Sep 4, 2016

Soundcards, DACs, Amps..which one?

So I just recieved the AKG K7XX Massdrop edition. They sound great, but Im going through the forum and I see a lot of people saying they're using an amp, DAC, etc.
I currently have a Creative Soundblaster Z 5.1, with a 600 ohm amp. Im wondering if this is really enough to show the true potential of these headphones, or if I should go and buy an Amp or DAC.
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http://www.lucidlaboratories.com/headphone-amplifiers/

Just picked up one that is tuned for UNDER 100 ohms for 39.00$!! ABSOLUTELY an excellent starting point to see whether or not you like the sound quality....I'm an audiophile on a budget and, this item was worth EVERY PENNY
Trust your ears. Are you happy with what you are hearing? You'll save yourself money in this terribly expensive hobby to take this advice.
The problem is all they're saying is it's capable of powering headphones that are rated at 600ohm, it doesn't really tell us much about it. As well from a quick search I can't find info on their site about any specs that really matter in this case. Many motherboards onboard solutions use this as a spec or marketing point. The issue is, some of your really really high end headphones(HD800's I hear) can be quite picky about amplifiers(or so I've heard). I can't imagine the K7XX's are super picky, but that doesn't mean they couldn't improve. It's also very possible they don't improve at all, or the improvement is incredibly minimal.

All that said, being that Creative tends to milk the "Gaming" teat(or has in the past), if any of their special gaming(or even non gaming) settings are turned on it could effect any perceived change in audio quality. I know sounds in CoD4 back in the day changed significantly when I got a Fatal1ty X-Fi card(likely the special gaming settings). I know most of this is speculation thanks to the issue of unknown specs that are usually used in the dac/amp world, but unless Creative did that bad of a job I'd expect the biggest possible change in sound to be from loss of any special "features."(if they're turned on)
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