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So I need a good sound card (for music, mainly)

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

So I got a new computer. I use Sennheiser 595s, and my old computer had an Audigy 2 which of course doesn't fit in my PCI-Express only slots...

The Realtek onboard audio on the new one, as many probably know, sucks. At first I thought it was just quiet, but after trying a sound booster I find the quality is not as good as it seemed at first with bad stereo seperation....but anyway.

 

I figure I might as go all out, but I'm a little weary. Is the ASUS Xonar Essence STX really worth it? I'm especially interested in the fact there's mention of headphone amp on it -- I've never been satisfied with the power/volume of my old card, and the Realtek is just horrid that even a 'loudness war' trashed track can't be juiced up.

 

So I guess I'm asking, what's the best deal? is it worth the extra $85 or so?

Asus Xonar cards in general seem to get good reactions here, but there's also the Creative X-Fi to consider.
 

I'd love to listen to music in great quality, but I'm a bit worried that the extra money won't make any actual audible difference.

 

So...thoughts?

post #2 of 10

It would cost a bit more but a mid range DAC / amp combo would make more sense to me.

 

Maybe something like a nuForce Icon, or Firestone Fubar.

post #3 of 10

Try searching for the Auzentech and HT Omega Claro sound cards.

post #4 of 10

If you want it mainly for music listening, then Asus xonar essense stx is recommanded! Pretty excellent sound quality.

 

BTW, you still need a pair of good headphone to fit this card.

post #5 of 10

If you're looking for a sound card specifically and not any other components, the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Music has never disappointed me. It's a great value. Good sound for a decent price. Just my .02

post #6 of 10

It's an old question in this forum, but the answer is always the same to me.

Having been a Creative cards user for almost 8 years, I've never realized that a PC could sound so good until I installed my Xonar Essence STX on my PC.

It's really night and day to me.

Well, it's also my .02

 

:)

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by audionewbieyao View Post

It's an old question in this forum, but the answer is always the same to me.

Having been a Creative cards user for almost 8 years, I've never realized that a PC could sound so good until I installed my Xonar Essence STX on my PC.

It's really night and day to me.

Well, it's also my .02

 

:)


I agree. I absolutely love my STX. 

post #8 of 10

Have you considered waiting a bit and getting the Headstage USB DAC stick when it comes out? It's an external soundcard, but it also has a nice hardware crossfeed and bass boost. And it will power up to 320 ohm headphones.

post #9 of 10

cantatis overture or titanium HD

post #10 of 10

I have the ASUS Xonar Essence STX.  I use it with my Triports.  It uses very nice components and has improved the bass a lot compared to my old Sound Blaster Live Value.  You'll need a molex connection from your PSU to it, as it uses that for the headphone amp.

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