Is it necessary to buy a good sound card to listen to high quality music with Cans?
Mar 28, 2006 at 6:40 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 25

Jesse40902

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I got these nice Cans i can use, but i wanted to know if a good sound card is required??

Im basically playing CD's off this really old laptop...( 3 years old with intergated sound card)
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 6:43 AM Post #2 of 25

FaRKle

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To some yes, and to others no.


Personally I say yes. I use a Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS because I game a lot, but I was comparing listening to music with it and with my cheapo mp3 player and my mp3 player actually sounded better! It sounded more full, more alive, and overall a lot more satisfying. Needless to say I'm saving up for an Emu 0404 now. lol
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 6:54 AM Post #3 of 25

penguindude

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DEFINITELY. Especially ure using a 3yr old laptop. The onboard soundcard kills the sound. I have the latest Intel HD Audio chip on my notebook and it did not match (but close) to the performance of my audigy2 zs soundcard. You will definitely notice the difference
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Mar 28, 2006 at 7:09 AM Post #6 of 25

glac1er

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jesse40902
I got these nice Cans i can use, but i wanted to know if a good sound card is required??

Im basically playing CD's off this really old laptop...( 3 years old with intergated sound card)



I dunno.
Maybe yes , maybe not.

I use an EMU 0404 and it tightens the bass, makes the presentation faster and more energetic, and smoothen the sound. I think it also gives me better clarity. In that sense, it colors the sound but just a little.
This is compared to what sounds from a headphone out built-in on my ASUS motherboard.

There are improvements but from what I experienced, but spending the $100 for a headphone upgrade gives me more pleasure and upgrade in SQ unless you already own high-end cans. An amp is also more important than the soundcard IMO because lots of high impedance cans are just unlistenable without an amp. Different headphones benefit differently from an amp, so it really depends.

Btw, I based my opinion just on my EMU0404 and the M-Audio Revo 7.1 I used to own.

If you can get the Chaintech AV-710 for under $50, that soundcard is definitely worth the price.

Any other input from other members will definitely help.
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 7:09 AM Post #7 of 25

Ferbose

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It is pretty easy to hear the difference between digital sources using good headphones. I would say getting a external S/PDIF DAC is a better solution because they will still be useful 15 years down the road.
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 7:37 AM Post #9 of 25

sxr71

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I'd say no. You need an external DAC at a minimum or a real CD player. You did say "high quality music" after all.
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 7:43 AM Post #10 of 25

amartignano

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sxr71
I'd say no. You need an external DAC at a minimum or a real CD player. You did say "high quality music" after all.


Yup, agree.
smily_headphones1.gif


If you don't want to abandon your laptop better if you think about a good external DAC (the results can be surprising if the digital signal is good, better Linux than Windows in this respect). Anyway, you can find good sounding real cd-player at "cheap" prices (300$ or about).

bye
Andrew
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 7:49 AM Post #11 of 25

jagorev

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A laptop's integrated sound card is almost bound to be hissy/noisy. I'd highly recommend an Echo Indigo - it's possibly the best PCMCIA soundcard out there, and it's less expensive than most external DACs. And it has a decent integrated headphone amp.

Or, better yet, get a dedicated CD player.
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 8:02 AM Post #14 of 25

sxr71

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Quote:

Originally Posted by unlimitedx
I heard the newer laptop models (from this year and last) have onboard audio that is decent?



no
 
Mar 28, 2006 at 2:44 PM Post #15 of 25

skylinedo

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Jesse40902
So YOu need good headphones, good sound card and good Cd's to actually bring out the music?...


yeah, isn't this an expensive hobby
 

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