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Need help picking a sound card zx700.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

I recently purchased sony zx700s with head-fi's great advice. I'm building a rig and i need help on picking which sound card to get.


I probably won't be using this with speakers, since there are other people in my house. But if you guys happen to know about any cheap 2.1/5.1 or even 7.1 sound systems, please let me know.



The motherboard i'm getting only has PCIe x1 slots, with no regular PCI slots. I was wondering what sound card you suggest I use for my Sony Zx700. I will be mostly gaming (with some FPS games, so positional audio is key), listening to music and watching movies. I did a search, and the results said to get a Xonar DG for my headphones, but they are not compatible with my motherboard. I know that the DGX is apparently the same, but it seems to be getting very mediocre reviews on retailer websites, like newegg.


My budget is around 50 dollars, but if it's worth it, I wouldn't mind dishing out 50 more. I will greatly appreciate it if you could please tell me the best sound cards for low impedance headphones like mines at each price point ($20,$50,$100).


Thanks smile_phones.gif

post #2 of 9
Thread Starter 


post #3 of 9

Look into the Creative X-Fi Titanium. There are some refurbished deals that have the card for $50.


If gaming (including positional cue accuracy) is important, then getting a soundcard with a X-Fi chip is essential. There are three cards to be considered, the Creative X-Fi Titanium, as mentioned above, the Auzentech X-Fi Forte and the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD. The first is the cheaper card, the third is more expensive, and the second is a middle ground. Quality scales with price, in this case.


EDIT: You're not supposed to bump threads under such a short period of time, wait 24 hours between bumps.

post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

do you know of any others in the $50 range?


i've heard of xonar dgx, stx, dx. how well do those perform for gaming, music and movies?


ps: sorry for bumping the thread

post #5 of 9

Since you intend on doing a lot of gaming, Asus soundcards aren't the way to go, they have partial gaming audio support and lack the X-Fi specific algorithms that improve positional accuracy through both depth and height maps. On the other hand, Creative soundcards (namely, the X-Fi series) have full gaming audio support, with the X-Fi chip improving game audio quite a bit beyond other manufacturers.


The Asus Xonar DG(X) is a solid entry level soundcard that can be used for light gaming (not for gaming that requires accurate positional cues, though) as well as music and movies. The Asus Xonar Essence STX is the flagship card with the best music performance from the Asus internal soundcard line-up, but it lacks in terms of gaming even when facing a base Creative X-Fi Titanium.


The Creative X-Fi Titanium HD has sound quality par to the Asus Xonar Essence STX, with both cards having a few differences. The Essence STX has analog multichannel output, a headphone amp up to 600 Ohm, a neutral to bright signature and partial gaming audio support, while the Titanium HD has analog stereo output and digital multichannel output, a headphone out up to 330 Ohm, a neutral to warm signature and full gaming audio support.


Bottomline is, if you can stretch your budget, the Creative X-Fi Titanium HD is the best soundcard money can buy for gaming, and due to the high quality DAC and components used, it's also a very good soundcard for music and movies. It takes DACs costing more than twice its price in order to improve over it.

And don't worry about replying to your thread, bumping is only an issue when doing consecutive posts after your last post.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks a million, i will be definately getting the creative titanium hd xi-fi in that case.


but are you sure they will work well with my zx700s?
ive read in other places that since these headphones use such little power and are designed for portable/ipod use, an amp like the fiio e11 is required. can you confirm this?


will my headphones be terrible when used with dolby surround for gaming? should i buy new headphones, or are they do-able in the time being, until i get more money to buy something better (in which case, maybe you can kindly suggest a headphone for the future that would work well with this card).


in the portable headphones mega-review, this was rated the best sub-100 dollar headphones, that's why i bought it. i don't think they should be that bad for gaming either..right?? confused.gif

post #7 of 9

The ZX700 do indeed have a rather low impedance, and it is recommended you get an amp like a PA2V2 or a Fiio E11 (this amp can't be used while charging), both have very low output impedance, which works fine with the ZX700.


These headphones will be passable for gaming, but there are better options.


What kind of gaming do you do, competitive or immersive gaming?

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

mostly immersive, but id like to be competitive as well. I'm probably going to buy another headset for competitive gaming. 


I'm probably just going to buy 2 new headphones for my PC. 1 for immersive gaming (skyrim), music and movies. another one for FPS gaming strictly.


It would be nice if i didn't have to buy 2 new headphones, but I think i have no other choice.


Can you suggest 2 headphones, 1 immersive like i mentioned about and the other one for FPS gaming, and maybe a sound setup for my PC that would be compatible for both of them, if I wanted to switch them on the fly (sound card, etc.).


although i don't think it's necessary, because i'm pretty noobish at distinguishing between audio quality and whatnot.

post #9 of 9

- Creative X-Fi Titanium HD as the best gaming soundcard you can get.

- O2 headphone amp.

- Audio Technica ATH-AD700 for competitive gaming.

- Beyerdynamic DT990/Ultrasone HFI-2400/Ultrasone Pro 900 for immersive gaming.

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