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Recommended Soundcard or DAC for video listening and gaming

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hey guys,

So I've recently got my hands on the Razer Kraken Forged. I know they're not fan-favourite but I actually quite like them. I'm looking to get the most out of them for video editing, music listening and gaming. I've been reading about it and it seems that a Soundcard would be best suited for me. Is that right? I'm leaning towards the Asus Xonar Essence STX but I was wondering : is that overkill? I mean will I get every dime out of my headphones?

I guess my question is the following :

What is the best option for me to get the best out of my Headphones for video editing, music listening and major gaming, without spending for something useless? What would be the best bang for my buck?

Thanks guys, your help is really appreciated!
post #2 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashrendar2507 View Post

So I've recently got my hands on the Razer Kraken Forged. I know they're not fan-favourite but I actually quite like them. I'm looking to get the most out of them for video editing, music listening and gaming. I've been reading about it and it seems that a Sound card would be best suited for me. Is that right? I'm leaning towards the Asus Xonar Essence STX but I was wondering : is that overkill? I mean will I get every dime out of my headphones?
I guess my question is the following :
What is the best option for me to get the best out of my Headphones for video editing, music listening and major gaming, without spending for something useless? What would be the best bang for my buck?

 

Sometimes you can get a good deal on a used Essence STX on eBay.

The Sound Blaster Z is fairly good for the price.

post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

Sometimes you can get a good deal on a used Essence STX on eBay.
The Sound Blaster Z is fairly good for the price.

Okay. Do you think I'd be worth it for my particular headphones?
post #4 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashrendar2507 View Post


Okay. Do you think I'd be worth it for my particular headphones?

 

"Worth it" is kind of subjective.

I'm an Xonar fan, so personally I would get the Essence STX, slightly better DAC and amp, then the SB-Z.

post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

"Worth it" is kind of subjective.
I'm an Xonar fan, so personally I would get the Essence STX, slightly better DAC and amp, then the SB-Z.

Okay well thank you very much, I'll check them out! I just want to be sure that spending money will yield me results.
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post
 

 

"Worth it" is kind of subjective.

I'm an Xonar fan, so personally I would get the Essence STX, slightly better DAC and amp, then the SB-Z.

Wow I'm at a loss... I'll be gaming a lot on these so gaming performance is really imnportant. But I still want great audio quality. And of course I don't want to pay for nothing, I want a considerable and remarquable upgrade from my onboard soundcard....

post #7 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashrendar2507 View Post

Wow I'm at a loss... I'll be gaming a lot on these so gaming performance is really imnportant. But I still want great audio quality. And of course I don't want to pay for nothing, I want a considerable and remarquable upgrade from my onboard soundcard....

Well, the STX is certainly going to give you as much of an upgrade over your onboard audio as any other soundcard you can buy for the money.

But no one can tell you whether or not it will be "remarkable." That's a very subjective evaluation that only you can make.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post


Well, the STX is certainly going to give you as much of an upgrade over your onboard audio as any other soundcard you can buy for the money.

But no one can tell you whether or not it will be "remarkable." That's a very subjective evaluation that only you can make.

Well thanks, I guess the only thing remaining is deciding wether to go for it or not.

post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashrendar2507 View Post

Well thanks, I guess the only thing remaining is deciding wether to go for it or not.

Buy it from somewhere you can return it. For instance, Amazon and Fulfilled by Amazon RMA process is easy. Probably cost you about $10 or $12 or so in return shipping to try it if you didn't like it. Consider it a "demo" fee smily_headphones1.gif
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dashrendar2507 View Post
 

Well thanks, I guess the only thing remaining is deciding wether to go for it or not.

 

You can also post "gaming hardware" questions on these threads.

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphone-gaming-guide-update-4-17-2014-akg-k612-and-k712-pro-added-edits

http://www.head-fi.org/t/593050/the-nameless-guide-to-pc-gaming-audio-with-binaural-headphone-surround-sound

post #11 of 18

I use a creative x-fi titanium hd for my gaming/music needs. It's a great card and it seems like you can snag one at a decent price either used or on sale these days.

 

- Roy

post #12 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Munson View Post

I use a creative x-fi titanium hd for my gaming/music needs. It's a great card and it seems like you can snag one at a decent price either used or on sale these days.

- Roy

Thank you Roy. I've heard great things about this card but the two complains I had was the windows 8.1 compatibility and the really bad drivers. I've you had any problems? And what Ok version are you using?
post #13 of 18

I'm currently on Windows 8 and haven't had any issues with the drivers since I purchased the card a few years back. I haven't made the jump to Windows 8.1 yet so I can't comment there. Creative did release a patch recently that provided full Windows 8 support.

 

- Roy

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Munson View Post

I'm currently on Windows 8 and haven't had any issues with the drivers since I purchased the card a few years back. I haven't made the jump to Windows 8.1 yet so I can't comment there. Creative did release a patch recently that provided full Windows 8 support.

- Roy

Okay great. But you did mentioned that it could be acquired for cheap. What I found here in Canada is minimum 300$... For that price I'd rather get a Xonar Phoebus. What kind of price should I expect?
post #15 of 18

I've seen some used ones pop up here recently in the for-sale forums. I just did a quick amazon/newegg search and I'm not finding any results. Perhaps creative has stopped production on these? My bad man, I haven't really been in the marker for a sound card in a while. If you do some across one though you can probably get it new for $130-$150 USD and less than $100 USD used.

 

You might want to take a look around forums on some PC sites that can give you feedback on more current edition sound cards before making your choice.

 

- Roy

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