Onboard vs X-Fi Elite Pro? Is the pro's amp decent?

FM_Fixxxer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
303
I need help from the awesome minds of the audio forum.

I have a Gigabyte x79-UD3, it has the Realtek ALC898 for it's on board audio.

I'm looking to replace an old set of 5.1 Turtle Beach Ear Force HPA2's, they're finally dying on me, I've loved them, but it's time to get something better.

I've run them with the analog splitter they came with, with my speakers on the other end.

Speakers are Logitech z-5500. I'm very happy with this set, and I don't want to change them.

I was recently given a Creative X-Fi Elite Pro, with the external I/O console.

I know I need a headphone amp when I make the jump to a decent pair of cans, I was thinking the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80, based on recommendations from a previous thread when stating what I liked sound wise.

The question is this : Will the amp in the X-Fi's I/O console be an upgrade to my on board chip, and then, will the amp in the I/O console be worthy to run the DT770's?

Any help would be very much appreciated, thanks in advance all.
 

Pechendko

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 18, 2012
Messages
208
I've got hd650's, 300ohm 400$ headphones, what were supposed to be very picky about amp and source and downright unlistenable when amped by cheap sources.

And from my experience it turned out they sound completely identical both from onboard realteks in my pc and laptop and from a good quality amp/dac (o2odac).

So no, don't waste your time and money on placebo audiophile gear. Your realtek should suffice unless it has some apparent problems with noise from the other components.
 
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dandragonrage

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jun 5, 2004
Messages
8,298
I know I need a headphone amp when I make the jump to a decent pair of cans

You have been brainwashed by the Head-Fi crowd.

You only "need" an amp if your current setup doesn't get loud enough for you without distorting or if your headphones have an "extreme" impedance relative to the amplifier you currently have (the built-in one on your motherboard or whatever) which cause excessive distortion at any volume level. An external DAC (or better internal sound card) can help if you have SNR/noise issues which onboard is more susceptible to, but that's not a problem you ALWAYS have with onboard and it is a problem you would clearly be able to hear if so.

So get whatever headphones you like - and the DT770s are nice if you like a very bass-heavy non-flat sound (which is fine as long as it sounds good to you) - and try them with what you already have. If you don't like the result, upgrade. If it sounds good to you as-is, then you won't benefit from a DAC/amp.

Again, it is very possible you will dislike your onboard setup and if so, buy whatever you like. Just try it first because it may surprise you.

I change motherboards fairly often and some have had terrible sound quality and some have been great. And some of the great ones have been with relatively inexpensive motherboards.

Edit: Sorry for writing onboard but I am too lazy to go back and edit the post so I will just say that I was simply talking about the gear you already have, so onboard or the X-Fi or whatever. The general point is that if you already have something, try it before replacing it. Worst case scenario is you try your gear, don't like it, end up having to wait a few more days to get new gear, yet you would now know that the extra money spent was not wasted. Best case scenario is that you find out your current gear is fine and you save a bunch of money.
 
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FM_Fixxxer

Limp Gawd
Joined
Mar 2, 2012
Messages
303
You have been brainwashed by the Head-Fi crowd.

You only "need" an amp if your current setup doesn't get loud enough for you without distorting or if your headphones have an "extreme" impedance relative to the amplifier you currently have (the built-in one on your motherboard or whatever) which cause excessive distortion at any volume level. An external DAC (or better internal sound card) can help if you have SNR/noise issues which onboard is more susceptible to, but that's not a problem you ALWAYS have with onboard and it is a problem you would clearly be able to hear if so.

So get whatever headphones you like - and the DT770s are nice if you like a very bass-heavy non-flat sound (which is fine as long as it sounds good to you) - and try them with what you already have. If you don't like the result, upgrade. If it sounds good to you as-is, then you won't benefit from a DAC/amp.

Again, it is very possible you will dislike your onboard setup and if so, buy whatever you like. Just try it first because it may surprise you.

I change motherboards fairly often and some have had terrible sound quality and some have been great. And some of the great ones have been with relatively inexpensive motherboards.

Edit: Sorry for writing onboard but I am too lazy to go back and edit the post so I will just say that I was simply talking about the gear you already have, so onboard or the X-Fi or whatever. The general point is that if you already have something, try it before replacing it. Worst case scenario is you try your gear, don't like it, end up having to wait a few more days to get new gear, yet you would now know that the extra money spent was not wasted. Best case scenario is that you find out your current gear is fine and you save a bunch of money.

I wouldn't say I've been "brainwashed" since I'm not LOOKING TO BUY a DAC, I wanted to know if the Headphone out in the XFi Elite Pro will work alright with the DT770s, but as you said, I will try them and go from there. Should of just done that, because no matter where you ask, you're either an elitist audiophile prick, or a brainwashed sheep it seems.

Thanks for the advice guys.
 
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