amp/dac or audio interface with side tone/mic monitoring?

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by Phitec, Mar 8, 2020.

  1. Phitec

    Phitec Member

    Mar 25, 2013
    Hi guys, basically im coming from steelseries arctis pro wireless, they are great but would like to try a dedicated set of headphones and a mod mic. looking at either beyerdynamic dt 1990 or 1770s, a mod mic, and an amp/dac. With my current set, i have mic side tone which i absolutely love, basically allows me to hear my own voice real time. I would like to keep this function, and iv seen that some audio interfaces like the scarlett 2i2 have it but im not sure if thats just for recording or if i can use the mic for discord aswell simultaneously. ive looked at gaming ones like sennheiser gsx 1200 but i cant confirm if the sidetone function will work with a dedicated mic? Was wondering if anyone has a similar set up and could give me some advice. Thanks!
  2. NSanity

    NSanity Member

    Mar 11, 2002
    I did a mod-mic for ages. The problem is whether or not you have a place to mount this on headphones or not.

    I had a set of Audio Technica ATH900's (open) and maintaining the mod-mic on there was an affair that required re-attachment fairly frequently.
  3. theSeekerr

    theSeekerr Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Broadview SA
    Yes, real audio interfaces will offer Direct / Real-Time Monitoring as a hardware feature, toggleable with a switch, giving rise to the third name you'll see it under, Hardware Monitoring. It works whenever it is switched on, regardless of whether you're using the mic input in software.

    The bigger problem is that your ModMic needs Plug-In Power which is low-voltage (1.5-5V) on a 3.5mm input, but audio interfaces are designed to give Phantom Power (48V) on the XLR input. You can buy an adapter like the Rode VXLR+ to convert the interface and power to the right standard but it's quite expensive:

    You're probably better off looking at the gaming interfaces unless you want to switch to a proper XLR microphone on a boom arm. I have no experience with any particular gaming interface, but I will note that if what you're concerned about is just the physical interface (1 x 3.5mm Stereo TRS + 1 x 3.5mm Mono TS vs. 1 x 3.5mm Stereo and Mic TRRS) you can totally buy a (cheap!) adapter for that.
  4. terrastrife

    terrastrife Member

    Jun 2, 2006
    ADL/SA The Monopoly State
    Sennheiser GSX has sidetone.

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