Solved! PC soundcard vs Headphone Amp

Nov 3, 2018
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Hi guys, new to this

am wondering how much a difference is a pc sound card vs headphone amp/dac such as

Sound Blaster ZxR Sound Card vs NAD D3020 v2 / E10K

For headphones I'l be getting Beyerdynamic DT990 Pro
Speaker for movies : Currently Using Edifier s350DB 2.1 speaker

For gaming (Surround Sound, dont need those 5.1 or 7.1 setup),
listening to music,
Music Type: Trance
and watching movies.
just wondering how big a difference for a pc sound card compared to headphones amp
 

anort3

Distinguished
Moderator
The flagship cards are generally quite good. The ZxR, the Asus Xonar STX / STX II and a few others. They all have huge headfi threads. The only 'issue' I've run into with my Xonar STX is that the output impedance of the amp is 10ohms. That's high enough to color the sound on lower impedance headphones. To 'upgrade' a flagship card you'd be at a Schiit stack, O2/ODAC or Aune X1S level.

If you can try those DT990s before you buy them you should. Some people find the treble painful.
 
Difference is in the ears of the beholder.

It is generally accepted external DAC is more desired, but I can't really give you a useful answer 'cuz am not into headphones and you are right, if u got an excellent DAC box and u pair it with just a so-so phones, are u getting the performance u paid for? headfi.org over there that's what they all talk about.
 

anort3

Distinguished
Moderator
The flagship cards are generally quite good. The ZxR, the Asus Xonar STX / STX II and a few others. They all have huge headfi threads. The only 'issue' I've run into with my Xonar STX is that the output impedance of the amp is 10ohms. That's high enough to color the sound on lower impedance headphones. To 'upgrade' a flagship card you'd be at a Schiit stack, O2/ODAC or Aune X1S level.

If you can try those DT990s before you buy them you should. Some people find the treble painful.
 
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