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Getting minor audio distortion regardless of sound hard/headphones/headset, DAC my saving grace?
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You are probably getting clipping when multiple loud sounds are mixed in software, or maybe the sound skips because of buffering problems (too small buffers and/or not enough CPU time for the audio playback(). This is probably not a hardware issue, assuming no component in your PC is faulty. The DAC on the Xonar DX does not clip any sound by itself, even at maximum volume.
Edited by stv014 - 11/17/12 at 8:27am
It is most likely a software issue, especially if it affects two different sound cards, so I would expect the distortion to be there with an external DAC, too. I have the PCI version of the Xonar DX, and it works fine for me without any audible DAC distortion.