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Help me choose a soundcard please

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#1
My brother just gave me his ATH m50's and i was thinking if they'll sound even better if i use a sound card rather than onboard. It would be great if anyone can please recommend a sound card for me for movies/music and gaming. My budget is around $100 to $150 or maybe more if the price is really worth it. Thanks a lot in advance! :rockout:
 
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#2
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#3
i'm using an asus xonar dsx and i love it, sounds a little tinny but barely noticeable and easily fixed with eq's and what not. i run mine through a 7.1 sony home theatre recieve using optical, sound is incredible.
 
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#4
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#5
Do those have headphone amps? I only have the ath m50's and a 2.0 bose speaker. I don't think I'll be doing a 5.1 or 7.1 surround.
Yep :rockout:
 
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#6
I have the xonar dg. I got mine new for $10 so prices must of gone up. I was blown away how much better it was compared to my onboard realtech 892.
 
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#7
I have the xonar dg. I got mine new for $10 so prices must of gone up. I was blown away how much better it was compared to my onboard realtech 892.
They have gone up. They were $14 on amazon just one year ogo.
 
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#8
I have a X-fi Titanium, Titanium HD and a Xonar DX, i use them with a Razer Carcharias, an AKG K240 MKII and a Audio Technica ATH A700.

If you want something cheap the Xonar DX is very good, if you want to spend more the Titanium HD sounds better and IMO it has a better EQ. I totally recommend the Titanium HD both for gaming and music.
 
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#9
bumblebee would sting anyone that got a crappy soundcard... when I can afford it I'm going for a good set of headphones and an amp + dac. No more soundcards for me
 
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#10
I have a X-fi Titanium, Titanium HD and a Xonar DX, i use them with a Razer Carcharias, an AKG K240 MKII and a Audio Technica ATH A700.

If you want something cheap the Xonar DX is very good, if you want to spend more the Titanium HD sounds better and IMO it has a better EQ. I totally recommend the Titanium HD both for gaming and music.
Thanks for the tip. So are you saying the performance between the DX and the Titanium HD are worth the price difference?
 
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#11
Thanks for the tip. So are you saying the performance between the DX and the Titanium HD are worth the price difference?

IMO yes, it sounds better and it has a much better EQ (i really like the EQ of the Titanium HD, and i think it's one of the weakness of the DX) and features like positional audio, digital in/out, etc. Bear in mind that i have 2 sound cards in my system so i might be a little freak. What i mean is that maybe a DG or DX for the majority is good enough.
 
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#12
IMO yes, it sounds better and it has a much better EQ (i really like the EQ of the Titanium HD, and i think it's one of the weakness of the DX) and features like positional audio, digital in/out, etc. Bear in mind that i have 2 sound cards in my system so i might be a little freak. What i mean is that maybe a DG or DX for the majority is good enough.
Two soundcards...? Why?
If I ever came into a bit of disposable income, I would upgrade my dg and try the creative titanium hd or the Z one. That is low on my list of upgrades though.
 
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#13
Two soundcards...? Why?
If I ever came into a bit of disposable income, I would upgrade my dg and try the creative titanium hd or the Z one. That is low on my list of upgrades though.
Because the Titanium HD doesn't have analog outputs to connect my analog 5.1 and i don't like how the onboard sounds, so i use the DX with the 5.1 and the TitHD with headphones.
 
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#14
IMO having used all of the above, the best value is with the Xonar DS, it has a decent enough headphone amp in the card itself gets great volume and some nice thumping with some good cans. Creative cards, offer a bit better audio positioning in games IMO, with CMSS3D in the past series of cards. X-fi, AudigySE/1/2/4 etc ....

What I wanted was great sound without having a massive AMP sitting anywhere near my desk, just a good soundcard with a nice built in AMP. I guess that's the minimalist in me lol. Any of the above cards are nice, with the Asus Xonar clearly the best value. I run a Creative SoundBlaster Z it is better than the Asus Xonar in my opinion, but also much pricier.
 
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#15
IMO having used all of the above, the best value is with the Xonar DS, it has a decent enough headphone amp in the card itself gets great volume and some nice thumping with some good cans. Creative cards, offer a bit better audio positioning in games IMO, with CMSS3D in the past series of cards. X-fi, AudigySE/1/2/4 etc ....

What I wanted was great sound without having a massive AMP sitting anywhere near my desk, just a good soundcard with a nice built in AMP. I guess that's the minimalist in me lol. Any of the above cards are nice, with the Asus Xonar clearly the best value. I run a Creative SoundBlaster Z it is better than the Asus Xonar in my opinion, but also much pricier.
I'm thinking of getting the Xonar DX,would it be enough to power ATH-M50's?
Or should I spend more and get the Soundblaster Z? Does the Z sound clearer,warmer, or bassier than a Xonar? Is the EQ any better than the Xonar cards?
 

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#16
Personally Ive owned a Xonar D2x and STX. if youre more of a gamer, I recommend getting the Soundblaster Z - a soundcard which I also now own after moving away from my STX.

the SB-Z is quite a fairly balanced card, it sounds great for movies and music but maybe not as super awesomely great as the Xonar cards.

If you play quite a few older game titles that use EAX/Hardware acceleration, Creative is the only way to go to stop all sorts of audio anomlies happening, BSODs and CTDs when the game decides it doesnt like your soundcard - Ive had plenty of these issues, hense the move back to Creative
 

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#17
Two soundcards...? Why?
There are benefits to running multiple audio devices in Windows Vista onward, because you could have a video playing on one display using one audio device, have music playing on another, and put system sounds on a third if you really wanted to. There are times where I'll play a video on one display and have sound off the speakers then play a game with game sounds on my headphones since the ALC898 can split the front headphone port and rear audio ports into two different audio devices.
 

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#18
Personally Ive owned a Xonar D2x and STX. if youre more of a gamer, I recommend getting the Soundblaster Z - a soundcard which I also now own after moving away from my STX.

the SB-Z is quite a fairly balanced card, it sounds great for movies and music but maybe not as super awesomely great as the Xonar cards.

If you play quite a few older game titles that use EAX/Hardware acceleration, Creative is the only way to go to stop all sorts of audio anomlies happening, BSODs and CTDs when the game decides it doesnt like your soundcard - Ive had plenty of these issues, hense the move back to Creative
I do play games,though ones that don't use EAX. I'm not sure about ones such as BF3.
I'd like to have a well rounded card,the headphone amp sounds nice,although probably not needed for a set of 38ohm cans.
I am picky about hardware,and concerned about jumping on a $120 soundcard that without its cover looks like a Recon 3D with more caps and a dedicated DAC. Not to really bash on it even more,but that red cover is silly when it has a plastic window on it lol.
I'm surprised you went from a STX to a Z. The STX seems to have better specs and would only compete with a ZxR I guess Creative's software is better and gives improved sound even vs. a high end Xonar?
 

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#19
Well, In my case I play quite a few older steam titles that support EAX/DirectSound. I had so much issues with Audio clipping, anomalies like being able to hear other players footsteps or battling it out from right across the map or where sounds would just echo and keep eching till it crashes the game due to some sort of 'buffer overflow'

I never really used the headphones amp on the STX and those reasons were why I decided to go back to creative.

If Asus had bothered to implement their EAX support properly and continued to fix any issues or bugs that games were having with their soundcards then I would have carried on with using the Xonar.

the last nail in the coffin was when ARMA II:OA started having issues with the Audio. I swapped the STX out for this SB-Z and everything is solved. I can play all my games without any anomalies, CTDs or BSODs.

Directional audio for BF3 sounds a little better too. sounds of gunfire and explosions are more pronounced.

So even though Its a downgrade, I am happier with the SB-Z then I ever was with the D2X or STX.

However I cant praise the D2X enough, It was a truely amazing card for movies and music
 
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#20
well if you're not really sure just grab the most expensive one and be done with it ^_^, still planning on getting my self a sound card too but not too sure which to buy due to availability in my country.
 
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#21
ok this is my own thoughts....
ive had a auzentech x-fi forte for the past 2 years with no problems and before that the creative x-fi fatality with some problems. I did want to upgrade my sound and from what people were saying the Asus Xonar Essence STX was the one to have so I ordered one and I did not like the sound. it took me a long time just to get the sound close to the quality of my forte card (for games and movies) and even then not as good so I sent it back.
ive just bought the new Creative Sound Blaster Zx and all I can say is wow and for the money its good value. the sound of my games are better even though the x-fi forte had a headphone amp like this but this one is better and blows away the asus cards. I would not bother buying the zx version though as the built in mic on the volume control thing is rubbish when compared to the mic on my sennheiser pc360 headphones. you could save even more money buy buying the oem version as the only difference is no built in mic and no red shield on the card but everything else the same.the problem with the asus cards is the sound is too open and sound like ur in a big empty warehouse so if u like that then fine but I can make this creative one sound like that as well if I like so for half the price of the asus card above u can have better sound and ive had no problems with drives or software on windows 7 64. hope this helps.
 
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