Trying to up my audio game, HELP

Rofl, all the questions. 1 more. windows volume. I have been hearing mixed reports. Would I leave it at 100% and adjust on the k3. Or iv read some people think 90% or 95% is better. does it matter? In my noobie mind, its sending through usb so, its digital, so 100% would be best… or…

It depends on what level files you’re using and how often you want to change it. If I were you, I would leave it at 24/48 unless you start using hi-res files and get into running bit-perfect audio.

As for trying higher resolution audio, I would grab trial subscriptions for any of the hi-rez services you want to try out like Qobuz, Amazon HD, Tidal, Deezer, etc. They all offer free trials and that would be a good way to experience CD quality and 24bit hi-res. If you want to try DSD there are some sites that offer free downloads of music to try. It’s very limited, but it would let you try it. If you go on google and search for free dsd downloads and free hi-res downloads you’ll find plenty. Also, if you have albums/bands you know you love look up their Bandcamp pages or go on the Qobuz and HDTracks websites and you can purchase or demo high quality downloads from CD quality through DSD and everything in between. Some bands/artists even have free downloads on their Bandcamp pages. Last but not least, if you still have a CD collection you can rip them to CD quality FLAC pretty easily.

As for the volume issue, it is generally best to keep your computer’s volume at 100% to provide the K3 with the strongest possible sigal and then use the knob on the K3 for volume control. If you run into a situation where you have some crazy sensitive IEMs and you need to lower the computer volume to make the volume range on the K3 more usable that’s probably the only situation where you want to do that.

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You are a saint sir/mam. I am sooo excited to start this journey!


I’m a sir and I’m happy to help. As always, feel free to ask any other questions that occur to you. My PM inbox is always open and replying here is fine too. I’m stoked for you!


@JAnonymous5150 :+1:
Helping others!


My Fiio arrived. Considering im still on my retros, first impressions?


Give me time to process lol

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A quality amp and DAC make a big difference to me too. It’s always kinda shocking to me when I see people saying that they can’t hear the difference between a good combo and their phone’s headphone jack. I’m happy that it worked out for you!

When you get your headphones you’ll hear that difference to an even greater degree. Also, experimenting with higher resolution files that the MP3s you said you are using currently should also increase the difference.

Quick thoughts. I can/will go to into more detail after a bit more time with it. Feel free to ask me to explain better.

NOTE: Im a noob, I may be using incorrect wordings for some of what im trying to explain.

Bass boost: Can be nice on a few tracks, but overall muddies it? OFF

Gain/Power: Feels a bit weak. By that I mean, on my 32ohm retros. Low gain at 100% nob/windows volume, everything is present and music is very ‘jam-out-able’. But some tracks just arnt putting out the omf im used to from my mobo. At low gain it sounds (volume wise) maybe 95% of what my mobo could do. On high gain, 100% nob is loud, but in head banger tracks, even 100% gain 2 is only ‘just’ getting there. High gain feels like 110% vs my mobos 100% (volume wise).Most people would not listen at volume levels as loud as I do, but I feel this amp may struggle with higher ohm headphones. In games, id prob have it around 50% on the volume nob low gain. The ‘roll off’ I go into below may be a reason for the perceived volume reduction as well. But High gain IS louder then my mobo, no doubt. NOTE: Many people think I should be deaf. Iv had friends put on my headset I was jamming out to, for them to throw them off in disgust at how loud I had it at. I do need more time though, as some tones sound louder (bass) while others sound less.

Bass: Its more present/deep/full (NO bass boost). It hits a bit harder/deeper, its nice.

Highs?: Compared to my mobo audio, it feels like the highs are rolling off a bit, In a good way. With my mobo, to get the bass I wanted, I had to up the volume, which made the highs a bit more piercing. It feels more balanced now.

Hard to put into words: Some tones/notes sound like there ‘rolling off’ or ‘veiled’ or less present. This is most likely me being used to how it was for 10 years, and needing to get used to the new sound. Id almost go to say, the K3 ‘responds faster’ so notes die off faster then before. This may be more accurate, and my ears being used to the old way. But in between bass/high punches, on my mobo, the tones would hang around a split second longer (prob in error) but it made some songs feel more ‘full’?

I hope I used correct describing words, sorry if I am not lol.

The NewK3 is a improvement, hands down. But I need more time with her.

To explain my volume/gain rant a bit more lol. Low gain at max volume, the bass is punching harder then my mobo. The highs are like 99% of my mobo at low gain, mids seem reduces vs mobo. On High gain, everything is ‘more’ then my mobo. The worry is more so using the K3 and some of the 100+ ohm headphones

It ‘may’ not even be volume so much im hearing. As I said, the mids/high feel kind of like there more balanced with the bass/rounded off, which may be confusing my ears to say 'where did ‘that’ tone go. Once again, im a noob with audio words. But it almost feels like the amp/dac/driver is responding ‘faster’. Which then makes my brain go “there used to be ‘something’ here” when really what I was hearing back then was a error in something responding ‘slowly’?

My ears/brain are adjusting still. I have no idea what im talking about lol :rofl:

Your retros are only 32 ohms, but they’re also rated at 96db/mW which means they are fairly inefficient and not very sensitive. That sensitivity rating can be more indicative of power needs than the impedance rating (ohms) sometimes, especially on lower impedance headphones.

Do these things have burn in? Or is it my ears adjusting? The more I use it, I swear the better it sounds.

Both! I just when through this with my mest. The dynamic driver had to really loosen up to get that subwoofer like bass everyone talks about.

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