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Best soundcard

post #1 of 83
Thread Starter 

I am wanting to buy a sound card, which will then go into a DAC, then an amp for my headphones.  It will also be used to send the PC audio to my home theater, any suggestions? (I have a pair of k702's, and am going to get a 5.1 channel Polk setup (don't know the receiver yet) (I'm also using optical out))

post #2 of 83

Sending it into a DAC and then an AMP completely negates the purpose of a sound card. The sound card is a DAC, and sometimes an amp as well.

post #3 of 83
Thread Starter 

A sound card remove some interference noise, and adds some effects, like Dolby headphone or cmss3d and stuff like that, and, as i said, the sound card will sometimes output to the home theater

post #4 of 83

Interference wouldn't be an issue for optical out. Digital sound doesn't have noise,as it's digital, and optical out doesn't have electrical interference as it sends signals with light.

 

As for effects... a lot of people prefer CMSS-3D over Dolby Headphone, and some vice versa. If you have a preference I would certainly look for a soundcard that uses the one you like best. Your best bet is probably looking into soundcards meant for gaming, since the DAC will be taking care of the sound quality for the most part I would think.

 

Sorry I don't have any specific suggestions... I have the Xonar Essence STX myself, which works extremely well, but I think it might be a little over kill for your needs(I'm also not too sure if it has the proper outputs for a 5.1 system). I would think the Xonar DX/D1 would be enough for you, but I can't say for sure as I haven't tried them.


Edited by chewy4 - 9/8/12 at 9:14am
post #5 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by chewy4 View Post

Interference wouldn't be an issue for optical out. Digital sound doesn't have noise,as it's digital, and optical out doesn't have electrical interference as it sends signals with light.

 

As for effects... a lot of people prefer CMSS-3D over Dolby Headphone, and some vice versa. If you have a preference I would certainly look for a sound card that uses the one you like best. Your best bet is probably looking into soundcards meant for gaming, since the DAC will be taking care of the sound quality for the most part I would think.

 

Sorry I don't have any specific suggestions... I have the Xonar Essence STX myself, which works extremely well, but I think it might be a little over kill for your needs(I'm also not too sure if it has the proper outputs for a 5.1 system). I would think the Xonar DX/D1 would be enough for you, but I can't say for sure as I haven't tried them.

+1 on the Xonar DX/D1, I believe they can output headphone surround sound thru the S/PDIF Toslink digital output.

And the used ones sell for around $50

The Creative Labs X-fi Titanium (non-HD) will sell as a refurb for around $50.

post #6 of 83

If you do not intend to use the analog outputs anyway, but need Dolby Headphone, then a Xonar DG or DGX may be sufficient if it has all the features you want.

post #7 of 83
Thread Starter 

what about that new creative line coming up?

post #8 of 83
Thread Starter 

and does the 96/24 bit matter compared to 192/24, when plugged in to a dac.  Also the dx/d1 don't have optical out

post #9 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by gopanthersgo1 View Post

and does the 96/24 bit matter compared to 192/24, when plugged in to a dac.  Also the dx/d1 don't have optical out

So your saying Asus is lying when Asus says that the DX & D1 come with S/PDIF optical output?

post #10 of 83
The DX does indeed have optical out.
post #11 of 83
Thread Starter 
post #12 of 83
Thread Starter 

wait, there are 2 types of digital?  I was thinking of the one that uses fiber optic... what's the differences between the 2?

post #13 of 83
Thread Starter 

I'm sorry if I caused confusion, I'm still kind of a newb with wires.

post #14 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by gopanthersgo1 View Post

wait, there are 2 types of digital?  I was thinking of the one that uses fiber optic... what's the differences between the 2?

 

Mostly just the physical interface, if we're talking S/PDIF. Some say that coaxial's less prone to jitter than optical/Toslink, but I haven't really looked into it all that much.

 

HDMI has an audio path with even more bandwidth, but very few sound cards are designed to output digital audio that way.

 

Anyway, this $45 X-Fi Titanium should get the job done. Optical S/PDIF output, Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect support for your 5.1 speaker system, and all the gaming features you could ask for.

post #15 of 83
Quote:
Originally Posted by gopanthersgo1 View Post

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132006 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132007

 

there's neweggs listings, i don't see an optical out on either picture...

If you look at the pictures of the cards, you can see where they come with the 3.5mm Toslink adapter.

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