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Best soundcard

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by gopanthersgo1, Sep 8, 2012.
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  1. gopanthersgo1
    I am wanting to buy a sound card, which will then go into a DAC, then an amp for my headphones.  It will also be used to send the PC audio to my home theater, any suggestions? (I have a pair of k702's, and am going to get a 5.1 channel Polk setup (don't know the receiver yet) (I'm also using optical out))
     
  2. chewy4
    Sending it into a DAC and then an AMP completely negates the purpose of a sound card. The sound card is a DAC, and sometimes an amp as well.
     
  3. gopanthersgo1
    A sound card remove some interference noise, and adds some effects, like Dolby headphone or cmss3d and stuff like that, and, as i said, the sound card will sometimes output to the home theater
     
  4. chewy4
    Interference wouldn't be an issue for optical out. Digital sound doesn't have noise,as it's digital, and optical out doesn't have electrical interference as it sends signals with light.
     
    As for effects... a lot of people prefer CMSS-3D over Dolby Headphone, and some vice versa. If you have a preference I would certainly look for a soundcard that uses the one you like best. Your best bet is probably looking into soundcards meant for gaming, since the DAC will be taking care of the sound quality for the most part I would think.
     
    Sorry I don't have any specific suggestions... I have the Xonar Essence STX myself, which works extremely well, but I think it might be a little over kill for your needs(I'm also not too sure if it has the proper outputs for a 5.1 system). I would think the Xonar DX/D1 would be enough for you, but I can't say for sure as I haven't tried them.
     
  5. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Quote:
    +1 on the Xonar DX/D1, I believe they can output headphone surround sound thru the S/PDIF Toslink digital output.
    And the used ones sell for around $50
    The Creative Labs X-fi Titanium (non-HD) will sell as a refurb for around $50.
     
  6. stv014
    If you do not intend to use the analog outputs anyway, but need Dolby Headphone, then a Xonar DG or DGX may be sufficient if it has all the features you want.
     
  7. gopanthersgo1
    what about that new creative line coming up?
     
  8. gopanthersgo1
    and does the 96/24 bit matter compared to 192/24, when plugged in to a dac.  Also the dx/d1 don't have optical out
     
  9. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Quote:
    So your saying Asus is lying when Asus says that the DX & D1 come with S/PDIF optical output?
     
  10. Blotto80
    The DX does indeed have optical out.
     
  11. gopanthersgo1
  12. gopanthersgo1
    wait, there are 2 types of digital?  I was thinking of the one that uses fiber optic... what's the differences between the 2?
     
  13. gopanthersgo1
    I'm sorry if I caused confusion, I'm still kind of a newb with wires.
     
  14. NamelessPFG
    Quote:
     
    Mostly just the physical interface, if we're talking S/PDIF. Some say that coaxial's less prone to jitter than optical/Toslink, but I haven't really looked into it all that much.
     
    HDMI has an audio path with even more bandwidth, but very few sound cards are designed to output digital audio that way.
     
    Anyway, this $45 X-Fi Titanium should get the job done. Optical S/PDIF output, Dolby Digital Live and DTS Connect support for your 5.1 speaker system, and all the gaming features you could ask for.
     
  15. PurpleAngel Contributor
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