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New Sound Card Advice

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#1
Recently purchased AKG Q701 headphones and although they feel a little flimsy for their price tag they do sound great. I'm still debating what to power them with as my Xonar DG is rather noisy and weak. I've been looking at various dac & amp combos but for 200$, a solid soundcard like this doesn't seem like a bad idea. What do you guys think?

HT | OMEGA Claro Halo 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card w/ a built-in HI-FI Headphone Amplifier

ASUS Xonar Essence STX Virtual 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1 Interface 124 dB SNR / Headphone AMP Card

Budget is ~ 200$
 

JrRacinFan

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#2
PM Cold Storm if you want a good deal on a Claro Halo.
 
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#3
I have the ASUS Xonar D2X. Excellent quality in the hardware, great sounds. Some serious bugs in the software though, slightly older games tend to crash and have the sound loop until the computer is physically powered off. It's still an officially supported card but ASUS seems to only release new drivers when there's a new operating system released.

A very serious bug that arose was one where my audio would swap channels, seemingly at random. Sometimes doing an audio test "Right front" and "Left front" would come from the same speaker. They released a fix about a year after I submitted the bug to the support guys, never got any reply, just randomly noticed it when getting some drivers after a format.

So that's my experience with ASUS soundcards.
 

AsRock

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#4
Whats your video card ?, maybe it be better getting the sound from that if possible ?. Maybe you alread have a A/V ?.
 
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#5
GTX 580 and before that two GTX 285, comes with audio codecs but the problems came gradually. Could be a conflict but that just shouldn't happen with top of the line, popular hardware.