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What does a sound card do?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

I am going to build a computer, and am planning to put in an asus xonar essense st in it. what purpose will it serve other than improving the actual sound? does it act as an amp or a dac? 
sorry for my lack of understanding and thanks in advance

post #2 of 5

Deleted


Edited by labrat - 6/25/13 at 9:26pm
post #3 of 5

A soundcard is a specialized amp+dac built and designed specifically for computers. Most computers have a built in sound card on the mother board but tend to suffer from unacceptable noise and/or other sound quality issues. A sound card will mainly improve sound quality, although some sound cards offer extra benefits like 3D audio. If you're willing to use a USB DAC+amp there's really no need to get a soundcard other than for the frills. Most high end soundcards make great DACs and possibly even amps for some easily amped headphones.

post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamthem View Post
... Most high end soundcards make great DACs and possibly even amps for some easily amped headphones.

does this mean that if I were to go with a high impendance pair of headphones, that I would need to buy an external amp to power the headphones?

post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by fatmaggot View Post

Does this mean that if I were to go with a high impedance pair of headphones, that I would need to buy an external amp to power the headphones?

The Asus Xonar Essence ST headphone amplifier is fine for driving headphones from 50-Ohms to 600-Ohms.

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