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Do i need a sound card? how are Z523's

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by a_ump, Mar 7, 2010.

  1. a_ump

    a_ump

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    Okay so i googled this first about onboard sound versus using a dedicated card. Problem was of the 6 or so links i looked at i didn't find anything recent, newest one was like 2007. So has onboard sound improved much since then? FYI, if your too lazy to check my specs i have a P43, which has Realtek ALC662 onboard.

    I currently have a crappy 4watt 2.0 setup lol and i've really gotten into music lately and love bass, I find myself putting on my headset just so i can hear the bass. The speakers i'm somewhat set on are the Logitech Z523's. The ratings are good on the egg, and from what i've read they have good price/perf. My room is only 10x12' btw.

    So basically, with those speakers, are there any sound cards that would show a worthwhile improvement over onboard for $50 or less? and recommendations on speakers at ~$100 or less is also fine, though 2.1 system only as i don't have much room for a surround system and i go places a good bit with my speakers.
  2. DirectorC

    DirectorC New Member

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    That is definitely the best power output you're gonna get for the price. They won't be the most powerful things around but they will be much better in relation to your current setup, or any other lower cost setup.

    I don't know if you necessarily need a sound card, but I myself prefer a sound card with software that allows me to set a system-wide multi-band EQ (eg, Creative cards and software) so I prefer Creative cards and I always set up a nice clean yet aggressive EQ configuration to deliver better sounding audio than you could get with any default settings.
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  3. AKlass New Member

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    I say sound cards are much better than dedicated. I had a dedicated realtek and then switched to a cheapo ebay c-media 8768 card and now I have positional audio in games and the bass coming out of my speakers require me to lower my equalizer. Not to mention i can tell the diffference between 320 and 192 bit rate music
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  4. a_ump

    a_ump

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    yea i'd checked out alot of speakers and those had the most wattage/price that i saw. As for EQ, i use itunes n tweak my EQ diff for my crap 2.0 and my headphones as my headset can handle bass much cleaner. any other opinions will be greatly appreciated.:toast:
  5. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    I don't recommend the Logitech Z-523 the satellites have poor highs, subwoofer distorts, lack of connections, left speaker is hard wired through a mono rca cable (not a stereo rca cable) where the right speaker and subwoofer are hard wired through a DB9 cable in fact any Logitech speaker model not named the Logitech Z-5500 or Logitech Z-680 is mediocre at best and even those models you can make a argument about. Logitech uses cheap components and poor build quality on their lower end models. wattage has very little to do with quality so if you're looking to shake the foundation of your house with quality look elsewhere.

    no audio would be better than poor audio that being said there are far better 2.0/2.1 alternatives like the M-Audio Studiophile AV40 they have good build quality, punchy bass, clear mids and smooth highs you can find a new pair for $130-149 USD at various online retailers or used for $80-99 USD on eBay. another alternative is the Swan M12 which you can find a new pair for $99 USD on theaudioinsider.
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2010
  6. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    I'm using creative inspire t10 atm and they are pretty good.
  7. a_ump

    a_ump

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    Hmmm well after thinking bout it for a bit, i've decided to go for the z2300's. Now in most people's honest opinion do i NEED a sound card. remember i'm not an audiophile, i currently use onboard with a 3 or 4 watt 2.0 system lol. For music and gaming.
  8. DirectorC

    DirectorC New Member

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    You can get an Audigy SE for $30 like I did and get sound that is like 10X better than on-board. You don't need an amazing sound card. But trust me I have had on-board, SBLive! and Audigy SE plugged into all different kinda speakers, and simply going from SBLive! to Audigy SE made it sound like I had bought new speakers on my old mid-range set...
  9. tigger

    tigger I'm the only one

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    Get a xonar dx,no crap from the drivers(unlike some other brand) and its muuuch better than onboard.
  10. a_ump

    a_ump

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  11. craigo

    craigo

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    a_ump

    Does anyone have any pressing issues with the realtek drivers they feel obliged to clog up tech forums all over the web with?

    Maybe a point to that.

    I personally do not feel a sooundcard is worth the added cost to your system

    I would recommend going to your sound settings in the controlpanel and setting things to a OMG ANUS SOUNDCARD!!!!!111 soundcard bitrate and using an audio playback program capable of 24bit (such as winamp/you will need to enable 24bit in the settlings of the player too)

    With the money you save on changing your settings yourself and not purchasing a sooundcard you should take Bumblebees quality speaker suggestion into account.
  12. a_ump

    a_ump

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    i'm not sure if that is a "don't as dumb questions thing" or not, but i always try googling first, however all the realtec onboard comparisons i've read are bout the RLC889 or something. not the same chip. I think since i'm tight on cash, i'll just get the z-2300's and if i feel i need more outa them, next paycheck i'll get a sound card.
  13. DirectorC

    DirectorC New Member

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    That is the one I was talking about. Should work without a problem and deliver high quality audio. For the price I don't think the Audigy SE can be beat. That's why it's still rockin and rollin. BTW, you can get X-Fi XtremeAudios for about the same price, there might still be a couple for sale on the forums, there definitely were about a month ago.
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  14. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    the Logitech Z-2300 satellites have no mid range to speak of, poor high. subwoofer has a high crossover point at 150Hz and sounds muddy, put it this way the Logitech Z-2300 are THX certified but THX recommends a 80Hz crossover point. no auxiliary inputs only an adapter they provide. the Logitech Z-2300 has some improvements over the Logitech Z-523 like proper stereo rca input but they are still hard wired. I think the Logitech Z-2300 is worse than the Logitech Z-523 because your paying twice the price for twice the power but even worse quality.

    a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE is a improvement over on-board Audio but knowing this information about both Logitech speaker models what is the point in purchasing a sound card? purchasing a sound card is only going to highlight problems you should purchase a sound card for a product that is more worthy of one. you don't need to be an audiophile to appreciate quality audio all that is required is a set of ears.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  15. Kantastic

    Kantastic

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    Buddy, get them here.
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  16. a_ump

    a_ump

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    thanks for that link kantastic. Bumblebee, can you point to what in your opinion are a better set of speakers for 150 or less?
  17. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 or M-Audio Studiophile AV40 are the only choices in the $100-150 range, i'll say that arrogantly :)
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  18. a_ump

    a_ump

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    I'd heard of the Klipsch Promedia 2.1, read a of reviews comparing it and the z-2300's and heard the Klipsch had cleaner bass and just overall better, but i've always been dedicated to the egg lol. gonna have to expand to other etailers i guess.

    EDIT: ok i've checked out the Klipsch vs z-2300's once again and read bout 10 thread with people having the same comparison question and overall i've gotten that the Klipsch edge them out. Now on Amazon.com there's a new set for 149.99 free shipping, perfectly in my budget. But there's 2 used sets from 93% and the other a 94% positive rating. get new? or trust amazon and get used to save coin? hmmm i take that back, think i will get em used.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  19. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    Amazon, Buy and Newegg are good retailers in fact Amazon also has the M-Audio Studiophile AV40 for even less than eCost. M-Audio is a great company they are one of the original PC sound card manufacturers in the early 1990 and sometimes they give students discounts on their products. the M-Audio Studiophile AV40 might not be your first choice because there is no separate mid or subwoofer but I assure you the bass is punchy just not thumpy like the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 or Logitech Z-2300 but it's not really fair because the M-Audio Studiophile AV40 are reference monitors. a lot of members on the Head-Fi forums own the M-Audio Studiophile AV40 and have purchased a separate low budget subwoofer so that is always an option but some members say it's not needed.

    the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 are often compared to the Logitech Z-5500 because they are that good. the satellites are 2-way which means the tweeter and driver in each satellite are separate and if you look on the back of the subwoofer you will see 4 connections (2 for each satellite) this provides great mids and highs. the subwoofer has good lows. there is also connections for headphone and mp3 player/ipod. Klipsch is a respectable company they also provide replacement parts.
  20. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    I prefer used speakers from a person not a retailer. they are probably slightly used or open box. used speakers can have an advantage of being burned in already and a good bargain as long as there are no noticeable scratches, dents or stains. it's up to you but if you do buy a used set of the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 buy a sound card while your at it.
  21. a_ump

    a_ump

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    good idea, getting the used ones, i can get a sound card with the cash saved. no brainer but it never crossed my mind lol.

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