I‘ve long ago abandoned wearing on/over-ear headphones for long gaming sessions, since I absolutely hated the feel. Started off with my crappy iPhone headphones and then replaced them with some less crappy Bose in-ears.
Well, a couple of days ago I wanted some new in-ears. After looking around a bit I decided to buy some Sennheiser IE300.
I know, they‘re super low impedance (16 Ohms) and pretty sensitive, but Sennheiser specifically marketed them as being super compatible with phones, DACs and what not all.
So anyways, I tested them on my iPhone first, yup. Great and crystal clear sound and no white noise. Plugged them into the headphone out of my Go XLR Mini, well you‘ve probably read the title… My crappy in-ears never had any white noise, whilst being plugged in the same way.
Is there anything I can do to make the Sennheiser IE300 work on a Go XLR Mini?
I‘ve already ordered an ifi IEmatch+, but that thing has mixed reviews and I don‘t know what I‘m doing
So any inputs from actual experts, unlike myself, would be greatly appreciated.
You’ve already gotten the first thing to try, that’s likely going to solve your problem, just set it on ultra and you shouldn’t have issues. I haven’t heard a 300 with a goxlr so I can’t really comment there on if there should be hiss or not, but that should do the job if it’s just noise floor. Might not fix if it’s a ground loop that’s causing the noise
If that for some reason doesn’t solve the problem, you can get a desktop amp and hook that up to the output of the goxlr (and get a quality boost from that too, although that also might have noise depending on what amp you go for). But before you do that I’d really evaluate if you 1 have a ground loop or 2 have a broken goxlr, cause the iematch should really fix the hiss problem
Thanks for the quick reply.
Yeah, I ordered the IEmatch+ because I was pretty confident, that it wasn‘t a ground loop issue, since my other headphones didn’t pick up the white noise, which they should have, right? Anyways, will wait for the IEmatch+ and hopefully get rid of my issue that way.
Depends on the other headphones and how sensitive they are, but if you don’t notice anything on other headphones you are likely in the clear for that
goxlr minis have tons of noise. they’re just awful. tried to find ways around it to help my friend with his stream and i just couldn’t find a way around it.
I‘ll try with the IEmatch+, but I‘ve been suspecting the overall quality of the Mini to be far inferior to the normal version. The mic preamp is also total crap and definitely not as powerful as TC claims, so I wouldn’t be surprised if the built in dac and amp is of similar questionable quality. Maybe I should return the IEMs and invest in a decent audio interface instead
Interesting, I’ve only tried the normal one and it was ok but not terrible for noise
For the same price an audient id4 mkii is pretty damn nice, and for a bit more than that the new ua volt 276 looks real nice (although I haven’t tried the volt yet myself)
I‘ve tested the IEmatch and can say, that it definitely works, although In my opinion it negatively affects the sound, which seemed more distant and not quite as “full“ for a lack of a better word.
Since the Go XLR Mini draws power via USB I was wondering. Could I be using an Audioquest Jitterbug or an ifi iPurifier3 with it? Or would that screw with the USB power delivery.
Could see that, typically it shouldn’t have that large of an impact (when on ultra), but it puts a pretty high load on the amp in exchange, so now you are likely stressing the internal amp more which is showing it’s limitations (it’s really not great).
I’d really just get a standalone amp for it, you will get better sound quality and not rely on the more afterthought headphone amp inside the interface. Using a higher quality power supply or some extra filtering on the interface can be good but I don’t think it would really improve sound all that much compared to what those solutions really cost. In the end the mini really isn’t that sound quality focued and is more what people buy for the features/software, so I’d rather just grab an external amp instead. You could go with something like a schiit iemagni or a magni 3+, or a monolith liquid spark, and even those entry level amps would be a step up from the internal headphone out. You’d just plug the amp into the line out of the goxlr (so you can still monitor stuff and use it as your dac)
Also just out of curiosity, what mic are you running?
A Røde Procaster together with a Fethead, because of the preamp.
Yeah, I was looking at those Shiit amps, they seemed pretty nice at an affordable price. The reason I brought up the Audiquest Jitterbug and the other device, was because the Go XLR is absolutely polluting my audio-chain. If I plug the headphones directly into my motherboard, I get flawless audio.
So I was wondering, wouldn’t the amp get the polluted audio as well or would it be able to clean the signal somehow?
My impressions of the IEMatch+ is that it doesn’t degrade sound quality at all. Not saying yours is fake or broken or even your ears are broken; it might be placebo. One of the biggest faults in this hobby is folks mistaking volume for detail or lack of detail and whatnot. Lots of folks test new gear and don’t volume match things; with the IEMatch+, it draws more power, so then you need to crank the amp more, thus it could seem like it degrades audio.
But the only way to test this apples to apples is to get a decibel meter, set up identical amps in identical setups with the same music, match decibels, then listen.
Overall, I think you’re fine. Even if you hear less “fullness” and hear distance now, a power conditioner and whatnot isn’t going to make things better. That’s just another rabbit hole of products you might not need to burn money on.
With IEMs, their sensitivity reveals the noise floor of amplifiers. Like 99% of amps have non-perfect noise floors, so running IEMs on them will always result in a slight hiss. Not whitenoise or whatever, just a hiss because the IEM’s sensitivity doesn’t align with the amp’s output levels. You can’t really improve an amp’s capabilities with additional stuff wired into the back; you can only help it if your setup’s conditions aren’t ideal.
Does your mic also sound pretty bad? Is it just the headphone amp or can it be heard on the mic as well when you use the jitterbug vs without? If it’s also the mic, then yes that would cause problems with an external amp, but otherwise it might not
I wouldn’t right away say placebo, because it’s totally feasible that an iematch on an already very weak amp would end up stressing it enough that you are pushing the amp too hard for what it is. The iematch on ultra can end up putting a stronger load on the amp than most efficient headphones, so when you have a very weak and lacking headphone amp (such as one in an interface), you can end up getting worse sound quality because you end up pushing the amp past what it’s capable of. But yes I’ve found that most of the time the iematch to have little to sometimes no noticeable degradation on most chains, but I can totally see the above happening imo
Yep that’s really not going to fix or improve anything enough to be worthwhile considering what gear we are working with here
You could if it’s a better power supply (not conditioning), but again it’s not going to be impactful/worthwhile at this price range most of the time
I wrote “white noise” because it sounded exactly like the white noise example on Wikipedia. Regardless of that, your assessment is probably correct and I’m just hearing my amps noise floor with the IEMs. Since I was unable to discern any such behavior while being directly plugged into my motherboard’s line out, I thought that the Go XLR Mini’s audio was being corrupted due to the fact, that it is not only sending audio over USB, but also drawing power that way.
True, I did not volume match my source, that is why I wrote, that there was a perceptual change, which might very well have been due to incorrectly set volume levels; although I did increase my volume by quite a bit, maybe not enough though, who knows.
Overall the IEmatch+ did work in my case, so as you mentioned, power conditioning would probably not be the solution to my issue.
I’ll most likely just retest the IEmatch+ and see if my amp can deliver enough “juice” to power the headphones or if M0N was right with their assessment and Go XLR Mini’s amp is just too weak and crappy.
In that case I’ll eventually get a separate amp, like a Magni-IE or something.
Anyways, thanks for your input.