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got a pair of audioengine a5+, should i pair it with xonar st or audioengine d1

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Should i get a d1 external dac or internal xonar st to pair with my A5+????

 

I checked the audioengine d1 uses the AKM4396 chip while the xonar st uses the Cirrus-Logic CS5381 chip. Which one is better as a Dac chip???????

 

Also if D1 is a better option, should i use the usb or optical input or it makes no difference since i only listen to 320 kbit/s mp3 most of the time.

 

Last question, is it true that if i have an external dac like the d1, I would not need a sound card????

post #2 of 17
The Audioengine D1 is a an external DAC/headphone amp. The Xonar ST/STX is an internal DAC/headphone amp. So yes. They accomplish pretty much the same things.

Are you a gamer? If so, then you might want to go with either the Xonar ST or STX for Dolby Headphone usage.
post #3 of 17
Thread Starter 

yes i am a gamer but i don't have a high end headphone. The only headphone i have at home is a monster beats tour. I am more concern with the quality of the sound coming out of my audioengine a5+ more .
 

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwh1 View Post

Should i get a d1 external dac or internal xonar st to pair with my A5+????

 

I checked the Audioengine d1 uses the AKM4396 chip while the Xonar st uses the Cirrus-Logic CS5381 chip. Which one is better as a Dac chip???????

 

Also if D1 is a better option, should i use the usb or optical input or it makes no difference since i only listen to 320 kbit/s mp3 most of the time.

 

Last question, is it true that if i have an external DAC like the D1, I would not need a sound card????

I believe the Essence STX & ST use the PCM1792A DAC chip, not the CS5381.

For 2.0 (or 2.1) audio, you can use the Audioengine D1 and not have to also buy a sound card.

If you connect the Audioengine D1 to the S/PDIF (Optical or coaxial) outputs on the motherboard, you can use the motherboard's built in sound card.

USB would would bypass the motherboard's built in audio processor (sound card).

post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 

so then it will be better to use usb since it would bypass the motherboard's built in audio processor since i assume the motherboard's built in processor is pretty bad quality.
 

post #6 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwh1 View Post

So then it will be better to use USB since it would bypass the motherboard's built in audio processor since I assume the motherboard's built in processor is pretty bad quality.

Might depend on what you mean by bad.

Some of the "pretty bad quality" is a motherboard's built in DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) feature.

Both USB and S/PDIF (optical & coaxial) bypass the motherboard's DAC, So both the USB & S/PDIF will (in general) equally feed a digital audio signal to the D1.

Guess there is debate about the finer details of USB vs.optical vs coaxial, but that's beyond my understanding.

USB is just fine for music (or watching movies in 2-channel and gaming in 2-channel), but surround sound games and movies can take advantage of a sound card's audio processor (add-on or on-board).

USB does make external audio easy to use.

post #7 of 17
Thread Starter 

ya, as long as the computer auto bypass the motherboard's dac and uses the d1 dac, then everything should be good. i will just stick with the usb connection since i only have a  channel set up.
 

post #8 of 17

I haven't heard the D1, but having an internal sound card is always nice because it's kind of a "space saver," just less stuff on your desk. The ST is also Dolby equipped, which is a bonus if you're into that kind of thing. If you need something portable: D1. I'm also guessing that the ST should be better in terms of SQ since it's... wait, they're the same price, aren't they? lol I was thinking of the $100 USB DAC.

 

I have the ST paired up with Airmotiv 5's. Can't complain. The SQ is great AND I get to use my headphones if I need to. Win-win, IMO.
 

post #9 of 17
Thread Starter 

ya i ended up going with the internal sound card option and all i can say is WOW.  The a5+ sound very good except i still feel that it is missing a bit of bass. planning to get a s8 sub later to enhance the bass.
 

post #10 of 17

I had the same problem so I decided to order an SVS SB1000. Can't wait for it to get here! :)

post #11 of 17
Thread Starter 

nice ! that's a pretty expensive subwoofer.

post #12 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwh1 View Post

nice ! that's a pretty expensive subwoofer.

Yeah. But a much better subwoofer than the S8. smily_headphones1.gif

Before you buy the S8, you might want to seek advice over at the AVS subwoofer forum. You can probably do much better for the money, or get something comparable for less.
post #13 of 17
Thread Starter 

ooo. Thanks for the advice. So pretty much i can get any powered sub on the market with my a5+???????? Also, is the audioengine a5+ considered good for its price??? since you pointed out the fact that the s8 isn't so great for its price. Thanks
 

post #14 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwh1 View Post

ooo. Thanks for the advice. So pretty much i can get any powered sub on the market with my a5+????????

Looks like you will need a sub that has left and right RCA inputs to connect to the outputs on the back of the A5+. Might want to verify that's how to hook a sub up to them.

But generally, yes. There are almost always subs on sale that are better values that subs from mainstream speaker manufacturers at full MSRP. Then there are Internet direct sub manufacturers who are often the best values, such as SVS Audio mentioned above.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwh1 View Post

Also, is the audioengine a5+ considered good for its price??? since you pointed out the fact that the s8 isn't so great for its price.

I haven't heard them. But I've seen many serious audio enthusiasts say that powered monitors or passive speakers + amp can offer better values. You'll have to consult audio video forums for those kinds of opinions about the A5+s (not Amazon reviews and the line where people may have never heard anything else in the same price range).
Edited by cel4145 - 6/29/13 at 8:34pm
post #15 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by kwh1 View Post

ooo. Thanks for the advice. So pretty much i can get any powered sub on the market with my a5+???????? Also, is the Audioengine a5+ considered good for its price??? since you pointed out the fact that the s8 isn't so great for its price. Thanks

Have you figured out exactly how your going to hook up a sub-woofer to the A5+ speakers?

Computer audio is not designed to send out a 3-channel (2.1) audio signal, computer audio supports 2-channel, 4-channel 6-channel (5.1) or 8-channel (7.1)

You you had something like a Pre-Amp (Pre-Amplifier), I would think some pre-amps would be able to separate out a 2.0 channel audio signal to 2.1 audio signal.

Or would you run from the A5+ speaker's RCA output to a sub-woofer (not sure how well that works)>

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