Open back headphones advice?

  • Thread starter RöyksoppForever
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slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Ideally I would like a set I can plug straight into the port on my PC tower and not have to buy a DAC or an amp, I’m not really wanting to get too deep into audiophile territory
That's a big ol' "Try it and see".

The best approach is to get an audio signal outside of the PC chassis in the digital domain, then do the D/A conversion, then amplification.

Inside a compute chassis is an electrically noisy environment as a rule, which may not play nice with an analog signal and subsequent amplification.

But....try it and see, you may get lucky.

If you have too much noise, then you need to look at getting the digi signal out of the PC to avoid such problems.

These types of problems will be completely independent of a headphone choice, but you could have other problems if the onboard amps are not up to snuff to drive the headphones properly.
 
BoredSysAdmin

BoredSysAdmin

Audioholic Overlord
actual sound quality and noise rejection inside a desktop PC heavily depend on its vendors. If this is a DIY (aka white box) PC then all bets are off. Another thing to keep in mind is $1 sound chip off the motherboard which happens to include a tiny headphone amp will no be able to power many headphones loud enough.
Some laptops are built a bit better. Anecdotical evidence suggests that Apple using pretty decent audio components (as they should considering the premium cost of their hardware)

For non-mac stuff, your best bet is with an inexpensive USB DAC/Headphone amp, like FiiO E10k
I have an old AudioEngine D1 I no longer need and might sell for a fair price if you're interested.
 
eljr

eljr

Audioholic Chief
Ideally I would like a set I can plug straight into the port on my PC tower and not have to buy a DAC or an amp, I’m not really wanting to get too deep into audiophile territory Nox Vidmate VLC
You can't use the DAC inside the computer and get a decent sound. Just can't be. No one would dispute this.

;)True audiophile is light years above what you are talking... we are trying to get you into mid-fi from junk-fi.
 
ellisr63

ellisr63

Full Audioholic
I use Sennheiser 6xx headsets, and they sound great to me for the money spent.

Sent from my SM-T830 using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:
T

TankTop5

Senior Audioholic
HD6XX’s again... They run off almost anything, iPhone, iPad, cheap Dell laptop, Marantz receiver etc... I’m told a cheap amp will help but it’s not needed. Ignore the 300 ohm rating, they are efficient enough.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
You can't use the DAC inside the computer and get a decent sound. Just can't be. No one would dispute this.

;)True audiophile is light years above what you are talking... we are trying to get you into mid-fi from junk-fi.
I don't think "can't" is quite accurate.

Better would be "not likely", or "may be challenging".

I tend to agree that that passing the signal out of the PC chassis in the digi domain is less problematic overall.

But, there have been some reports on here of "it worked fine for me". Which is likely just luck.

And, there are some sound cards with proper shielding that "likely" won't suffer the same problems (Asus Xonar).
 
Joe B

Joe B

Audioholic Chief
I don't think "can't" is quite accurate.

Better would be "not likely", or "may be challenging".

I tend to agree that that passing the signal out of the PC chassis in the digi domain is less problematic overall.

But, there have been some reports on here of "it worked fine for me". Which is likely just luck.

And, there are some sound cards with proper shielding that "likely" won't suffer the same problems (Asus Xonar).
Makes me wonder as to the quality of the headphones being used and the critical listening skills of the individual involved.
 
slipperybidness

slipperybidness

Audioholic Spartan
Makes me wonder as to the quality of the headphones being used and the critical listening skills of the individual involved.
My experience in such matters is that if you have the problem, you can't ignore it!

Specifically, my off the shelf Dell Inspiron over 10 years ago had a terribly noisy analog out signal, pretty much unusable. I installed a cheap optical sound card, passed the signal to my AVR in digi domain via optical cable, and problem solved.
 

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