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DAC Recommendations for Sennheiser Game Zeros

WolfireSounds
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I am choosing a DAC for my headphones because my onboard audio doesn't sound very good at the moment. I would want the DAC to be under $80. There has to be a place to plug in the microphone too on the DAC. I've read about a few of the Creative Labs Sound blaster ones, but they seem to have an issue where the microphone randomly stops working.

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Really limited in choice, it's a tough price bracket for a decent DAC/AMP combo unit (You'll need an DAC/AMP unit to use your headphones).
Only ones that come to mind are are:

FiiO E10K  -  $75 USD  (Pretty much the go-to budget/entry level AMP/DAC combo unit)
Schiit Fulla  -  $99 USD (Alright unit but seems to be beaten by the FiiO and has some quality problems: Link 1 : Link 2 )

I'd personally go with the FiiO, Schiit makes some solid stuff but really only in the mid-high end category and even then there are usually better alternatives.

As a sidenote in the future I'd recommend getting a ModMic to use with a pair of headphones rather than a 'gaming' marketed headset. You could have paired a ModMic at ~$50 with Sennheiser HD558s or even HD598s or DT990s if you got them on a sale for the same price as what you likely paid for the "Sennheiser Game Zero". You'd have ended up with a slightly better pair of headphones and a likely far superior microphone.

- Personal Rig -

i7-4770K / 32GB Corsair DDR3-1600 Dominator Platinum / EVGA RTX 2070 XC Ultra
Gigabyte G1. Sniper 5 / Noctua NH-D15 ThermalTake X71 / EVGA G2 750W / 500GB SSD [RAID 0]


- Desktop Audio Equipment -
ADAM Audio F7's | Cambridge Audio DAC Magic+ w/ Balanced XLR
- Budget Home Theatre Equipment -

Polk RTiA7's | Velodyne DPS-12 | Polk CSi30 Denon AVR-X3500H

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8 hours ago, KnightSirius said:

Really limited in choice, it's a tough price bracket for a decent DAC/AMP combo unit (You'll need an DAC/AMP unit to use your headphones).
Only ones that come to mind are are:

FiiO E10K  -  $75 USD  (Pretty much the go-to budget/entry level AMP/DAC combo unit)
Schiit Fulla  -  $99 USD (Alright unit but seems to be beaten by the FiiO and has some quality problems: Link 1 : Link 2 )

I'd personally go with the FiiO, Schiit makes some solid stuff but really only in the mid-high end category and even then there are usually better alternatives.

As a sidenote in the future I'd recommend getting a ModMic to use with a pair of headphones rather than a 'gaming' marketed headset. You could have paired a ModMic at ~$50 with Sennheiser HD558s or even HD598s or DT990s if you got them on a sale for the same price as what you likely paid for the "Sennheiser Game Zero". You'd have ended up with a slightly better pair of headphones and a likely far superior microphone.

Okay, I can still return the Game Zeros and get headphones with a modmic. I prefer closed back headphones rather than open back because I live in a noisy environment and like would to hear minimal background noise. Is there any closed back you can recommend for about $100? Something that would be good for listening to music for. I have a little bit of extra money and can afford a modmic 5 for $70 on amazon to attach to the headphones. But If I get the microphone, would I be able to just connect the headphones to the DAC and then connect the mic to my front 3.5mm microphone jack?

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3 hours ago, WolfireSounds said:

Okay, I can still return the Game Zeros and get headphones with a modmic. I prefer closed back headphones rather than open back because I live in a noisy environment and like would to hear minimal background noise. Is there any closed back you can recommend for about $100? Something that would be good for listening to music for. I have a little bit of extra money and can afford a modmic 5 for $70 on amazon to attach to the headphones. But If I get the microphone, would I be able to just connect the headphones to the DAC and then connect the mic to my front 3.5mm microphone jack?

I think I'll have to rescind my statement, at least for this price point. While my assumption was right that yeah you CAN get better headphones at this price point if you pair a ModMic with them this is mainly due to open designs being better. So in addition to the budget limit, requiring closed back changes things. I think you made a good choice on the Zeros with that in mind so I'd stick with them!

You can always upgrade later too if you're finally able to get open-back if the noise situation changes, especially if you get the FiiO unit as that will run pretty much any headphone you can throw at it with few exceptions (HD800s probably won't sound great on it).

- Personal Rig -

i7-4770K / 32GB Corsair DDR3-1600 Dominator Platinum / EVGA RTX 2070 XC Ultra
Gigabyte G1. Sniper 5 / Noctua NH-D15 ThermalTake X71 / EVGA G2 750W / 500GB SSD [RAID 0]


- Desktop Audio Equipment -
ADAM Audio F7's | Cambridge Audio DAC Magic+ w/ Balanced XLR
- Budget Home Theatre Equipment -

Polk RTiA7's | Velodyne DPS-12 | Polk CSi30 Denon AVR-X3500H

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Also the mic on the game series from Sennheiser is really good, I used their PC360 for ages and the mic was top notch for gaming.

I now have mod mic and it is great as well, but my friends comment on no real noticeable difference in quality.

CPU Intel i7 8700K @5Ghz Motherboard ROG Maximus Hero 10 RAM Corsair Vengeance 32GB 3600MHz 

GPU MSI Gaming X 1080ti Case Thermaltake Core P3  Storage SSD Boot plus Samsung 960 Evo M.2 nvme storage 

PSU Corsair RM750W Gold Display Asus ROG Strix XG32VQ 144Hz 1440p Cooling Corsair H100i V2 

Keyboard Roccat Ryos MK FX Mouse Roccat Kone Aimo Audio MK3 Fostex T50RP + Schiit Magni 3 AMP and Modi 2 DAC 
Operating System Win 10

VR HTC Vive, Audio Strap Motion Platform DOF Reality 2 DOF

 

 

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