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Best Sound Card for Headphones

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
First, let me state that I don't know anything about Sound Cards. I'm currently running an OB Realtek __ device, and it's just not cutting it. I'm using a pair of DT770s, and i'm looking for the best sound I can for movies. In order of importance; movies, music, then games.

I was thinking about the HT Omega Claro+, but is a Sound Card better for speakers, or cans? I have some ****ty Kensiko speakers, but I always use my headphones. Under 100$ would be ideal. But if there was a major difference in a card that doubled that, then i'd think about it. And by major, I don't mean 5% or something.

So, any ideas?

Other knowledge: 3gb of Ram, 8600 GTS Graphics Card, Pent 4.
post #2 of 19
I don't know much about sound cards either, but I hear good things about the 0202 usb.


edit: $99 at amazon, I didn't check anywhere else.
post #3 of 19
Whatever you get, you'll want something with headphone amplification. That's probably half of the problem.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
See that's why I was thinking the HT Omega, because it has an Amp integrated within it. And thanks, i'll check that out Calihan.

I should also mention i'm on Vista 32-bit, so X-Fi is out.
post #5 of 19
X-Fi is fine under Vista, both 32 and 64 bit. I have seen tons of crap on this posted up by n00bs incidentally wanking, blaring and droning about some other sound cards like omega but this is FUD. Using X-Fi under Vista. It is fine.

A lot depends on the 770 version you have - 250 Ohm definitely needs a separate amp, while 80 Ohm can be driven by some sound cards. I used X-Fi drive bay for DT 990 (like your 770s but open) and it was OK, a bit harsh sounding though. I go via firewire mixer now and it gives much more juice.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
The DT770 is an 80 Ohm, since I don't have an amp. The reason I assumed the X Fi was glitchy on Vista, is based upon the driver problems Creative has been having, and the numerous complaints. That, and like I said, movies are top priority, and the X Fi is aimed at Games first.
post #7 of 19
x-fi vista drivers seem to cause conflicts with other vista drivers, so if you have a bunch of other drivers installed in vista the x-fi drivers can cause some problems in vista.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
So i'm thinking the Asus Xonar D2, or the HT Omega Claro +. Unless the Striker is just as good. Opinions?
post #9 of 19
I just installed the HT Omega Claro because I wanted DDLive for digital transport to my receiver/5.1 speakers for gaming (Crysis). Just for fun I connected my HD 595 headphones to the front panel audio headphone out (supported by the card), and to my surprise it sounded as good as my EMU-0404 USB.
post #10 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragon Rider View Post
I just installed the HT Omega Claro because I wanted DDLive for digital transport to my receiver/5.1 speakers for gaming (Crysis). Just for fun I connected my HD 595 headphones to the front panel audio headphone out (supported by the card), and to my surprise it sounded as good as my EMU-0404 USB.
I was going to buy the Emu-0404, but they were sold out at Musician's Friend. Do you think the HT Omega will be a better buy then?
post #11 of 19
just get the hacked X-Fi driver...

Why do u even buy X-fi.. Creative sucks big time..
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nocturnal310 View Post
just get the hacked X-Fi driver...

Why do u even buy X-fi.. Creative sucks big time..
Clearly you didn't even bother to read this thread.
post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sabre X View Post
I was going to buy the Emu-0404, but they were sold out at Musician's Friend. Do you think the HT Omega will be a better buy then?
The HT Omega Claro is more versatile. The EMU-0404USB has great sterio music (no doubt about that), but the Claro has the added benefit of DDLive out (optical) to a receiver/5.1 for gaming, and DD/DTS for movies. Even my sterio music sounds pretty good in DDLive-- different, but a rather nice change.

Although I have not yet performed any critical listening for a sterio music comparison; I can report that when listening to my LameMP3 220kbps music files using my HD595 headphones, the sound from the Claro is every bit as nice as the EMU-0404USB to my old ears.
post #14 of 19
I'm also interested in a sound card although i'm limited to a PCIe slot or a USB slot. i am currently looking at the ASUS D2X for the PCIe.

I dont know about USB sound cards though so people can suggest some here. And which one would be a better route, PCIe or USB?
post #15 of 19
If you do get an X-Fi, you can use the Daniel_K drivers for Vista. I was searching around for them, but I can't remember the place where he has all of his downloads. I haven't used these other cards, but I have an X-Fi platinum, that comes with the 5.25" I/O panel, and it works nice for my set-up, because I have my headphones running out of it, and it has a volume knob right next to it, and it also has a line-in and midi in and out which are necessary for my m-audio midi controller and microKorg.
EDIT: I just noticed someone over on [H]ardforum.com is selling the Fatal1ty version of this card with the I/O panel for $120 if you're interested.
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