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I love my Samsung S8's powerful audio. The EQ is flat and am using adapt sound. My Sennheiser HD 518s sounds clear and has a soft kick.

Connecting it to my gaming rig, It sounds underwhelming but loud enough. I want more bass and fullness, not necessarily volume. The EQ has some curves to help a little, but my phone handles much better.

 

I'm an average Joe with 100 to spend. What specific device could improve the audio? I game primarily.

 

Specs

R5 2600 CPU

Powerful GPU

Asrock Steel Legend b450m motherboard

Headphones= Sennheiser HD 518 and V Moda LP2 limited edition

Windows 10 latest drivers.

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The beasiest and biggest upgrade you can make is upgrading the headphones themselves. In Thai case it just sounds like your motherboard audio is a bit weak. You can add a $100 amp to that or get a usb amp/dac to power the headphones cheapest I would go if your mobo has a usb out is the $10 isbc apple audio dongle up to something like a fiio k3

***FEEL FREE TO DM ME QUESTIONS ABOUT MY GEAR IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS OR JUST CURIOUS***

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Desktop audio gear: topping d10 ---> Liquid spark DAC---> monolith Cavelli Liquid Spark---> Beyerdynamic dt 990 , Sennheiser Hd 58x, Hifiman HE4xx, AKG k240, AKG k52

Speaker Setup: Topping PA3--->Micca RB42

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A dac/amp is a great starting point or could even be end game depending on your needs.  On board audio has a few flaws, mainly underpowered, noisy and cross talk with your mic due to a shared ground.  Moving outside of the PC and adding power can be a big improvement if you use toslink or optical as it's also called.  At $100 you're a bit limited, typically a dac and amp together run's about $200 ($100 each) but there are some options close to your budget.  The topping MX3 is one solution and it kind of does everything.  I got this for my friend who is blind and it served him well until the usb input died after a few years.  Still it's enough to power your 50 ohm can's and will give you the oomf you're looking for.  Typically 32ohm is all you can expect onboard to push.  I remember hearing about another contender for the $100 range dac/amp but I'll have to look into what it was.

 

This site, apos audio is rather respectable.  They drop ship from china but are based in the united states incase you need to return or rma.  They price match and are rather easy going from what I hear.  I like the idea of giving my business to not only a non-amazon company but also one that specializes in audio.

 

TOPPING MX3 Built-in Bluetooth Receiver DAC Headphone Amp Digital Ampl – Apos Audio

 

here is another option, haven't heard much about it or have any first hand experience but SMSL is a solid company and fit's your price range

SMSL Q5 Pro DAC/Amp – Apos Audio

 

Also the guys over at the zreviews patreon recommend the zen dac

 

 

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On 11/27/2020 at 9:06 PM, Psittac said:

A dac/amp is a great starting point or could even be end game depending on your needs.  On board audio has a few flaws, mainly underpowered, noisy and cross talk with your mic due to a shared ground.  Moving outside of the PC and adding power can be a big improvement if you use toslink or optical as it's also called.  At $100 you're a bit limited, typically a dac and amp together run's about $200 ($100 each) but there are some options close to your budget.  The topping MX3 is one solution and it kind of does everything.  I got this for my friend who is blind and it served him well until the usb input died after a few years.  Still it's enough to power your 50 ohm can's and will give you the oomf you're looking for.  Typically 32ohm is all you can expect onboard to push.  I remember hearing about another contender for the $100 range dac/amp but I'll have to look into what it was.

 

This site, apos audio is rather respectable.  They drop ship from china but are based in the united states incase you need to return or rma.  They price match and are rather easy going from what I hear.  I like the idea of giving my business to not only a non-amazon company but also one that specializes in audio.

 

TOPPING MX3 Built-in Bluetooth Receiver DAC Headphone Amp Digital Ampl – Apos Audio

 

here is another option, haven't heard much about it or have any first hand experience but SMSL is a solid company and fit's your price range

SMSL Q5 Pro DAC/Amp – Apos Audio

 

Also the guys over at the zreviews patreon recommend the zen dac

 

Thank you guys for your advice. I do not have interference coming from my onboard audio. It's just sounds like I'm playing from a Zune. I am considering the K3. My headphones are not high end, but I am too simple to tell the difference above the quality of 120 dollar headphones. I just want to feel the game with my ears. Both of you were helpful.

On 11/27/2020 at 9:06 PM, Psittac said:

 

 

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On 11/27/2020 at 9:06 PM, Psittac said:

A dac/amp is a great starting point or could even be end game depending on your needs.  On board audio has a few flaws, mainly underpowered, noisy and cross talk with your mic due to a shared ground.  Moving outside of the PC and adding power can be a big improvement if you use toslink or optical as it's also called.  At $100 you're a bit limited, typically a dac and amp together run's about $200 ($100 each) but there are some options close to your budget.  The topping MX3 is one solution and it kind of does everything.  I got this for my friend who is blind and it served him well until the usb input died after a few years.  Still it's enough to power your 50 ohm can's and will give you the oomf you're looking for.  Typically 32ohm is all you can expect onboard to push.  I remember hearing about another contender for the $100 range dac/amp but I'll have to look into what it was.

 

This site, apos audio is rather respectable.  They drop ship from china but are based in the united states incase you need to return or rma.  They price match and are rather easy going from what I hear.  I like the idea of giving my business to not only a non-amazon company but also one that specializes in audio.

 

TOPPING MX3 Built-in Bluetooth Receiver DAC Headphone Amp Digital Ampl – Apos Audio

 

here is another option, haven't heard much about it or have any first hand experience but SMSL is a solid company and fit's your price range

SMSL Q5 Pro DAC/Amp – Apos Audio

 

Also the guys over at the zreviews patreon recommend the zen dac

 

 

I have an old Pioneer 100w Reciever connected to my speaker with a headphone port. Could I connect a dedicated DAC to it? The reciever has some noise coming through.

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48 minutes ago, MADMINK said:

I have an old Pioneer 100w Reciever connected to my speaker with a headphone port. Could I connect a dedicated DAC to it? The reciever has some noise coming through.

You can maybe do one better, most receivers have a digital input on them whether that be toslink or HDMI. If you're does you might have just saved yourself the trouble, otherwise, if the noise is from the receiver itself a DAC won't help at all.

Sloth's the name, audio gear is the game
My Microphone and Interface tips and recommendations

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47 minutes ago, The Flying Sloth said:

You can maybe do one better, most receivers have a digital input on them whether that be toslink or HDMI. If you're does you might have just saved yourself the trouble, otherwise, if the noise is from the receiver itself a DAC won't help at all.

The noise is from my reciever. It's a vsx d466s. But its connected through my monitor's audio port through Displayport

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30 minutes ago, MADMINK said:

The noise is from my reciever. It's a vsx d466s. But its connected through my monitor's audio port through Displayport

I connected my Reciever to the mobo directly. Hissing persists. Might be my adapter cable as it is a very cheap cable from Walmart. I probable will go for the K3 since my HD 518s are easier to drive. When I connect them to the reciever, the sound is deeper and sharper, but I can hear a small hiss. Also, my speakers and headphones play simultaneously. It won't work.

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9 hours ago, MADMINK said:

I have an old Pioneer 100w Reciever connected to my speaker with a headphone port. Could I connect a dedicated DAC to it? The reciever has some noise coming through.

There is no reason to get a dac given your situation as @The Flying Sloth said.  The noise is within your receiver or perhaps your connection method.  This is beyond my knowing but I do know that grounds and power sources sharing them can cause a noise floor. It is commonly held knowledge within the circles that I seek information from, that home theater receivers have a noise floor.  It's because they are taking signals and amping them up for speakers not headphones, the headphone jack simply reduces the power output for your headphones.  There is nothing wrong with that if you can deal with the noise floor.  Myself I find that noise floor is a rabbit hole, to the point that tests can show that my room situation is to blame.  Again it's a rabbit hole.  If you can accept the problem with turning up the volume then there is no problem.  I would say at the very least getting a 3.5mm to RCA adapter from your PC to your receiver is where you should start.  It's cheap and to be honest is part of the journey.  HiFi is ALL ABOUT the journey.  You can end up with the price of your house into your system and it just sounds ordinary to yourself until you try to listen to something subpar.  My point being that you should appreciate what you have until you have the means to improve it.  Do that several times and you might find your golden spot far before one would spend thousands.  But you still had an adventure.

 

What I'm trying to say is experiment with your setup and see what works and what doesn't, if it's a cheap solution the more power to you.  I am listening to a $30 pair of headphones right now trying to discern it's strong and weak points.

 

I would suggest this before trying ANYTHING else

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On 12/2/2020 at 12:48 AM, Psittac said:

There is no reason to get a dac given your situation as @The Flying Sloth said.  The noise is within your receiver or perhaps your connection method.  This is beyond my knowing but I do know that grounds and power sources sharing them can cause a noise floor. It is commonly held knowledge within the circles that I seek information from, that home theater receivers have a noise floor.  It's because they are taking signals and amping them up for speakers not headphones, the headphone jack simply reduces the power output for your headphones.  There is nothing wrong with that if you can deal with the noise floor.  Myself I find that noise floor is a rabbit hole, to the point that tests can show that my room situation is to blame.  Again it's a rabbit hole.  If you can accept the problem with turning up the volume then there is no problem.  I would say at the very least getting a 3.5mm to RCA adapter from your PC to your receiver is where you should start.  It's cheap and to be honest is part of the journey.  HiFi is ALL ABOUT the journey.  You can end up with the price of your house into your system and it just sounds ordinary to yourself until you try to listen to something subpar.  My point being that you should appreciate what you have until you have the means to improve it.  Do that several times and you might find your golden spot far before one would spend thousands.  But you still had an adventure.

 

What I'm trying to say is experiment with your setup and see what works and what doesn't, if it's a cheap solution the more power to you.  I am listening to a $30 pair of headphones right now trying to discern it's strong and weak points.

 

I would suggest this before trying ANYTHING else

I changed from my rear audio to front panel. It's much louder. In my audio settings, my max setting is 24 bit 192000khz. Does this mean I won't be able to discern between 192 kbps and 256 kbps audio? Also, my phone has an app called power amp which allows greater customization than my realtek audio software plus the phone has adapt sound 6.0. 

My motherboard is the Steel legend b450m with realtek alc892 audio chip.

 

I'm wondering if a dac would not improve much if my onboard audio has limited resolution. My pc can play loud enough and no interference is audible.

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