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Searching for a decent 7.1 channel virtual surround sound audio card for my PC...

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I've looked into the Asus Xonar Essence STX card, but the whole thing seems a bit overkill. If it's possible to get similar-quality surround sound for less, I'd definitely like to hear my options. Also, I'd be buying the card strictly for use with stereo headphones and not speakers (not sure if that matters, but I figured I'd put it out there). I'll appreciate any suggestions!

post #2 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo212 View Post
 

I've looked into the Asus Xonar Essence STX card, but the whole thing seems a bit overkill. If it's possible to get similar-quality surround sound for less, I'd definitely like to hear my options. Also, I'd be buying the card strictly for use with stereo headphones and not speakers (not sure if that matters, but I figured I'd put it out there). I'll appreciate any suggestions!

sound blaster z is about 80-90$

post #3 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo212 View Post
 

I've looked into the Asus Xonar Essence STX card, but the whole thing seems a bit overkill. If it's possible to get similar-quality surround sound for less, I'd definitely like to hear my options. Also, I'd be buying the card strictly for use with stereo headphones and not speakers (not sure if that matters, but I figured I'd put it out there). I'll appreciate any suggestions!

What headphones are you planning on using?

 

Creative Sound Blaster Z (SB1500) sound card, $100.

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

What headphones are you planning on using?

Creative Sound Blaster Z (SB1500) sound card, $100.

I'll be using Beyerdynamic DT-880's. And thanks, I'll look into that!
post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 
And the 880's are the 32 OHM versions. I figure that also matters.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geo212 View Post

And the 880's are the 32 OHM versions. I figure that also matters.


I'm fairly sure the 32-Ohm DT880s will work with the Sound Blaster Z.

(can't see any reason why not)

 

The SB-Z is listed as a 5.1 sound card,

but my impression is that it's just as good as cards listed as 7.1 (for headphones).


Edited by PurpleAngel - 10/19/13 at 11:50am
post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 


I'm fairly sure the 32-Ohm DT880s will work with the Sound Blaster Z.

(can't see any reason why not)

 

The SB-Z is listed as a 5.1 sound card,

but my impression is that it's just as good as cards listed as 7.1 (for headphones).

I've looked up some reviews, and I like what I see. Others have also accounted for the 360 degree sound field despite it being a 5.1 sound card. Looks promising!

post #8 of 8

Hi Geo

 

Kind of in the same boat as you.  I have the fidelio x1 headphones, these are 32ohm as well.  The problem with the Soundblaster Z and every other gaming sound card is that they have a very high impedance.  The SB Z has an output impedance of 22(ohms?).  It is recommended that the output impedance for headphones is 1/8th or 1/9th (?) of the headphones resistance.

 

The funny thing is that on-board sound cards actually have a low impedance, so it possibly sounds better then an expensive separate card.  I've only just purchased, a few weeks ago my headphones and was so stumped on what DAC / soundcard to get I left it.  I was amazed at how good these sound on my motherboards on-board sound.  I was expecting hissing noises and rubbish sound, but its dead silent and sounds great (although nothing to compare it to apart from sound blaster gaming headsets).

 

I guess if you wanted to technically have the best sound, with surround sound, you would want a card like the SB-Z and buy a separate amp  with a low impedance. But try your on-board, my ASUS motherboard actually comes with THX headphone surround sound for films which easily equals the surround sound of my old soundblaster headsets.

 

I know this post hasn't helped you, because this information didn't help me 3 weeks ago.

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