• We've upgraded our forums. Please post any issues/requests in this thread.

Looking for a new sound card...

Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
34 (0.01/day)
Likes
0
Processor Intel Core i7 3770k
Motherboard Asus Maximus V Gene
Cooling Corsair H100
Memory 16 GB Samsung
Video Card(s) EVGA Geforce GTX 680
Storage Samsung 830
Display(s) Hanns-G 27.5"
Case NZXT Phantom White
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply Corsair 850AX
Software Windows 7 Ultimate
#1
Currently I'm using the onboard audio on a Maximus V Gene which is just a realtek chipset with creative software used to make it sound better.

I'm looking for something that will make my current solution sound like a cheap pair of 10 dollar skullcandy ear buds. My budget is $250 USD or under.

I was looking at offerings from both ASUS and HT|Omega and the HT|Omega seem to have less issues with drivers, but they are still there.

Keep in mind though that the headphone output will need to have a decently high SNR as that's what I'll always be using, no speakers.

Thanks for your input.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2011
Messages
43 (0.02/day)
Likes
10
System Name Valhalla
Processor Intel 2600k
Motherboard Sabertooth P67 v2
Cooling triple loop water, cpu gpu's
Memory 16 GB Ripjaw X @ 1866
Video Card(s) XFX 7970 Black Edition Double Dissipation x2
Storage 2x OCZ Vertex 3 120GB, 4x WD Black 8TB total
Display(s) 2 24" ASUS + 27" Crossover
Case Caselab M10 w/extended top
Audio Device(s) HT Omega Claro Halo XT
Power Supply SeaSonic Gold Series SS-1250XM
Software Windows 7x68
#2
I would go with ether HT OMEGA Claro Halo (non XT) or Asus Xonar Essence STX both have great built-in headphone amps, both are in your price range. If i had a choice id get the HT as i don't like Asus drivers
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
34 (0.01/day)
Likes
0
Processor Intel Core i7 3770k
Motherboard Asus Maximus V Gene
Cooling Corsair H100
Memory 16 GB Samsung
Video Card(s) EVGA Geforce GTX 680
Storage Samsung 830
Display(s) Hanns-G 27.5"
Case NZXT Phantom White
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply Corsair 850AX
Software Windows 7 Ultimate
#3
I saw the connector on the HT|Omega Claro Halo is PCI. Would this cut down my PCIe 3.0 x16 on the first slot to x8? The Maximus V Gene doesn't have a PCIe PLX chip to increase the lanes, and from what I've been able to gather IVB only has 16 PCIe 3.0 lanes. Even with the PCI-e x1 version, that'd take away quite a bit of the lanes wouldn't it? I know there's not much diference between current gen graphics cards ran at PCIe 3.0 x8 and x16. But I'd rather stay at x16 if possible, even if only for that 1.5%.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2011
Messages
43 (0.02/day)
Likes
10
System Name Valhalla
Processor Intel 2600k
Motherboard Sabertooth P67 v2
Cooling triple loop water, cpu gpu's
Memory 16 GB Ripjaw X @ 1866
Video Card(s) XFX 7970 Black Edition Double Dissipation x2
Storage 2x OCZ Vertex 3 120GB, 4x WD Black 8TB total
Display(s) 2 24" ASUS + 27" Crossover
Case Caselab M10 w/extended top
Audio Device(s) HT Omega Claro Halo XT
Power Supply SeaSonic Gold Series SS-1250XM
Software Windows 7x68
#4
Looking at your board you would use the small black PCI-e that is rated at 4x and would not limit your 16x lanes but if your running two gpus your speed would be PCIe 2.0 x16 = PCIe 3.0 x8
Since HT omega does not have a PCIe card with a built in headphone amp your limited to Asus
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
34 (0.01/day)
Likes
0
Processor Intel Core i7 3770k
Motherboard Asus Maximus V Gene
Cooling Corsair H100
Memory 16 GB Samsung
Video Card(s) EVGA Geforce GTX 680
Storage Samsung 830
Display(s) Hanns-G 27.5"
Case NZXT Phantom White
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply Corsair 850AX
Software Windows 7 Ultimate
#5
Did a little more research and it looks like the HT|Omega Claro Halo and the Asus Xonar Essence STX use the same C-Media CMI8788 chipset, just the Asus one is rebranded as the ASUS AV100. I guess the Asus is the only way to go for me. I hope i can disable that DirectSound3D GX 2.5 stuff, cause it looks like it causes a lot of problems in games.
 

eidairaman1

The Exiled Airman
Joined
Jul 2, 2007
Messages
19,223 (5.03/day)
Likes
4,810
System Name PCGOD
Processor AMD FX 8350@ 5.0GHz
Motherboard Asus TUF 990FX Sabertooth R2 2901 Bios
Cooling Scythe Ashura, 2×BitFenix 230mm Spectre Pro LED (Blue,Green), 2x BitFenix 140mm Spectre Pro LED
Memory 16 GB Gskill Ripjaws X 2133 (2400 OC, 10-10-12-20-20, 1T, 1.65V)
Video Card(s) AMD Radeon 290 Sapphire Vapor-X
Storage Samsung 840 Pro 256GB, WD Velociraptor 1TB
Display(s) NEC Multisync LCD 1700V (Display Port Adapter)
Case AeroCool Xpredator Evil Blue Edition
Audio Device(s) Creative Labs Sound Blaster ZxR
Power Supply Seasonic 1250 XM2 Series (XP3)
Mouse Roccat Kone XTD
Keyboard Roccat Ryos MK Pro
Software Windows 7 Pro 64
#6
http://www.htomega.com/eclaro.html

Looking at your board you would use the small black PCI-e that is rated at 4x and would not limit your 16x lanes but if your running two gpus your speed would be PCIe 2.0 x16 = PCIe 3.0 x8
Since HT omega does not have a PCIe card with a built in headphone amp your limited to Asus
 
Last edited:
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
34 (0.01/day)
Likes
0
Processor Intel Core i7 3770k
Motherboard Asus Maximus V Gene
Cooling Corsair H100
Memory 16 GB Samsung
Video Card(s) EVGA Geforce GTX 680
Storage Samsung 830
Display(s) Hanns-G 27.5"
Case NZXT Phantom White
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply Corsair 850AX
Software Windows 7 Ultimate
#7
I saw that one too, but it doesn't have the TI TPA6120A2 headphone amp like the Claro Halo and Xonar Essence STX, but I'm not entirely sure how needed that is.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2011
Messages
43 (0.02/day)
Likes
10
System Name Valhalla
Processor Intel 2600k
Motherboard Sabertooth P67 v2
Cooling triple loop water, cpu gpu's
Memory 16 GB Ripjaw X @ 1866
Video Card(s) XFX 7970 Black Edition Double Dissipation x2
Storage 2x OCZ Vertex 3 120GB, 4x WD Black 8TB total
Display(s) 2 24" ASUS + 27" Crossover
Case Caselab M10 w/extended top
Audio Device(s) HT Omega Claro Halo XT
Power Supply SeaSonic Gold Series SS-1250XM
Software Windows 7x68
#8
Headphone output by buffer circuit, boo
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2011
Messages
43 (0.02/day)
Likes
10
System Name Valhalla
Processor Intel 2600k
Motherboard Sabertooth P67 v2
Cooling triple loop water, cpu gpu's
Memory 16 GB Ripjaw X @ 1866
Video Card(s) XFX 7970 Black Edition Double Dissipation x2
Storage 2x OCZ Vertex 3 120GB, 4x WD Black 8TB total
Display(s) 2 24" ASUS + 27" Crossover
Case Caselab M10 w/extended top
Audio Device(s) HT Omega Claro Halo XT
Power Supply SeaSonic Gold Series SS-1250XM
Software Windows 7x68
#9
The eClaro says it supports up to 600 ohms. FYI if you download the drivers from cmedia and set output to ASIO then you don't have to change the sample rate, saves me a lot of time.
 
Joined
Jan 17, 2010
Messages
10,033 (3.47/day)
Likes
6,641
Location
Oregon
System Name Delta // Alpha-HTPC
Processor Intel i7 6700K // Intel i5 4570
Motherboard GIGABYTE Z270X-Gaming K7 // Gigabyte H97M -D3H
Cooling Corsair H80i V2 // Silverstone NT-06 Pro
Memory Corsair DDR4 3000 32gb //G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 8GB 1600
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX980ti// EVGA GTX 1050ti
Storage Samsung 950 Pro 512, 2 Tb FireCuda// Samsung 850 Pro, 1 X 4 Tb HGST, 1 x 6Tb Toshiba
Display(s) ASUS PB278Q 27" 1440X 2560 // 50" Samsung Plasma 720p
Case Corsair Obsidian Series 550D // Silverstone Granada GD05
Audio Device(s) ASUS Xonar DGX // HDMI to Yamaha RX V571
Power Supply Corsair TX850M // SeaSonic G Series 550w
Mouse Logitech G502
Keyboard Corsair K70
Software Windows 10 64bit // Windows 7 64bit with Kodi
#10
For $250 you could buy a Receiver with HDMI and use your 680
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
5,880 (1.83/day)
Likes
3,174
Location
Cybertron aka Canada
Processor Intel Core i5-3570K
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V Pro
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 8GB Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600
Video Card(s) Gigabyte GTX 670
Storage Intel 520 60GB, Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB
Display(s) BenQ 24" XL2420T
Case Corsair 550D
Audio Device(s) Sennheiser HD600, Audeze LCD-3F, Mytek Stereo 192 DSD, La Figaro 339, Burson HA-160, Geek Pulse X
Power Supply Corsair AX650
Mouse steelseries Sensei MLG edition
Keyboard Cooler Master QuickFire Pro
Software Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
#11
what kind of headphones do you have?
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
4,659 (1.32/day)
Likes
1,009
System Name Obelisc
Processor i7 3770k @ 4.8 GHz
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V
Cooling H110
Memory 16GB(4x4) @ 2400 MHz 9-11-11-31
Video Card(s) GTX 780 Ti
Storage 850 EVO 1TB, 2x 5TB Toshiba
Case T81
Audio Device(s) X-Fi Titanium HD
Power Supply EVGA 850 T2 80+ TITANIUM
Software Win10 64bit
#12
For $250 you could buy a Receiver with HDMI and use your 680
That's not a terrible idea since by not going with creative you're giving up on offloaded open al sound anyways, and the receiver could drive some nice speakers down the line. I'd look for a Denon. Their cheaper stuff has better SQ than most, in particular the headphone amp, and you can get audyssey MultEQ. Look for the AVR-1612. Fits your price range.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
5,880 (1.83/day)
Likes
3,174
Location
Cybertron aka Canada
Processor Intel Core i5-3570K
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V Pro
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 8GB Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600
Video Card(s) Gigabyte GTX 670
Storage Intel 520 60GB, Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB
Display(s) BenQ 24" XL2420T
Case Corsair 550D
Audio Device(s) Sennheiser HD600, Audeze LCD-3F, Mytek Stereo 192 DSD, La Figaro 339, Burson HA-160, Geek Pulse X
Power Supply Corsair AX650
Mouse steelseries Sensei MLG edition
Keyboard Cooler Master QuickFire Pro
Software Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
#13
he said he doesn't have speakers.
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2008
Messages
4,659 (1.32/day)
Likes
1,009
System Name Obelisc
Processor i7 3770k @ 4.8 GHz
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V
Cooling H110
Memory 16GB(4x4) @ 2400 MHz 9-11-11-31
Video Card(s) GTX 780 Ti
Storage 850 EVO 1TB, 2x 5TB Toshiba
Case T81
Audio Device(s) X-Fi Titanium HD
Power Supply EVGA 850 T2 80+ TITANIUM
Software Win10 64bit
#14
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
5,880 (1.83/day)
Likes
3,174
Location
Cybertron aka Canada
Processor Intel Core i5-3570K
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V Pro
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 8GB Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600
Video Card(s) Gigabyte GTX 670
Storage Intel 520 60GB, Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB
Display(s) BenQ 24" XL2420T
Case Corsair 550D
Audio Device(s) Sennheiser HD600, Audeze LCD-3F, Mytek Stereo 192 DSD, La Figaro 339, Burson HA-160, Geek Pulse X
Power Supply Corsair AX650
Mouse steelseries Sensei MLG edition
Keyboard Cooler Master QuickFire Pro
Software Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
#15
headphone support is a low priority on receivers. a discrete or integrated DAC/headphone amp is going to be better.
 
Joined
Aug 31, 2011
Messages
43 (0.02/day)
Likes
10
System Name Valhalla
Processor Intel 2600k
Motherboard Sabertooth P67 v2
Cooling triple loop water, cpu gpu's
Memory 16 GB Ripjaw X @ 1866
Video Card(s) XFX 7970 Black Edition Double Dissipation x2
Storage 2x OCZ Vertex 3 120GB, 4x WD Black 8TB total
Display(s) 2 24" ASUS + 27" Crossover
Case Caselab M10 w/extended top
Audio Device(s) HT Omega Claro Halo XT
Power Supply SeaSonic Gold Series SS-1250XM
Software Windows 7x68
#16
SOtM dX-USB-HD DAC + SOtM tX-USBexp is a my choice
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
34 (0.01/day)
Likes
0
Processor Intel Core i7 3770k
Motherboard Asus Maximus V Gene
Cooling Corsair H100
Memory 16 GB Samsung
Video Card(s) EVGA Geforce GTX 680
Storage Samsung 830
Display(s) Hanns-G 27.5"
Case NZXT Phantom White
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply Corsair 850AX
Software Windows 7 Ultimate
#17
Joined
May 23, 2010
Messages
507 (0.18/day)
Likes
40
System Name Home Theatre
Processor i5 750
Motherboard Gigabyte P55 USB3
Memory 4GB ADATA 1333
Video Card(s) Sapphire 1GB ATI 5670
Storage 32gb Kingston SSD (Os)/ 1TB and 640GB Caviar Blue (Storage)
Display(s) Sony KDL40HX800
Case Cooler Master HAF 922
Audio Device(s) HT Claro Plus
Power Supply Corsair HX650
Software Windows 7 64-bit
#18
If only you were looking for a HT Claro Plus :(.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
5,880 (1.83/day)
Likes
3,174
Location
Cybertron aka Canada
Processor Intel Core i5-3570K
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V Pro
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 8GB Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600
Video Card(s) Gigabyte GTX 670
Storage Intel 520 60GB, Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB
Display(s) BenQ 24" XL2420T
Case Corsair 550D
Audio Device(s) Sennheiser HD600, Audeze LCD-3F, Mytek Stereo 192 DSD, La Figaro 339, Burson HA-160, Geek Pulse X
Power Supply Corsair AX650
Mouse steelseries Sensei MLG edition
Keyboard Cooler Master QuickFire Pro
Software Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
#19
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
34 (0.01/day)
Likes
0
Processor Intel Core i7 3770k
Motherboard Asus Maximus V Gene
Cooling Corsair H100
Memory 16 GB Samsung
Video Card(s) EVGA Geforce GTX 680
Storage Samsung 830
Display(s) Hanns-G 27.5"
Case NZXT Phantom White
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply Corsair 850AX
Software Windows 7 Ultimate
#20
Right now I'm using a pair of Sennheiser OCX 880's. They're not anything special and the inline volume adjuster definitely limits the volume, even when twisted to max. I'm actually looking at getting a new pair of in ears because my cat chewed through my Sony EX 1000 wires.... someone was very close to seeing another ebaum world's free cat sign on Interstate 81 that day...
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
5,880 (1.83/day)
Likes
3,174
Location
Cybertron aka Canada
Processor Intel Core i5-3570K
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V Pro
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 8GB Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600
Video Card(s) Gigabyte GTX 670
Storage Intel 520 60GB, Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB
Display(s) BenQ 24" XL2420T
Case Corsair 550D
Audio Device(s) Sennheiser HD600, Audeze LCD-3F, Mytek Stereo 192 DSD, La Figaro 339, Burson HA-160, Geek Pulse X
Power Supply Corsair AX650
Mouse steelseries Sensei MLG edition
Keyboard Cooler Master QuickFire Pro
Software Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium
#21
I thought you were looking for a desktop solution? why are you using IEM?
 
Joined
Apr 9, 2011
Messages
34 (0.01/day)
Likes
0
Processor Intel Core i7 3770k
Motherboard Asus Maximus V Gene
Cooling Corsair H100
Memory 16 GB Samsung
Video Card(s) EVGA Geforce GTX 680
Storage Samsung 830
Display(s) Hanns-G 27.5"
Case NZXT Phantom White
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply Corsair 850AX
Software Windows 7 Ultimate
#22
I prefer them, they're more comfortable and I can wear them for long durations. I've been using in ears for at least 5 years.
 
Joined
Mar 6, 2009
Messages
5,880 (1.83/day)
Likes
3,174
Location
Cybertron aka Canada
Processor Intel Core i5-3570K
Motherboard Asus P8Z77-V Pro
Cooling Noctua NH-D14
Memory 8GB Mushkin Blackline DDR3-1600
Video Card(s) Gigabyte GTX 670
Storage Intel 520 60GB, Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB
Display(s) BenQ 24" XL2420T
Case Corsair 550D
Audio Device(s) Sennheiser HD600, Audeze LCD-3F, Mytek Stereo 192 DSD, La Figaro 339, Burson HA-160, Geek Pulse X
Power Supply Corsair AX650
Mouse steelseries Sensei MLG edition
Keyboard Cooler Master QuickFire Pro
Software Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium