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Please recommend soundcard for analogue 5.1 out with Logitech Z5500

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 



I am on Win7 using Creative SoundBlaster XFi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional series.  The card works well however I would like your advise if it makes sense to upgrade to another card to obtain better sound quality: I have noticed that if I output via SPDIF to the Logitech Z5500 speakers that the quality is quite good.  However as the DAC in the Z5500 is considered below par, I tried decoding on the card and sending analogue 5.1 info to the speakers.  The quality difference is fine (spdif has better dynamic range and better SNR meaning when there is real silence in a film I do not get any noise).  However I was thinking that a sound card with better DAC, like Asus Xonar D2X might improve the quality of the overall systems.


Any suggestions?


thanks a lot

post #2 of 17

I'm in the same boat as you,although your in better condition.

I'm listen right now music from a realtek on-board chip and its terrible.

I'm looking for an upgrade that will work well under windows 7 64bit and i dont know which soundcard to choose.

I was thinking about the asus xonar d2x or maybe the auzentech bravura,but i dont trust neither of them to work well under windows 7.

anyway i heard only good things about asus soundcards regarding music quality,and i think that they sound clearer the creative soundcards according to some reviews I've red..

post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 



from what you will find on the internet / forums the D2X is probably the best choice if you need 5.1 output and good game support.  A lot of people (usually from the US) also recommend the Auzentech bravura highligh mainly due to its compatibility with the SB XFi / EAX.  In my humble experience there are no games anymore that really require EAX so you may as well go with Asus D2X.  If however you are a real hi-fi head then a stereo card like the asus xonar essence might be better for you.


Also consider what amplifier and speakers you use, if you stick with low-mid end stuff like my Z5500 then a relatively cheap audio card is sufficient, if you want to use expensive amplifier or good headphones (usd 200 >) then you might be in the market for a better audio card.


hope this helps


p.s. yes the onboard sound is pretty bad :-)

post #4 of 17

A better source MAY give you better sound on those speakers but they may also limit what you can acheive using them.  If you are interested in a new surround source, buy it form a place that allows returns and if you don't like it you can return it and try something else.

As for the gaming aspect, buying a gaming card give more then just EAX support, it also gives you OpenAL support which is still in full development and fully hardware accelerated in Vista..etc.

That being said, there are many people that happily game on cards that are not considered "Gaming Cards" such as the Xonar series.

post #5 of 17

I have the Auzentech X-meridian it's an amazing sound card. Auzentech is the way to go for computer soundcards. They are the best.

post #6 of 17
Originally Posted by Freeze View Post

I have the Auzentech X-meridian it's an amazing sound card. Auzentech is the way to go for computer soundcards. They are the best.

Yes, the XM 7.1 is an amazing card and is still considered be many to be one of the best soundcards ever developed.  You drop in some LM4562 or other high end opamps and they sing.

post #7 of 17

csaba73 thanks for your answer.

So,if stereo music is my top priority,and I'm using windows 7 64bit.and my speakers are harman\kardon soundstick 2.1,which is the best pci-e soundcard?

post #8 of 17

Did you already buy those speakers?

post #9 of 17

no,currently I'm using logitech z-3,awesome speakers in my opinion,have them for almost 3 years without a problem,anyway my brother has the harman\kardon connected to his pc for two years now,and since he doesnt care that much about sound quality,he agreed to replace with me if i want.(when i tell him that realtek sucks he doesnt understand what I'm complaining about)

my old pc had an audigy card that was quite good and i was satisfied with the sound that came out of it.

after replacing to a new pc(2 month ago,packard bell imedia450,i3 530,4gb ddr3),i've got that realtek on-board "HD" soundchip,which is horrible!!

anyway the harman\kardon soundstick looks like jellyfish which is why i didnt bought them from the first place...

They do sound abit warmer when i tried them once,while the logitech is more bass heavy,and I like the logitech mature look better,plus it comes with better volume control unlike those annoying touch buttons on the harman\kardon.

i was thinking about getting the asus xonar dx2\essence(pci-e),which is better for windows 7 64bit.and abot the floopy connector on the asus card,is it relaible? and how is the bravura compared to the dx2?


P.S. I do have denon 1905 reciever with jbl scs146 subwofer and wharfedale xarus 400 front speakers in my room that I can connect also..

Edited by raymond555 - 6/2/10 at 11:20pm
post #10 of 17

Many won't complain about onbaord or cheap speakers until they hear the difference.

That is if they are new to audio...

post #11 of 17

The Bravura has swapable op-amps and a headphone amp on it, The Dx2 doesnt have either, i had a friend which had the Dx2 but didnt like the floppy connector as it came alose on him a couple of times.

post #12 of 17

so if mostley I'm listening to rock music like guns and roses,whitesnake,and 80's style rock music,which soundcard is the best for me between the asus dx2 and the bravura(with specific omp's) and which is more relaible and offers better support for windows 7 64bit?

post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

i don't know the bravura, but have a look at the asus essence st/stx - it also has replaceable omp's and the press was very happy with this card.

post #14 of 17

I heard the Auzentech Bravura at a friends house on a Logitech G51 and I have so say I was very impressed, the sound quality was top notch for a 5.1 audio system and the positioning in games/movies was great. You could go for the ST + H6 expansion but that is way more expensive than the Bravura or you could buy the STX and use the SPDIF letting your Z5500 console do the decoding job but I think the Bravura would be a tad better because of the higher quality opamps and DAC than the console, either way you would get marginally better SQ. You can get only so much from a 5.1 system nowadays... If you're into games I say you'd be better off with Auzentech's card.

post #15 of 17

thanks for all your help!

one last question,do the essence st\x will perform well with 2.1 analog speakers like the harman\kardon soundstick\logitech z3 since it doesnt have a proper 3.5 analog output and only RCA to 3.5 Y cable.

And is anybody knows a good seller that sells the bravura\forte for decent price and ships it worldwide?

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