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, 11/11/12
- productAsus Xonar DGXtagged by System, 11/11/12
- productAsus Xonar DS 7.1 Channel PCI Low Profile 192k/24bit HiFi Audio Card / Sound Cardtagged by System, 11/11/12
- productASUS Xonar DSX PCIe 7.1 GX2.5 Audio Engine 192K/24bit Playback Support Sound Cardstagged by System, 11/11/12
- productCreative Labs SB0880 PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Sound Cardtagged by System, 11/11/12
- categoryDACstagged by System, 11/11/12
- productNuForce Icon HDP (High-end Headphone Amp, USB DAC, Preamp)tagged by System, 11/11/12
- productSennheiser HD 650 Headphonestagged by System, 11/11/12
- categorySound Cardstagged by System, 11/11/12
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
These are easy to use and pair quickly with your device. The sound quality - lows, mids, and highs are excellent provided a good seal with the ear. Good bluetooth range, battery life, and comfort....
USED Shure E5, 425, 535 EX1000 is a good start to have a taste of pro sound. Islation is not that good when music isnt playing.
got one bad connection and replaced. But still you have to carry it carefully. Sound quality definitely improved.
Setting buttons easily to get clicked if you hand helding it. USB connection plug or jack is better than mico USB kind. For similar price, there are better, smaller one in the...
-- ~Photos by me~ The HiFimeDIY Sabre USB DAC 2 (External PSU) is a wonderful, simple, clean DAC/Amp that is easy to use. I love things that just work. With the HiFimeDIY Sabre...
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.
I want to add a sound card for surround effects when gaming with my external amp/dac. What would the setup look like?
I currently have a Sound Blaster ZxR sound card and i want to hook it up to a Sennheiser HDVD 800 which would then connect to my pc.
(... And yes i know it's an old thread),
If anyone knows what cables to use and/or how to configure it, please respond.
- Do I need a sound card?
Gear mentioned in this thread:
- › Headphones for metal music - ultimate solution 23 seconds ago
- › The HeadAmp GS-X and GS-X MK2 Thread 1 minute ago
- › HifiMAN HE-6 Planar Magnetic Headphone 1 minute ago
- › Yamaha EPH-100 1 minute ago
- › Shure SE846 Impressions Thread 1 minute ago
- › Darkvoice 336i & 336SE Tuberolling PartII 1 minute ago
- › Schiit Happened: The Story of the World's Most Improbable Start-Up 2 minutes ago
- › D.C. Area Meet (Sunday, August 30, 2015) - part of CanMania @... 3 minutes ago
- › The Deals DISCUSSION Thread (READ THE FIRST POST!!!) 5 minutes ago
- › Help with deciding what to do!!! 5 minutes ago
- › JBL J46BT Bluetooth Wireless In-Ear Stereo Headphone by Mark231
- › Sony MDR EX1000 by dubbcd
- › Cypher Labs Algorhythm Picollo by dubbcd
- › iFi Audio micro iDSD by dubbcd
- › HiFimeDIY Sabre USB DAC 2 (External PSU) by BloodyPenguin
- › KZ ED9 Tunning Nozzles In-Ear Headphones by Reinoud1963
- › Sony MDR-V6 Monitor Series Headphones by Chu
- › Calyx Audio PaT Portable USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier - Gold by nmatheis
- › Pioneer HRM-7 Professional Studio Headphones by grizzlybeast
- › ZMF x Vibro by keanex
- › Head-Fi Logo Gear
- › All about iPod Touch 6G as digital transport
- › List of major HiFiMan HE1000 reviews,...
- › Can I change my user name? Can I delete my...
- › Table of Earphocalypse
- › The Great FiiO DAP FAQ Wiki
- › Audio Connections between components --...
- › Head-Fi Buying Guide (Introduction)
- › Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones)
- › Head-Fi Buying Guide (Over-Ear Headphones) 2