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Sound card for competitive gaming

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I play competitive Bf3 and I'm trying to get better positional audio. I have Audio Technica AD700s and currently an ASUS Xonar DS.

 

From what I've read before, Creative cards are generally better for gaming, correct?

 

My budget is realistically about $100-$130 (the cost of a Titanium HD) if I save up but I don't really want to spend that much if it has no benefit over a Sound Blaster Z ($89 or $109? - on that note is there a difference between these other than the looks and accessories? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006519%2050001137%2040000057&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&CompareItemList=57|29-102-048^29-102-048-TS%2C29-102-054^29-102-054-03%23%2C29-102-049^29-102-049-TS&percm=29-102-048%3A%24%24%24%2429%24%24%24%3B29-102-054%3A%24%24%24%2429%24%24%24%3B29-102-049%3A%24%24%24%2429%24%24%24%3B29-102-050%3A%24%24%24%2429%24%24%24)

I would also like to hear what your suggestion would be if I had $200 though. I might be able to get an open box/refurb Essence STX from Newegg for $150 if that would be better.

 

I know people usually say an amp isn't need for AD700s, but I'm having slight problems with volume, would an amp(amped sound card) fix this? There's no difference in volume from about 75% to 100%, and it's just barely loud enough for music at those volumes. And at high volumes, the volume level fluctuates, like sounds that are supposed to be louder aren't. This indicates to me that my sound card can't drive them properly, but I don't know much about it so maybe I'm wrong...

 

Somebody on another forum suggested a fiio e10 but didn't say why he suggests that over a PCI-e sound card, is there any validity to that?

post #2 of 7
Hi there. Just letting you know I'm definitely no expert but volume fluctuations doesn't sound like an underpowered amp. I'm pretty sure when your amp is too weak you just can't turn it up very loud. Also you only have 32 ohm headphones with high sensitivity which almost anything should drive.

If this problem is only with your computer I would assume you have a problem with your soundcard or a bad connection. But just in case have you tried the headphones with something else like an iPod or something to see if you also get the volume fluctuations?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Newschool View Post

Hi there. Just letting you know I'm definitely no expert but volume fluctuations doesn't sound like an underpowered amp. I'm pretty sure when your amp is too weak you just can't turn it up very loud. Also you only have 32 ohm headphones with high sensitivity which almost anything should drive.

If this problem is only with your computer I would assume you have a problem with your soundcard or a bad connection. But just in case have you tried the headphones with something else like an iPod or something to see if you also get the volume fluctuations?


It's not exactly fluctuations, dynamics was the word I was looking for. Sound gets less dynamic at max volume; loud sounds aren't as loud as they should be relative to quieter sounds.

 

I just tried them with my phone, and other than the lower quality, they sounded fine.


Edited by TheYonderGod - 5/13/13 at 4:46am
post #4 of 7

There is a notable difference between the Titanium HD and the SoundBlaster Z. The HD uses CMSS-3d and the Z uses THX TruStudio Pro Surround Sound.


From what I've heard CMSS-3D is better for positional audio. There are videos on Youtube of Battlefield 3 being played with both of them(search thx vs dolby vs cmss-3d).

 

If your headphones are just barely loud enough when at max volume, you could probably benefit from an amp.

post #5 of 7

AS Chewy4 says the titanium hd which I have  is better for positional sound as I don't  play PC games but listen to music on it it suites me fine. The cheaper price is a bargain as the original price  was over $200 but this was dropped by Creative because World-wide sales were bad  because the majority  of PC audio cards are used by buyers to play games . Hi-Fi listeners are in the minority.

            Creative cured this by  designing a new -Z- card just out aimed primarily at gamers..Check it out at their web site . only problem its dear!.  

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 

Ok I watched a some videos and read a bunch and it looks like I'm going to go with the Z

There's no difference between the OEM and normal one other than the cover and the accessories, right?

post #7 of 7

Well this is the list of built in programs I got with the full price Creative card.=

                   audio control panel

                    diagnostics

                     auto updates

                      system information

                       wave studio 7

                        get bonus software.

   At a guess you might not get wave studio 7 .what you dont want to lose is auto updates.

    Register it RIGHT away!

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