Need Suggestions:Entry Level Setup

Hello Everyone
I am complete noob here and would require your guidance to build an entry level audio setup(headphone + dac/amp ). After reading so many posts over here I kinda want DT 880 (600 ohm to be my headphones .As for Dac/amp , I had initially selected Schiit stack but they don’t have mic option which is very important to me.
Please suggest dac/audio interface+amp with below requirements :

Requirements :
Should be able to use on: PC/ IPad
Should be able to drive dt800 600ohms to its potential.
Dac/audio interface with mic + separate amp
Budget :250-300$

Setup would mostly be used for gaming (80%)and music (20%)

Thank you.

Since the vast majority of your time with your cans will be spent with gaming, have you considered an audiophile-quality can that is built for gamers like the Sennheiser PC38X?

It’s an excellent gaming headphone that also happens to sound good with music: Drop + Sennheiser PC38X Gaming Headset | Audiophile | Headphones | Open Back Headphones

$170, and you’re done.

I agree that pc38x is an amazing gaming headset but I kinda want to build a setup using dac/amp which is scalable.

Wouldn’t a dt880 600ohm with dac/amp outperform pc38x?

You have the Mayflower ARC Mk2 that has mic input, but I’ve read that that they don’t power the DT 880 600 ohm that well.

If having a mic input is very important then I’d look into Mayflower ARC Mk2 compined with Beyerdynamic DT 900 PRO X, a pair that should be easier to drive. I’ve heard alot of good reviews for competative play with the DT 900 Pro X, some call it wall hack tier. But I havn’t tried it myself.

Here’s a few links worth looking at:

curious, you can just get a modmic that attaches to the headphone… or a dedicated mic such as a form of usb connection. though ones with mic inputs will be extremely lacking. Is there a specific reason for needing the mic input?

hmm, definitely no knowledge from me on that… never really considered Ipad as an option to be honest with you lol

-is in the process of already responding here lol-

well it definitely hits the quote right and theres a select few I can think of within that portion but sound quality wise I would say they are more lacking in technicalities despite having enough power…

So the 38x is… a rather hit or miss. 3 blob affect imaging, decent soundstage, smaller pads than other sennheisers so it can be rather uncomfortable, built cheaper, I have had several copies where the mic was defective or bad channel balance, mic itself can just go out randomly(2 cases), and the wiring can also come defective as well top that off with its ability to separate sounds in highly heated moments is a bit of a joke if you ask me. Its good for very specific games, though if you want to compare this to say… hd 560s? the pc38x can lose there hands down in pretty much every technical aspect except maybe the bass and it doesnt ahve the mic.

Would depend on a few factors for you on whether 38x is a good fit

Ear size, the pads for me personally are On ear instead of over and I have to position my ears a weird way to get the headphone properly over my ears… it rubs alot and its uncomfortable. There is no reasonable pad either as the pads that come with it are the same size and the leathers you can buy have the same problem

Particular game in question: if were talking seriously demanding games… for example tarkov, hunt showdown, insurgency sandstorm, among some others? no… this headset is downright dreadful and I would 110% tell you to skip it… though for smaller titles like counter strike, valorant, destiny, halo, etc its fine… just dont expect any form of audiophile sound quality from it… its a gamer item through and through… the only “good” thing about that one is that its the best open back headset you can get… granted its not hard to achieve such a title to begin with when you consider the piss poor headsets we currently have and use today

technical aspect preference: not everyone is the same… some people prefer large soundstage others intimate… this is not your big airy spacious sound and it sucks at vertical placement

38x has practically zero scaling… so it would make much more sense to go with a 600 ohm beyer in this case… the same can be said with 600 series sennheisers since they respond to higher grade equipment as well as tube amps

They unfortunately, do not… G6 can… but the sound quality is a rather large miss… Cant speak on schiit hel personally but it might

As for the 900 pro x? I tried to love that one… its another case of large hit or miss and I found a lot wrong with it… it should stay a studio headphone it is by no means that good for gaming competitively… separation is awful, soundstage is lacking big time, detail retrieval is a huge miss, it just doesn’t have the full technical capabilities you want ideally… and yet it is more expensive than the original DT series as well as tygrs and sennheisers… hell for the price of that thing since it goes over $300 you can spend just a bit more and snag a mint used dt 1990 which would be a hell of a lot better.

1 Like

I don’t know how they fare against the dt880 .From Google I found a thread discussing these headphones but I don’t know who are credible over there in that forum.

I did find below chart comparing dt880 and dt900 x but is not something I understand.

I also play mobile games with my friends .IPad does not recognise external mic in the game which is the reason I wanted a mic option.

How about having audio interface + amplifier to drive the headphones?would that option work ?

I m gonna mostly play warzone/apex/valorant on PC.

Dude how many headphones do u even have ?

charts tell you quite little. The signature itself of the 900x is indeed incredibly similar to the 800 600 ohm headphone hence the graphs are rather similar as a result… however technical performance of the driver such as its ability to resolve, detail, separation of sound, soundstage and its respective depth, imaging, comfort, build, etc all are unseen from a graph. I would argue that outside the bass which is an easy fix the 880 600 ohm is just a far superior headphone to the 900x in all aspects excluding soundstage as the 880 is a semi open instead. 900 is designed explicitly for studio use… its not a bad headphone by any means, its just that in competitive sense its not the best choice… however, if one absolutely needs an ampless option? its not a bad decision at that point…

Rather curious, well the only two units I can think of are mayflower and schiit hel if your after the good sound quality and within budget having a mic input. IIRC schiit hel is stronger than mayflower though may have changed since both units have had updates over time. I would encourage seeking full clarification from some others in the respective threads on the Hel’s capabilities or someone more technical savvy with specs of that sort to find out if Hel is fully capable… I would take Hel over mayflower as I dont appreciate the mayflowers darker sound traits.

you can indeed use an amp connected to an audio interface(would make this your dac) as your setup… keep in mind a dedicated dac will always be superior but this will work as well if need be.

stick with the 880 since youve mentioned you want something that will scale, sounds like you may consider upgrading at some point and thats a headphone that will grow with you as well… it also has a potential upgrade which is what I use, the T1 2nd generation.

uhh let me count… I count… 23 currently I had more. Have a pc38x sitting over there collecting dust I will be throwing back to drop though(defective) and I just sold the HD800S

IF I am recalling this correctly… schiit hel was 100 mw at 600 ohms which is fine for the beyers. Granted… the 600 ohm beyers is 92 sensitivity 600 ohm… it may push them but, like… barely

@Falenkor thanks for detailed explanation.

So to summarise:

  • Dt880 600ohm should be preferred in my case

  • schiit hel has more power and should be preferred over mayflower but need to confirm about its capabilities with more informed people.

  • Audio interface + amp would work but dedicated dacs+amp are always better.

  • You have 23 headphones and I have zero .lol

Based on the information,I have below options that I can take:

  1. Audio interface (mayflower/hel/Scarlett solo/2i2/2i4)+amp(schiit magni) +dt880

  2. Audio interface (mayflower/hel/scarlet) + dt900 pro x

  3. Schiit stack (modi +magni) + dt880 with no mic .

Another headphones worth considering is the Sennheiser 560s which is also gotten good reviews for competitive gaming, Falenkor mentioned it in comparison with the 38x. It’s easier to drive if you have issue finding a dac/amp for the DT880s. I havn’t tested it either but it’s well regarded.

1 Like

Sorry, I’m not a Beyerdynamic guy. Have tested a few – not the DT 880 600 ohm – and didn’t like the crispy treble.

You will need a meaty amp to drive a 600-ohm can. Don’t scrimp on power in favor of portability, no matter what you get.

provided you can tolerate its brightness… yeah its fine

yep, do be sure to confirm this though just incase.

Usually better, depends on the hardware being compared of course… Like motu M2 is actually quite nice I found out for an interface compared to a cheaper dac.

lol, it is a hobby after all. Granted I will be cleaning a lot of it out soon enough.

I own the 560s and its on my wall as a very good sennheiser… can attest to its capabilities and a very solid alternative to beyers more so for those who feel beyers are just too bright or the tygr 300r didnt work for them personally.

quite a lot seem to underestimate just how much power you need let alone good hardware. Those combo units just don’t cut it most of the time

I personally love that fact, but I can respect that its not for everyone.

Would Schiit Magni be enough ?

Will have a look at m2 .Another interface that I am looking into is the Arturia MiniFuse 1/2.let’s see which I ultimately end up with.

Would there be any issue if I end up paring for instance Motu m2 with magni .Is there any compatibility issue that I need to be wary of.

Don’t know if I will like but let’s see .

We are the approaching the finale now.
I have shortlisted few audio interfaces and have confirmed from dealers their avalibility.
So here is my final list :

  1. Motu m2

  2. Audient id4 mkii
    Company says it’s capable of driving 600ohm headphones .If anyone has knowledge of this claim then please share .

  3. Arturia MiniFuse 1

Look at M0Ns reply here:

Those you listed are all more production and recording type of devices? Have you read anything about their sound quality? I would think the priority in these devices would be having great input/mic quality over soundquality for the output/headphones. I think Schiit Hel or Mayflower Arc is your best bet, where the mayflower has line out, so you could pair it with another amp later on.

most of the general entry levels have enough power $100+

an interface? don’t rely on interface for amp power, just get an amp…

keep in mind, this will only serve as the Dac and Mic input requirement in the setup… not the power to the headphone.

^. I only said interface would be acceptable due to the needed mic input atm.

he could theoretically just grab a G6 and get an amp later for it provided this is exclusively pc though I am unsure if it will connect to his other devices. It can technically power the 600 ohm beyers once you set it all up in the software ot push 600 ohm. It has a decent dac though im not sure if you can still use its mic input when you change the amp to a dedicated unit… same with the others. Combo units lack in power in comparison… and things get more restrictive needing a mic input.

I did see couple of videos about the listed interfaces and thought they might work good alongside schiit magni amp.
See this chart below :

Below are Mk2 specs:

Mayflower is not available in my country and I was told by a distributor here that all Schiit products are out of stock and might take time to be back .

Yes sir.

This is what I was thinking of using it as along with a separate amp

Yes I want to use it with my iPad as well.couldn’t find any info about someone using with it.

I am an trying to find a dac with optical connection would like it to be balance i found the jds labs Atom DAC+ usb & optical combine with jds labs atom amp headphone amp thanks

Confused, are you searching for help for a different topic/setup? Please create a respective thread for that and not derail another persons topic if this is the case. Also, JDS atoms are not balanced amps and dacs, they are not capable of such setup

1 Like