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USB DAC vs PCI sound card for my ATH M-50 ?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

I need help deciding between a Xonar DG sound card and the Sabre USB DAC, will be used only on my PC.

 

I should also say that I don't need any surround or multi-channel audio support, as I'm not playing any games nor watching any movies on my PC. 

post #2 of 7

External DAC is usually a better option as far as the sound quality is concerned. If possible look for a model that does not power the DAC chip through the USB.

 

You're not saying anything about amplifier - I hope you are aware that you will need one in addition to the DAC.

 

A sound card may be the cheaper option though....

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PleasantSounds View Post
 

External DAC is usually a better option as far as the sound quality is concerned. If possible look for a model that does not power the DAC chip through the USB.

 

You're not saying anything about amplifier - I hope you are aware that you will need one in addition to the DAC.

 

A sound card may be the cheaper option though....

thanks for the reply.

what do you mean? I can't just plug the headphones in the USB DAC ? do my headphones need an amp?

also, if I'll get some cheap amp, how will the sound quality compare to the Xonar?

post #4 of 7

Well, quite a few DACs in the market contain a headphone amp, but many don't. If it has a headphone socket and volume control, you're all set. Audio-gd has a couple of very good models (NFB-15.32 and NFB-11.32) that don't break the bank, although they will be more expensive than a sound card.

Based on what I read Xonar may be hard to beat by an el cheapo amp, but I don't have first hand experience in that regard.

post #5 of 7

From my experiences, the M-50 is easy to drive and doesn't scale that much with a better amp/DAC. Unless your outboard sound is ghastly, I would perhaps save money towards a bigger upgrade.

post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by hahahigh View Post
 

From my experiences, the M-50 is easy to drive and doesn't scale that much with a better amp/DAC. Unless your outboard sound is ghastly, I would perhaps save money towards a bigger upgrade.

My on-board sound chip is kinda old and there's a slight distortion on higher volume levels...

I'm comparing the sound to my Galaxy Note 2 which has Wolfson's WM1811 and sounds awesome compared to my PC. 


Edited by Birghtest - 4/15/14 at 1:44am
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Got the Asus DG. 

Sound got much much better, bass got deeper (probably thanks to the amp). Couldn't be happier for such a cheap price, amazing product.

I'm just glad there's no more static when nothing is playing, unlike before. 

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