Showing 1 of 7725 conversations about:
View Full Discussion
I have both the HD 6XX and the HE4XX coming after my Audio-Technica 700x's finally bit the dust. I have an old Asus Essence STX sound card in my PC. I am wondering if I need to go to an external DAC / Amp with these new cans. I don't want to abandon the Essence STX just for the sake of doing it, so I am needing input as to what would be an upgrade to make a demonstrable difference in quality of sound. The specs on the Asus Essence STX are:
Output Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted): 124dB for Front-out,117dB for Headphone-out (600ohms) dB
Input Signal-to-Noise Ratio (A-Weighted): 118 dB
Output THD+N at 1kHz: 0.0003% (-110dB) for Front-out, 0.001% (-100dB) for Headphone-out
Input THD+N at 1kHz: 0.0002% (-113dB) for Line-in
Frequency Response (-3dB, 24-bit/192kHz input): <10Hz to 90KHz
Output/Input Full-Scale Voltage: 2 Vrms (5.65 Vp-p)
Audio Processor: ASUS AV100 High-Definition Sound Processor (Max. 192KHz/24bit)
24-bit D-A Converter of Digital Sources: Texas Instruments PCM1792A*1 for Front-Out (127dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24bit)
24-bit A-D Converter for Analog Inputs: Cirrus-Logic CS5381* 1 (120dB SNR, Max. 192kHz/24bit)
High Fidelity Headphone Amplifier: Texas Instruments 6120A2*1 (120dB SNR, 100dB THD+N @ Vcc±12V, RL=600Ω, f=1kHz) - or about 1.5 watts max output
Analog Playback Sample Rate and Resolution: 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit
Analog Recording Sample Rate and Resolution: 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit
S/PDIF Digital Output: 44.1K/48K/96K/192KHz @ 16/24bit, Dolby Digital
Op-Amps: Upgraded, but been so long I don't remember what I wound up sticking with!
Thanks in advance for your help.
Got the HD 6XX's today. Only a couple of hours of use, but so far the Essence STX seems to be driving them pretty well. Nothing to compare it to, though. I do like the sound from these headphones so far, easy on the ears, but still bringing out detail. The bass is better than I anticipated from comments. I am still wondering if there is untapped potential there if I used an external amp, maybe even using the Essence STX as a DAC?
BTW, I have the card set to "Extra High Gain for 300~600 Ohms Headsets" and volume at 42%, and adjusting actual volume within software apps for minor variations in track volumes.
Headphone amp chips used in this soundcard is actually pretty good if specs mentioned above is correct. It can easily power hd6xx. It is very good idea to set windows volume to 100%, reason being that digital volume control effectively lower signal to noise ratio. lower level of signal on the Dac output will require more amplication which increase THD and noise level all together.
Thanks for the suggestion, I'll give it a go. I am still debating with myself on the external DAC and Amp. Volume is no problem with the Essence STX, it will drive these headphones far louder than I would want to listen to. Mainly wondering if it would bring out the best in the headphones potential. Still waiting on the HE4XX's, but in the mean time really like the HD 6XX.
I have been researching the Amp options, such as the SMSL SP200 THX, the DROP + THX AAA™ 789 LINEAR AMPLIFIER, Monoprice Monolith THX 887, JDS Labs Atom, and the Geshelli Labs ARCHEL2 PRO AMP. The DAC options are just about as broad. At least I'm becoming a bit more educated on the topic!