External headphones with dac/amp setup or both for $250?

AstroMagic

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I need help figuring out a external audio setup for $250 MAX. My hyperx clouds get crackling noises now and I feel it's my computer or the headphones themselves. I thought I might as well invest into a setup to replace my 3.5mm jack setup if it's either one. I was thinking of getting some hd 598's and a FiiO E10K. Is there a better setup I can get like maybe something that can power some dt-990-pros? Any help is appreciated.
 

anonymousdude

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Magni 2 or JDS labs O2 would be good and they are $100 and $130 respectively if I remember correctly. Keep in mind that these are only amps and not amp/dac combos like the e10k. What are you gonna use them for? Movies, games, music, etc. Also crackling might be a source issue, so try plugging them into your phone or something and see if they crackle.
 

anonymousdude

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Magni 2 or JDS labs O2 would be good and they are $100 and $130 respectively if I remember correctly. Keep in mind that these are only amps and not amp/dac combos like the e10k. What are you gonna use them for? Movies, games, music, etc. Also crackling might be a source issue, so try plugging them into your phone or something and see if they crackle.
 

AstroMagic

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I'm going to buy the schiit stack but I was wondering what cable do I use to connect the dac? A usb a to usb b? I'm not sure what the USB would do about carrying static into the cable but any way to get it optical and not digital?
 

anonymousdude

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Good choice, the schiit stack is pretty darn nice. Both USB and Optical/Coaxial SPDIF are considered digital signals. You would use a usb A to usb B cable, which basically means any printer cable would do the job. There's a version of the modi 2 called the modi 2 uber that has optical and coaxial options if you so desire.It's also $50 more. What you would then do is use a optical or coaxial SPDIF cable to connect it from your computer to the dac. Then use rca's to connect the dac to the amp. In my experience the sound is the same regardless of the cable used.
 

AstroMagic

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So just run a Optical S/PDIF cable from my z97-a usb 3.1 mobo which I checked has one and run it to the usb port which can take spdif or does it have to be usb a to usb b?
 

ssddx

Glorious
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hah, looks like a post of mine was linked above.

the current version of the magni is the magni2 which is worth going for.

there are two versions of products - uber and normal. the magni 2 uber adds an aux output and ac plug and is slightly better, the modi uber adds an optical input.

for normal modi 2 to magni 2 you would connect with a rca red/white cable between them. connection to the pc is via usb type a to usb type b. cables not included if i recall correctly. unless you have need of not using usb or need an aux input there is no need to use the optical version.

if you used the modi 2 uber yes you could connect via optical.
 

AstroMagic

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Thanks for clarifying even further.
 

DEADLY9996

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Aye, no point in repeating what was said!


Though on a side note i have heard going the route USB uses more processing power, if one games heavily, it could be a problem... As i have not yet tried it for myself, i wouldn't know for sure.

Personally from my prior reading, i would go with optical.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
not quite.

there is not much difference in cpu load either way. i would worry more about software based processing (things like running razer virtual surround) rather than a simple usb output.

if you're worried about bogging down because of a simple usb device you have more to worry about than just that usb device.
 

AstroMagic

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Im not even worried about that. I own a i7-4790k OC to 4.5ghz. I think im fine. The only intensive game I own is Hearts of Iron 4 which can get laggy late game due to the many things going on the whole world.
 

DEADLY9996

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I wasn't thinking of the USB being the direct problem, just the software doing it's thing, like i said, never tried it, but it was what i gathered from some posts.

Though there is one thing you might be able to confirm, Surround Sound effects for gaming, you get that from the internal sound card, correct?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
by "effects" do you mean virtual surround? that can be done by either a soundcard (dolby headphone and similar), an external soundcard (such as inside headsets) or by the cpu (in the case of razer virtual surround).

as far as in-game effects like having rear audio a different tone that is part of the game coding. depending on how you have your settings it could be either done hardware (by the soundcard) or software (by the cpu)

tldr: it could be either or depending on situation
 

DEADLY9996

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Cheers, I guess all i can do is try out different things!

 
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