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Looking for the right USB sound card.

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 

Hello, I'm new to the site. I just made an account both to ask something and because I'm becoming more of an audiogeek with each passing year, so joining a site dedicated towards it seemed appropriate. Went from a low-end Turtlebeach headset to the Beyerdynamic T90 I have now, with about 8 headphones in between. I regret nothing though. Well maybe the Tritton

 

Anyway, right now I have my T90 powered by nothing but my Z87-Plus Motherboard and while the sound is still miles better than what I'm used to, I understand I'm not fully utilizing my T90s sound potential. I've been aware of this for a while now, but money had been an issue until now.

 

I've looked at various solutions to power my T90.

 

Portable Amp/Dac

PCIe sound card

USB sound card

 

From these I figured that a USB sound card is the most convenient for me and from what I've heard they will give me better sound quality than the other solutions.

 

I actually tried a portable amp/dac device called 'FiiO e17 Alpen' and while the sound did improve a bit, it broke down after a few hours so I sent it back and became anti-'portable amp/dac devices'. Or perhaps just anti-Fiio, but with everyone praising the stuff into the heavens I just broadened my disgust towards the whole genre. So with that fiasco out of the way, I'm now looking for a suitable USB sound card / audio device.

 

What I'll be using it for:

 

1. Gaming

2. Music (I listen to everything, so I don't need genre specific audio solutions)

3. Movies, series etc.

 

In that order, with small margins in between.

 

In addition to my T90, I'm using my former headset (Sennheiser PC 363D) for its microphone to talk through skype and in-game chat. I'll be looking for a proper microphone after I find a nice USB sound card, so it's a temporary thing.

 

I'm willing to pay a maximum of 200 euros, unless someone convinces me I should expand my budget-range for my own interests.

 

I've been eyeballing a USB sound card such as the Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and the Alva Nanoface.

 

With the latter reminding me a little of FiiO, but it seems decent otherwise.

 

With the former I'm not sure if it will cater to my needs. Its purpose is recording and such, but I was just wondering if someone like me could use it with my setup as well.

 

Anyway, I hope I didn't write this thread only to have people tell me to "read the stickies you dunce!". I felt like having advice given to me based on my needs and my setup seemed more effective.

 

Zinowor

post #2 of 2

I have a focusrite 2i2 and although I didnt buy it as a headphone dac/amp ( i bought it for recording) it works very well on both my pc and my ipad. I have used it to drive my Ultimate Ears superfi5 pros, a pair of beyer dt231's and a pair of 80 ohm dt770's all with good results.

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