Audiophile PC

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by =adrian=, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    OK, so this is thread is purely theoretical... for now.

    I like to listen to music while working on my PC. At the moment I have Logitech G930 headset connected to my PC and the sound is quite good. No complains really. However, I have a feeling it could be better... Well, actually one complaint about G930, they are quite heavy and after a couple of hours with them on I certainly can feel that.

    So the question is, what do I need to make it better? How much money do I need to invest (is it worth my while)?

    I mostly listen to music on headphones, so let's concentrate on that first.

    I take a good soundcard and good set of headphones would be needed? Any recommendations? (would prefer wireless headphones)

    My specs:
    - i7 7700k
    - ASUS ROG Maximus IX
    - 16 RAM
    - ASUS ROG 1080 GPU
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2018
  2. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    What's a good soundcard to get for listening to music?
     
  3. GMC79

    GMC79
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    If was me I'd get an external dac/amp. Something from Arcam perhaps the rHead or Audioquest Dragonfly, Cyrus soundkey or even the pretty cheap Cambridge audio dacmagic 100.
    I have an Arcam rpac and is very good but use that mainly for the Phono outs to my amp. Headphone output is decent tho.
    Look at some headphones from sennheiser or akg, grado etc.
    I have HD650, HD598cs and Grado sr60 headphones all of which would be far superiour to the G930 musically (although if was buying now id get sr80e or sr125) would rreccomend them all, For musicalness get some grados they are truly awesome although leak sound like crazy.

    The annoying thing is as just with PC stuff there is too much choice :laugh:
     
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    Last edited: Sep 30, 2018
  4. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    Thank you. So you wouldn't buy a decent sound card first? I thought that will have to be the first step.
     
  5. JokerJack

    JokerJack
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    I got a sound card only because I haven’t got a direct optical out on the onboard card, have an
    Tangent AMPSTER BT connected only costs 150 and some monitor audio apex a10s sounds ok to me think a better amp would help but for listening to music while I’m working it’s great. Also good for games
     
  6. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    For the speakers I just use my old Denon mini hifi at the moment. It's connected with good quality analogue cable (no digital input). The sound is OK, but it is not very often that I listen to music on speakers. Mostly I listen on headphones, therefore speaker setup is not really a priority for me.

    That's also the reason, why I'm not sure I need an amp. I could just buy a good sound card and good wireless headphones, and connect them directly to the card. Besides, if I buy an amp, I would also need to buy separate speakers, as I doubt mini hifi speakers can be used with an external amp.

    I do have a sound card actually, but it's ancient and not that great. Soundblaster X-Fi Gamer. It's actually in the classifieds for sale (been for ages).
     
  7. spencer_uk

    spencer_uk
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    +1 for the external amp. I have a cyrus soundkey that I cart around (it is titchy) and mostly used with my smartphone. However when I am at home it is plugged into the PC and sounds beautiful. Great bit of kit for about 100 pounds
     
  8. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    OK, so it looks like an external amp is the way to go. So it seems to me like I need 3 things:
    - good sound card (around £150)
    - external amp (around 100)
    - good headphones (preferably wireless, no idea how much)
    (plus cables of course).

    Analogue or digital signal to amp?
     
  9. JokerJack

    JokerJack
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    I have a sound blaster Asus Xonar DGX 5.1 which has a headphone amp built in and sounds great but you will need to plug the headphones direct into the card at the back, just get an extension lead
     
  10. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    I would prefer wireless headphones. My current headset is wireless and I really appreciate the lack of cables coming from my headphones.
     
  11. JokerJack

    JokerJack
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    Sound card £25 but only get one if you can’t go ditigal out from the onboard. Use the money towards amp
     
  12. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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  13. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    Hmm, I read there is usually quite a difference between onboard sound and dedicated sound processor in a sound card. Would it not be important to output a good sound out of the PC in the first place?
     
  14. JokerJack

    JokerJack
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    What’s the Cyrus is it just a dac? USB from the pc? Then headphones into that?
     
  15. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    I do have SPDIF out (digital) on my ASUS ROG Maximus IX onboard sound card.
     
  16. JokerJack

    JokerJack
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    I would only ever go digital out from the pc as there is a lot of noise within it and will impact the sound but that’s just me.. as it’s digital it doesn’t matter about quality
     
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  17. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    If I don't need a sound card that's even better. That would save me some dosh.

    OK, so an external amp and good headphones is what I need then.
     
  18. JokerJack

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    At least you can try it first by getting the amp and headphones, if you feel you need more then get the card after.. job done :) enjoy!
     
  19. Trollslayer

    Trollslayer
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    How about a USB DAC with build in headphone amp?
     
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  20. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    Do you have any specific in mind? I can't say I knew such things existed :blush:
     
  21. Trollslayer

    Trollslayer
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  22. GMC79

    GMC79
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    Yeah the ones I mentioned are usb, there is loads. Have a look on richer sounds for a few.
    Can't help on the wireless headphone front no idea about them. If on pc should just put up with wire so many great headphones about.

    How do you listen to music? Tidal HiFi is pretty good. Although pricey at £20pm. But you did say audiophile lol.
     
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  23. dollag

    dollag
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    As above,

    I use my chord mojo dac/amp via usb and hear no noise from the pc whatsoever. I would scratch the soundcard as imo is not needed.

    Teac, marantz and so many others do great dac/headphone amp combo's that would marry up with desktop pc's

    I guess it comes down to that thing called budget :rolleyes:
     
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  24. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    Oh yes indeed... my yacht ;)

    Thanks :)

    I need to read a little about those USB ones. Can't imagine how that works.

    Plenty of FLACs on my PC. Been also listening to sets on YouTube while working recently.

    Wireless is so great. The fact that I can get up and walk around the house while listening to my headphones is one thing, they other is I don't have just another wire to worry about (plenty of the around me already).

    I'm no audiophile BTW. It's just a catchy title. I like good quality sound, but I'm no expert at all.

    Oh yes, the good old budget. At the moment I'm just researching. I have just ordered a new calibrator for my monitor. Also will be buying M.2 drive soon and probably 4TB HDD as well. After these purchases, I will concentrate on the audio.

    I really need to research headphones. I am so out of loop. I have a pair of old Sennheiser's in my drawer, but they are in poor shape. I need good quality and comfortable (preferably wireless) headphones, but have no idea how much they would be.
     
  25. Killbill118

    Killbill118
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  26. Trollslayer

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    Wireless headphones tend to use Bluetooth so distance is limited.
     
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  27. GMC79

    GMC79
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    Usb is digital tho so quite simple so just connects to pc digitally with the digital to analogue conversion done by what's plugged in. (Half pissed so dunno if explained that even half decently lol)
    I had couple soundcards a sonar dg, and a dx I think but ended up selling the dx and getting the rPac wanted a better output to my trusty old TagMclaren amp.
    But whatever you end up with will blow the 930's away for music. Infact a good stereo set may surprise you for gaming also. So good are a couple of mine in games I've never even bothered with a "gaming" headset. Still get excellent directional sound.
     
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  28. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    Indeed, but I can still go downstairs to the kitchen to pour myself a drink while listening to music on my headset :)

    Won't work in the livingroom though, too far away.
     
  29. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    That DAC looks great, just looking for reviews. Speakers are on the expensive side, I so very rarely listen to music on speakers that I don't think there is much point spending so much money on a set like this. Would much prefer invest in a good headphone set.
     
  30. =adrian=

    =adrian=
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    I bought the headset when I was into Arma 3 to communicate with others. I don't really play any games now that require me to talk to someone, so stereo headphone set is more than enough :)
     

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