Trying to get Headphones and DAC/AMP working with Xbox One

Hey all!

I am trying to connect my headphones to my Xbox while using a mod mic connected to my PC for party chat (Xbox game bar). Simply put, I am trying to run my Xbox’s audio through my line-in audio port on my PC and then play the Xbox audio through my headphones (which are connected to my PC). But I am receiving a constant flow of static through the Xbox’s audio.

I know running audio from the motherboard can cause static do to electrical interference, but if I just plug in my headphones, there is no static.This is what my layout looks like (left to right):

Xbox > Optical Cable > DAC > 3.5mm cable > Line-in 3.5mm port on PC > Optical Cable > DAC/AMP > Headphones.

Anyone have any insight on how I can get this to work? If you need more info, please let me know. I appreciate the help!

Could you bypass the PC by going Xbox to DAC with optical then to the D/A with the 3.5mm into a RCA Y-cable. Other half of the Y coming from the PC out to effectively combine the audio at the D/A? Mod Mic would go into the PC just like normal, you would volume level the voices from the PC and the Xbox/Voices level at the D/A. You might still get a little static but it would only be on the voice channel and not as noticable.

What DAC, DAC/Amp, and Motherboard do you have?

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DAC - PROZOR 192KHz Digital to Analog Audio Converter
D/A - S.M.S.L SD-793II
Motherboard - Whatever is in an Alienware Aurora R6 Video
So I tried that. Now the setup is (left to right):

Xbox > Optical > DAC > 3.5mm to RCA Y splitter > D/A

The xbox volume is there, but very quiet. And now the audio from my PC sounds distorted (I am assuming since the sound is now combined). Audio is set to “Stereo Uncompressed” on my Xbox.

You should be able to minimize the volume on the PC and turn up the amp to get the Xbox audio to an acceptable level.

One other thing to try, Mod Mic to the Xbox controller (assuming 3.5mm Mod Mic) and Xbox directly into the D/A, by passing the DAC. You would then just use party chat on the Xbox for your voices.

Be sure to use the I/O panel on the back of the MoBo and not the line in / headphone out on the top of the case if you were doing that before.

Adjusting the audio volume on my pc did not seem to effect the audio for my xbox. Xbox is still pretty quiet. The amp is up all the way and it’s still barely distinguishable (DT770 250 ohms).

I have a wireless mod mic, so that won’t work unfortunately. The D/A directly into my xbox gives good volume, but it seems like when I split the audio through the pc, it struggles.

And yeah, I’ve been plugging it directly into my motherboard in the back.

Could it be electric interference from the motherboard, or maybe a crap cable causing the static? Everything can work, it’s just the static is what is tripping me up. Cheers!

If it were a cable, it would be one of the RCA/ 3.5mm connectors. You can go Xbox > Optical > DAC > 3.5mm to PC and try the headphones off the PC Headphone out to see if you get static. This would eliminate the D/A and that 3.5mm to RCA cable to see if you get static or not. My guess is the DAC is causing the static though. The 250ohm would be a bit hard to drive off the PC audio but should get loud enough to tell if there’s static in that part of the chain at least.

These are all the ways I can think of to connect what you currently own. You would need an audio interface device to effectively mix the PC and Xbox audio but I’m not sure of good direction for that and it’s price vs a 3.5mm mod mic to connect directly to the controller might be a more cost effective solution.

Didn’t say it in my first post but welcome to the forum. Someone here will have a solution for you I’m sure. I just had a few quick things to try to hopefully get a workable solution with saving a buck lol. Do you have a budget for what you might need to get it to work? It will help the more knowledgeable guys point you in the right direction when they’re around.

I definitely appreciate the help and the warm welcome!

I tested what you said, and I am still getting static when I plug in separate headphones (Apple Earpods). So that eliminates the D/A and 3.5mm as being the issue.

What leads you to believe it is the DAC that is causing the issue? Wouldn’t it be something more in line with my PC? I have the line-in enabled and the “Listen to this device” checked.

I am hoping it is something easy to fix, but I don’t mind spending some money to get this to work.

This is what happens when half of your friends play on pc and the other half on xbox. Haha!

Normally I start with the cheapest / more complicated devices to be the trouble. This DAC is more designed for HT output to an older RCA only receiver. Headphones are much more sensitive to any noise added to the signal.

If you try just your PC playing youtube, do you get static on the Airpods? Might tell you PC being the cause vs the DAC, although its still possible to get noise from the dac, amplified by the PC with more noise added in, then amped by your D/A.

So I tried plugging the crappy DAC into my pc (PC > Optical > DAC > 3.5mm Earpods) and there is no static. The issue seems to be isolated to the DAC (from Xbox) into the Line-in port on my motherboard.

I’ve tried several other variations of Earpods / DAC / D/A / DT770, and the only time I ever get static is when I do the setup in my first post. Very weird. I wonder if getting a better DAC would help the issue. I am still new to audio, so I’m not too sure.

Good work! Yes it sounds like a better DAC would help, but at the point of adding in a nicer DAC, you might have other better options for an audio interface device of some sort, it just might need a different mic option. Are you opposed to a table top or boom arm mic? Using a nicer DAC to line into the PC is kind of a one off solution to a very particular problem where money spent into a more versatile solution might be better in the long run.

Are you playing on a TV or a monitor? Does that screen have optical out or aux output? Might be able to use that to bypass the Xbox optical to try another connection with your current gear.

I just bought the wireless mod mic recently, so I’m trying to get that to work.

I am running off a monitor, which does have a 3.5mm port. What would that setup look like?

Xbox > Optical > DAC > 3.5mm into the monitor ?

How would I get the audio to my headphones?

It would be Xbox > HDMI > Monitor > 3.5m out to RCA Y splitter > D/A > Headphones
then Mic > PC (usb I’m assuming) > Line out > RCA Y > D/A.

You would have a volume control on the PC, Monitor, and D/A at that point and would need to find the best levels between all three. I would try to get no more than 80% from the PC / Monitor as they can distort more near max output since they are both headphone jacks, then your amp would be amplifying distortion.

If you don’t have all the cables to try this full setup, you should have enough to try the mic half and then the xbox half to test for distortion before investing in cabling.

Okay, so I got the sound to work through my Xbox! Yay!

My mic is wireless with a USB dongle Link. So the mic is even simplier to set up.

Only issue is that the Xbox audio is pretty quiet, even with the monitor and D/A cranked all the way. How would I adjust the volume through my PC? Nothing from my xbox is connected directly to my PC.

The PC would only adjust the voice volume, and any music you wanted to play through it from the PC while playing haha.

Unfortunately there’s really nothing else to amp the Xbox rather than a more powerful Amp. Pretty much anything you ever got as an amp would connect the same way, you would just want something to drive your Beyers more to their full potential. But this would still be a one off solution.

Is it loud enough with the Airpods? They are much lower Ohm resistance and should drive better if you want to test with that.

You might be able to use the USB on the Xbox for the Mod mic, do some Google-fu to see if someone’s been able to get it to work before. That would let you bypass the monitor audio and go Xbox > Optical > D/A > Headphones. Might be louder for you.

I can’t test the earpods because my amp only has a 1/4 audio port and I don’t have a suitable adapter. It’s weird because when I have the RCA plugged in and the optical cable, it’s like it splits the volume in half. Is that typical? When I unplug the RCA cables, the volumes is back to full.

I thought the amp I had was more than capable of driving my Beyers?

What would be a better amp? I could always return this one and get another, I just got it.

Edit: Looks like the Wireless Mod mic is only compatible with PS4, not Xbox :frowning:

Are you going Optical from the PC to the D/A? You are effectively splitting your input and levels in half by doing this. I suggested to try a pair of these and then line out from the PC to RCA and monitor to RCA to plug in here. That would have the amp power not be split.

Yeah I am going PC > Optical > D/A. Why does Optical split the power/volume?

I only have one set of female RCAs on the back of my amp, will your first link effectively make that two sets of female RCAs?

It’s probably designed to just balance the levels between two inputs. Most items with multiple inputs would have a selector so it’s one or the other.

Yep you got it! You would plug both whites into the splitter that is plugged into the white on the back of the amp, same with both reds. I really wish these splitters were made with out red/white on the female side as it leads to confusion lol.

The amp you have doesn’t have much power. It’s 130mw for 32ohms, and would be lots less for 250ohms with the higher resistance. A Magni 3+ is amp only, around 100$ new, but 410mw at 300ohms so significantly more power. I haven’t personally listened to it, but there’s tons of people on the forum that will offer other suggestions for amps. Lots to look at around the 100$ range for Amps that would work nicely, but these piecemeal cabling would need done on any of the amps.

Depending on your return period, you might Amazon some splitters and try it out, if you are happy cool, if you want to swap amps still, easy enough to do and you would already have the cabling needed for this particular setup.

But it’s late for me, work in the morning. I’ll check back in to see what other suggestions you get. Have a good night!

Thank you for the suggestions!

I looked at the Magni 3+, but settled with the other one. I definitely should be able to return it and get them one though! But yeah, I’ll get the splitter and give that a go and see where it takes me.

Few questions though (don’t feel obligated to answer tonight, you helped me more than enough!).

  1. Will I need to get a DAC to go along with the Magni 3+, if I end up pursuing that option?
    1a. If not, did I really need to get a D/A to begin with?
  2. I assume with the Magni 3+ it’ll go … Magni 3+ > RCA Splitters you linked > PC and Monitor? (instead of optical) That easy?
  3. I watched Zeos’ review on the Magni 3+ vs Magni Heresey. Do you know which is better for the DT770 250 Ohms? He seemed pretty split on which one is better because it based upon what headphones you used. I’ll do some more research on my own though.

Thank you so much for the feedback and bearing with my noob audio experience! You’ve clarified a lot for me.

You aren’t using the DAC half of the D/A if only using the RCA (analog only cables), so my thoughts are to get a nicer Amp and forgo the DAC.

Yep you got it! The PC and Monitor would be taking digital inputs from the Mod Mic and Xbox and converting it to analog for the Amp. This setup will work until you outgrow the mod mic with USB. It really is what’s driving this as a possible solution.

I’ve not heard either. From my understanding though, the Magni 3+ is more analytical and the Heresy is warmer. Beyers are typically bright headphones so warmer might help tame that some.

There are lots of other Amps in that price range too, Monolith Liquid Spark, JDS Labs Atom, and many more. You might also find some used on respectable sites for a good deal. Usually people that are into this enough to buy an amp take good care of their equipment lol.