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Best USB Soundcard in the world ever

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Onkyo has claimed that it is about to release the best USB soundcard 24/96khz around October 2008 which will capture the Laptop audiophile market. the SNR is 115 dB ..impressive for sure.

A Big relief for Laptop users like me who had lost hope..

Here's the link:
Onkyo Lays Claim to the World’s Best USB Soundcard Title

But seriously? what can i expect from it? ..will it be affordable?

Right now i am using XMOD ....so is it worth the wait
post #2 of 20
Was this announced October last year?
post #3 of 20
Lost hope? What pcmcia/usb cards have you used? You realize that for $30 you can get a usb DAC that simply passes on coax/optical to whatever DAC you want, right?
post #4 of 20
How is the xmod nocturnal? Worth what you spent on it?
post #5 of 20
I'm looking for this .................. What's the best?

I want to know really!!!!!!
post #6 of 20
I think this was released.
post #7 of 20
Already released in Japan.

Here ya go... just for an example. Less than $220 with shipping, it looks like.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 
well i am using XMOD currently, just bought it on sale before leaving for vacations...

It was a great buy for vacations ..smthg i played around with ....but when it comes to serious Hobbies then i need a powerful soundcard for my laptop.

Since i travel a lot i cannot buy a Desktop..hence for me USB soundcards are the only hope..

For those still figuring out if X-Fi technology is Marketing lie or a superior technology i have pointed out my observations in a jiffy.

Firstly the XMOD did come handy for Mp3 music.....
& I would say XMOD is more of a toy to play around with...

but when u want true sound instead of software fiddling then u need something more.

Here are my observations on XMOD:

1. Doesnt help all kinds of music..sometimes the vocals get echoed...for Movies i need to turn the X-Fi crystallizer off...but more Music its a step up from In-built crap. It is a decent DAC when you are stuck with lack of choice & can be used for Gaming as well due to Virtual Surround sound.

2. Bass is tight but cymbals crash can be harsh... the music just sounds brighter...if u have MP3 files..do try it out with X-Fi crystallizer enabled.

3. Once u go above 192 Kbps ..the X-Fi crystallizer only screws your music... at 192 kbps++ only the CMSS 3D comes useful for creating a virtual Soundstage.. .. my HD205 feel more comfortable when the soundstage is increased..its like i am not wearing them.

4. NEVER even try XMOD line in with a CD player... it is not meant for Lossless music.

5. The music @ 128 & 160 kbps sounds like 320 kbps when passed through X-Fi processing.. the dynamic range is increased i think... the subtle frequency's are amped by X-Fi for sure.

6. When used with Speakers the Bass gets more neutral somehow & Highs are crystal clear.

7. Best feature... doesnt need Drivers...can work as standalone with AC adapter and can be plugged on anyones computer with any OS.

Yes, XMOD is an Audiophiles toy... ..since i bought it at throaway price.i dont mind using it ..much better than in-built audio atleast.

but now i want a real soundcard which supports more than just 3.5 mm plugs..
Basically smthg which lets me do DJing i.e have two separate channels.. Speakers & Headphones.

XMOD DOESNT let me use Speakers & Headphones at once with Virtual DJ... if u plug in H'Phones the Speaker turns off.. and no amount of software options let them both work at once.

For DJing i need both to work so i can sample a track before i put it in the Main channel.

Hence i am waiting for Onkyo soundcard.
post #9 of 20
why even use a usb soundcard? just use a usb dac.
post #10 of 20
Originally Posted by kikkomang View Post
why even use a usb soundcard? just use a usb dac.
soundcard is more versatile. it can do more things.
post #11 of 20
Well if we are talking about this card being the best in the world as an IO instrument (since I am sure Benchmark DAC1 runs all over it in the output department), then its trivial that we can use a USB studio interface to get better results in that regard...
post #12 of 20
So why is this supposed to be the best sounding USB Soundcard? Looks like it uses a standard USB1.1 receiver (likely PCM270x line), passes I2S to the PCM1796 DAC with some kind of I/V stage afterwards. Sure the PCM1796 is a nice DAC, depending on the I/V and output stage, it could certainly be a very good DAC, but what makes it the "best"?
post #13 of 20
Guess that remains to be seen. As the card will not be released until 3 months up the road (October 2008 as you say).
Until then you can always use an external DAC..
post #14 of 20
just wanna add my point to the x-fi
got it 2 months ago, 50 bucks, not bad
I soon realized that the 3d thing nearly doesn't help at all. It might be suitable for some genres, but I turn it off most of the time, it just screw up your music.
the crystallizer works quite well, but comparing a track when it is 128kb and 320kb, I still notice some difference, it's not really 'there', but you can 'feel' it when listening seriously.
nevertheless, the crystallizer alone works way better than a built-in card with some crap effect
I'm using the xmod with the old hd495 btw

strange question: can I connect a head amp between the xmod and the hp?
post #15 of 20
No matter how good the card is, attaching anything to a "noisy" motherboard with typical noisy power supplies defeats the whole purpose of building a PC-based music server. Isolation is the foundation of high end, and unless you have a purpose-built server that pays close attention to the noise generated by the various parts of a PC, you will never approach the better solutions of Emperical Audio, etc.

(sorry for the rant, but I get wound-up whenever a manufacturer claims "the best" ...been in this game 30 years and I'm still seraching).
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