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Nuforce uDAC-2 vs. X-FI Titanium

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I was wondering if a uDAC-2 would be better than a Creative X-FI Titanium in terms of sound quality. I am using HD595's. I listen to music primarily, mostly rock.

post #2 of 6

I never listened to those but if I had to guess I'd say the uDAC2 is better for music.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

I got the uDAC-2 for Christmas and I have to say I am rather disappointed in it. The sound stage sounds much more squished with the uDAC-2.

post #4 of 6

 

I purchased a udac-2 from amazon a week ago and I could not tell the difference between using my X-Fi Xtreme Audio sound card and the NuForce DAC.  I use Sennheiser HD595's and Sennheiser HD280's.  If you are pontificating on wheather to purchase a sound card or DAC, I would say to get the sound card. In my opinion, you get a lot more sound card for the money than you get in an external DAC.  If for no other reason than there is a larger market for sound cards and therefore a greater selection. That tends to make prices lower.  I currently have M-Audio AV40's hooked up and I love it (although my sound card leaves much to be desired).  You can also use the sound card for speakers later on.

 

This is completely my opinion however.  As a disclaimer, I can barely tell the difference between my HD280's and HD595's.  I tend to grab the 595's more often because they are more comfortable and offer a more open sound... think bigger soundstage.  I use the 280's when people are around because they don't leak sound.

 

You also may want to consider other options in a soundcard.  I haven't looked around lately to see what it popular but there are cards that have built in head-amps if I recall.  And I remember reading in several places that the X-Fi line is not great for sound quality but ok for gaming.

post #5 of 6

 

I purchased a udac-2 from amazon a week ago and I could not tell the difference between using my X-Fi Xtreme Audio sound card and the NuForce DAC.  I use Sennheiser HD595's and Sennheiser HD280's.  If you are pontificating on wheather to purchase a sound card or DAC, I would say to get the sound card. In my opinion, you get a lot more sound card for the money than you get in an external DAC.  If for no other reason than there is a larger market for sound cards and therefore a greater selection. That tends to make prices lower.  I currently have M-Audio AV40's hooked up and I love it (although my sound card leaves much to be desired).  You can also use the sound card for speakers later on.

 

This is completely my opinion however.  As a disclaimer, I can barely tell the difference between my HD280's and HD595's.  I tend to grab the 595's more often because they are more comfortable and offer a more open sound... think bigger soundstage.  I use the 280's when people are around because they don't leak sound.  I'm currently looking to purchase a DAC and amp (leaning twards Fiio) and closed Bayer's.  I like bass.  Psy-Trance.

 

You also may want to consider other options in a soundcard.  I haven't looked around lately to see what it popular but there are cards that have built in head-amps if I recall.  And I remember reading in several places that the X-Fi line is not great for sound quality but ok for gaming.

post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 

Sound cards and DACs serve different purposes.

 

Sound cards are meant to take the processing load off of the processor itself, thus giving better performance in games and such. The downside is that they take up a PCI slot, which many people would prefer to use three-way SLI or something else. They also offer various software and enhancements that make gaming and movies more enjoyable, but that's not to say they're horrible for music listening when these enhancements are turned off.

 

DACs are meant for heavy music listening and as a sound card alternative, and often times for laptop use where PCI cards aren't an option. I bought the uDAC to use with my M17x laptop but was wondering if it would have been a good replacement for my desktop sound card. It's not horrible, but I don't think it's worth it.

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