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Should I get a dedicated sound card?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I am thinking of replacing my onboard card, but I'm entirely ignorant of this subject. I am thinking of buying the Shure SRH840's and I'm wondering if getting a new sound card will be neccessary, or if these headphones will be just as good without one.

 

If a sound card is recommended, what are some that are worth getting? 

 

Sorry if this post lacks information, but as I said, I know nothing about this topic.

 

Thank you!

post #2 of 6
Hello LSDawson,

A sound card would probably be better than your onboard sound. I would recommend the Asus DG or DGX sound cards. Both are relatively inexpensive and have a built in headphone amp.
post #3 of 6

Modern soundcards offer much better sound quality over junk onboards.  I would decide on your budget and get the best card that offers the features you want within that budget.  Soundcards do not advance and evolve as fast as other PC hardware, so if you buy a good soundcard, it should last you through many systems builds.

 

Good luck on your purchase.

post #4 of 6

First, get the headphones.

Later decide if you want/need a dac or amp.

post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by LSDawson View Post

I am thinking of replacing my onboard card, but I'm entirely ignorant of this subject. I am thinking of buying the Shure SRH840's and I'm wondering if getting a new sound card will be neccessary, or if these headphones will be just as good without one.

If a sound card is recommended, what are some that are worth getting? 

Sorry if this post lacks information, but as I said, I know nothing about this topic.

On-board audio parts are more likely chosen by price then audio quality.

So any decent sound card should improve the audio quality coming from your PC.

 

Asus Xonar DG ($27, PCI) or DGX ($43, PCI-E) sound card.

Creative Labs Sound blaster Z ($110) or Zx ($120) sound card.

post #6 of 6

Don't think that buying a sound card will change your sound "quality" like "night and day". Modern onboard sound is actually pretty good. No hissing at least like in the 90's. Its a much more subtle improvement. But - it IS a very definitive improvement. 

 

Keep in mind that you need a minimum mid-fi speaker setup or some nice headphones to actually hear any difference. If you use a small, lets say Logitech 2.1 system with  2A 12V wall adapter you will not notice much change.

 

I bought the ASUS essence ST recently, mostly because of the headphone amp and the great reviews it get here. I was not disappointed. To sum it into very basic words: A bit clearer than my ipod headphone out (which is close to my onboard sound) or onboard to stereo. Flatter frequency curve. Better sound stage. Mostly though, I noticed the "different" sound. First I was like. Hmmm. Then I was like, "ok". Now I really enjoy it and I am listening to a lot more music again via stereo. It is now "a lot" better than my onboard sound.

 

Headphone amp is also quite nice. A bit bright aka exact and revealing maybe for my tastes, but I will give it more time.

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