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Better source upgrade AuzenTech Auzen X-Fi Prelude vs E-MU 0404?

post #1 of 53
Thread Starter 
I have a X-Fi XtremeMusic right now and would like to get a nice upgrade for my sound quality. So which one would I be most happy with? I won't do any producing/creation of music at all so I doubt I'll ever use the inputs. I won't be using the Prelude for surround sound either, just headphones.

I don't have a DAC or AMP. I have Senn 595s.

Which one would I be more satisfied with? Should I keep my XtremeMusic and get an amp instead? I don't want any of those Chinese amps though and only have about $250 w/ shipping available to spend.

Please help me out. I've probably spent over 30 hours in the last few weeks reading stuff on Head-Fi and I'm no where closer to making a decision on how upgrade my sound.
post #2 of 53
I' don't have either of those sources so I can't be of much help, but I can say this. I've spent a few months around here and haven't been able to decide what to get next
post #3 of 53
I went from Xtrememusic to the Prelude and the improvement in sound quality was quite noticeable. Mostly there is more impact and clarity, slightly tighter bass and less harsh highs. No night and day difference but a step up nevertheless.

If you, like me, are both into gaming and audiophile quality audio, get the Prelude.

I haven't heard the EMU0404 so I can't really comment on that.
post #4 of 53
Thread Starter 
Hmm thanks for the input Sander. I'm also looking at the Ibasso D1 but that is starting to get up there in price.
post #5 of 53
The emu0404 usb sounds slightly better than the auzentech prelude. The 0404 pci sounds worse.
post #6 of 53
Thread Starter 
I went ahead and ordered the usb 0404. Thanks for all the input dudes. I hope I'm satisfied.
post #7 of 53
You will be.

Just note that the 0404 USB suffers from the same issue as other USB audio interfaces: only one program can play back sound at a time. You can avoid this by using your X-Fi's digital output instead of hooking up the 0404 USB via USB.
post #8 of 53
Hi, I'm in the same situation as well. I'm wondering which of the following is a better setup:

Prelude->Amp->HD600
Emu404->no amp->HD600
Emu404->amp->HD600

I really don't think that buying Prelude AND Emu404 is an option, since I play games and listen to music. I would rather not have to unplug my headphones every time I do something different.

An additional question, are hi-fi headphones good for gaming? As in, do they create realistic surround sound or are speakers necessary?
post #9 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by alphataru View Post
Hi, I'm in the same situation as well. I'm wondering which of the following is a better setup:

Prelude->Amp->HD600
Emu404->no amp->HD600
Emu404->amp->HD600

I really don't think that buying Prelude AND Emu404 is an option, since I play games and listen to music. I would rather not have to unplug my headphones every time I do something different.

An additional question, are hi-fi headphones good for gaming? As in, do they create realistic surround sound or are speakers necessary?
I find headphones a lot better for gaming. But I've never had good speakers (best I've had is Creative Inspire T6100; which are crap). When I had Audio Technica AD700's they were perfect because the soundstage was huge and were extremely comfortable.
post #10 of 53
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitesymphony View Post
You will be.

Just note that the 0404 USB suffers from the same issue as other USB audio interfaces: only one program can play back sound at a time. You can avoid this by using your X-Fi's digital output instead of hooking up the 0404 USB via USB.
If you get the time could you help me by showing what type of cable I'll need to get to do that? I saw some connectors that are optical to 3.5mm is that what I'm looking for and then just a normal digital out cable?
post #11 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poefx View Post
If you get the time could you help me by showing what type of cable I'll need to get to do that? I saw some connectors that are optical to 3.5mm is that what I'm looking for and then just a normal digital out cable?
You'll need a 3.5mm mini-S/PDIF to RCA cable--this is coaxial, not optical. You have a few options:

Pre-built from a place like RAM Electronics
Regular RCA-RCA cable plus an adapter

The pre-built solution is better because there are less connections, but it's also a bit more expensive.

alphataru, the choice is really up to you. If you play system-intensive games, it's best to go with an internal sound card. It will depend on the quality of the external amp you plan to buy whether or not it will be better than plugging straight into the card/interface.
post #12 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by infinitesymphony View Post
You will be.

Just note that the 0404 USB suffers from the same issue as other USB audio interfaces: only one program can play back sound at a time. You can avoid this by using your X-Fi's digital output instead of hooking up the 0404 USB via USB.
What exactly do you mean by this? Like I can't listen to music and play a game?(listening to the gunshots or ingame sounds or whatever). I know I could play the game but could I play the game with sounds and music or what?
post #13 of 53
No, you can only play from a source at a time. For example you can't listen to your music through foobar and hear the sound from a youtube video at the same time, afaik.
post #14 of 53
I never heard of this limitation. USB sound card reviews don't comment this. I planned to buy the EDIROL UA-1EX USB sound card but after reading this I'm reconsidering my decission. Probably I will end up buying an Audigy 2 ZS Notebook instead.
post #15 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by moomooemu View Post
What exactly do you mean by this? Like I can't listen to music and play a game?(listening to the gunshots or ingame sounds or whatever). I know I could play the game but could I play the game with sounds and music or what?
The game itself counts as one program, so it would work. However, you couldn't play your own music in the background or something like that. I've gamed with the 0404 USB and it has worked fairly well.

Yeah, it's one of those things about USB that most people don't talk about because one program at a time is usually enough for playback.
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