Fulla 3 from Schiit vs SoundblasterX G6 from Creative for DT990 Pro 250 Ohm
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Hello, I am very new to the audiophile community, just started my research on DAC’s and Amp’s and what the best audiophile headphones are for my case. I have my mind set on the DT 990 Pro 250ohm. But I can’t decide on a Schiit Fulla 3 or a Creative SoundblasterX G6. If it helps, I am looking to use these for gaming on my PC and PlayStation. I am thinking maybe the fulla 3 because it has a mic input, and I’m looking at getting a modmic Uni for PlayStation parties. But, if the G6 out preforms the Fulla, I can easily just get a ModMic usb and plug it into the back of my PlayStation. Anyways, any help is greatly appreciated.
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Whitedragem
163
Nov 23, 2020
Sounds like you are leaning towards the G6. (Whilst I have strong opinions on this, and have owned MANY soundblaster parts, I would certainly go down a very different pathway if you were considering 250 Ohm headphones) For now, and accepting you are new to this as a hobby, I would highly suggest aiming for headphones around the 32ohm mark and less than 80 ohm variants of ‘Pro’ headphones as numbers to hit. With ‘low ohm’ numbers the headphones will have MUCH BETTER CONTROL from low powered sources, and might be able to run from the playstation controller better, or certainly small portable (cheaper) DAC/amps. (what you read about ‘high numbered ohms (eg 250-600)’ sounding better than their low ohm equivalents is due to having high amplifier power on tap and the better driver control that they then generally deliver.) Think of sub ‘100’ numbers as being usable from battery powered devices, and that is a pretty safe ‘rule of thumb’ to guide you in case the purchase happens quickly and you cannot get feedback from the community at large that might help your decision. That being said, the large open back headphones do have an awesome soundfield. Helpful for Dolby Headphone and ‘’headphone surround’ gaming solutions. I bought a Creative E5 as a general purpose toy (mostly as a cheap DAC/amp for my daughter to drive some Sennheiser Momentum On ears), and I will not deny, I ended up using that part daily in so many different ways. (best use was line out into the car ‘aux in’ and it proved a massive soundfield/sound quality upgrade to the Alpine headdeck which wasn’t a cheap or entry level part itself..) The Schiit part you refer to, or the concept of 2 channel seperates will certainly drive home /studio style headphones better than ‘mass market’ built for gamers parts. Creative do have a few ‘higher end parts’ and a great marketing department and ‘lots of cool software’ features. They might not pay licensing costs for Dolby Headphone Surround etc, and that would be what I would be looking for in a part to render headphone gaming sound. That being said,.. the PS5 will do the 2 channel encode (encoding HRTFs into a 2channel stream that simulates perfect surround placement) and you will just want a straight DAC out for that (or use the headphone jack on the PS5 controller). The chips inside the PS5 controller are not bad (might be GOOD ENOUGH), the chips inside the PS4 v2 controller (light bar viewable from above) is an upgrade over the sound output from the version 1, as many reviewers have said, and my daughter has confirmed. I used to give Turtle beach dolby headphone adaptors to friends (whenever I saw the parts in a clearance bin), but many of the dolby headphone products are going to require Toslink/fibre optic digital out (the ps4 pro has that as did the original PS4, but the slim line and the PS5 do not). For USB audio out, the PS4 supports older USB methods (class 1 usb audio devices) natively, but rejects many newer parts. Sony have been known to swap the channels (L=>R) to enforce buying official, so it is hard to state what home audio USB DACs are going to work best. Some options then become using the HDMI to feed to the TV (HDMI is horrible for digital audio (massive jitter in most instances), and then using the TV to digital output into your decoder box of choice. Some TVs will allow restreaming their audio as bluetooth.. lots of options open up depending on your present equipment and ultimate plans.... For myself, preparing for PS5, and only using non HDMI methods, I have been in thinking about ‘solutions’. Presently I am going with “a cambridge DAC MAGIC (allows switching between USB audio classes and guarantees working with Switch/Playstation etc), using it as a USB reclocker and switch box to feed into other devices ; eg the home receiver (Toslink)/better DAC (using coax or fibreoptic) etc. A cheap (read second hand) DAC Magic Plus might serve your needs for a headphone amp for those 250 ohm cans, and give you the option to run various things.. of course NONE of this factors in your need for the microphone. There are a lot of options from the mic on the playstation camera/peripherals etc,.. but you are right in making sure that you get that mic sorted, which sadly, much ‘home hifi’ will not allow, simply being focused on DAC/2 channel audio. For the record the Creative E5 blew me away with its relatively quiet noise floor and sound capabilities in general, but I never expected anything majorly from it. Whether you have the ears to recognise the differences from one DAC to another (generally requires training, either learning an instrument or hours of listening to tests/analytical tracks etc), probably not worth worrying about. For the quality of the headphones you are considering, a better home audio DAC/amp will generally deliver better sounds than a creative part, but as for whether that is what you seek, I do not know. I would certainly buy my headphones with the intent of having them play well on budget boxes if that is the plan going forward; to this end, aiming at sub 100 ohmage will be the trick. some 20-40ohm parts with high sensitivity (>94dB) will give loud sound and controlled response from all outputs, be it the headphone jack on a nintendo product or playstation controller etc, and makes for a logical and sound investment given your plans. Buying a 250 ohm part because many talk about the sonic benefits, is based on those users running home head fi kit and have matching amps etc. (probably not many using anything by creative labs). for every 3dB in increased sensitivity the sound volume level will double.. Headphones claiming sensitivity like 98dB will be noticably louder from the inbuilt controller amplifier, and so something with say 32ohm impedance and 98dB sensitivity will be ‘very easy to drive’ for whichever consumer class amp that you are using (and honestly wyou might find you do not need an extra amp at all). Generally running an amp at lower volume levels will let it perform to the best of its’ ability. And so getting sensitive cans driven well by small amplifier parts (low ohms/high sensitivity) will serve you the best.
(Edited)
Ziimmie
2
Dec 3, 2020
So sorry I have not checked this in a while. I have done a brief read-through of the thread just before I started typing this, and I do have a couple more questions. So when you say "audio out of the PS5" you mean the headphone out on the controller right? I can't really see what else besides the HDMI out, but I just want to clarify. And also I see you mention plugging the DT990Pro's straight in the controller, but I do just want to remind you that I don't plan on using these without my DAC, as I will need a microphone (ModMic plugged into the G6 in this case) to talk to my buddies in PlayStation parties. I don't think there is any program/solution I could use to get PS parties working on PC. If that was the case I would be saving $50 by not buying the ModMic. I also want to state again that I can get a PS5 (those damn bots), and it fits in my bag (as that thing is huge), I would probably use my Astro A40's or A20's. Now with reading everything above, I think I'm starting to lean towards the 80ohm, though. I probably won't upgrade to another DAC unless the G6 breaks. Thank you both @Sutorman and @Whitedragem for all your help. As a new member of the audiophile community, this was all very confusing to me at first but you guys have helped out a lot here with what I should get.
Whitedragem
163
Dec 8, 2020
Certainly the PS5 audio out would be via HDMI (or the splitter solution that you were considering, which would give fibre optic etc), USB (I use a Cambridge Audio DAC Magic(+) to convert USB digital to other digital outputs; COAX/Fibre), or the headphone output on the controller. The Astros will sound ‘pretty poor’ vs the DT990Pro’s. I do not imagine any scenario you would wish to keep using them... Running the DT990s from the PS5 controller, sans Creative G6, I reckon you WILL end up doing ‘sometimes’. (not all games require a microphone) Otherwise, the G6 will give you a few options, such as feeding a $2 cabled microphone into it, or, if it is anything like my Creative E5, the inbuilt microphone array (changes which Mics it is using depending on orientation) is great for audio/voice pickup. The Creative webpage shows the G6 to have those microphone arrays, and it has analogue input that can be used to feed that ‘$2’ cable mic in (or spend more if you want).. I do not see a need to spend more on modmics etc, but then I do not understand your full usage scenario. I do know that the creative app, running through a phone/tablet etc will let you adjust the mixing levels across a range of sources into the device, and will prove ‘one box to rule them all’. I wouldn’t buy anything beyond the DT990s and the G6 as you shouldn’t need anything more. To quote YoGabbaGabba; try it you might like it! edit: The G6 will allow you to run the headphone out of the playstation controller into its ‘line in’, it might connect via USB and bluetooth as well.. You will have so many ways to ‘muck around’; some will prove easier and more reliable than others.. likely you will use it in varied and many ways.
(Edited)
Sutorman
2
Nov 21, 2020
I have the G6 and it has both a headset+mic combo jack for headsets, as well as a separate mic jack on the front; both are 3.5mm that flank the digital volume knob. It may also be worth mentioning that pressing and holding the volume knob engages the mic input volume control. I can't speak to the difference(s) between the performance of the two dac+amp devices since I don't have the Schiit, but I can almost guarantee that you will not be able to tell the difference between the two. If you are looking for something that is compatible with the most gaming platforms, I would probably go with the G6. I have mine connected to my PC and have zero trouble driving my 6XX to painful levels (then back down to 60-70 for gaming enjoyment). If you are curious about of their performance on paper, I would recommend checking out their respective websites. If I can make a suggestion, don't let what's down on paper sway your decision too much when comparing these... actually, the price is the only thing on paper that should sway your decision when it comes to choosing between these two devices. Best of luck!
(Edited)
Sutorman
2
Nov 23, 2020
I mostly use an external XLR mic and audio interface, so I have the settings in the G6 set to "Direct" mode. This disables all surround sound processing, etc... come to think of it, enabling the "Direct" audio setting in the Soundblaster Connect software disables the mic input on the front as well. When I do use a headset with a mic I enable the stereo headset settings, but I turn all additional sound processing off (surround sound, etc.) since I personally prefer stereo. This allows for direct stereo but allows for the mic inputs on the front to be used. There are some potentially useful features for some, like the "Scout Mode" for gaming, but I prefer to hear the audio as the creator intended. I guess if I were to summarize a response to your question, I would recommend playing around with the settings a bit to see what you prefer since the device can do quite a lot! Enjoy!
Ziimmie
2
Nov 24, 2020
Ah, ok. I do have a Blue Snowball that I just run through a noise gate, expander, limiter, compressor, and EQ via OBS and VB-Audio Virtual Cable (there is probably a better way to do these things lol, just haven't really looked because it works for me). I don't know honestly why I am telling you this as the whole reason I am picking up a ModMic is that I don't have to keep an extra mic on my desk, or have another boom arm mounted. But that is good to know about the surround sound stuff, as I probably will try it since I have never had a pair of headphones that were really capable of doing this well, and I may also give Scout Mode a try. Thank you!