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Are people using sound cards or dac's? What is the general opinion?

Discussion in 'Video Games Discussion' started by HiCZoK, May 27, 2017.

Sound card or Dac?

  1. Sound Card internal

    11 vote(s)
  2. Sound Card External

    1 vote(s)
  3. DAC

    5 vote(s)
  4. DAC+AMP combo

    29 vote(s)
  1. MichaelXX2
    I've used a Modi 2 at my desktop for years and never had any problem.
  2. blackdragon87
    been using a Centrance DACport LX with Reserve Series 1/4" to RCA cable for few years now, really happy with its performance
  3. Amish
    Nothing wrong with going with a solid sound card. It all boils down to what your expectations are. I'm a DAC and Amp user myself but I also use multiple sound cards. SQ wise I do not think you can beat a good DAC and amp but if you don't have a dac/amp then a good sound card will do you well. Sound cards can output more channels usually for gaming surround sound, or virtual surround depending on what card you buy but for two channel listening then obviously a DAC and amp will outshine a sound card. Not to mention the difference in power output....A sound card will not have the ability to drive a nice set of speakers (I'm not referring to PC speakers (which are powered).

    You could go with that sound card and then pick up a set of powered monitors.

    I know what I would do but what works for me might not be the ticket for you. A Schitt stack would be MUCH better than any sound card you buy but it's not needed unless running stereo is preferred over surround sound and if you have some passive speaker and or good headphones; otherwise if just using computer speakers, or powered monitors, a good sound card will be the ticket. Hell on-board sound these days can perform as well as most sound cards. I stopped buying sound cards years ago.
  4. Kwyjibo
    I use a dac+amp combo with Waves NX for 3d surround sound. Works extremely well.
  5. I2evived
    I'm using a schiit stack, that way I can easily switch between my pc, chromecast audio, and record player to either my speakers or headphones.
  6. stavros.m
    Has anyone tried the sxfi amp and curious on your opinion
  7. Alcala315
    I started with Asus Xonar sound card and currently use amp/dac combo. It’s just easier to use pc and console by just switching inputs.
  8. Jason Van Patten
    I know this is a 2 year old thread, but it seems interesting. Dunno if the OP is still paying attention to it or not. :)

    I prefer a good internal sound card when it comes to gaming. By good, I mean the likes of the Sound Blaster ZxR, et al. I know people seem to think internal sound cards are at risk of "extra noise" inside the PC; it's simply false. It doesn't happen from my experience.

    Windows 10 has gotten a TON better with audio processing since this thread was started. That makes using an external USB DAC for gaming far more feasible. You can add Dolby's ATMOS for headphones if you want. Razer has an excellent surround sound driver that will make any stereo output act as a virtual 7.1 surround device. That includes a pair of stereo headphones. It's unreal. But: the game in question has to support true surround sound (eg: Battlefield 5) vs trying to do it itself (eg: Rainbow Six: Siege). Applying the Razer software to a game like Siege results in echos and just bad audio.

    With that, I've tried external DACs. Hell, I have a Yggy (that I'm trying to sell because I don't use it much) that I used for a couple of months. Both to play music and games with. Definite overkill, no question. The Razer software made it doable in games, but to be fair: I found myself preferring the sound from the Sound Blaster, as far as gaming is concerned. I can't really put my finger on why. I'm sure it has something to do with the Burr-Brown DAC and the way it "colors" the sound as compared to the Yggy.

    Anyway, long story short:
    - I like good internal sound cards. "Noise" isn't a thing; it's simply false.
    - USB DACs are cleaner and more sterile sounding for the most part; the games won't have same "punch" to them.
    - If you decide to go with an external USB DAC, consider the ATMOS plugin or the Razer Surround software; they're unreal.
  9. zumlauf
    not sure if anyone can help but i have a
    beyerdynamic Soul BYRD Wired. Im looking for a fairly cheap dac/amp combo that would work in my ps4 all while being able to use the inline mic. how would i do that? thanks
  10. RandomGuy
    I use dac myself since I can use it across computers and such
  11. Inspectre
    I used to have a Xonar Essence ST, and it was great but there was a problem. I needed an amp with lower output impedance, but you can't use the ST's Dolby headphones unless you use it's internal amp. So I had to buy the Xonar DX, which has a lineout with Dolby Headphones.

    I do lose a little sleep knowing the DAC in the DX is inferior, but for now being able to use the right amp is more reassuring. Might one day upgrade to one of the newer Surround sound emulators, hopefully have the best of all worlds.
  12. FireLion
    I guess if there was a decent sound card it's be ok to use with an external amp but XLR is a must nowadays.

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