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Sound card? Even needed?

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by satindemon4u, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. satindemon4u

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    /done
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  2. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    If you have a good set of speakers or a good headphone, you will want a soundcard. I don't have a soundcard (my current main rig is a laptop) but I am classically trained (pianist and violinist) and I can hear improvements in sound quality up to about the $300 mark, after which it becomes a difference in "flavour" of the sound rather than sound quality improvement. Different people might have different experience though.

    I am not familiar with soundcards, but I do know that everyone have their fair share of problems with each brand.
     
  3. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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  4. Dent1

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    If you have to ask that question, then the answer is probably NO!
     
    Completely Bonkers says thanks.
  5. assaulter_99

    assaulter_99

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    I've tried one, but my ears really can't differentiate if its better or not. In my case, it ain't worth it, integrated does the job for me.
     
  6. FordGT90Concept

    FordGT90Concept "I go fast!1!11!1!"

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    If it isn't $100, it is likely to dependent upon the CPU for processing power as opposed to a dedicated APU. So, if you're not willing to spend that kind of money, it isn't worth getting one unless you need to frequently switch between multiple inputs/outputs (saves you from having to plug and unplug stuff all the time).

    If you have high quality (high SNR) speakers and you turn the volume up high enough to use it, then yes, a good sound card is a very good idea.

    I bought an HT Omega Striker 7.1 when I upgraded to Windows 7 and have only one problem: speaker volume must always be maxed or else it distorts the channels (I change the volume on the speakers itself). Other than that, it has been excellent.
     
    Crunching for Team TPU
  7. CJCerny

    CJCerny

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    Asus Xonar DG is a good, inexpensive sound card--usually less than $30.

    If you have a home theater receiver with a HDMI input and a video card with HDMI sound output then, no, it isn't worth having a sound card.

    If you are satisfied with the audio quality of the onboard sound then, no, it isn't worth having a sound card.
     
  8. animal007uk

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    I have an ok setup big disco speakers and a roland stereo mixer amp P-A250 and i use my onboard sound, Do i need a sound card? No not realy inless i want a crisper bass, As for the mids and highs im very impressed with my onboard sound, the highs are clear but not harsh and the mids travel well and sound clear.

    Do you need a sound card? Realy depends what you use it for in my opinion.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  9. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i've got headphones i bought for $30 (sennheiser CX-300 precision) and i can hear a clear difference between my (more modern) realtek onboard and my (several generations older) auzentech sound card.
     
  10. satindemon4u

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    I see. This has helped a lot!

    I think I have come to the conclusion that I don't need it, and may just get one if I ever have any spare money lying around. :)
     
  11. animal007uk

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    Just don't buy a cheap one as there usualy worse or no better than than onboard sound.
     
  12. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    Try and find someone who has one and listen to some songs on it. You may be blown away by how big a difference it makes. I know I was the first time I got one. Now I can't imagine not having a soundcard, save for when I'm using a digital signal.
     
  13. arnoo1

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    It's useless, onboard is really good nowadays, it's only smart choice if you havr a highend sound system
     
  14. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    You don't need a super high end sound system/headphones to benefit from it. all you need is an audio device worth about $100 to start considering whether sound card is needed or not. And its not useless, the difference in sound quality is quite noticeable.
     
  15. satindemon4u

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    Right now I just have some Logitech speakers. 5.1.

    Actually, I think the set I have is the lowest ones they have for 5.1 :( I got the set from wal-mart for like $70 a couple years back.
     
  16. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    X530? Even those can benefit from soundcard, but there will be people who cannot notice the difference.
     
  17. Spaceman Spiff

    Spaceman Spiff

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    Before I owned one I would have said no. But after trying and then purchasing one I will never go back to onboard unless there is a drastic improvement. I would sooner give up a multi gpu setup than part with my ht omega (which I did).

    But getting a cheapo card won't be noticeable as has already been said. And your output system will need to be of quality as well. I just had the opportunity to try a pair of audio technica ath-1000x and I will be picking up a pair as soon as I find a reasonable deal. They sounded wonderful.

    But remember audio is in the ear of the beholder. What sounds good for one may not for another.

    If you can, try to get a chance to listen to different setups to see what you like. I listen to a lot of movie scores (OSTs), trance, classical, rock and metal which I find my setup to excel at. I do want it to be a little tighter with some more bass and mids and the ath-1000x sounded incredible, a vast leap from my atha700s. Not to say that they are bad phones, they've been amazing for the time I've had them. Plus the first time I played BC2 with my setup was an absolute sensation for my ears.

    My 2 cents.
     
  18. satindemon4u

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    I believe those are it, yes.
     

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