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The Best Soundcard for Gaming, Surround and Movies?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

Whats the best soundcard under £160 (I don't mind paying used) for audio quality.. I do everything on my PC, listen to music, movies and play games. I currently own a soundblaster Z and philips fidelio x1s, and possibly gonna purchase a 2.0 edifer r1600t setup in the near future so may need additional inputs for speakers.

 

Is it worth upgrading from my Z? should I get the STX? I'm really happy with my current setup right now just want to yearn for a bit more and really love the punch in my music.

post #2 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojan Horse View Post
 

Hi,

 

Whats the best soundcard under £160 (I don't mind paying used) for audio quality.. I do everything on my PC, listen to music, movies and play games. I currently own a soundblaster Z and philips fidelio x1s, and possibly gonna purchase a 2.0 edifer r1600t setup in the near future so may need additional inputs for speakers.

 

Is it worth upgrading from my Z? should I get the STX? I'm really happy with my current setup right now just want to yearn for a bit more and really love the punch in my music.

With the 30-Ohm Philips X1's, you really want to use them with a low impedance headphone amplifier, like the EPH-02 (>1-Ohm).

http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/products-page/headphone-amplifiers/ehp-o2-portable-headphone-amplifier/

Not sure how well the O2 would daisy chain off the SB-Z's headphone output.

post #3 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojan Horse View Post

 
Hi,

Whats the best soundcard under £160 (I don't mind paying used) for audio quality.. I do everything on my PC, listen to music, movies and play games. I currently own a soundblaster Z and philips fidelio x1s, and possibly gonna purchase a 2.0 edifer r1600t setup in the near future so may need additional inputs for speakers.

Is it worth upgrading from my Z? should I get the STX? I'm really happy with my current setup right now just want to yearn for a bit more and really love the punch in my music.
With the 30-Ohm Philips X1's, you really want to use them with a low impedance headphone amplifier, like the EPH-02 (>1-Ohm).
http://epiphany-acoustics.co.uk/products-page/headphone-amplifiers/ehp-o2-portable-headphone-amplifier/
Not sure how well the O2 would daisy chain off the SB-Z's headphone output.
Don't daisy chain unless the soundblaster has line-out, I'd say. Rather get a DAC/amp with digital optical input and connect it to the SB. There are probably a lot of possible DAC/amps. One is the fiio e17 for example..
The SB Z does have digital optical output right?
post #4 of 35
Thread Starter 

Hmm,

 

I decided to buy an STX for £80. Do you think it was a good deal?

 

Now I want to know if I should get a 6.3mm adapter or buy outright.

 

 

Will create a new thread on this to ask for more info, if you want to help just go to my latest posts

post #5 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojan Horse View Post
 

Hmm,

 

I decided to buy an STX for £80. Do you think it was a good deal?

 

Now I want to know if I should get a 6.3mm adapter or buy outright.

 

 

Will create a new thread on this to ask for more info, if you want to help just go to my latest posts

Seems good to me, the STX is quite decent.Both as DAC and amp.Of course it won't drive everything to perfection, but most of the mid tier stuff, it will do fine with that.

post #6 of 35

I was looking at the STX with a pair of DT 770 pros. Seems lke a good matchup, then again I know nothing..

post #7 of 35
Thread Starter 

You're not very compelling I just spent 80 on what costs 160 and thought I had bought an amazing sound card :(

 

Oh well as long as it is good with my fidelio x1s (is that mid tier?)

post #8 of 35

I also have the SB Z. I wouldn't think the Z would have any issues at all driving the X1's with its internal DAC/AMP. Am I mistaken?

post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trojan Horse View Post
 

You're not very compelling I just spent 80 on what costs 160 and thought I had bought an amazing sound card :(

 

Oh well as long as it is good with my fidelio x1s (is that mid tier?)

Hehe, sorry. Sometimes forget that newcomers are... newcomers. 

 

Mid tier means most stuff under 500-600$. And you must know we here at the forum are very critical with our audio. 400 bucks is what I consider a decent price for a 'good' amp.

 

I think the stx will be able to drive the HE400, akg k7xx, <250 ohm beyers and the sennheiser hd6xx series quite well just to mention some stuff. 

post #10 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Grandagony View Post
 

I also have the SB Z. I wouldn't think the Z would have any issues at all driving the X1's with its internal DAC/AMP. Am I mistaken?

Is fine for the x1. Though output impedance might alter the x1's bass and have some slightly negative effects to the sound. Most sound cards have output impedances between 10-30 ohm. Ideally, you'd want the output impedance to be 1/8th the impedance of the headphone for it not to affect the sound quality. I wouldn't care too much about that, though.

 

The STX has an output impedance between 10-15 ohms as I remember.

post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 

Yay +1 for being noob! woooh

 

Also the Z sounds amazing with the X1s, for the guy who asked, I just wanted a better card.

post #12 of 35

I think you made a good decision, as you'd most likely be hard pressed to find better sound under 80£ after all.

post #13 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

I think the stx will be able to drive the HE400, akg k7xx, <250 ohm beyers and the sennheiser hd6xx series quite well just to mention some stuff.


So would you recommend the STX with a pair of Beyer DT 770 pros?

post #14 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nihl View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidsh View Post
 

I think the stx will be able to drive the HE400, akg k7xx, <250 ohm beyers and the sennheiser hd6xx series quite well just to mention some stuff.


So would you recommend the STX with a pair of Beyer DT 770 pros?

Yeah, sure. I have not tried for myself, though. Whether you'd like the dt770 is hard to predict.. 

post #15 of 35
Thread Starter 

Alright just antoher question, will I hear a huge difference and what kind of difference will it be? I know that if I will hear a difference, most people leave it as 'you will hear a difference' but don't really explain what kind of difference... will the sound be clearer and the will the punch in pop songs have more oompth (what im looking for)

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