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Do I need a good Soundcard for better SQ if I already have a DAC?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I heard the DAC will just bypass the Soundcard? (I'm a noob.)

post #2 of 12
No
post #3 of 12

...or more specifically, no or yes.

 

There are professional soundcards aiming for ultra-low jitter digital output to external DAC, but those are quite expensive though (most likely will cost more than an entry-level DAC)...

post #4 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by asxz View Post

I heard the DAC will just bypass the Soundcard? (I'm a noob.)

A external USB DAC will bypass a motherboard's built in sound card.

An external S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) DAC will still allow you to use the built in sound cards features.

 

An add-on internal sound card or external DAC will usually be better then whatever DAC feature is built into a motherboard's on-board audio.

post #5 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by asxz View Post

I heard the DAC will just bypass the Soundcard? (I'm a noob.)


im a noob on this... but i think this might answer your question?

 

DACs dont bypass the sound card though well at least not in Windows 8... you have to get the DAC to be your default sound card for the computer to use it.

 

I have that problem between my card and tv i go to play a video and hear it from my head phones when i want it to go to my tv i have to default the sound to the tv sound.

 

I am not sure about linux none of my dealings with linux have been audio related!

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

A external USB DAC will bypass a motherboard's built in sound card.

An external S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) DAC will still allow you to use the built in sound cards features.

 

An add-on internal sound card or external DAC will usually be better then whatever DAC feature is built into a motherboard's on-board audio.

So which would be better. Getting a USB DAC or a SPDIF DAC?

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by asxz View Post

So which would be better. Getting a USB DAC or a SPDIF DAC?

If all you want is 2-channel audio (for music), then it does not matter, but chances are you would pick USB as there are some good low costing USB-DAC-headamps.

If you had need for any headphone surround sound features from your built in audio, for movies and gaming, then you would want S/PDIF (optical or coaxial)

post #8 of 12

@OP: You need to provide at least some details if you expect a useful answer. What audio interface / DAC are you using? How do you connect it to the PC?

post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by xnor View Post

@OP: You need to provide at least some details if you expect a useful answer. What audio interface / DAC are you using? How do you connect it to the PC?

I have my eye on the Schiit Modi USB DAC my guess would be just a simple USB Cable A to B cable?

post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by asxz View Post

I have my eye on the Schiit Modi USB DAC my guess would be just a simple USB Cable A to B cable?

Simple USB cable will work fine.

I'm sure that's a good DAC for your use, but your also going to need something to drive the headphones.

Some external DACs come with a built in headphone amplifier, some do not.

The Schitt Modi does not come with a headphone amplifier.

post #11 of 12

Ok, a sound card also has a DAC, it's just inside the PC.

 

So yeah, an external DAC like the Modi is a direct replacement for your sound card's DAC. Keep in mind that a DAC is just for outputting sound though, if you want to use voice chat etc. you still need to use the mic-in on your sound card.

And as PurpleAngel wrote, you also need an amp. The Modi is NOT a DAC+amp combo, just a DAC.

post #12 of 12
Thread Starter 

I was also considering the Magni. Thanks for your help!

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