter @Bladeof_Grass

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

Closed headphones can also produce reflection, and resonance.

Open headphones usually have a more open "airy" sound to them, and the sound sounds like it's coming from around you, while closed headphones have a bit more in-you-head sound.

Closed headphones also usually have punchier/boomier bass.

 

That's usually true, but every headphone is different.  It's why I don't try to make too many generalities about each design type.  One I WOULD make is:

 

Closed is for recording use in a sound booth, Open is for everywhere else.  Both leak sound, just closed much less.  For consumers, obviously a closed headphone keeps them from bothering other people while listening to music, or being AS bothered by others (sound still leaks in of course).  However, both types can produce flat responses if designed right.  So I don't like to knock either design on particularly any point other than it's USE.


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's usually true, but every headphone is different.  It's why I don't try to make too many generalities about each design type.  One I WOULD make is:

 

Closed is for recording use in a sound booth, Open is for everywhere else.  Both leak sound, just closed much less.  For consumers, obviously a closed headphone keeps them from bothering other people while listening to music, or being AS bothered by others (sound still leaks in of course).  However, both types can produce flat responses if designed right.  So I don't like to knock either design on particularly any point other than it's USE.

True, but then you might as well not post any details except general uses for each. Because all the statements we make about this stuff is generalized. We can't specifically talk about every headphone, but we can say that generally, these headphones have this and that, while these have that and this.

Open or Closed headphones? 

  • closed headphones
    • Prevent/reduce noise from and to surrounding environments.
    • Will have have occluding effect... hearing your own voice, heartbeat.. etc.
    • Tend to amplify little movements in cables and things attached to the headphone.  This is especially prominent in in-the-ear types.
    • Typically less ventilation.  Add in the leather/pleather ear cups, and it can get humid.
  • open
    • Low / non occluding effect:
    • More ventilation and less moisture trapping.
    • Very little or no passive cancellation of outside noises but better surrounding awareness
    • More sound emanating to surroundings 

All these things stated above are generalizations. You can have closed headphones that have low occluding effect, and you can have nice and dry closed cans. 

 

We have to make our statements based off of generalization, we have no other option.


15" MBP TB

Serenity: Intel 4960x | ASUS X79-E WS | ASUS DCUII 770 | Corsair 750D || Blade Server: Intel 3570k | GD65 | Corsair C70 | 13TB

What Drive Should You Get?

Have a question? Please, don't hesitate to ask me over PM or on Twitter @Bladeof_Grass

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

True, but then you might as well not post any details except general uses for each. Because all the statements we make about this stuff is generalized. We can't specifically talk about every headphone, but we can say that generally, these headphones have this and that, while these have that and this.

All these things stated above are generalizations. You can have closed headphones that have low occluding effect, and you can have nice and dry closed cans. 

 

We have to make our statements based off of generalization, we have no other option.

 

Yeah, sure.  I understand.  I'll add it if everyone agrees and we can state that above the list.

 

EDIT: Also, is that enough spoilers, or should I do every question?


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you should spoiler the questions as well.

 

Edit: Now that I can see the formatting, I think my section on surround via S/PDIF should be moved to the DAC area instead of being under headphones. Aint no S/PDIF playin' speakers that i know of :P

 

Edit2: and the digital connectors under amps to being under DACs

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

I think you should spoiler the questions as well.

 

Edit: Now that I can see the formatting, I think my section on surround via S/PDIF should be moved to the DAC area instead of being under headphones. Aint no S/PDIF playin' speakers that i know of :P

 

Edit2: and the digital connectors under amps to being under DACs

 

k


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just realized we don't have anything on speakers...

Timber:
 

Timbre is character imposed upon the sound by a speakers imperfections. Really good speakers have little character, a perfect speaker would have none. 

Timbre has a number of sources, misbehavior of driver cones is a big item. This is especially true of cone break up modes. Different materials break up in different ways. Character imposed by different material has to be dealt with by appropriate crossover points, slopes and notch filters. In many instances this is not done properly and hence character or timbre rear its ugly head. Crossover errors are another potent source of problems. Even when done correctly lobing errors between fronts and mains can be a big source of discontinuity in the front sound stage. Finally we have the problems that cabinet resonances imparting coloration or character the sound.

So yes, it is these errors that give rise to the benign word of timbre, but any way you slice it, any sonic footprint of a speaker is an error. Speakers are still far inferior to the rest of the equipment in our systems.

Via: TLS Guy on audioholics.com forums

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

Just realized we don't have anything on speakers...

Timber:

 

Via: TLS Guy on audioholics.com forums

 

Well, yes, speakers have many imperfections.  Not as many as the room you listen to them in.  I'd imagine if you set up your living room like a recording booth, this might matter a lot more.  The wife would be PISSED though.  I'd rather not delve into every bitty detail of audio just the ones that a forum user might be able to do something about.


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, yes, speakers have many imperfections. Not as many as the room you listen to them in. I'd imagine if you set up your living room like a recording booth, this might matter a lot more. The wife would be PISSED though. I'd rather not delve into every bitty detail of audio just the ones that a forum user might be able to do something about.

Yeah, I agree. Room treatment is much more important than the speakers themselves. (when doing critical work)

15" MBP TB

Serenity: Intel 4960x | ASUS X79-E WS | ASUS DCUII 770 | Corsair 750D || Blade Server: Intel 3570k | GD65 | Corsair C70 | 13TB

What Drive Should You Get?

Have a question? Please, don't hesitate to ask me over PM or on Twitter @Bladeof_Grass

Link to post
Share on other sites

 I'd rather not delve into every bitty detail of audio just the ones that a forum user might be able to do something about.

 

Fine. -_-

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, this topic has been dead for a few days.


15" MBP TB

Serenity: Intel 4960x | ASUS X79-E WS | ASUS DCUII 770 | Corsair 750D || Blade Server: Intel 3570k | GD65 | Corsair C70 | 13TB

What Drive Should You Get?

Have a question? Please, don't hesitate to ask me over PM or on Twitter @Bladeof_Grass

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

That's how it is when no one's got something to add.

 

Oh, I have plenty of things to add:

 

EDIT: headphone and amp review links fixed!


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted · Original PosterOP

Should we make a short list of headphones in various price ranges?

 

Sure, how about an image. People hate reading text, they like teh pretty pictars.


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×