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Looking to upgrade from onboard sound to sound card. Advice?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Hey,

 

I'm currently just using the onboard sound on my old P5Q pro mobo, but I'm wondering if I can get better sound out of my speakers/headphones if I upgrade to a real sound card. I've heard the Asus Xonar D1 is good. Thoughts?

 

I mostly just listen to music, sometimes gaming (generally RPG or FPS style games). I mainly use my speakers (Microlab Solo6C), but use headphones for most gaming (Sennheiser HD 212 pro).

 

Hope that gives you guys what you need to know to provide advice/recommendations to improve my setup!

post #2 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AquilaKhi View Post

Hey,

 

I'm currently just using the onboard sound on my old P5Q pro mobo, but I'm wondering if I can get better sound out of my speakers/headphones if I upgrade to a real sound card. I've heard the Asus Xonar D1 is good. Thoughts?

 

I mostly just listen to music, sometimes gaming (generally RPG or FPS style games). I mainly use my speakers (Microlab Solo6C), but use headphones for most gaming (Sennheiser HD 212 pro).

 

Hope that gives you guys what you need to know to provide advice/recommendations to improve my setup!

The Xonar D1 is a good sounding sound card, fine for speakers, but not the best for driving headphones.

The Xonar DG ($27, PCI) or DGX ($43, PCI-E) comes with a half-way decent headphone amplifier.

post #3 of 10

I've just recently bought a Creative Sound Blaster Recon 3D, which I have to say I was extremely impressed with.  It has a built in amplifier which helps slightly and it certainly brought mt Grado SR125i's alive!

Music was clearer with improved bass, and I could definitely tell the difference between higher quality songs. In Battlefield the audio was much improved over onboard sound, making enemies easier to hear and generally improving the immersion of the game.

 

I would definitely recommend that card.  It also comes with THX Tru Studio Pro which is decent software to help get what sort of sound you want!

 

Si smily_headphones1.gif

post #4 of 10

I use a Asus Xonar Essence Stx.  It is made for basically any headphones.  It will meet whatever ohms your headphones throw at it.  Plus it is made by Asus which is known to make much better long lasting products than any other computer manufacturer for PC at least.  Not in the mood to argue apple.  It is 7.1 with built in Dolby headphone, and Dolby surround.  It produces the audio so clear that the only thing that stands in your way is the speakers or headphones you are using.  It requires additional power and is costly but it does the job impeccably.  Amazon is the place to buy. It also has optical but I am pretty sure that is a very common feature for any good motherboard.  I built my computer myself and I read reviews until I could not longer read and consistently asus did the best job with most items they manufacture. I have owned it for about a month and love it to death.  

post #5 of 10
*cough* fanboy *cough* wink.gif

Nahh I'm kidding smily_headphones1.gif the stx is also a good card, much more expensive than the creative, but it depends what you want to spend smily_headphones1.gif
post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by SJWorne View Post

*cough* fanboy *cough* wink.gif

Nahh I'm kidding smily_headphones1.gif the stx is also a good card, much more expensive than the creative, but it depends what you want to spend smily_headphones1.gif

Oh yeah asus is very expensive.  I got them for a gift for christmas.  The program for windows 8 is still in the beta, sadly.  Works well though.

post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by AquilaKhi View Post

 

I'm currently just using the on board sound on my old P5Q pro mobo, but I'm wondering if I can get better sound out of my speakers/headphones if I upgrade to a real sound card. I've heard the Asus Xonar D1 is good. Thoughts?

I mostly just listen to music, sometimes gaming (generally RPG or FPS style games). I mainly use my speakers (Microlab Solo6C), but use headphones for most gaming (Sennheiser HD 212 pro).

Hope that gives you guys what you need to know to provide advice/recommendations to improve my setup!

The Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z ($109) might be a good choice.

Music wise, should be about the same as the Xonar DX/D1

post #8 of 10

What are the features of the creative labs sound blaster Z.  I mean if he bought a high ohm headphone will that provide the power to utilize it?  

post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by foolsgold1986 View Post

What are the features of the creative labs sound blaster Z.  I mean if he bought a high ohm headphone will that provide the power to utilize it?  

I would assume the SBZ (Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z) sound card would be fine for driving high Ohm headphones.

(How high did you want to get?)

I have not read a lot of reviews on the SBZ, so I have to be careful on recommend it.

The SBZ does seem to offer value for the price.

post #10 of 10

On newegg it says:

20kHz Low-pass filter, A-Wgt, @ 24-bit, 96kHz
Front Channel Out : 116dB
Headphone (33 ohms): >105dB
Headphone (600 ohms): >105dB

 

I think it does so that should work.  

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