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HotAudio BitPerfect DAC/AMP vs ASUS Xonar vs X-Fi Titanium HD vs STX vs Fiio E9/E17 Combo

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My sound card (X-Fi Titanium, non HD) seems to introduce a bit of static into my tracks at this point, the bitperfect sounds much better in comparison, but I know that little thing has a bit of trouble driving my DT990s (600ohm, how do you insert the symbol for that via keyboard anyway? XD).

 

So the real question is, should I go with the STX or HD Cards mentioned in the title (only have pci-e on the mobo), or grab an E17 to slap into the E9 dock? I know the STX would be less cost effective, but I could probably sell off the E9.

 

Any help would be appreciated ^^

 

 

PS: Any other cards or DACs you guys could reccomend around $200 or less would also be nice :)


Edited by Zoomer13 - 7/16/12 at 10:29pm
post #2 of 10

If you're into gaming, get the X-Fi Titanium HD.

 

Actually, now that I think about it, why do you have both the X-Fi Titanium and a BitPerfect DAC? Normally, I'd think you'd just use one or the other if the DAC lacked S/PDIF input. Even if it's USB, you could just set the "What U Hear" input on the X-Fi Titanium to play back through the BitPerfect (with a bit of added latency).

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

I do game, but I'm more concerned with how music sounds. Do the X-fi APIs and such really matter if my main concern is sound quality?

 

Anyway, to answer your question I got the bitperfect a while back mainly just to see what it could do, being new to audio equipment and seeing as it was pretty affordable....snagged it up. 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

Normally, I'd think you'd just use one or the other if the DAC lacked S/PDIF input. Even if it's USB, you could just set the "What U Hear" input on the X-Fi Titanium to play back through the BitPerfect (with a bit of added latency).

This is also the reason I was considering grabbing an E17, as unlike the E7, it has S/PDIF in. Though honestly, I don't need more than 24/96, so USB would be fine. 

 

On another note, I was looking at the STX because I almost exclusively use my DT 990s, with a cheap clip mic for chatting, and the fact that it's got EMI protection, the same amp chip that's in the E9, and a good DAC all integrated makes it look like a pretty nice choice. Have heard some pretty great things about it.


Edited by Zoomer13 - 7/16/12 at 11:37pm
post #4 of 10

The Asus Xonar Essence STX will do everything you need and all in one package.

Allows you to sell off everything else for a bit of cash.

Maybe upgrade the STX's op-amps with the LME49990 ($60).

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Not gonna do this just yet, so I'd like to maybe hear some other opinions as far as the E17 goes, as I could probably have uses for its portability....though I do appreciate the assistance so far ^^

post #6 of 10

Just get the Asus Xonar DX sound card (used $50) uses the same audio processor as the STX (C-Media CMI8788) and the E9 is about equal to the STX's headphone amplifier, the STX & E9  use the same TI 6120A2 headphone amplifier chip.

So just plug the E9 into the DX's headphone output.

I would assume the DX's DAC (CS4398) is at least the equal of the E17's DAC (WM8740)

And the DX gives you Dolby Headphone surround sound for movies and some games.

 

Any chance your could list your current hardware in your Forum Signature, keeps things straight on what have and don't have.

post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Put it in my profile, need a few more posts if I'm to have a signature. 

post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoomer13 View Post

I do game, but I'm more concerned with how music sounds. Do the X-fi APIs and such really matter if my main concern is sound quality?

 

For those games, they're only going to sound as the developers intended on X-Fi hardware because effects go missing on other sound cards and especially USB DACs. That's the gist of it, really.

 

What I'd like to find out is if the X-Fi Titanium still introduces the static noise when outputting to a DAC with S/PDIF input, since then you'd no longer be using the card's own DAC and associated analog output circuitry.


Edited by NamelessPFG - 7/17/12 at 11:53am
post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 

Alright, I have indeed determined its the soundcard, at least, it seems more likely than the driver in the 990s, as 

the tracks that introduce the hiss in the left have absolutely no issue through the bitperfect.

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by NamelessPFG View Post

 

For those games, they're only going to sound as the developers intended on X-Fi hardware because effects go missing on other sound cards and especially USB DACs. That's the gist of it, really.

 

What I'd like to find out is if the X-Fi Titanium still introduces the static noise when outputting to a DAC with S/PDIF input, since then you'd no longer be using the card's own DAC and associated analog output circuitry.

This being the case, I will probably snag a TiHD from frys in the next few weeks, or ASAP. If it doesn't work out, easier return than ordering online, and seems to be the same price as amazon and other places. If it does, I may look into opamp upgrades in the future, if I find that I need it.

 

I'm also a bit curious about the S/PDIF output, though currently have no way of testing that. 

post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoomer13 View Post

Alright, I have indeed determined its the sound card, at least, it seems more likely than the driver in the 990s, as 

the tracks that introduce the hiss in the left have absolutely no issue through the bitperfect.

 

This being the case, I will probably snag a TiHD from Frys in the next few weeks, or ASAP. If it doesn't work out, easier return than ordering online, and seems to be the same price as amazon and other places. If it does, I may look into op-amp upgrades in the future, if I find that I need it.

 

I'm also a bit curious about the S/PDIF output, though currently have no way of testing that. 

On eBay there are lots of external DACs with optical input and RCA (analog output)

SMSL SD-793 DAC ($60)

SMSL SD-1955 DAC ($100)

 

 

Or what Techbargins and Bountii websites for the best prices on the TiHD.

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