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Old August 4, 2013, 04:23 PM
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Default Are the Sennheiser PC350s worth it without soundcard?

Are the 350s worth it with the onboard audio from my mobo? I'm not an audiophile and I don't know much about audio but they are on sale $90 off on NCIX.ca and my current headset is dying so I need a new one. I don't need perfect audio but I'm fine with my current headset and it only cost $50 (Tactic 3D Sigma) so I'm assuming a $200 headset should sound better even without a soundcard right? The Logitech G35 is also on sale, how does it compare vs the 350s? I don't care much for software I just want good sound, clear mic, comfort and build quality.
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Old August 4, 2013, 04:37 PM
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In my opinion you need a sound card with amplification. They're 150ohm resistance and sound like tin cans without it. I'd also say to get them to sound to their fullest potential you'd need to do the "Hero Mod".

PC350 "Hero Mod"
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Old August 4, 2013, 04:54 PM
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That's pretty disappointing, my current headset sounds fine to me and it was $50 so why would $200 headsets sound like tin cans? Do they really sound that bad? Is it worth modding it or should I go for the Logitech G35's? I really like Sennheiser but it's disappointing to have to mod a headset to get its full potential. Shouldn't it have been manufactured to sound like the modded version instead of released sounding like tin cans?
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Old August 4, 2013, 05:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gulpcow View Post
That's pretty disappointing, my current headset sounds fine to me and it was $50 so why would $200 headsets sound like tin cans? Do they really sound that bad? Is it worth modding it or should I go for the Logitech G35's? I really like Sennheiser but it's disappointing to have to mod a headset to get its full potential. Shouldn't it have been manufactured to sound like the modded version instead of released sounding like tin cans?
The lack of bass in the PC350's was an intentional design choice and they only sound like tin cans when you aren't giving them enough power. The Asus Xonar DG/DGX will be adequate for powering PC350's and they come pretty darn cheap.

Honestly, if you intend to buy a pair of PC350's and "hero mod" them you're better off buying HD555's or HD595's in the first place.

The question is what do you want from your headphones, not whether or not you should buy PC350's. (open/closed, sound signature, soundstage/imaging, etc)
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Old August 4, 2013, 08:17 PM
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Ilya is right. The tin cans part I mentioned is definitely caused by a lack of power.

As for the Hero Mod, the reason I mentioned it was because I found that it personally made it sound better. The PC350's are extremely light on the lows, even more so than the HD555 and Audio Technica AD900 (I own both) which are both "open" design headphones. Now obviously that's a design choice on Sennheiser's part, but i don't think it makes sense for what they're designed for. For many games, especially FPS, you need noticeable bass for directionality in footsteps and whatnot.

I love my PC350s and could easily recommend them to anybody assuming they're comfortable with the mod and can power them. If not, I'd say go with something else that's easier to drive. My suggestion would be to get headphones and a standalone microphone, like the aforementioned Sennheisers (They're onto HD558 now but a used set of HD555 can be found cheap, seeing as mine were $70.).
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...
<firebane> i will offer pereniums mom
<firebane> slightly used
<Keltron> slightly is an understatement
<LPfan4ever> Who're you kidding...slightly?
<martin_metal_88> peri's mom, slightly used? lol...

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Old August 5, 2013, 02:31 AM
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So what sound card would you guys recommend for the 350s? Has to be USB as I'm out of PCI/PCI-E slots. Also what's the difference between a sound card and an amp? Would the FiiO e6 work?
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Old August 5, 2013, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gulpcow View Post
So what sound card would you guys recommend for the 350s? Has to be USB as I'm out of PCI/PCI-E slots. Also what's the difference between a sound card and an amp? Would the FiiO e6 work?
A sound card typically consists of a DAC (digital to analogue converter) and amplifier circuitry. (but most of these circuits are designed for low loads, not 150ohms like the PC350)

The Fiio E6 would work, but you'd be double amping. (which you typically don't want to do) The issue with that is you might be making flaws in the amp circuitry louder, so you need to use a line out which connects directly to the DAC and bypasses the amp on your onboard sound. (this probably wouldn't be worth the trouble)

The Xonar U3 can sometimes be found for ~$30 and it's a pretty decent USB solution. The drivers have matured quite well at this point (though they aren't 100% issue free) and you have other solutions in terms of drivers. (third party drivers or directly from CMedia)
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Old August 5, 2013, 12:40 PM
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one thing that I learned through the years of stereo equipment is that better quality items usually means that you don't need to have the sound cranked up to get everything out of them you can listen to music that has allot going on at a low volume and hear everything with good quality items but you also need to have the samew quality of ewvery thing to get the proper sound if you have a great amp but below average speakers you are missing allot same goes with the other way around you can have speakers that are top notch tha tcan handle major loud sound but will blow up if the amp is not a good quality . so what I am saying is that if you have a good item try to make everything welse around it the same quality or you are pretty much missing out.
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Old August 5, 2013, 02:14 PM
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Ok so I ended up getting the PC350's as I'll probably get more out of them if I invest in a decent sound card. I understand the bass problem, if I press them against my ears they sound perfect (to me at least). I'll probably do the hero mod and btw I have 3 PCI-E x1 slots but I'd still kinda prefer USB sound card. Is amp just for volume? If so, I don't really care for pumping the volume as loud as I can. I usually listen at an above average volume. Any recommendations for a sound card around $50-100 ish for the PC350's to get a little more bass and oomph out of them so they sound less empty? Also how long does it take to burn in a headset? I listen to music most of the time I'm on the computer usually around 4~6 hours.

Would the Creative X-Fi USB 5.1 soundcard be alright?

Last edited by gulpcow; August 5, 2013 at 03:06 PM.
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Old August 5, 2013, 03:29 PM
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A better amp=more power and cleaner power. (Gain is the technical term) More power=slightly higher volume. However the reverse does not apply. You can try it for yourself, the difference is very noticeable - PC350's sound horrible at high volume without decent amping.

As for a sound card that fits your requirements, they're either going to be slightly under your budget or slightly over. <$50 you have the Xonar U3 (USB) or the Xonar DGX, (PCI-E) both of which are excellent budget solutions. >$100 you have the Fiio E7/E17 and O2/ODAC. (both USB) There's plenty of good standalone amps under $100, but you'd want to use the line out from your motherboard's onboard sound. (you need to check if your board has one)

Most people would recommend 24-48 hours of pink noise on the PC350's, but honestly it didn't matter for me when I first used them. But if you really care that much about burn-in you could download Audacity and loop some generated pink noise.
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