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Sound card for £20 for music recommendations please!

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi there,

 

I'm sure this has come up many a time but I was wondering what you chaps would recommend! I'm looking for a sound card (PCI or PCIe) that will only be used for music listening, possibly recording but this doesn't matter, my main use will be listening! Budget is £20 to £30. My headphones are sony zx700 but I will soon invest in some more upmarket ones so I'll need to be able to drive them hopefully, I'd rather not move my amp to my computer! Anyway, what would you chaps suggest?

 

I hope you are able to help.

 

All the best.

 

Music

post #2 of 8

xonar dg

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by e6600 View Post

xonar dg

Thank you, thought that may be the case, I had seen that one around before. Thank you very much! How about if one was to budget up to 100-200. what would you suggest then? Or maybe £50, what would you suggest for that budget? Thanks for the help, much appreciated!

post #4 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Music Guy123 View Post

Thank you, thought that may be the case, I had seen that one around before. Thank you very much! How about if one was to budget up to 100-200. what would you suggest then? Or maybe £50, what would you suggest for that budget? Thanks for the help, much appreciated!

for 50, id say xonar dx.  though there may be better cards at that price

100-200, xonar essence st/x, e-mu 1212m, titanium hd

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by e6600 View Post

for 50, id say xonar dx.  though there may be better cards at that price

100-200, xonar essence st/x, e-mu 1212m, titanium hd

Thank you, perfect answer, you are a star, +rep! Thank you very much!

post #6 of 8

The Xonar D1/DX is very good if you only intend to use it as a source to an external amplifier. However, it has no real amplified headphone output, so it is only recommended for driving headphones directly if you do not mind a 100 Ω output impedance and only 5-10 mW of maximum power.

The Xonar Essence ST/STX does include a headphone amplifier, but it works best driving relatively high impedance headphones (> 80 Ω). It does sound good with almost everything, however, an external amplifier may perform better.

I do not know much about the E-Mu card, but it is probably optimized for studio applications (high quality recording, balanced inputs and outputs, hardware accelerated effect processing and mixing, etc.), and is also bundled with various software for music production.

The X-Fi Titanium HD is the best choice for gaming, but it does also have a good DAC as well, that is said to be comparable to that of the Xonar ST/STX. Its built-in headphone amplification is likely more limited, though.


Edited by stv014 - 9/16/12 at 12:25pm
post #7 of 8

The Sony ZX700 is only 24-Ohms, so motherboard and sound cards are not the best choice for driving the ZX700.

Sound card and motherboard's built in audio usually has a high impedance, 10-Ohm to 100-Ohms.

You want a headphone amplifier with a impedance of 3-Ohms or less for best audio quality for a 24-Ohm headphone

I believe portable audio like iPods, mp3 players or portable headphone amps. come with a low impedance, which is the market I believe Sony is try to sell the ZX700 to.

The Asus Xonar DG is about the best you can for a add-on computer sound card in your price range anyway.

post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much everyone, very informative!

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