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Should I get a sound card?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
My apologies if these types of threads pop up often.

I currently own a PAV2V2 plugged into Realtek on-board (AsRock Pro3). I use my KNS 8400 and ATH-AD900s with this setup. Would there be anything to gain if I upgraded to a Xonar DG or the DGX? I've heard many conflicted reviews, some say it changes greatly, others say it's the same.
post #2 of 4

One reason the DG/DGX are popular is because of their built-in headphone amp, not just the potential for SQ increase over motherboard audio from the electronics and DAC. You already have a headphone amp. So while the DG/DGX could very well provide an improvement over the motherboard audio WITHOUT your headphone amp, the differences may be smaller when the amp is factored in. 

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Every once in a while I'll hear some white noise/static, like the crackling from a vinyl without the popping. I thought it was due to the onboard audio. I've gone through three motherboards since investing in better headphones and I've noticed it on all three systems, although all of them had Realtek chips.

I got the PA2V2 with my first set of headphones, so I don't know how different it is. Biggest difference plugged directly into the computer is the volume is so incredibly low it's hard to A/B test. (Even with cranking Foobar to +20dB)
post #4 of 4

Motherboards come with low costing DACs (Digital to Analog Converter).

So adding a better DAC should improve over all sound quality.

I'm guessing the white noise & static might have more to do with your amplifier, then all three motherboards.

I guess you could try the Xonar DG, see if that helps.

you can try your headphones plugged straight into Xonar DG

and also try plugging  the PA2V2 into the Xonar DG and the headphones into the PA2V2.

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