Do I need a DAC / AMP or sound card for the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1?
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0verlord

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Howdy folks.
 
I am in the process of building a new PC and have decided to upgrade my speakers as well. A little bit of searching around led me to the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1. I play a lot of shooters and would like positional audio, which I believe is provided by a Dolby technology that's not native to the ALC 1150 chipset on the motherboard (Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H) that will be in my PC.
 
My question is twofold:
 
1. Do I need something else to effectively drive the speakers, be it external or internal?
2. What do I need tor positional audio?
 
Also, as an aside, I'm going to try and pick up a set of Sennheiser PC 360s - do I need anything to go along with those?
 
Thanks.
 
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James35

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The built-in amp is strong enough for your neighbors to hear. I own 3 sets of the Klipsch Promedia 2.1's. I really love them especially for the price. Only issues I've had is hiss.
The bass is strong. Not as tight and controlled punch as I'd like. The port makes the bass extremely powerful, but loose.   I too, am considering replacing the amp with something that I can control the crossover levels and possibly turn two of my 2.1's into a single 4.1 setup.
 
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cel4145

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For positional audio in gaming, you want virtual surround for use with your headphones. Asus and Creative both make good cards with that feature and good headphone amps.

The Promedia 2.1 have an amp already. If you think you need more output, you should look into passive speakers with larger drivers and get a separate amp/receiver.
 
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PurpleAngel

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  I am in the process of building a new PC and have decided to upgrade my speakers as well. A little bit of searching around led me to the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1. I play a lot of shooters and would like positional audio, which I believe is provided by a Dolby Technology that's not native to the ALC 1150 chip-set on the motherboard (Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H) that will be in my PC.
My question is twofold:
1. Do I need something else to effectively drive the speakers, be it external or internal?
2. What do I need tor positional audio?
Also, as an aside, I'm going to try and pick up a set of Sennheiser PC 360s - do I need anything to go along with those?
 
I would assume the ZLC1150 comes with positional software, not sure how good it is?
I'm guessing there are limits to using 2 speakers for positional audio, better to just use headphones
 
Asus cards use Dolby Headphone surround sound, Creative Labs use SBX headphone surround sound.
Best value is the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z sound card, $90 to $105.
Comes with both a line-output for speakers and a separate amplified headphone output.
If you want Dolby Headphone, try to find a used Asus Xonar Essence STX on eBay.
 
Get the Sennheiser HD558 headphones ($95 to $123) seems to come with the same 50-Ohm driver as the PC360.
Use the microphone that comes with the Sound Blaster Z (SB1500).
 
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0verlord

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I would assume the ZLC1150 comes with positional software, not sure how good it is?
I'm guessing there are limits to using 2 speakers for positional audio, better to just use headphones
 
Asus cards use Dolby Headphone surround sound, Creative Labs use SBX headphone surround sound.
Best value is the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z sound card, $90 to $105.
Comes with both a line-output for speakers and a separate amplified headphone output.
If you want Dolby Headphone, try to find a used Asus Xonar Essence STX on eBay.
 
Get the Sennheiser HD558 headphones ($95 to $123) seems to come with the same 50-Ohm driver as the PC360.
Use the microphone that comes with the Sound Blaster Z (SB1500).
 
What makes it worth stepping up to the Xonar Essence STX over the Xonar DG?
 
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PurpleAngel

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  What makes it worth stepping up to the Xonar Essence STX over the Xonar DG?
The Essence STX comes with the PCM1792A DAC, which has way better specs then the Xonar DG's CS4245 DAC chip.
The STX has better op-amps and those op-amps can even be upgraded.
The STX has separate line-output and headphone jack, the DG has one jack for headphone and speaker.
The STX has an EMI shield, the DG does not.
The DG can drive the 50-Ohm Sennheisers, but the STX's head amp gives you a lot more options for headphones you might buy in the future.
I'm guessing those are the important differences, not sure there are any others that would matter to you.
 
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If buying the STX is not a hardship, I think it would be worth it for you for (a) the better SQ for your Senns you are getting and (b) the ability to have both your speakers and headphones plugged in. Gets to be a pain plugging and plugging, where as the STX has a software switch in your taskbar that let's you quickly switch between the two.
 
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