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Newb would like suggestion on next purchase

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hi all. After lurking these forums for a while, I ultimately decided on getting a pair of M50's for my first pair of decent headphones. These will be an all around use, meaning movies, music, gaming (mostly in that in that order) and paired w/ my 7th gen Nano when Im on the go.

 

One small peeve I have is the back onboard audio port is already occupied by my cheap logitch 2.0 speakers and my front case audio port has too much interference for me to have a good listening experience. I could always just use a splitter in the back or just get up and plug one or the other but I like the convenience of having both plugged in. Plus this gives me an excuse to improve my setup and buy something new ;)

 

Would getting a dac or amp sitting on the desk for easy access be a better purchase than a dedicated sound card with a dedicated headphone jack?

 

I was leaning towards the SB z series cards since it just fits my budget of $150.


Edited by kymira - 1/22/13 at 3:34pm
post #2 of 4

I used to own a prominent sound card, the ASUS Essence STX. The card was high quality but my listening gear always brought up some interference produced by my Radeon HD 6990 (EMI).

 

Currently I am using an Audio-gd 12.1 DAC/AMP via Optical SPDIF (Motherboard Digital Output) and I find that my listening experience is exceptionally better. 

 

The only disadvantage I perceive with a dedicated desktop DAC is that they're not going to be "designed" for gaming and can sometimes struggle. In games where there are lots of sounds playing concurrently, I find that my DAC sometimes stutters/freezes - this never occurred when I used the STX - it had a dedicated audio processor. 

 

A budget of $150 should be plenty to get one of the ASUS Xonar DX cards (unless you need SoundBlaster / X-Fi / etc.) or a dedicated desktop DAC/AMP.

post #3 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by kymira View Post

Hi all. After lurking these forums for a while, I ultimately decided on getting a pair of M50's for my first pair of decent headphones. These will be an all around use, meaning movies, music, gaming (mostly in that in that order) and paired w/ my 7th gen Nano when Im on the go.

One small peeve I have is the back onboard audio port is already occupied by my cheap logitch 2.0 speakers and my front case audio port has too much interference for me to have a good listening experience. I could always just use a splitter in the back or just get up and plug one or the other but I like the convenience of having both plugged in. Plus this gives me an excuse to improve my setup and buy something new ;)

Would getting a dac or amp sitting on the desk for easy access be a better purchase than a dedicated sound card with a dedicated headphone jack?

I was leaning towards the SB z series cards since it just fits my budget of $150.

I'm an Xonar fan, but the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z seems to be a good value and has the features your looking for.

Check out the Sound blaster Zx, sometimes it drops down to $120.

post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

@1audioz, I currently have an HD6850 installed and maybe that may be the cause some of the interference.

 

@PurlpeAngel, yea I really like the features and the price point doesn't seem to bad. I'll wait a bit and see if I can catch it on sale.

 

 

Thanks for the responses guys

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