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Sound Cards item created by jacksonchansf, May 28, 2012
Pros - Decent sound, software good
Cons - Front pannel jack died in 6 months. Rest of the card died in less than a year.
I had this card for a while and it did a decent job powering my AKG K550's and my Ultrasone 650Pros. I could always tell there was more to be had from them though. The sound was good but a tad muddy on the bass end and a tad clipped on the high end.
After 6 months I got static output from the front panel and had to unplug it. After 10 months of ownership the card would output high pitched hissing noises at all times through headphones or speakers.
I cannot recommend this card with the time it lasted me
Replaced it with a Creative Sound Blaster Z and I am highly impressed with how much better it is.
Pros - Good headphone amp, extended usage options 10x better than on board,
Cons - Relatively bad drivers, bud good alternative to it is UNi Xonar, not isolated.
I bought this because i needed an AMP for my superlux hd681 headphones, so I bought this card because it was on my budget.
I am really happy with it and with it's sound, and i could not switch back to my old onboard sound, which was best on the market, but pathetic in comparison with this.
It is driving my headphones very well, and very loud. I never played my headphones on something better, so I can't make any comparison when talking about sound quality.
There is a bit of a problems, the original drivers suck, but fixed with alternative called UNi Xonar. The card isn't isolated, so it can make noise if interfered with other components such as graphic card. I needed to move my card away from the graphic card because it made a noise when any kind of sound would start to play.
Pros - a REAL upgrade from onboard audio
Cons - drivers and software overall isnt good
This card is 25-30 usd only which is very inexpensive, and it is a noticeable improvement over my realtek 892 onboard sound, I only have some cheap Plantronics Gamecom 367, which sounded boring with the onboard sound, but after setting up the card they sounded more transparent and alive (for a 30usd headset). This card will work nicely with ANY gaming headSET and some EQ tweaking, I've tested it with siberia v2's and they sound better than the usb soundcard, a razer carcharias sounded better too.
The only major problem with this card are the drivers, this card is NOT easy to setup, if you buy this card it is normal if you don't notice any improvement at first, but you need to know how to set it up correctly, first of all throw away that garbage driver cd, and download the latest updated drivers form here: http://maxedtech.com/asus-xonar-unified-drivers/ ASUS site drivers are garbage too.
This drivers will work for any asus xonar card and some auzentech too, try installing the cmedia panel version without gx enabled, you shouldn't use gx (or xear 3d) because it is just a buggy feature, it made some of my games crash, then you need to set your windows sound output to 24bit/44100hz and then disable all the features on the card. You can use the headphone amplification and EQ features since they improve your experience, try to control the volume from windows and move the headset cable volume control to maximum, that improves SQ and finally NEVER use or connect front panel audio, front panel connections on pc cases are normally very bad quality, use extensions and connect your headset directly on your card.
You can try different configurations and see whats best for your headset and audio needs, for example, if you like dolby headphone use it, I personally never use it because it just ruins music and in games removes the sense of distance since it normalizes the volume, and that's not good for cs global offensive.
This card will work nicely with ANY decent gaming headset,the best headset I have used is the corsair vengeance 1300, but you can use creative tactic 3d sigma, razer carcharias, razer kraken, steelseries siberia v2, steelseries 5h, logitech g230, but those are gaming headsets, if you want high sound quality try beyerdynamic dtx 910, sennheiser hd 4x9, akg k240 studio or audiotechnica ad500x with the zalman clip on mic, that will get you the best results.
Pros - Solid State Amp, Powerful and Neutral. Good software and warranty. Cheap enough to buy on a whim.
Cons - Wont Drive Some Cans Adequately. Unshielded. PC only.
First off I consider myself a music lover, I am not a true audiophile but I do have pretty good taste in sound. I can play and tune several instruments by ear, I can play several brass instruments very well and can generally tell when things don't sound right. I don't have a lot of audio equipment but I am slowly amassing a collection. When I bought the card my only pair of quality headphones were HD 515's (not a lot of love for these, I think they sound good though a little dark)
The reason for buying the card, well it was cheap and I needed it. My new headphones were proving too much for my onboard sound card and I didn't have a lot of money to spend on a new card. Not liking my current sound card much anyways, I decided for a new one. I wanted a stand alone amp as well, but just couldn't afford it at the time. With some research I decided on a Xonar DG 5.1 version.
After a simple install I plugged in my headphones and was pleasantly surprised. I really did notice a difference in sound and it seemed to drive my headphones a little better. After tinkering in the included software I discovered the dedicated headphone amp feature. I realized (whilst listening to music mind you) that I had my card set at the 16-32ohm setting on the amp. Not thinking I immediately changed it to the 64-150 ohm setting and scared the crap out of myself by instantly tripling the volume to deafening levels.
When the ringing subsided I went back to my music and noticed that there was so much more punch in my music. The bass on the 515's went from "meh" to very mean and tight. A similar effect was had on the mids. I noticed a little more sparkle in the highs but these phones are known for being dark. Volume needless to say was pushed to levels I didn't know possible to actually hear. So much volume...
The card has been spot on reliable for over two years now. It has no hum or hiss from the other components in my computer. That being said my computer is over considerable quality with a very efficient and well built power supply. If it was in say a very cheap PC that story might be different because the board lacks shielding and the general buzz of a power supply or any noisy caps could effect sound quality.
Over all I really like the card, it EQ's well with the included software. It can be used for 5.1 if you was so inclined. The onboard amp seems neutral with all the phones and speakers I have hooked up to it. It lacks the high end features of Xonar DSX but at $120 cheaper who really cares? If you are going to run 300ohm+ can's the DG isn't for you but I can see these driving 100ohm cans with ease.
If you want one shop around, you should get it for $30 or less shipped.