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$200 budget for sound card with amp?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

Hello! I am new to good audio, but I really like it so far.

 

I have bought [used] HD558 from amazon, and loving them so far! They are amazing! 

 

However, my integrated audio card [z68 extreme3 gen3 mobo]  http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extreme3%20Gen3] isn't pulling the slack.

 

I feel like I need more bass with it. I feel like spending $100 - $200 for a integrated sound card and an amp to get more bass. How do you guys feel for a Asus Xonar Essence STX? It got really good reviews from what I see and costs $180.

 

This is my first big purchase so please feel free to comment and criticise. I mostly listen to music, play games and watch movies with headphones on.

post #2 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowme View Post

Hello! I am new to good audio, but I really like it so far.

 

I have bought [used] HD558 from amazon, and loving them so far! They are amazing! 

 

However, my integrated audio card [z68 extreme3 gen3 mobo]  http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=Z68%20Extreme3%20Gen3] isn't pulling the slack.

 

I feel like I need more bass with it. I feel like spending $100 - $200 for a integrated sound card and an amp to get more bass. How do you guys feel for a Asus Xonar Essence STX? It got really good reviews from what I see and costs $180.

 

 

A sound card or an amp won't give you any bass. Try using the EQ for that.

A sound card may increase the clarity and detail of the music, if thats what you want.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

The problem is that I sometimes have clipping and I suspect it's my soundcard when I turn my sound to max. Would a better soundcard fix that?

post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowme View Post

The problem is that I sometimes have clipping and I suspect it's my soundcard when I turn my sound to max. Would a better soundcard fix that?


Possibly. Xonar STX has a dedicated headphone amp.

However you can also look at USB DACs + Amp. You might end up spending less.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by proton007 View Post

A sound card or an amp won't give you any bass. Try using the EQ for that.
A sound card may increase the clarity and detail of the music, if thats what you want.

Unless he's using a line driver with high Zout and no current supply and it's choking on the resonance bubble and driver load from the HD 558. Jus'sayin.

There's plenty of good options, the STX has the TI wonderchip on it, and is likely a good choice. Recon3D is also a good choice. There's also the USB based X-Fi HD USB, which costs less, and gives you a volume knob, phono preamp, and neat little box for the desk (if you're into that kind of thing). Alternately you could throw an amp onto the card you already have, if the output is clean. FiiO E9 would be my suggestion (same TI wonderchip as the STX).
post #6 of 6

A low cost fix.

SMSL SD-793II external S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) input DAC (PCM1793) and a headphone amplifier, $60

You could plug it into the motherboards optical output and still use the features of your on-board audio (THX TruStudio).

Sells on eBay for $60, ships from China.

 

Asus Xonar DG ($22.95)  or DGX ($39.99) sound card.

Half-way decent headphone amplifier and comes with Dolby Headphone 5.1 surround sound.

 

 

Used ($65-$68) Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card and a Fiio E11 portable headphone amplifier (battery powered), $51

Or instead of the Fiio E11 ($51), get a Fiio E09 desktop head amp. ($75-$95)

 

Or just get the Fiio E09 ($70-$96) and plug it straight into the motherboard's line-out/headphone jack (Green).

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