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232 posts

Master Geek


Topic # 110368 8-Oct-2012 13:17 Send private message

I have a ASUS Xonar Essence ST Virtual 7.1 in my computer:
http://www.asus.co.nz/Multimedia/Audio_Cards/Xonar_Essence_ST/#specifications

Was wondering if people could make recommendations for good headphones that will do this card justice, as well as a speaker system?

I love music, and listen to a variety of genres. I also game and watch movies on my comp, and want speakers and headphones that are going to do true justice. Yes the sound is only as good as the source material, but I want to ensure my set up is atleast optimised as it can be.

I've had Steelseries Sibera V2s recommended to me for the headphones but I'm concerned about the bass and general quality of the sound. Everything else about this headphone is amazing (comfort is a big plus, ditto with the microphone) but yeah, sound is the first priority.

Also had the Logitech Z553 Speaker System recommended to me. To be honest, I'm not impressed.

So any help/advice would be appreciated.




Zeb A.
Personal site: http://ixari.net
Twitter: @asgard

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  Reply # 697845 8-Oct-2012 13:31 Send private message

Are you looking for surround sound? Or are you more interested in 2-channel listening.
Give us a budget and we should be able to help, as the computer speakers you've listed are quite a way down on the list pricewise...
I personally use a USB DAC, that then feeds directly into a 2-channel amp, then out to some large floor standers.
But there are LOADS other other options you can head in order to achieve great sound.
Oh yeah, are you planning to use the headphone port on your computer to run your headphones? If so, do consider an off-board headphone amp.

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  Reply # 697900 8-Oct-2012 14:49 Send private message

The Audio Technica ATH-AD700 are generally regarded one of the the best bang for buck headsets for gamers, open with wide sound stage so good for music/movies too. Importantly very comfortable for long usage!

Computer Lounge have them:
http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=16112

Reviews: 
http://www.head-fi.org/products/audio-technica-ath-ad700/reviews

Modmic is good if you want to add a mic, generally standalone headset + mic > all in one's like Sibera/Logitech or Sennhesiers all in ones.
http://www.modmic.com

Zalman clip on mic used to be another (cheaper) option, not sure if you can still get them.

For speakers I recently got a the M-Audio AV40 and I'm pretty pleased with the price/performance:
http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=9379

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  Reply # 697904 8-Oct-2012 14:52 Send private message

Dunnersfella: 
Oh yeah, are you planning to use the headphone port on your computer to run your headphones? If so, do consider an off-board headphone amp.


Her Asus Xonar ST has a built in headphone amp I think, meant to be semi decent.

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  Reply # 697907 8-Oct-2012 15:00 Send private message

you have to decide whether to go open or closed

the ath mentioned above is open - which means - you can hear everything including the fridge and more importantly everybody can hear medium-high pitched noise nearly as loud as you are hearing it

if you go closed the issue is your sound feels enclosed, ie soundstage not as wide as open ones but the overriding factor should be whether you want to just about hear your CPU fan buzzing behind your sound and if there are no others in the vicinity ... if yes to both get open if not get closed




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  Reply # 697908 8-Oct-2012 15:01 Send private message

Ragnor: The Audio Technica ATH-AD700 are generally regarded one of the the best bang for buck headsets for gamers, open with wide sound stage.
http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentview.asp?partid=16112
I've had a set of ATH-A700X's and found the 'wing' style head band system irritating. I would advise that if you want to pick these up that you go and find a pair in store and try and watch/listen to something for half an hour or so. The uneven pressure really began to bug me. They sounded wonderful, but yeah, uncomfortable after a long session. I currently have a pair of AKG K242HD (cheaper than the ATH's) and their conventional head band is much more comfortable and they sound as good, if not better. 

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  Reply # 697909 8-Oct-2012 15:05 Send private message

I've recently bought the Logitech z623's and they are pretty awesome.  $166 from Playtech if I remember correctly. 

Otherwise I have set of Sennheiser 555HD's for sale if you want them.  They have excellent quality sound (open) and are in great condition.  $75 if you want them (paid $250 I think).  I have changed to a logitech gaming headset, bit of a downgrade really, so i could have a good mic.

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  Reply # 697922 8-Oct-2012 15:13 Send private message

what's your budget?

what do you want to listen to?

if movies then get denon d2000 - it will rumble your soul with the deeper than deep bass than any other within a barge pole of its price ... oh its price ... err US300 upwards




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  Reply # 697926 8-Oct-2012 15:16 Send private message

open senns are quite hard to drive - not sure if even your soundcard can manage ... but the HD600 is probably most neutral in sound production, almost boring ... but if accuracy is what you want ...

yeah tell us what you want to listen to




Apologies for poor typing standards when on Samsung S4 [swype's fault]/iPad 2 Wifi[too slow to use!]



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Master Geek


  Reply # 698849 10-Oct-2012 07:50 Send private message

Hi guys apologies for the delayed response and thank YOU for the responses :)

Closed.
Budget to spend on each $300 + or -
Yes 2.1

As far as what I listen to... music, movies, Youtube, games you name it.

I want headphones and a speaker system for obvious reasons. Headphones when I don't want to disturb people in the house, speakers when I want to move around and am not worried about disturbing people :)

I think I am sold on the Corsair Gaming Audio Series SP2500
http://www.playtech.co.nz/afawcs0139235/CATID=293/ID=17458/SID=324107364/productdetails.html
But the size of that subwoofer makes me wonder where the heck I'd place it.




Zeb A.
Personal site: http://ixari.net
Twitter: @asgard

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  Reply # 699283 10-Oct-2012 19:14 Send private message

have you searched any review on the speaker system? i'll see if i can find some information on how good they are later ...

in general an awesome pair of headphones will surpass any speaker-amp system within 5-10X of its price ...

not trying to put you off, but i've been a hifi-file for most of my life and can't believe how much detail i've missed out on when listening with my senn HD600 - almost EVERY movie/show/youtube clip/mp3/flac song has stuff i never realised existed :)

have you considered 1 open and 1 closed phones?

(sorry being devil's advocate)




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  Reply # 699330 10-Oct-2012 21:18 Send private message

I have these Closed Back Audio-Technica ATH-M50 headphones:

http://www.computerlounge.co.nz/components/componentlist.asp?parttypeid=530&t=20

Mine are Black, but hey ... each to their own.

Having been an audiophile since the beginning of time, I appreciate the way they keep all the extraneous noises out and let me enjoy the music in splendid isolation from my surroundings.  And the bass performance is awesome!





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  Reply # 699448 11-Oct-2012 08:01 Send private message

the ath 50 or 50s are extremely bass heavy but has a muddled midrange (missing or warped detail of other sounds)

of course one man's meat is another's poison - so if you like your skull to be shaken to its soul and don't care about detail get this one

otherwise all under $500 (and even up to $1000) closed cans are referenced to the detail and balance of the denon ah-d2000 but the problem with this can is it has stopped being manufactured hence the price has gone up! *sigh

again, please bear in mind the ears of an audiophile who wants detail and accuracy vs your average teen on the subway who likes thunder and lightning who will not go anywhere near anything that has no skull effects




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  Reply # 699452 11-Oct-2012 08:05 Send private message

having said that the 50s is only US130 on amazon




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  Reply # 699453 11-Oct-2012 08:05 Send private message

the 50 is USD120




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  Reply # 699457 11-Oct-2012 08:10 Send private message

Philips Headphones are good stuff - the new ones sound really nice (and come with mic if you want to use on a smartphone as well).

The best sound I've experienced is the RHA SA-850. Brilliant and clear, from a small, beautiful headphone...







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