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Best sound card for headphone use?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey, been following this forum and headwize for a while now and I am finally getting ready to put together a new system. This new system is going to include a new pair of Sony V6 headphones for my gaming and music listening use. This will be my first non-cheapie pair of headphones

I decided on the phones but I am not so sure about the sound card. On my current system I have an SB Live! Value but I don't know how to tell whether it will be good for my Sony V6 since I currently use cheapy speakers and cheapy headphones. I am not sure whether to just take the value and put it in my new system, get another SB Live except this time one of the newer 5.1 series cards, or get one of the "other" sound cards like the new Hercules card.

Do newer sound cards offer better output for headphones over my live value? I dont really have any need for 5.1 since I am using headphones anyway and don't plan on using speakers much.

Thanks ahead of time for any help you can give me in making my choice.
post #2 of 11
The Santa Cruz and cards based on that chip are supposed to have the best sound quality. Maybe you should check out 3dsoundsurge.com for more info.
post #3 of 11
Perhaps the Hercules Gametheater would be a good choice... Actually an Audiophile 2496 would kick their butts but it only offers stereo and no gaming sound technology support.
post #4 of 11
I guess, this thread will shortly be moved to E&A, where it belongs to...

Manfred / lini
post #5 of 11
how much does those mentioned sound cards cost? i've got a crappy 128bit sb on my beasty comp.. tried headphones on it.. sounds like crap=(
post #6 of 11
Compared to my on-board sound card, the SB128 sounds delightful! It's all relative...
post #7 of 11
becomethemould, both the Hercules Gametheater and Audiophile 2496 can be had for around $150.
post #8 of 11
cool thanks for the info dhwilkin thanks=)
post #9 of 11
If you don't plan on using speakers much, then consider the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz. It's roughly half the price of the Hercules Game Theater and is based on the same chipset. The only major advantage the Hercules would offer is an optical connection. The Santa Cruz has a coax digital connection (via a 1/8" to RCA cable that you have to buy). From what I read about the V6's efficiency, you shouldn't need to rely on the amp portion of the Hercules box either - the Santa Cruz's output should be just fine.

Unless you were set on buying the Hercules because of it's features, then I don't see what other advantage it has over the Santa Cruz for use with headphones. There is the question of which has better drivers for you operating system, but that can probably be found in the forums of www.3dsoundsurge.com.
post #10 of 11
where is a good place to buy the 'audiophile' and 'dio' soundcards for cheap?
post #11 of 11
I just purchased the Hercules Game Theatre XP...so far so good. I think it sounds better than my old Live!

- pearle
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