Supposedly good onboard audio on an Asus Maximus VII Formula sounds really bad. Any ideas?
Apr 26, 2015 at 4:56 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 2

tolis626

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I built my gaming rig last summer, and I went with a Maximus VII Formula because it has what is supposed to be top-notch onboard audio (And because it looks gorgeous from my side panel window, to be honest), so I thought I could, for the time being, skip on getting a dedicated sound card or USB DAC, as I was already stretching my budget very thin. However, given the setup I'm forced to use at home, the computer sits a little over 3 meters away from me, so I've only used speakers with it till now, as my headphones (A pair of AKG K514 MKII. Bad, I know, but I'm working on it) don't exactly demand extra quality from what my Galaxy S3 has to offer. In the past few days, I've tried listening to music on my PC, as I made some adjustments to my office to bring it closer to me. My initial reaction was "What the hell is wrong?".LM4562
 
Until now, I've tried chaning a metric crap ton of settings, plugging my headphones into different audio jacks, updating Realtek's drivers to the latest I found on Asus' website, cranking the amplification setting to extreme and more. Still, nothing. The sound is lacking body, the bass is either non-existent or muddy, the mid-range lacks detail and the highs are plain bad, The damn thing has an ALC1150 audio processor (Nothing special, true), along a Cirrus Logic CS4398 DAC and a Texas Instruments LM4562  op-amp (headphone amp?). In a worst case scenario, it should at least sound a lot better than other onboard audio solutions, which it doesn't as far as I'm concerned, and I expected it to do better than the Galaxy S3, but the S3 not only sounds better, it blows it out of the water with more full sound, tighter, punchy bass and more clarity, all at a higher volume. Granted, the Galaxy S3 has a Wolfson WM1811 DAC and with some rooting and modding you can get spectacular sound from it, especially considering it's a mobile device, but that doesn't change that it's just a smartphone.
 
So, I'm at a loss here. I'm really 1 step from getting a DAC and calling it a day, but I'm currently broke and I want to get a decent pair of headphones next chance I get. Although I have no idea about what I'll do with the headphones if I get them and can't drive them properly.
 
Also, in case it matters, I mostly use MusicBee for my music listening, but I also have MediaMonkey, AIMP3 and, of course, WMP installed. None of them produces different results.
 
So... Yeah. Help. :p
 
Thanks in advance, guys. Any help is appreciated.
 
May 1, 2015 at 9:25 PM Post #2 of 2

tolis626

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In case anyone reads this again, I've made little progress by installing the drivers from Realtek's website instead of Asus'. It did improve SQ a little bit, but nothing major. More than anything, it feels as if there is no amplification going on, even though I've set the amp mode to extreme. Volume is meh, details are lacking, the bass is either non-existent or, when using the EQ, it gets muddy and covers everything. And I've ran out of ideas, patience and money to throw to the thing. If money issues are solved, I'm getting a Magni. I'm tired of this Schiit. :p
 

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