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Best Audio Setup for the price.

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by slyfox2151, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. slyfox2151

    slyfox2151

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    Hello,

    ever since i bought my Z-5500s i have not upgraded anything else audio wise, i have always wanted something better.

    i considered just upgrading the audio card for a quick cheap improvement.. how wrong was i...

    i looked at a few online shops, it seems you can get a $50-60 card... or $160+ without much in between.
    now at some point in the future, i would like to upgrade my speakers to something very decent and get some very nice Headphones... somewhere in the $200-600 range...




    now i dont have enough money to go all out.... so i was just going to upgrade one bit at a time, i was thinking of buying the Auzentech X-Fi Bravura 7.1 as it also had a Headphone amp.

    but if i was to buy a proper Receiver + Amp with HDMI input, would i still need a audio card?



    am i able to connect my Z-5500s + Headphones to say an ONKYO? receiver/amp and have higher audio quality.

    keep in mind i plan on replacing the Z-5500s with some higher quality speakers. (read under $2000 total)






    TL DR:
    Sound Card VS Receiver / Amp with HDMI
    55% Music
    25% Movies
    20% Games - really not concerned with quality here, hence why i picked the G35s as they had 7.1 + mic.

    to save money, i may just get a pair of Logitech G35 headphones and a very nice 2 / 2.1 setup for Music and keep the 5500s for movies in the mean time.

    i would like 7.1 / blu ray support for movies later on.
    maybe i could start with a highend 2.1 setup for Music and add more speakers later to get 7.1 for movies only.




    (yes i realise the headphone amp would be useless with those headphones. if i got that card i would get maybe some sennheisers.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  2. Ra97oR

    Ra97oR

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    There is no point getting a reciever for active speakers really, DACs on decent soundcards are quite often better quailty than most recievers.

    Audio is really personal, I can't recommend much until I know what kind of sound signature or targeted genre are you after.
     
  3. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    you cant upgrade the z5500s, they arent compatible with home cinemas. the head unit, sub and amp are all connected as basically one unit, so the only thing you can mix and match is the speakers.



    personally, i suggest you enable the dolby encoding on your onboard sound and use that with the z55's. it'll sound a lot better than your onboard analogue outputs, and i know - i have the same mobo and speakers as you.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  4. Chewers

    Chewers New Member

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    Yea - as Ra97oR already mention, best experience u will get with dedicated receiver and active speakers. I have very good experience Harman kardon avr235 + RRR x-line fs-10.1 :rockout: best ever heard. Otherwise in your situation as u already have z5500 (which have onboard decoder as i remember) is to pick up some Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Series card (higher SNR = better sound). If u are not audiophile (I assume u are not, coz u have z5500) u should be okey with >100dB SNR
    Best i think is this
     
  5. slyfox2151

    slyfox2151

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    well i ment either replace the Z-5500s, or keep them just for movies and get a very nice 2.1 setup just for music.








    what i have come across tho is a set of these http://www.harveynorman.com.au/product/1256973673336/sony-muteki--channel-surround-sound-system
    for $500, im going to go and have a listen to them with some music tomorrow and see if i like them better then my 5500s.

    im not expecting them to be audiophile quality at all, they look like they sacraficed some clarity ect for loudness.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  6. DrunkenMafia

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    Hey slyfox, I just sold my home theatre and am back to 2 std pc speakers. I have an as new Auzentech 7.1 pci soundcard I can sell you as I removed it and am just using onboard now. I bought it from pccg:

    http://www.pccasegear.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=211&products_id=6861

    Just incase you are interested?

    :)

    As for the sony system - they do pack a lot of punch for the price but they are big, ugly & look cheap imo :)
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  7. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    ^ thats the card i have, with DTS encoding added on.
     
    10 Year Member at TPU
  8. slyfox2151

    slyfox2151

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    oohhhh :D good card by the looks of it....


    PM me the price you would like for it + postage and i might just take it off your hands. i wouldnt be able to pay for it till either next thrusday or the one after. payment via paypal.

    even if i dont use it, my dad is looking for a new sound card :p





    also i do like the big ugly look of Sony speakers :p idk why.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
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