Headphones upgrade

Domenico1616

Member
Oct 26, 2021
3
0
20
Hi! Right now I use my Sennheiser HD 598 and a SoundBlasterXG5 to listen to music on my pc (Flac files). What do you think about this setup?
I'm no more satisfied and I'd like to do a serious upgrade. What should I consider to buy?
 

Domenico1616

Member
Oct 26, 2021
3
0
20
My budget is around £1000. Id like to have a better bass quality, without sounding restrained
(No wireless pls)
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
758
404
770
My budget is around £1000. Id like to have a better bass quality, without sounding restrained
(No wireless pls)
Well your Soundblaster does 7.1 channel sound…especially for gaming. If you are just talking stereo music however I would suggest there is no need to spend anywhere near £1,000. Start with hearing say iFi Zen DAC v2 or Topping EX5.…both USB DACs with excellent headphone amplifier stages.
 

Gray

Well-known member
Start with hearing say iFi Zen DAC v2 or Topping EX5.…both USB DACs with excellent headphone amplifier stages.
...then you may well find your headphones sounding better than ever - though, by all accounts your 598's can easily be bettered in terms of their bass quality.
However, quality is often perceived as the 'restraint' that you want to avoid.

With the appropriate lead (or connector on the supplied 3 metre lead) your 598 are capable of balanced operation - which would be an advantage with the Zen DAC (but not the EX5 where both XLR and Jack outputs have identical spec).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tinman1952

Domenico1616

Member
Oct 26, 2021
3
0
20
Thx for the replies. So I just need to upgrade the DAC, thats fine for me.

With the appropriate lead (or connector on the supplied 3 metre lead) your 598 are capable of balanced operation - which would be an advantage with the Zen DAC (but not the EX5 where both XLR and Jack outputs have identical spec).
Sorry but I dont understand, what do you mean?
 

Gray

Well-known member
Thx for the replies. So I just need to upgrade the DAC, thats fine for me.


Sorry but I dont understand, what do you mean?
DACs and dedicated headphone amps often have balanced outputs.
On the Zen DAC, for example, you can see 2 sockets on the front:
The left hand, bigger socket takes your current 6.35mm standard jack plug.
The smaller socket to the right is for a 4.4mm 'Pentacon' plug.
This type of lead would go from that to your headphones and allow you to use the balanced output if you wish:
 
  • Like
Reactions: Tinman1952

ThisIsJimmy

Well-known member
Nov 11, 2020
235
95
870
Domenico, the difference is that currently you have a soundcard, geared mainly at gamers, that uses software to manipulate the sound to use all it's featues. As much as Creative parrot about their cards audio prowess, you have to disable all the software, all the scout and other software features, everything to get the best out of a decent set of cans to where the card is not manipulating the audio in anyway.

For £1000 in the Headphone DAC & Amp world, you have stacks of options for high performance audio. If you intend to use DSD, MQA, and want balanced and unbalanced outputs, I would be going with the recommendations Tinman has said above. Out of the two i'd probably go with the Topping EX5, and that then provides you options if you want add to that system later (the DAC on the EX5 is much stronger than the AMP side). However I don't see anything wrong with the Ifi Zen Dac V2 at this point. My only reservation with the Zen Dac V2 is I haven't seen/read any review yet where anyone has put it through an Analyzer.

You can read an Analyzer review of EX5 here: https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/shenzhenaudio-topping-ex5-review-dac-and-headphone-amplifier.24341/
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts