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post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Are there any better soundcards than that? Anything from creative? Are the asus cards the best or just the best value?
post #17 of 26
The ODAC is good or better than any of the Asus and Creative products if all you need is a DAC.
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thank you. I think we have a winner. Just making sure we've narrowed it down before i pull the trigger. The portability is definitely a bonus too, but i didn't want to mention that at first as sound quality is by far the most important thing that i am in search of.

Thank you for your help lads.
post #19 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock&rollfrenchfries View Post

Are there any better sound cards than that? Anything from creative? Are the Asus cards the best or just the best value?

I believe (guess) the Creative Titanium HD comes with the best audio hardware for a stock sound card (in it's price range).

I like my Xonar Essence STX because it comes with a built in headphone amplifier and I prefer it's control panel.

The Xonar DG, DGX, DX, D1 are great values for the price.

I'm starting to warm up to the Sound Blaster Z, as it comes with the same DAC chip (CS4398) as the Xonar DX/D1 and has a headphone amplifier.

 

I do think the Xonar DX & D1 are a good value, for use with an external headphone amplifier.


Edited by PurpleAngel - 1/22/13 at 1:39pm
post #20 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock&rollfrenchfries View Post

Thank you. I think we have a winner. Just making sure we've narrowed it down before i pull the trigger. The portability is definitely a bonus too, but i didn't want to mention that at first as sound quality is by far the most important thing that i am in search of.

 

All of the sound cards mentioned so far and the ODAC are good enough in terms of sound quality that it is not really an issue with any of them. Without knowing which one is which, and at accurately matched levels, you would very likely not even be able to tell them apart. If you need portability (USB interface), or have EMI issues in your computer, get the ODAC. If you need features like 3D audio in games, then buy a sound card that has the best support for them. If basic gaming support is enough, USB is not needed, and there are no interference problems, then get the Xonar D1 or DX (or Sound Blaster Z, but I know less about that card), and save money.


Edited by stv014 - 1/22/13 at 12:34pm
post #21 of 26
Thread Starter 
usb cable. how long is too long vs headphone cable how long is loo long.

Im guessing standard 15 feet or so is acceptable for usb? just so im clear on that part.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock&rollfrenchfries View Post

usb cable. how long is too long vs headphone cable how long is loo long.

Im guessing standard 15 feet or so is acceptable for usb? just so im clear on that part.


USB cable --> As long as it meets your needs. Note that the USB 2 standard mandates the maximum length to be 5 meters. 

 

Headphone Cable --> As long as it meets your needs. Of course the resistance increases with distance, so just get the amount you need.

post #23 of 26
Thread Starter 
So the usb dac could also be a better choice (by a slight margin) for listening at a slight distance.
post #24 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by rock&rollfrenchfries View Post

So the usb dac could also be a better choice (by a slight margin) for listening at a slight distance.

 

Well, in a way, yes. Although the same resistance issue applies to the usb cable as well, because its transferring a digital signal, its not affected by cable characteristics as long as the data gets through properly, i.e. it maintains a certain voltage level ( >2.8V, <0.3V for D+ and D- respectively for a '1', reverse for '0')

 

Headphones are analog, so keep the cable just the right length.

post #25 of 26
Thread Starter 
Just checking back to say i recieved my odac today. A DEFINITE improvement in quality of everything i play through it compared to any other options i had previously.

Even with my mediocre iem collection i can hear the difference. Mucho depth and transparency and clarity improvement. So NOW that i have an adequate setup to drive some bigger headphones i can start shopping around.

The headphones dont come first imo. One doesn't just stick with one set of headphones and try to change the sound by changing around amps and dacs constantly. I prefer the other way around. Start with quality of the format and then signal. THEN shop around for amps and headphones.
post #26 of 26
Awesome! The ODAC does sound great, doesn't it? biggrin.gif
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