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Gaming audio

Poll Results: What would experienced audiophiles suggest for gaming/music audio

Poll expired: Jan 14, 2013  
  • 33% (2)
    Xonar DGX
  • 0% (0)
    X-Fi Titanium
  • 66% (4)
    X-Fi Titanium HD
  • 0% (0)
    Sound Blaster Z
6 Total Votes  
post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I am *when i have the time* an active gamer. Just beefed up my PC, and after a friend of mine got a dedicated audio card (Xonar DGX) I am convinced into getting a sound card myself.  The problem is, I am virgin to audio cards. I spent about a few weeks looking around, and tonight about 4 hours straight, here on Head-Fi and googling like crazy and dammit, I am more confused now then when I started. 

 

I want to get a sound card, and maybe a new headset. I play FPS, like BF3 competitively, positional audio I think would help out a great deal. I also listen to music AS much if not MORE than I game, and I also use my pc as my media player for movies and the television programs I do watch. I see threads saying get the X-Fi Titanium, then threads that say get the X-FI Titanium pro, Now I am seeing threads saying that the hardware is for outdated games that support hardware accelerated audio, and now days it's software based, so get a new Sound Blaster Z card, more future proof. Then I get comments from a close friend of mine saying get a DGX, it has a decent enough headphone AMP (I primarily game with my head set on) So I am lost, and looking for my hand to be held, I have searched and am lost in new terminology and utterly flabbergasted by the amount of loyalty people seem to have one brand vs the other. So far the only thing I know for sure is don't get a Recon card.

 

 

(TL:DR?) and to the point, Currently using on board audio, with a Razer Carcharias gaming head set. wanted to upgrade with a Xonar DGX 5.1, with a pair of 

Superlux HD 681 Headphones ( or  Superlux HD668B, or Sony MDR-V6 Monitor Series ) , the improvement I want is in gaming, but I would also appreciate a good bump in music quality, would like an improvement in video audio as well.  With a budget of around $150 (would like to spend less if I could, two GTX 680's in the pc and an new Ivy bridge, my girlfriend is none to thrilled to see me shopping for an audio card) I was wondering what experienced audiophiles would suggest. Xonar DGX? Regular X-Fi Titanium or X-Fi Titanium HD? Or get a new Sound Blaster Z? Should I keep my Razer headset or get a new pair with the sound card? Links suggestions anything would be help full. Thanks

 smily_headphones1.gif


Edited by I3litzt - 1/3/13 at 7:09am
post #2 of 11

Get the card, that is a given but which one you get depends on if you want surround or stereo.

post #3 of 11

I'm actually in a quite similar situation. I built my uber PC over the summer but don't really have too much time for gaming as well. Still, I'd like a good sound card to decode surround formats (not willing to route PC gaming audio through my receiver, back to my headphone amp) to use with my LCD2s. I'd be doing RCA out to my Pan Am, so I guess it would need a decent DAC in it. OP, for you, I think it would be best to check out Mad Lust Envy's Gaming Headphone Guide. I've read it myself, and if you're not willing to spend too much on a new set of headphones, I'd stick with Audio Technica AD700s. 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-updated-1-1-13-yuin-g1a-added

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3litzt View Post

I am *when i have the time* an active gamer. Just beefed up my PC, and after a friend of mine got a dedicated audio card (Xonar DGX) I am convinced into getting a sound card myself.  The problem is, I am virgin to audio cards. I spent about a few weeks looking around, and tonight about 4 hours straight, here on Head-Fi and googling like crazy and dammit, I am more confused now then when I started. 

I want to get a sound card, and maybe a new headset. I play FPS, like BF3 competitively, positional audio I think would help out a great deal. I also listen to music AS much if not MORE than I game, and I also use my pc as my media player for movies and the television programs I do watch. I see threads saying get the X-Fi Titanium, then threads that say get the X-FI Titanium pro, Now I am seeing threads saying that the hardware is for outdated games that support hardware accelerated audio, and now days it's software based, so get a new Sound Blaster Z card, more future proof. Then I get comments from a close friend of mine saying get a DGX, it has a decent enough headphone AMP (I primarily game with my head set on) So I am lost, and looking for my hand to be held, I have searched and am lost in new terminology and utterly flabbergasted by the amount of loyalty people seem to have one brand vs the other. So far the only thing I know for sure is don't get a Recon card.

(TL:DR?) and to the point, Currently using on board audio, with a Razer Carcharias gaming head set. wanted to upgrade with a Xonar DGX 5.1, with a pair of 

Superlux HD 681 Headphones ( or  Superlux HD668B, or Sony MDR-V6 Monitor Series ) , the improvement I want is in gaming, but I would also appreciate a good bump in music quality, would like an improvement in video audio as well.  With a budget of around $150 (would like to spend less if I could, two GTX 680's in the pc and an new Ivy bridge, my girlfriend is none to thrilled to see me shopping for an audio card) I was wondering what experienced audiophiles would suggest. Xonar DGX? Regular X-Fi Titanium or X-Fi Titanium HD? Or get a new Sound Blaster Z? Should I keep my Razer headset or get a new pair with the sound card? Links suggestions anything would be help full. 

Does it matter if the headphones are open or closed?

Currently my best sound headphones, for under $100, is the Gemini HSR-1000 (Takstar Pro 80) closed headphones, $72.36

http://www.datavis.com/cgi-bin/product.cgi?prrfnbr=653791&site=GOGL

 

The Asus Xonar DG is the cheapest price, $27.

Creative Titanium (non-HD) is around $50-$55, on eBay.

post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Does it matter if the headphones are open or closed?

Currently my best sound headphones, for under $100, is the Gemini HSR-1000 (Takstar Pro 80) closed headphones, $72.36

http://www.datavis.com/cgi-bin/product.cgi?prrfnbr=653791&site=GOGL

 

The Asus Xonar DG is the cheapest price, $27.

Creative Titanium (non-HD) is around $50-$55, on eBay.

 

Titanium can be had for even under $50.

Places like Fry's Electronics even sells them cheap [Refurbished]

 

Open vs Closed depends solely on your personal preference. Can't really know unless you've auditioned both.

 

Tim

post #6 of 11

"hardware is for outdated games that support hardware accelerated audio"

 

Hey now, classic games aren't outdated per se, they just don't have mainstream appeal anymore! Give me BF1942 or BF2 over BF3 any day!

 

My vote's for the X-Fi Titanium HD due to it being a good foundation for better headphones with high-quality analog output, but if you either don't see yourself buying much more expensive headphones that would take advantage of its high quality or intend to buy some ludicrously expensive DAC with S/PDIF input later on, then you could opt for the basic X-Fi Titanium.

 

Do note that I don't place too much headphone amps built into sound cards as someone going the Stax/electrostatic route (for which conventional headphone amps are completely useless), and also as someone who believes that the amp should be matched to your headphones of choice rather than the other way around. That said, having what is effectively a FiiO E9 built into the sound card itself does add to the value proposition for a lot of people.

post #7 of 11

A high quality card still offers high quality sound for games.

post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

I know there are probably around 10 similar threads around here, so I just wanted to tell you guys, thank you for being patient and helping a guy out! 

I browsed a bit more and after reading pretty much what most have suggesting here, I decided to just go ahead and get a Titanium HD. I was wondering if any one as ever purchased a used one from Amazon, there $100 so I am giving it some serious thought.  ( http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B0041OUA38/ref=dp_olp_used?ie=UTF8&condition=used ,  the only reason I am considering it, is it's sold through amazons warehouse deals )

 

As far as headphones are going I am going to wait a little and spend around $120-170 next month on a kick ass pair, and just use my Razer Carcharias until then, I also have a pair of Razor Orca's just connected to my tablet PC, I wonder how they will sound connected to a decent sound card? But any-who, thanks FatmanSize48, it's hard for me to find time to search around and I Really appreciate the link

Quote:
Originally Posted by FatmanSize48 View Post

I'm actually in a quite similar situation. I built my uber PC over the summer but don't really have too much time for gaming as well. Still, I'd like a good sound card to decode surround formats (not willing to route PC gaming audio through my receiver, back to my headphone amp) to use with my LCD2s. I'd be doing RCA out to my Pan Am, so I guess it would need a decent DAC in it. OP, for you, I think it would be best to check out Mad Lust Envy's Gaming Headphone Guide. I've read it myself, and if you're not willing to spend too much on a new set of headphones, I'd stick with Audio Technica AD700s. 

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-updated-1-1-13-yuin-g1a-added

If anyone else has suggestions on head sets or required reading, I would really appreciate anything.

Thanks again all, I have a feeling I am going to be happy I found head-fi  atsmile.gif


Edited by I3litzt - 1/3/13 at 11:42pm
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Does it matter if the headphones are open or closed?

Currently my best sound headphones, for under $100, is the Gemini HSR-1000 (Takstar Pro 80) closed headphones, $72.36

http://www.datavis.com/cgi-bin/product.cgi?prrfnbr=653791&site=GOGL

 

The Asus Xonar DG is the cheapest price, $27.

Creative Titanium (non-HD) is around $50-$55, on eBay.

 

It does not matter, I am keeping them at my desktop ( the environment is generally quiet here) . Thank you for the suggestion, now that I figured i would just get the titanium HD now and save up for head phones later, spending around the $150 price range what would you suggest? Besides gaming I listen to a lot of electronica, industrial, and hard core punk, metal, and much more just those would be priority. 

smily_headphones1.gif

 

Currently checking out the Rcommendations thread, and looking at the HEAD-FI 2012 Buying guide.


Edited by I3litzt - 1/4/13 at 1:33am
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

After further reading I am sold on getting a Titanium HD now, and then getting a set of Audio-Technica ATH-M50 later. 

Now should that do it, or should I get an amp or anything else? And I am still open for any other head phone suggestions around the $150 price range.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by I3litzt View Post

After further reading I am sold on getting a Titanium HD now, and then getting a set of Audio-Technica ATH-M50 later. 

Now should that do it, or should I get an amp or anything else? And I am still open for any other head phone suggestions around the $150 price range.

Adding an external headphone amplifier and connecting it to the RCA outputs on the Titanium HD should improve the audio quality on any headphone you use.

The Titanium HD has some nice hardware, but does not come with a true headphone amplifier and the headphone output jack has an impedance of 35-Ohms :(

The new Schiit Magni headphone amplifier ($99) seems to be getting popular.

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