Hi, I've got a DAC/AMP and HD650 and I just connect the DAC/AMP through the usb in the computer. I'm just wondering, i don't have a sound card in my computer, will adding a sound card make a difference?
- productAsus XONAR DG CMI8786 Sound Cardtagged by System, 11/12/12
- productAsus Xonar DGXtagged by System, 11/12/12
- productAsus Xonar DS 7.1 Channel PCI Low Profile 192k/24bit HiFi Audio Card / Sound Cardtagged by System, 11/12/12
- productASUS Xonar DSX PCIe 7.1 GX2.5 Audio Engine 192K/24bit Playback Support Sound Cardstagged by System, 11/12/12
- productCreative Labs SB0880 PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Sound Cardtagged by System, 11/12/12
- categoryDACstagged by System, 11/12/12
- productNuForce Icon HDP (High-end Headphone Amp, USB DAC, Preamp)tagged by System, 11/12/12
- productSennheiser HD 650 Headphonestagged by System, 11/12/12
- categorySound Cardstagged by System, 11/12/12
Related Forum Threads
- AKG K550 AMP or Soundcard Last post on 10/29/12 at 12:20am in Headphones (full-size)
- Best sub $50 computer sound card? or DAC Last post on 11/6/12 at 2:41pm in Computer Audio
- Whatever happened to the sound card market? Last post on 11/9/12 at 11:21am in Headphone Amps (full-size)
- Best soundcard Last post on 11/3/12 at 8:37am in Computer Audio
- New MacBook Pro (Retina), PC 360s and what DAC? Last post on 6/24/12 at 4:32am in Computer Audio
2013 Head-Fi Winter Gift Guide (Over-Ear Headphones)
Last edited: Yesterday
- 2013 Head-Fi Summer Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones)Last edited: 8/19/13
I got these on a pawn shop deal, and wanted some cheap headphones that could deliver for what I was looking for. An all-arounder that provided clarity, good bass, nice treble, and handled all...
Introduction: I still don't know why I keep buying headphones, really! I thought I was done but no, headphones like this one have to pop up on my radar and I'm weak enough that I have to buy...
Comparing these to my Philips L1 and my Beyer T1 they have a lot more mid-bass through midrange and are slightly tilted toward the high. They sound great but quite a bit different sound signature...
DISCLAIMER This review is based on the demo set at Jaben Singapore, which I have demoed extensively no less than 3 times. Though fit is pretty good, but as perfect fit is not achieved, I shall...
Sound Quality Straight out of the box, it sounded great, pretty much like the original CAL!. I’ve done over 100 hours of burn-in. DAC is FiiO E10. As I mentioned in one of the posts, it reminded...
- 2013 Head-Fi Summer Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones)
Do I need a sound card?
Gear mentioned in this thread:
It will make a difference to your wallet, but I doubt you will get any improvement in sound quality.
Already having an external DAC/amp, all I can think of that a soundcard may potentially add or improve is:
- surround sound capabilities for gaming
- ability to connect at higher speeds using S/PDIF (depending on your DAC)
- sound recording capabilities
- slight alteration in sound signature if you use the soundcard's DAC
It's up to you to decide if this is worth pursuing. If all you are after is improving quality of music, then there may be more effective ways of spending your money. For more specific advice on how to improve your setup, i'd recommend moving this thread to the Computer Audio forum.
For sound quality, keep using the external DAC. I found that using a sound card produced same (or sometimes worse) sound via S/PDIF than using USB directly to the external DAC.
If you want something for gaming, then yes, get a sound card. You will get better surround sound awareness, whereas an external DAC would simply produce a 2 channel sound. You can use them independently if you want.
What DAC and headphone amplifier are you using?
If all you doing is music, then the external DAC & amp should be fine.
If your DAC connects with just USB, then adding a sound card would not work with your DAC anyways.
If you like watching movies with full surround sound, then getting a sound card would be helpfully.
Edited by PurpleAngel - 11/5/12 at 11:50am
You will not get any improvement by adding a sound card. The USB connectivity of your Icon HD bypasses any sound card you would have added. It would do nothing. Also note, a sound card is a DAC and AMP, it's the same thing you would find in a boxed item marketed as a "DAC/AMP", it simply has connectivity built for a PC and some extra hardware/software options. So getting a DAC/AMP to output to your DAC/AMP again isn't going to do anything. And once again, USB bypasses this.
A sound card is a DAC and AMP. It's an internal caseless DAC/AMP for PC's specifically.
For music you do not need to add any more hardware.
Have you tried using the audio player program Foobar2000?
If you plug the Icon HPT into the motherboard's S/PDIF (optical or coaxial) port, you should be able to use more of the features of the on-board audio.
What's the make and model of your motherboard?
S/PDIF output on a sound card or motherboard allows you to use the sound cards features, but your still using the Icon HPT's DAC and amplifier.
(bypassing the sound card's or motherboard's DAC and amp).
If you want to do Dolby Headphone 5.1 surround sound for movies
Get the Asus xonar DG ($26, PCI) or DGX, ($40, PCI-E) sound card.
Just plug the Icon HDP into the Xonar's S/PDIF optical output.
If you want Dolby Headphone 7.1, get the Xonar DX or D1
Plug Icon HDP into Xonar's S/PDIF optical output
If you like DTS Headphone surround sound
Which seems to be the audio used on a lot on Blu-ray disks
Get the Xonar DS or DSX
If you like FPS gaming, get a refurb Creative X-Fi Titanium sound card, PCI-E, $49.99 at Newegg.
It also comes with optical output.
Edited by PurpleAngel - 11/5/12 at 12:25pm
No. Exactly. An external DAC will most likely always be better than an internal sound card, if you are using it specifically for music.
If you want to play games that take advantage of virtual surround sound features, a sound card might improve the experience though. If not though, avoid a sound card and always use an external DAC. Also, I found no difference in sound quality using S/PDIF vs. USB with an external DAC. I'm using an Asus Xonar Essence One.
- Do I need a sound card?
Gear mentioned in this thread:
- › SR60-Mod part II 32 seconds ago
- › TDK IE800 Dual High-Performance Dynamic Micro-Drivers IEM 35 seconds ago
- › Sennheiser's Own Balanced Cables for HD 600/650, HD 700, and HD 800... 45 seconds ago
- › Review: SPL Auditor 1 minute ago
- › You Know You're an Audiophile When.. Version 2! 1 minute ago
- › need help upgrading USB cable 4 minutes ago
- › iBasso DX50 Thread (New^4 firmware update! V1.2.2) 5 minutes ago
- › PC Enthusiast-Fi (PC Gaming/Parts/Overclocking) 6 minutes ago
- › Mad Lust Envy's Headphone Gaming Guide: (Updated 9/2/2013: Sony... 6 minutes ago
- › $1000 Challenge - List your best amp/headphone pairing that can be... 7 minutes ago
- › Roland RH-200 Monitor Headphones by IEMagnet01
- › Perfect Sound d901b by gelocks
- › Sony MDR-7520 Professional Headphones by groovyd
- › FitEar Private C435 Custom In-Ear Monitors by Joe-Siow
- › Creative Aurvana Live! 2 Headset with 40mm Drivers and In-Line Mic... by kingpage
- › Sony NWZ-A818 8GB by stuartfang
- › M-Audio Studiophile Q40 Closed-back Dynamic Headphones by adevriesc
- › Samson SR950 by adevriesc
- › Yamaha HPH-200 Headphone (Black) by adevriesc
- › Skullcandy INK'D Earbuds (Green) by Bassbanger101
- › Headphone-to-Speaker-Amp Interface With... by robrob
- › Headphone Resistor Network Calculator by robrob
- › 2013 Head-Fi Winter Gift Guide by jude
- › 2013 Head-Fi Winter Gift Guide (Introduction) by jude
- › 2013 Head-Fi Winter Gift Guide (Over-Ear... by skehoe
- › 2013 Head-Fi Winter Gift Guide (In-Ear... by cristina
- › 2013 Head-Fi Winter Gift Guide (Desktop Amps... by warrenpchi
- › 2013 Head-Fi Winter Gift Guide (Portable... by warrenpchi
- › 2013 Head-Fi Winter Gift Guide... by joe
- › 2013 Head-Fi Winter Gift Guide (Desktop &... by warrenpchi