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Need help picking a soundcard and headphones

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I'm a complete novice when it comes to sound.

 

 

What I have:

- MSI P67A-GD65 motherboard with the Realtek ALC892 sound chip.

- Generic 2.1 speaker system (slightly above average).

- Philips MC-M570 stereo.

- Philips SHE9550 in-ear plugs.

 

What I seek:

- An increased quality audio experience when playing games, e.g. the upcoming Battlefield.

- Music as well, taste is hardcore rock/metal with the odd dubstep; a pretty varied music taste over all.

- I'm also interested in movies.

 

What I have been looking at:

- The ASUS Xonar series. Not sure which one to pick from the D1, DS or the DX.

- AKG K 242 HD headphones.

- Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones.

- Audio Technica ATH-AD300 headphones.

- Sennheiser HD518 headphones.

 

What I plan to buy:

- I'm leaning towards the AKG K 242 HD together with the ASUS Xonar DX, but I'm not sure if this will be a good choice.

 

 

Any help is greatly appreciated.

 

Regards,

Marest

post #2 of 5

First: what's your total budget? This would help immensely in finding a balance between headphones, source, and amp.

 

Second: do you play any older games that use EAX, or is it all new stuff?

post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

First: what's your total budget? This would help immensely in finding a balance between headphones, source, and amp.

 

Second: do you play any older games that use EAX, or is it all new stuff?



Ah sorry, I should have listed it. Thought I did actually. My budget is around $300-350 (that includes soundcard, headphones and a potential amp) - the cheaper the better. I don't have that much money to spend on this unfortunately.

 

I play mostly new games. Modern Warfare 2, Battlefield 3, Skyrim, Mass Effect 3, Rage, Guild Wars 2, Portal 2, Guitar Hero III, Heroes of Newerth, Witcher 2 and so on. Big fan of FPS and RPG games.


Edited by Marest - 9/11/11 at 2:53pm
post #4 of 5

Given those games, it doesn't seem too crucial to get a sound card with an X-Fi DSP, though a Titanium HD would be nice.

 

If you wanted to go the cheap route, you could try the HD668B/SR850 + Xonar DG, if you wanted to spend less than $100 and have a PCI slot free to install the Xonar DG in.

 

If you really wanted to fill up that budget...got a speaker amp lying around, by any chance? (Maybe the MC-M570 has speaker-level output for the speakers it's bundled with.) That might be a gateway to affordable vintage Stax setups, most of which have a transformer box that needs speaker-level input...and by "affordable", I mean "$250-300". Not cheap, but possible if you're in the right place at the right time, and still much cheaper than their current offerings.

 

Too bad I have no experience whatsoever with any of the headphones you mentioned, so I can't vouch for or against any of them. Quite problematic when the only two noteworthy headphones I have any experience with are the AD700 and SR-Lambda. (And given your music tastes, I'm not sure you'd want the AD300/AD500/AD700 line, if only because of bass deficiency.)

post #5 of 5

X-Fi Titanium HD - $180

Audio-Technica ATH-M50 - $159

 

I have the X-fi HD and it is very good. Replaceable opamps will let you play around if you want to. I think if you play a lot of games you really should get an x-fi card. The software it comes with allows you to switch back and forth from gaming to music mode which is really nice as well.

 

I do not have the M50s but they are often recommended as the best rock/metal phones in that price range.


Edited by mrip541 - 9/12/11 at 7:23am
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