or Connect
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Looking to upgrade but now sure how
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Looking to upgrade but now sure how

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ok so here's the scenario -

 

I've currently have a pair of ATH-M50s hooked up to an HT Omega striker 7.1 internal sound card.

 

When I turn the volume up to max I can hear noise.  In addition to that I have occasional issues with my microphone not working.

 

I would like to improve audio quality as well, if possible.  I've heard that internal sound cards have these issues but I don't know where to proceed from here.  In other words, do I need to buy an external sound card (if that's what they are called) or will another internal card suffice?

post #2 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by evernessince View Post

I've currently have a pair of ATH-M50s hooked up to an HT Omega striker 7.1 internal sound card.

When I turn the volume up to max I can hear noise.  In addition to that I have occasional issues with my microphone not working.

I would like to improve audio quality as well, if possible.  I've heard that internal sound cards have these issues but I don't know where to proceed from here.  In other words, do I need to buy an external sound card (if that's what they are called) or will another internal card suffice?

 

Hopefully you have turned off the motherboard's on-board audio? in the BIOS.

Delete the HT Omega software and install the Unified Xonar Drivers".

http://maxedtech.com/asus-xonar-unified-drivers/

 

If my advice does not help with your issues (the microphone on HT Omega might be defective) then maybe it time to replace the HT Omega.

The max volume might be cause by "electrical noise" inside the computer case, the HT Omega might be uber sensitive to the case noise

 

The Asus Xonar DG ($28) or DGX ($38) would be almost as good (maybe roughly equal) as the HT Omega.

 

For the best bang for the buck and audio quality for the price, get the Sound Blaster Z sound card, $90 to $105.

The SB-Z SB1500 ($105) come with a EMI shield.

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thank you for the very informative response!  I will try those drivers out.

 

I do have another thing to ask that I've never been able to get a straight answer about.  I've read that an external audio setup is better than an internal one.  Is this really true?  What kind of gear does it involve?  I've heard you need a DAC but I've no idea if that's all you need.  Could you please clarify and thank you!

post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by evernessince View Post
 

Thank you for the very informative response!  I will try those drivers out.

 

I do have another thing to ask that I've never been able to get a straight answer about.  I've read that an external audio setup is better than an internal one.  Is this really true?  What kind of gear does it involve?  I've heard you need a DAC but I've no idea if that's all you need.  Could you please clarify and thank you!

 

About $250 is about the most you would pay for a sound card, where as you can spend $1000 (or more) for an external DAC/head amp.

So if your willing to spend the cash, you will get great sound quality (I spent $300 for my Audio-GD NFB-15.32 external DAC/amp)

There is some good values for externals, Schiit Modi DAC with a Schiit Magni headphone amplifier, is $200.

Externals are not normally effected by any electrical noise that might be generated inside the computer case, as the digital audio signal is passed out of the case (using USB, optical, coaxial) before is is converted to an analog audio signal.

So having your DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) external, does have advantages over using the DAC feature built into sound cards.

On Head-fi, when someone talks about a "DAC", they are usually referring to an external "DAC", a DAC may or may not also have a built in headphone amplifier.

 

Your using the Audio Technica ATH-M50 headphones, personally I would not spend more then around $100 (SB-Z) for driving them.

As you can get better sounding (used) headphones starting at around $150.

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the crystal clear answer.

 

I'm pretty much stuck where I am unless I upgrade to a better sound card/DAC & amp and a new pair of headphones then.

 

I'm very interested in the Schiit DAC and amp, they seem to be a good value.  So if I got these two devices, I would no longer need my sound card?

post #6 of 11

or you could get a good set of speakers that dont require an amp or dac ive just got myself a set of ruarks mr1's that plug into your usb and cut out the sound card

post #7 of 11

you will get better sound cutting out the sound card and using the usb

post #8 of 11

dac and amp will run off usb and not soundcard so save your money that you will pay on a soundcard and put it towards a good amp and dac

post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by evernessince View Post
 

Thanks for the crystal clear answer.

I'm pretty much stuck where I am unless I upgrade to a better sound card/DAC & amp and a new pair of headphones then.

I'm very interested in the Schiit DAC and amp, they seem to be a good value.  So if I got these two devices, I would no longer need my sound card?

 

The Modi come with an optical or a USB input, USB is a little easier to use, but bypasses sound card feature (both on-board and add-on).

There is the Schiit Vali hybrid tube amplifier, tubes can add to nice "coloring" to the sound.

 

The Schiit Modi/Magni (or Modi/Vali) combo should provide a noticeable improvement in audio quality (over the striker or on-board audio).

If you get the Modi with the optical input, it can be connected to the optical output on the Striker, allowing you to use the Strikers Headphone surround sound features, you could also use the optical Modi with just about any sound card you might replace the Striker with.

Or even plug the optical Modi into your motherboard's optical output (if it has one), allowing you to use the feature of the on-board (built in) sound card.

 

You might have to remove or replace the Striker if you can not fix it's mic issue.

(leaving the on-board audio enabled might be a cause of the Striker's mic issue).

You can always remove the striker and use the on-board audio, if you want to take sometime on getting a replacement sound card.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Ok guys, that's everything I needed to know.  I could not ask for better help.  I'll most likely be getting the modi/magni with usb, I don't really care too much around the surround sound features of my current audio card.

 

@nicknack40 

 

Thanks for the info although I do need to use headphones for the foreseeable future.  I need to be up late transcribing audio samples so I use headphones.  Don't want to be a disturbance.

post #11 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by evernessince View Post

Ok guys, that's everything I needed to know.  I could not ask for better help.  I'll most likely be getting the modi/magni with usb, I don't really care too much around the surround sound features of my current audio card.

That will be a nice setup smily_headphones1.gif
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Looking to upgrade but now sure how