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Will I need an amp to run this off of my desktop PC? All I have is a Xonar DG soundcard.
My reply, reposted from head-fi for posterity:
You won't have any volume issues, however they won't sound their best without an amp. I ran mine off my sound card for a while and thought they sounded fine. Then I got an amp and I realized that I wasn't hearing them the way they were meant to be heard.
Just remember that when people talk about how good these cans sound, they're assuming you're using an appropriate amp. Without the amp, you may find yourself wondering what all the hubbub is about.
They are very unefficient so you gonna need a great amp
Your soundcard will drive it well, I guess.
No it won't. It will sound thin and harsh, especially with low quality recordings / streaming.
Even the Xonar STX is no good for these cans.
Get yourself a decent external dac+amp , like the Schiit Magni+Modi or the O2+ODAC .
Or get a different headphone that doesn't require proper amplification or a good dac.
I find the ODAC to be quite harsh which I would say wouldn't sound great with any headphones that are already harsh
I disagree, running my k712 off my phone vs. a nice amp has a pretty similar sound to me. not the same obviously but close enough where I wouldn't get an amp if I weren't an audiophile
712 are the new model, direct successor to the 700 line.
For almost double the price, they are easier to drive and less picky with amps. they also have more bass.
the T1s sounds very good. However, comparing to Q701 when plugging into my laptop directly, the T1 got destroyed. Q701 is also pretty good with my ipad.
I agree. odac can sound a bit too dry and analytical when paired with the wrong amp. but the o2 compliments it well, and will not sound harsh or too bright with the q701.
if you want a smoother, warmer presentation - get a standalone o2 with the schiit modi .
I owned all 3 myself in the past (ODAC + O2 + Q701 combo). The O2 is very neutral and doesn't color the sound at all but also suffers (a teensy bit) in the soundstage department.
The ODAC was definitely causing more harshness.
Using the same setup but with HD800s I found that overall the sound improved a lot just by upgrading the DAC to a Cypher Labs Algorhythm Solo (highs were no longer harsh but euphoric and sweet, better soundstaging and bass response).
Though at the same time the ODAC is quite the budget dac, I just don't think it's the right pairing for any headphones already touted as harsh or analytical.
So as you mentioned, get a Schiit dac for a similar price (you just won't get the combo ODAC+o2 ina box)