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Looking for a DAC for gaming under $100

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

Hello - I'm looking for a DAC to buy that is good for positional audio (hearing where footsteps are coming etc) under $100. I do plan on upgrading to a Magni + Modi eventually, but right now I just want something to get me by. I did some thread searching but I seem a little confused on what exactly I should be looking at as far as cheap DAC's go. Thank you.

post #2 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by mechabit View Post
 

Hello - I'm looking for a DAC to buy that is good for positional audio (hearing where footsteps are coming etc) under $100. I do plan on upgrading to a Magni + Modi eventually, but right now I just want something to get me by. I did some thread searching but I seem a little confused on what exactly I should be looking at as far as cheap DAC's go. Thank you.

External USB DACs bypass the sound card, so maybe not the best choice for FPS gaming.

Extenal DACs do not come with an audio processor, but external sound cards do,

 

Internal sound cards

Asus xonar DG, $27

Asus Xonar DGX, $40

Sound Blaster Z, $72-$90

 

external sound cards

Asus Xonar U3, $40

Creative Go, $40

Creative Omni, $80

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thank you PurpleAngel, that is exactly what I was looking for. I'm glad I made a thread and avoided a possible mistake.

post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by mechabit View Post
 

Hello - I'm looking for a DAC to buy that is good for positional audio (hearing where footsteps are coming etc) under $100. I do plan on upgrading to a Magni + Modi eventually, but right now I just want something to get me by. I did some thread searching but I seem a little confused on what exactly I should be looking at as far as cheap DAC's go. Thank you.

 

Heya,

 

The "DAC" does not do this. At all. A DAC merely renders 0's an 1's to a sine wave. It doesn't do positional anything. What the signal is, and how it's processed prior to analog conversion is what's doing that.

 

Positional audio is emulated by software. This processing is applied to the signal before conversion to analog and sent to your headphones/speakers.

 

This literally limits you to using a soundcard, as that's the only way to have emulated surround sound. The good news is you can still output from the soundcard to a desktop amplifier if needed. But likelyhood is that you do not need an amplifier outside of what the soundcard is capable of anyways. They key determining factor will be what headphone you use. And I'm willing to assume/bet that the headphone you're going to use, can function off a basic soundcard and you don't need a $200 desktop dac/amp setup that doesn't do anything that you're looking for.

 

Sound Blaster Zx is what you should probably get. With any headphone of your choice. Nothing else external needed.

 

Very best,

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