Cheap Soundcard or DAC/Amp for HD 595?
Jun 2, 2013 at 2:20 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 3

KefkaticFanatic

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Hey guys,
 
I've had a pair of Sennheiser HD 595 for a few years now and love them.  However, I've only ever used them directly plugged in to the motherboard (ASUS Maximus IV GENE-Z).  I have been considering upgrading my setup to include a sound card or perhaps USB DAC/Amp.  However, I wasn't looking to spend much more than $100, preferably less than that.  I use the PC both to game (lots of newer high end ones) as well as listen to music from many genres (classical, rock, jazz, electronic).  I also have a pair of M-Audio AV40 speakers that I occasionally use when I can get away with being loud :p  I'm just wondering if there really is hardware that I could get in that pricerange that will give me a decent enough increase in quality to consider, or if I should just completely hold off until I have a higher budget.  I don't think I'll be using a surround sound setup in the near future, so I'm not too concerned about that feature in a soundcard.  Would there be any specific suggestions, and with that pricing is there a big difference between looking at an internal soundcard vs an external setup?
 
I saw in another thread mention of the Xonar DGX (http://www.amazon.com/Xonar-DGX-PCI-E-GX2-5-Engine/dp/B007TMZ1BK/) which is only about $40 and also the DSX for $60 (http://www.amazon.com/Xonar-DSX-Engine-Playback-Support/dp/B007TMZ1MY), but I'm not sure about the quality of those or the comparison between the two..
 
Thanks for your help!
 
Jun 5, 2013 at 1:22 AM Post #2 of 3

KefkaticFanatic

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Alright, since my last post I realized the DSX does NOT have a built in amp, so that rules that out..
 
I've become more interested in the virtual surround that a card could bring to movies and games, so I was thinking that a card would be a good choice for me.  I could always just turn it off if I didn't like it and still have the DAC/amp components in play...
 
I've also found this Creative Recon3D card which has some decent reviews.  Does anyone have input on how it fares in comparison to the DGX?
 
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00654PTT2
 
Jun 5, 2013 at 6:31 PM Post #3 of 3

KefkaticFanatic

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And a little more research has found that the audio chip on my motherboard, Realtek ALC889, is considered in many reviews to be "on par" with the DG(X)... Any thoughts on that comparison here?  I figured there would at least be a difference as the DGX has a headphone amp, but if that was the only significant change besides software gimmicks then perhaps just an amp is the way to go?
 

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