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angryjeje

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Hi,

I just bought a new pc with I guess a bad audio codec on the motherboard (B650 Aorus Elite AX)
I have the PC38x headset which I always used just fine on my previous pc.

On this pc tho, my max volume is just way too low and just sounds off. I mainly play games, and like to compete in them. I also play DAYZ casually and even when I put all volume sliders to the max ingame and in windows, its such low volume. I have been googling and hear people say that the PC38x 'doesnt take much to drive' which I dont know what that means and it confuses me.

I figured I need to buy an AMP/DAC, so I came here to see if thats even true: and if so, which one? I was eyeing the Topping DX3 pro+ or the iFi Zen Dac v2. I care most about clear directional sound and low latency (if thats even a thing)

I also see people talk about an apple usb c dongle. Do I need this? If I get just that little dongle, will my volume magically be able to go higher?

I would really appreciate some help.
Also, the headset has a 3.5mm classic jack and same for the mic. So it has two (3.5m??) classic jacks! I guess I can buy some cable for the mic seperately?

Thanks alot.
 

staticV3

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I have been googling and hear people say that the PC38x 'doesnt take much to drive' which I dont know what that means and it confuses me.
It means that the headphone is very sensitive, so it produces high sound pressure levels (=volume) with low input voltage.

I figured I need to buy an AMP/DAC, so I came here to see if thats even true: and if so, which one?
I would first try the A2049 Apple dongle. If that doesn't get loud enough, I'd buy a Topping DX1.
Anything bigger and more expensive doesn't make sense, unless you upgrade to headphones like the Hifiman HE6 which need a lot of current.

I also see people talk about an apple usb c dongle. Do I need this?
No.

If I get just that little dongle, will my volume magically be able to go higher?
That depends on how loud your current Amp in your motherboard can go.
The A2049 can output exactly 1.0Vrms.

If your motherboard does less than that, then you will be able to play louder through the Apple dongle.

Also, the headset has a 3.5mm classic jack and same for the mic. So it has two (3.5m??) classic jacks! I guess I can buy some cable for the mic seperately?
It's a headset splitter:
s-l400.jpg

Plug your PC38X into the Apple dongle via one of these and it'll take care of both the headphone and mic.
 

kemmler3D

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would first try the A2049 Apple dongle. If that doesn't get loud enough, I'd buy a Topping DX1.
Anything bigger and more expensive doesn't make sense, unless you upgrade to headphones like the Hifiman HE6 which need a lot of current.
+1 for this.

The Apple Dongle will probably be better and unless you like it REALLY LOUD, loud enough.

The worst headphone amps I've ever heard have been in laptops / on motherboards so I can easily believe the Apple dongle will be an upgrade. And it's the affordable way to get started. DX1 only if you really need it.

Oh and welcome to ASR!
 
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angryjeje

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Thank u guys so much for the crazy fast replies covering all my questions.

I'll order both of these then:



Should be good after, right??
If not I'll have to come back and become a REAL audiophile ;)

Thanks again
 

DVDdoug

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You could get a headphone amplifier that plugs-into the analog jack or a DAC with a headphone output.

It's hard to know how much output voltage you need. We'd need to know the sensitivity of the headphones and how loud you like to go (in dB SPL). But you can read the reviews here and get an idea of what headphone amps/DACs have plenty of output.

There are EU regulations on how "loud" headphone jacks on computers, audio players, and cell phones can go and some manufacturers may apply those standards worldwide and intentionally limiting the volume. But it's kinda' dumb because some headphones are more sensitive (efficient) than others.

I care most about clear directional sound
The headphones have some effect but mostly it's what's in the program and your brain. Headphone Soundstage Survey. Most people don't get a true surround image (I never perceive sounds coming from behind with headphones) and that makes sense because there are only 2 "speakers" and they move when you move your head (and head movement is an important part of sound location.)

and low latency (if thats even a thing)
Latency (delay) depends on your operating system & drivers. It might be worse with Bluetooth.
 
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angryjeje

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You could get a headphone amplifier that plugs-into the analog jack or a DAC with a headphone output.

It's hard to know how much output voltage you need. We'd need to know the sensitivity of the headphones and how loud you like to go (in dB SPL). But you can read the reviews here and get an idea of what headphone amps/DACs have plenty of output.

There are EU regulations on how "loud" headphone jacks on computers, audio players, and cell phones can go and some manufacturers may apply those standards worldwide and intentionally limiting the volume. But it's kinda' dumb because some headphones are more sensitive (efficient) than others.


The headphones have some effect but mostly it's what's in the program and your brain. Headphone Soundstage Survey. Most people don't get a true surround image (I never perceive sounds coming from behind with headphones) and that makes sense because there are only 2 "speakers" and they move when you move your head (and head movement is an important part of sound location.)


Latency (delay) depends on your operating system & drivers. It might be worse with Bluetooth.
I actually have some USB DAC Ive plugged the audio jack into, I have been using it and it gives me more than enough volume. The problem is: my sound randomly 'lags out'. I basically hear nothing for a good few seconds. Its really odd and I blame it on the weird USB DAC I got from Aliexpress sometime
 

staticV3

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Thank u guys so much for the crazy fast replies covering all my questions.

I'll order both of these then:



Should be good after, right??
The EU version of the Apple dongle (A2155) has reduced output to comply with EU regulations.

If you can, try to buy specifically the 'A2049' Apple dongle from eBay. That has the full output.

You can usually find a bunch of different offers from people in the US, just pick the one with the lowest total price.

You can also search for MU7E2AM/A.
AM/A=US version, ZM/A=EU version.
 
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angryjeje

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The EU version of the Apple dongle (A2155) has reduced output to comply with EU regulations.

If you can, try to buy specifically the 'A2049' Apple dongle from eBay. That has the full output.

You can usually find a bunch of different offers from people in the US, just pick the one with the lowest total price.
Damn.. that really sucks.That'd probably mean I'd be waiting for ages for it to arrive then? Stupid EU regulations.
 
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angryjeje

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The EU version of the Apple dongle (A2155) has reduced output to comply with EU regulations.

If you can, try to buy specifically the 'A2049' Apple dongle from eBay. That has the full output.

You can usually find a bunch of different offers from people in the US, just pick the one with the lowest total price.

You can also search for MU7E2AM/A.
AM/A=US version, ZM/A=EU version.

So this one? I cant seem to even order from the US Ebay. It just redirects me to the EU one when I try to sign up. :(
 
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angryjeje

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I would plug in Creative AE-5 Plus or similar and carry on.
I was thinking of this aswell initially. I did some research and found so many bad things about it though, not sure if true ofc. People talking about 'channeling' or something and just overall lots of problems, idk. I really dont want more trouble
 

staticV3

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So this one? I cant seem to even order from the US Ebay. It just redirects me to the EU one when I try to sign up. :(
You can just search for A2049 or MU7E2AM/A on the dutch eBay website. It'll show you lots of offers from the US:
Screenshot_20240110-225801_Edge.jpg
 
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angryjeje

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You can just search for A2049 or MU7E2AM/A on the dutch eBay website. It'll show you lots of offers from the US:
View attachment 341059
Oh yes I see. Itll cost me about 30$ and will take around a month to ship tho. How confident are u this will fix my problem? Cause it's legit unplayable if I plug the headphones straight into the pc. Maybe I should follow the other mans advice and buy that internal soundcard?
 

staticV3

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Oh yes I see. Itll cost me about 30$ and will take around a month to ship tho. How confident are u this will fix my problem? Cause it's legit unplayable if I plug the headphones straight into the pc. Maybe I should follow the other mans advice and buy that internal soundcard?
As I said before, how much more volume you will get with an Apple dongle depends on the output voltage of your motherboard's built-in headphone output.

You can measure that yourself with a basic multimeter, if you're curious.

Between the Creative AE-5 and Topping DX1, I would choose the latter.
 
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angryjeje

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As I said before, how much more volume you will get with an Apple dongle depends on the output voltage of your motherboard's built-in headphone output.

You can measure that yourself with a basic multimeter, if you're curious.

Between the Creative AE-5 and Topping DX1, I would choose the latter.
Aaa okay. I will order the topping DX1 then. Do I need to order anything else? Im assuming it doesnt have a port for the mic jack right?
 

ZolaIII

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I was thinking of this aswell initially. I did some research and found so many bad things about it though, not sure if true ofc. People talking about 'channeling' or something and just overall lots of problems, idk. I really dont want more trouble
You have separate path with additional OPAMP's for headphone out and use mixer as you wish, bonus are separate line out chenels which you again can remap with other software and use as you wish but with speakers. Performance is fine.
 
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angryjeje

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You have separate path with additional OPAMP's for headphone out and use mixer as you wish, bonus are separate line out chenels which you again can remap with other software and use as you wish but with speakers. Performance is fine.
Thing is, I dont care about all these things as I dont even know what they are. I just want to plug and play, no more troubles.

I need clear and loud enough sound, thats it. Ill never use speakers so I definitely dont care about extra ports. Whichever one of the two (topping dx1 or this ae5+) is better for that Ill order right now.
 

ZolaIII

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Thing is, I dont care about all these things as I dont even know what they are. I just want to plug and play, no more troubles.

I need clear and loud enough sound, thats it. Ill never use speakers so I definitely dont care about extra ports. Whichever one of the two (topping dx1 or this ae5+) is better for that Ill order right now.
Take your time and pick a stereo DAC with headphone amp from a long list from index on ASR and there is so many with different subjective and objective futures (looks, knobs, remotes, BT, WiFi or net streaming and cetera) which perform very, very good.
 
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