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Advice on buying a new sound card

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by fullinfusion, Nov 20, 2012.

  1. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    I'm looking into getting a new sound card to replace my asus Xonar DX 7.1

    Basically I know nothing about buying a great sound card but I do know one thing, I want one with a built in amp... I want the music hammering into my Sennheiser's.

    Any advice on a card with a built in amp?

    I've been looking into one so far but not sure if it has what Im asking.

    Here's the Link
  2. TRWOV

    TRWOV

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    Ikaruga says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  3. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    I like the price and I can get it locally.

    I'd like some more suggestions before i make up my mind :D
  4. KingPing

    KingPing

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    Do you want something similar to the DX or something better?



    If you want it to listen music don't buy the Recon 3D, sound quality is barely better than on board, it's a gaming sound card nothing else.
  5. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    My DX sounds good but it just dont have the ball's to crank out the music. Id like something better.
  6. KingPing

    KingPing

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    With headphone amp:

    Asus XONAR DG (PCI)
    Asus XONAR DGX

    Not sure because i don't own them but my guess is that this 2 will deliver more power to the headphone but with slightly less quality.

    High end with headphone amp:

    Asus XONAR Essence ST
    Asus XONAR Essence STX
    Creative Titanium HD

    Or you could buy an external headphone amp and keep the DX.
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  7. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    The Asus XONAR Essence ST has some great reviews and $138 dollars and a 2hr drive to pick it up :)
  8. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    Asus XONAR Essence ST OR the Creative Titanium HD?

    any input on the both?
  9. 3870x2

    3870x2

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    I didn't know that they had soundcards with built-in amps. I am not sure I would trust any soundcard manufacture with hi-fi headphone sound.
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  10. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    I've been looking around and the ASUS XONAR Essence STX is the bomb from all the reviews.

    Look at THIS video. Linus even explaines the features very well too.
  11. NinkobEi

    NinkobEi

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    Last edited: Nov 20, 2012
    fullinfusion says thanks.
  12. Kalevalen

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    fullinfusion says thanks.
  13. KingPing

    KingPing

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    I have the Titanium HD and i really like it, i listen with my Audio Technica ATH A700 with Foobar (with WASAPI plug in).

    IMO which is better is a matter of personal taste, because both the STX and the Titanium HD are great sound cards.
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  14. KingPing

    KingPing

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    Another nice card, someone know of any review about the Claro 2?

    You could go for an external DAC and AMP to have the best quality, but then we are talking about way higher prices.
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  15. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    what kind of Sennheiser headphones?
  16. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    PC 350's
  17. NinkobEi

    NinkobEi

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    Ah yes those are 150ohm. You might want a card with some sort of amplification - or buy an amp separately is a good idea. Probably cheaper than replacing an expensive sound card.
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  18. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    I cant even find a price on the 1616... Im thinking 6 bills or better.

    Thats a nice card and going to study up on it. I can grab it for $200 which isn't bad.

    What kind of amp we talking about? a home stero amp? Im not into having a huge amp sitting beside me. Do they sell PC (small) amps to hook into the current sound card?
  19. Kalevalen

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    Speaking of DAC's you might like this V-LINK 192 + V-CANII by Musical Fidelity

    http://www.musicalfidelity.com/products/vSeries/v-canii/
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  20. Kalevalen

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  21. KingPing

    KingPing

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    You shouldn't need an amp with the ST, Claro or the Titanium HD, since the ST and Claro support headphones up to 600ohm and the Titanium HD up to 330ohm.
  22. Completely Bonkers New Member

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    If you are serious about driving professional headphones, then a regular "consumer" soundcard won't cut the mustard, unless it has a separate and decent analogue amp section - which can be quite costly to implement.

    This card might be a gimmick, but it has the right visual features... earthed cage to reduce interference, large caps, quality connectors. I'm not specificially recommending this product, just look at the picture to get an idea (ESI Prodigy 7.1 ). ESI do some pretty good external soundcards too.

    [​IMG]
    Review of another model http://www.ixbt.com/multimedia/esi-juli@-en.shtml, an older card, but still good, and available cheap on ebay.

    Nonetheless, you would probably get better sound with a dedicated amp like this: http://www.scythe-eu.com/produkte/audio-zubehoer/kama-bay-amp-mini.html

    ++++++++

    Otherwise go PRO, and get yourself something interesting. There are many products to choose from. Look for M-Audio, ESI, MOTU Microbook. Here are 2 new things totally different from what you are currently thinking about... but who knows... might get you started:

    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/nov12/articles/prism-lyra-preview.htm
    http://www.soundonsound.com/sos/mar12/articles/apogee-duet.htm

    Here is a review of some: http://soundcards.almeros.com/
    And here is just one vendors selection to browse
    http://www.dolphinmusic.co.uk/category/computer-music/audio-interfaces/
  23. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    why not buy a better headphone?
  24. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    I miss read the sites stock. They don't have the ST so I'm thinking of going for the Xonar Essence STX... But I'm going to play the waiting game and see what sales come this weekend here in Canada. Retailers are trying to keep the Canadian moola here in our own country lol so they are having Canada's own version of Black Friday... It's going to be interesting :)
  25. fullinfusion

    fullinfusion 1.21 Gigawatts

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    These are great headphones and personally dont think I need anything better.

    For gaming there has been no complaints especially the mic... ppl cant believe how clear it is and how it cancels out back ground noise. It was a xmas present from my wife and am supper happy with them, and heck she did a hell of a job picking them out :D

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