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X-Fi vs Xonar - Page 3

post #31 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siyfion View Post

 SQ-wise the Xonars are better, but again I wouldn't say by leaps and bounds.


 

SQ wise the new Titanium HD sounds slightly better than any of the Asus ST-STX cards.

 

The STX costs more than the Titanium HD, SNR and components are a tad worse, and the only real thing special about it is the headphone amp, which, again, an audiophile will probably pass over in favour of a dedicated Headphone amp. I just can't see a great spot for the STX currently, ever since the Titanium HD was released. Want EAX for gaming and great quality? Titanium HD. Want the best quality and couldn't care less for EAX? External DAC. Want anything below? Onboard or even the cheaper Xonars.

 

Don't get me wrong, the STX was the best when it came out, but that was before the Titanium HD was released, which seems to be the best of both worlds. 

post #32 of 40

OK here is the truth as I understand it but I am a xonar fan so take from it what you will. My sound card history is

SB Live 5.1 > Audigy 2 > X-Fi gamer > Xonar DX , Xonar Essence STX

 

EAX is dead

 

Unless you are still into playing your old games (nothing wrong with that) then forget about EAX when choosing a new SQ.  Most of the old EAX enhancements wont work naively on win 7 and is re written by OpenAL. Stick with XP and EAX for gaming nostalgia on old PCs and games.

 

The Creative Camp

 

Its a bit of a sweeping statement but most of the creative cards have been rehashes with gimmicky branding to sell them. They have not really improved the tech \ SQ for a long time until the titanium arrived.

 

I tried a lower end X-fi and had driver issues up to my ears (no pun) and as a ten year creative user that was the end..

(I still hear good things about the KX driver pack which is the only saving grace of the X-fi)

 


Xonar ( Dolby Headphone & Pro-logic IIx ) vs CMSS3D

 

Plenty has been argued over this but IMO Dolby headphone is superior than CMSS3D in sound quality and positional accuracy vertically and horizontally and general audio experience. I find it doesn't distort the SQ as to make the audio experience a horrid one. You also have the option of adding Pro-logic IIx for even more sound stage and imaging customisation. 

 

The lower end Xonars (DG & DX) have Dolby tech including digital live 5.1 encoding for a bargain price.  You should be hard pushed to not choose a Xonar when looking low and mid range.

 

The DX sound quality is much better than the lower end offerings from creative and has full windows 7 64bit drivers with ASIO with which I have no problems. Not to say ASUS are perfect many have had issues and their driver release schedule is iffy, but for that we can use the custom Unified driver pack. Big up to the custom driver mod scene.

 

 

Higher End:  Essence STX vs Titanium HD

 

The STX brings a quality DAC and not just a built headphone amp and is well regarded here on head-fi and gives a noticeable bump in SQ over the DX. The HP amp may not be high end audiophile league but it can power some audiophile cans (HD650).  The STX is regarded as up there with if not the best sound card available.

 

I have not heard the Titanium HD but this looks to be a great card from creative and if I was still in the creative camp I would probably buy it. Reading the reviews the sound quality is comparable and for some even better than STX.

 

Which to buy

 

For me the Xonars represent the best sound card for gaming and music & movies and the top offering being the STX. Ever since I fist purchased the DX was a very happy Head-fier and Game-fier and now with the STX even more so.

 

The only creative offering that should be considered is the Titanium HD but without dolby headphone it will be second choice every time.

 

Other notes

 

The X-fi HD / Digital music premium external Sound card looks to be a great external option but lacks flexibility for gaming.

 

 

 

 /SEMIRANT

 

 

 

 

post #33 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by BlutoSlice View Post

OK here is the truth as I understand it but I am a xonar fan so take from it what you will. My sound card history is

SB Live 5.1 > Audigy 2 > X-Fi gamer > Xonar DX , Xonar Essence STX

 

EAX is dead

 

Unless you are still into playing your old games (nothing wrong with that) then forget about EAX when choosing a new SQ.  Most of the old EAX enhancements wont work naively on win 7 and is re written by OpenAL. Stick with XP and EAX for gaming nostalgia on old PCs and games.

 

The Creative Camp

 

Its a bit of a sweeping statement but most of the creative cards have been rehashes with gimmicky branding to sell them. They have not really improved the tech \ SQ for a long time until the titanium arrived.

 

I tried a lower end X-fi and had driver issues up to my ears (no pun) and as a ten year creative user that was the end..

(I still hear good things about the KX driver pack which is the only saving grace of the X-fi)

 


Xonar ( Dolby Headphone & Pro-logic IIx ) vs CMSS3D

 

Plenty has been argued over this but IMO Dolby headphone is superior than CMSS3D in sound quality and positional accuracy vertically and horizontally and general audio experience. I find it doesn't distort the SQ as to make the audio experience a horrid one. You also have the option of adding Pro-logic IIx for even more sound stage and imaging customisation. 

 

The lower end Xonars (DG & DX) have Dolby tech including digital live 5.1 encoding for a bargain price.  You should be hard pushed to not choose a Xonar when looking low and mid range.

 

The DX sound quality is much better than the lower end offerings from creative and has full windows 7 64bit drivers with ASIO with which I have no problems. Not to say ASUS are perfect many have had issues and their driver release schedule is iffy, but for that we can use the custom Unified driver pack. Big up to the custom driver mod scene.

 

 

Higher End:  Essence STX vs Titanium HD

 

The STX brings a quality DAC and not just a built headphone amp and is well regarded here on head-fi and gives a noticeable bump in SQ over the DX. The HP amp may not be high end audiophile league but it can power some audiophile cans (HD650).  The STX is regarded as up there with if not the best sound card available.

 

I have not heard the Titanium HD but this looks to be a great card from creative and if I was still in the creative camp I would probably buy it. Reading the reviews the sound quality is comparable and for some even better than STX.

 

Which to buy

 

For me the Xonars represent the best sound card for gaming and music & movies and the top offering being the STX. Ever since I fist purchased the DX was a very happy Head-fier and Game-fier and now with the STX even more so.

 

The only creative offering that should be considered is the Titanium HD but without dolby headphone it will be second choice every time.

 

Other notes

 

The X-fi HD / Digital music premium external Sound card looks to be a great external option but lacks flexibility for gaming.

 

 

 

 /SEMIRANT

 

 

 

 


 

I think you should have said that if you don't have a Creative soundcard, you have to stick with XP in order to have access to the lower levels of EAX the competition has. Creative can convert DS/DS3D calls to OpenAL and have full 3D audio in Vista/7.

 

Using a low end Creative is the worse way to base an opinion as there are quite a few low end models which do not share the main processing chip, being switched by lower quality ones, like Audigy LS or X-Fi XtremeAudio.

 

I've never had any driver issues whatsoever, and while they do feel a bit bloated, always were stable and never affected the sound. Though I do know of people who had issues, but nothing severe enough, despite me knowing some things that have happened through other forums.

 

Creative has quite solid modded drivers release scheduling, and any Creative other than the LS, SE and XtremeAudio variants (the lowest end) will give you quite good audio.

 

Again, gaming is for Creatives, Asus solutions don't even come close without introducing severe sound issues, which in itself degrades the whole sound experience. For music, Asus fare better, with Creative's Titanium HD being a serious contender to Asus offerings. External solutions is basically X-Fi HD, Asus has nothing to match it.

post #34 of 40

I'm surprised no one mentioned the Auzentech X-fi Forte

 

If you're leaning towards de X-fi, why not get the Forte? It has the same X-fi chip but Auzentech made a few mods to it, including a headphone amp.

 

I have the Forte for over a year, got it directly from Auzentech. Some folks have had a few issues with the card, but well, people have issues with the other cards as well.

 

I use it with W7 x64 and have had no issues (surprisingly no issues with drivers as well), so I definitely recommend that you check this one out.

 

I'd go as far as to say that if you're already set on getting the X-fi card, get the Forte instead, it is a better deal.

 

Well, that's just my 2 cents, I'm sure the Xonar is a great card as well, but I can't say as I have not used it.

post #35 of 40

I mentioned Auzentech on older posts, and it is recommended over virtually all regular X-Fi's. Auzentechs do pack quite the punch wink.gif

post #36 of 40

LOL... tell me how to test the difference?

X-RAM is prob one of the most useless feature on a SC that has ever happened in the SC history.

 

Please help name if any game has noticable difference with X-RAM feature working.

Thanks.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roller View Post

Lol. X-Ram serves not only to lower the overhead.....

post #37 of 40

Id Tech engine powered games ALL benefit from it. Battlefield games, F.E.A.R. games, among a few others. And the word to note is "few". Also, another user mentioned that Unreal Engine games also support X-RAM.

 

When it comes to features, the mere fact that additional effects and/or higher quality ones are only used when said hardware is found should be enough.

 

And since you didn't bother AT ALL to read the thread from the start, I already stated that X-RAM was a gimmick that was just nice to have, but not a selling point.

post #38 of 40

I found this from Creative, although it dosent give alot of info its still fun to look at.

http://www.creative.com/soundblaster/technology/xram/welcome.aspx

 

So if "EAX is dead"  is it worth switching to Game Mode when playing up to date games?

post #39 of 40

Most people get the wrong idea that EAX is dead. Wrong. What is dead is DirectSound/DirectSound3D processing, EAX is still in use, but now over OpenAL.

 

About Game Mode, yes it is important, and should always be set when gaming.

post #40 of 40
OK , thanks for clearing that up.
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