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ShadowEyez
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Sun Aug 23, 2015 11:47 pm

My motherboards built in autdio, a Realtek ALC892 in my case.

It's been said before: unless you're doing music or audio content creation and you're just doing playback, the motherboard's audio is usually good enough. The speakers are what makes a big difference.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 12:25 am

Audio Technica ATH-M50x headphones powered by a Van Alstine Ultra II Hybrid Tube Preamp that's a "hand me down" from my family room stereo. Source is currently a Dragonfly USB DAC.

For gaming I use an old set of Logitech G51 5.1 desktop speakers sourced with a Creative X-Fi Fatality Titanium sound card. The sound card is worlds better than any onboard audio I've ever heard.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 2:16 am

headphones: self built grado-like cans with turbulent x drivers and rosewood cups, L-cush with tape mod. These sound great even without a good amp, great detail and imaging.
JBL LSR305 x2 :D hooboy these might be the best speakers you can buy for the price! got the pair for just 200$! I'm a reference buff so these might not sound as good for you if you like warm signatures hehe
both driven using an Audioengine D1, yes yes i know the output impedance is rather weak, but it was the best bang for buck DAC i could get at the time, and it sounds just fine!
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:24 am

ForceEdge wrote:
JBL LSR305 x2 :D hooboy these might be the best speakers you can buy for the price! got the pair for just 200$!


I was planning to get these, but in NZ they were horribly priced relative to competition. Like in the $400USD category, double E4.5s, where I think in the US/UK they're much closer.. Cheaper to import but wasn't worth it.
 
Ifalna
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:22 am

My modest setup:

Headphones: Titanium HD (analog) -> Beyedynamic DT 880 250Ω (Sometimes I plug them into the Yamaha b/c I enjoy the virtual surround in movies)
Speakers: Titanium HD (optical) -> Yamaha Receiver (RX-377) -> Old (but fun) pair of JBL MX-1000 with more than enough rumble for a tiny one room apartment.

Since the Amp uses the same Burr Browns as my soundcard, I see no reason not to use the optical connection in order to transmit 5.1 DTS.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:27 am

Headphones: HD600
Amp: Magni 2 Uber
DAC: Modi 2 Uber

I've also got a pair of Logitech speakers for when I don't want to wear headphones.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 5:44 am

whm1974 wrote:
I know that you get what you pay for when to comes to sound, but at what point would we be just throwing money away?

Definitely!

It highly depends on what you hear and how you hear.
Does it make sense to buy a 1000$ Headphone like the T1 of you are hearing impaired? -> Nope.

Does it make sense to spend additional money on "Ermagawd 96/24" recordings? -> Hell no. 44.1/16 are already an overkill format in regards to human hearing. Assuming it is the same mastering as the "hi def" (lol) you won't be able to hear any difference, except for distortion of your system when it tries to create ultra sonic signals (you can't hear anyway).

With all things audio, the best advice I can give is: try before you buy with your OWN music you know well, not some reference sample.

Oh and do attack the weakest link first: get rid of crappy youtube rips and 128kbps MP3s and replace them with at lest 320kbps or better yet FLAC (in case you need to re-encode it for mobile use).

Also pay attention to **** masters (looking at you Dark Knight Rises soundtrack!).
Garbage in -> garbage out. Even on the most uber audiophile systems.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:35 am

I.S.T. wrote:
I'm actually using an ASUS with the back ports rather than front panel.

Well that sucks... I guess even ASUS still has a dud onboard implementation now and then (though I haven't encountered one lately). :-?

Some potential avenues of investigation (albeit long shots): Have you ruled out EMI being picked up by the external cabling? Does it happen with both headphones and speakers? Where is your OS's volume slider typically set (high-gain external speakers or efficient headphones + very low volume setting in the OS can exacerbate noise issues by degrading your S/N even more)?
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MEATLOAF2
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:58 am

For headphones I'm using Sennheiser HD558s, and a Xonar DGX sound card.

The amp is good enough and everything sounds great to me, so no need to spend more on high end gear if I don't know what I'm missing. :)
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 7:32 am

I still have my 15+ year old creative 5.1 system, but I haven't run it in probably a year. I don't even think it's hooked up anymore.

Day-to-day I use a Corsair "7.1" wireless headset. After going wireless I can't go back (no more rolled over cords!)
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:36 am

MEATLOAF2 wrote:
The amp is good enough and everything sounds great to me, so no need to spend more on high end gear if I don't know what I'm missing. :)


I just want to emphasize this. It's not even "don't know what I'm missing," but dudes, if you like the way your stuff sounds there is no reason to spend hundreds or thousands on high-end gear that honestly might not sound the way you like it. Test stuff out, find what you like, and be happy!
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 8:48 am

There are some pretty high-end setups here.

For a community that I didn't consider very audiophile, I actually think many of you have nicer setups than me.

My BX8 reference monitors were a good investment for me, and I'm so happy with my two-decade-old HD580's that I have never found a pair of headphones, no matter the cost, that I would consider as "superior".

Have any of you reached a point that's "good enough" or do those of you with fancy setups always hanker for more - limited only by the outragous costs and diminishing returns?
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whm1974
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:23 am

Have any of you reached a point that's "good enough"


I think I have with the Flips Audio headphones that I'm using in speaker mode. And they work great with my motherboard's on board audio.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:40 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
Have any of you reached a point that's "good enough" or do those of you with fancy setups always hanker for more - limited only by the outragous costs and diminishing returns?

Kind of...I got a chance to listen to an HD800 and Audeze LCD-3 once, and they really did sound superb. But with each of those models costing over $1,000, plus the fancy equipment driving them (at least $1,000 more), I think I can wait.

I think my big problem is that I find a lot of the tech cool. My wife got me a Valhalla 1 (2 for reference), which is an all-tube amp. Look gorgeous, sounds excellent. Schiit also got fancy with their newest amp, developing a "solid state tube" so customers can switch between a tube hybrid amp and a pure SS amp.

So it's not that I "need" any of that, but it's just so cool that I want it...
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 9:48 am

So it's not that I "need" any of that, but it's just so cool that I want it...


Yeah I can relate. While I could find something better then what I'm using it may not be worth the effort and money I would end up spending.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:08 am

X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro ---> Denon AVR-E200 reciever ---> Sennheiser HD555 headphones & Paradigm bookshelf speakers.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:53 am

I'm using the Audioengine A2+ and love them. Built in USB-DAC and plenty of power (and bass) for listening at the computer desk.

http://audioengineusa.com/Store/Powered ... p-Speakers

I've been looking at putting a Schiit DAC/amplifier and AKG701/702 headphone setup. That's going to run around a grand though.
Last edited by gigafinger on Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:54 am

gigafinger wrote:
I'm using the Audioengine A2+ and love them. Built in USB-DAC and plenty of power (and bass) for listening at the computer desk.


I'm actually thinking about picking up a pair for my work machine (rMBP+Thunderbolt Display). Good to know.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 10:59 am

DancinJack wrote:
gigafinger wrote:
I'm using the Audioengine A2+ and love them. Built in USB-DAC and plenty of power (and bass) for listening at the computer desk.


I'm actually thinking about picking up a pair for my work machine (rMBP+Thunderbolt Display). Good to know.

They are fairly directional, but that's a given at their size. I almost bought the S8 subwoofer, but for music it would be overkill. I would only think the sub would be needed to movies/games and super bass-head listeners.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:02 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
Have any of you reached a point that's "good enough" or do those of you with fancy setups always hanker for more - limited only by the outrageous costs and diminishing returns?

More or less. I have a pair of 10-year-old HD595s which I'm still happy with. There's better available of course, but I'd have to spend a decent amount for diminishing returns. Right now I just need to find a replacement pad for under the headband.

If I had it to do over, I'd probably get an external DAC and amp rather than the Essensce STX card, mostly to get a physical volume knob and not have to worry about drivers.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:10 am

My tower is running 7.1 through a dedicated onkyo stereo system using HDMI, its the best most price effect option out there. If you have AMD it can be a little annoying to do it if your monitor resolution is over 1080p but if you are that res or below its not an issue for AMD. Nvidia drivers let you send audio only over HDMI so that solves the issue of having a phantom monitor if you use a 2K or above resolution. Otherwise my headphones are a audio technica pair that were 80 percent off from amazon, meant for plugging into an amp for studio stuff I find them comfortable and perfect sounding. Mic is a web cam.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:30 am

I don't do much music listening through headphones while at my computer but I do have a nice set of Sennheiser Momentums. Other than that I keep it pretty simple. I use a LePai LP2020A+ amp driving a set of Kenwood bookshelf speakers. All in all, my speaker and amp setup cost me around $50 and it blows away any Logitech speaker setup I'd used in the past.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:15 pm

Ifalna wrote:
Oh and do attack the weakest link first: get rid of crappy youtube rips and 128kbps MP3s and replace them with at lest 320kbps or better yet FLAC (in case you need to re-encode it for mobile use).

Also pay attention to **** masters (looking at you Dark Knight Rises soundtrack!).
Garbage in -> garbage out. Even on the most uber audiophile systems.


Yep that is one of the first things I had to start doing when I got my first decent pair of headphones (10+ years ago). I still had some low bitrate mp3s hanging around and for the first time they started sounding really bad compared to the 320kpbs mp3s and CDs I had.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 3:39 pm

jmcknight wrote:
All in all, my speaker and amp setup cost me around $50 and it blows away any Logitech speaker setup I'd used in the past.


Yep. "computer speakers" really tend to be either nasty cheap plastic things, or nasty cheap plastic things with a bad subwoofer. Klipsch aren't awful, but they're definitely aiming for the volume lovers and not the fidelity lovers. If you can afford Klipsch you can afford a reasonable amp and bookshelves.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Mon Aug 24, 2015 6:25 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
Have any of you reached a point that's "good enough" or do those of you with fancy setups always hanker for more - limited only by the outragous costs and diminishing returns?


Yes because I am a logical person and don't give in to the primal urges to upgrade stuff... (most of the time :> )

I considered the T1 + amp at some point, but truth be told:
-I love the way my DT880 sound
-T1 has almost twice the weight and I wear my HPs for up to 12hrs a day (often w/o any music playing b/c I forget they are there. DT880 = THAT comfy)
-I don't believe my ears are good enough to appreciate cans of the T1+ caliber

As for the speakers: They go boom when stuff explodes in movies. So much boom that my Neighbor rang when the Atom bomb detonated in Terminator 2.
In my defense: I was testing how much it took to make him say something. That scene was entirely too loud for myself. :lol:
Yet they still have lots of clarity and nice mids so I don't even need a center speaker to enjoy the dialogue or music.
"More speaker" would be useless to me since I appreciate having a good relation to my neighbors.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Tue Aug 25, 2015 8:57 pm

gigafinger wrote:
DancinJack wrote:
gigafinger wrote:
I'm using the Audioengine A2+ and love them. Built in USB-DAC and plenty of power (and bass) for listening at the computer desk.

I'm actually thinking about picking up a pair for my work machine (rMBP+Thunderbolt Display). Good to know.

They are fairly directional, but that's a given at their size.

I'm curious, what do you mean by that? Purely from their size they shouldn't be directional at all, at 4"x6"... are they directional *despite* their size?

Chrispy_ wrote:
Have any of you reached a point that's "good enough" or do those of you with fancy setups always hanker for more - limited only by the outragous costs and diminishing returns?

I'm mainly limited by the fact that I live in an apartment; I wish I had more bass, but my downstairs neighbours probably don't.
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:15 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:
Have any of you reached a point that's "good enough" or do those of you with fancy setups always hanker for more - limited only by the outragous costs and diminishing returns?

The only way out of that trap is to start building them yourself. It diverts attention away from "there must be something better out there" to "I spent 200 hours on this component, now I am going to enjoy it."
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:31 am

First post here, tried many ways, but finally ended up with

HP Z800 PC (FF825AV) with HQ Player or Jriver
RME HDSPe AIO DAC/Sound Card AES3 output
Playback Designs MPD-3 DAC
Accuphase electronics
KEF 205/2 speakers

Music files are 70% FLAC, 30% DSF

Headspace : Phonitor 2, Audeze LCD3, Sennheiser over ear Momentum. I like the Sennheiser for bass and for long sessions, the LCD3 are great for detail and resolution, but what a clunky and heavy design.

I like the RME card since it's very open & detailed, especially for piano, AES3 for the 25m cable run and to keep the noisy HP away from the listening area.
 
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Thu Aug 27, 2015 6:41 am

Chrispy_ wrote:
There are some pretty high-end setups here.

I wanted Atmos and HDMI 2.0 for future usage and don't know enough about audio kit to decide on anything specific.

I've just been stare

stare

stare

ing at Amazon.coms various speaker and receiver pages until I couldn't take it anymore :lol:

(There also may have been several attempts at buying and cancelling orders previous. I couldn't tell you anymore.)
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Re: So what are you using for computer audio?

Wed Apr 03, 2019 3:41 pm

I'm using a pair of Sennheiser HD 280's since quite a while now. They are built primarily for studio use, though. I don't really care much after getting spoilt by the sound quality of these headphones. I'm using these both on my custom-built desktop as well as my 2015 Retina MBP. Haven't needed an external amplifier.

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