Best Sound Card for Gaming

Looking for a really good sound card for gaming. I have looked at several Asus brands but the reviews have not been too kind and I have also looked at the
Creative Sound Blaster ZX SBX products as well. Anyone have a good suggestion or the card I list is as good as most of them out there or what would any of you recommend?
24 answers Last reply
More about sound card gaming
  1. i would suggest using whatever onboard sound is on your motherboard.
  2. Unless you plan on using home theatre speakers in 5.1 or higher settings or doing audio recording, stay with either a high end headset or just your own board audio. You won't get any advantage unless doing so. If you are, The Asus and Creative cards both have strong reps. I've used Creative since the early 90's and my most recent card was an Asus.
  3. bigcyco1 said:


    These are very good recommendations, but if your using a gaming headset there is no point in buying these.

    Gaming headset + high end sound card = waste of money.

    Do you plan to use a speaker system? Then these cards will be great for you. They are limited to 5.1 though.
  4. bouncedk said:
    Wow so many useless answers here. "Use onboard" lol ... The best sound card for gaming is the Sound Blaster Z. Even with a par of "gaming headphones" the audio quality will still be much better and you will be able to hear the difference clearly.


    Lol.
    No you won't hear an improvement in sound quality with a gaming headset, at least not on modern motherboards. Gaming headsets are terrible sound quality wise.

    The best sound card for gaming isn't necessarily the Sound Blaster Z.

    For headphones the Titanium HD/Essence STX/Soundblaster Zxr would technically be better. The Z is more budget friendly for speakers.
  5. bouncedk said:
    edogawa said:
    bouncedk said:
    Wow so many useless answers here. "Use onboard" lol ... The best sound card for gaming is the Sound Blaster Z. Even with a par of "gaming headphones" the audio quality will still be much better and you will be able to hear the difference clearly.


    Lol.
    No you won't hear an improvement in sound quality with a gaming headset, at least not on modern motherboards. Gaming headsets are terrible sound quality wise.

    The best sound card for gaming isn't necessarily the Sound Blaster Z.

    For headphones the Titanium HD/Essence STX/Soundblaster Zxr would technically be better. The Z is more budget friendly for speakers.


    Actually, yes you will hear a clear difference with a gaming headset.


    no actually, you won't.
  6. bouncedk said:
    edogawa said:


    Actually, yes you will hear a clear difference with a gaming headset.


    No, you won't. You need good headphones to take advantage of a good sound cards DAC. Gaming headsets typically have terrible audio drivers, and even worse several drivers in each ear(Tiamat for example).

    With something like the PC360 you would, but typically headphones from companies who make gaming products, no you won't.
  7. bouncedk said:
    edogawa said:
    bouncedk said:
    edogawa said:


    Actually, yes you will hear a clear difference with a gaming headset.


    No, you won't. You need good headphones to take advantage of a good sound cards DAC. Gaming headsets typically have terrible audio drivers, and even worse several drivers in each ear(Tiamat for example).
    With something like the PC360 you would, but typically headphones from companies who make gaming products, no you won't.


    You obviously have absolutely no idea what you're talking about, that's clear as day. You go on ahead and use a crappy onboard while I'm swimming in awesome audio with my "gaming headphones". Your loss buddy.


    LOL, no. I use audiophile headphones + a Titanium HD. Audiophile headphones outclass crappy gaming headphones.

    Using gaming headphones with a high-end sound card is a waste. Gaming headsets/headphones are poorly made, over priced, and have terrible audio fidelity.

    I've tried countless gaming headsets...they sound terrible.

    What "gaming headphones" are you even using?
  8. edogawa said:

    I use audiophile headphones + a Titanium HD. Audiophile headphones outclass crappy gaming headphones.


    I have got a pair of audiophile headphones, I dont want to buy "gaming headphone" if I can already reproduce what they already do (at least not the ones with the separate drivers).

    Do you get pseudo 5.1 or 7.1 with the Titanium HD and headphones?
    Why did you not choose the Asustek Xonar Essence STX instead?
  9. frustin said:
    edogawa said:

    I use audiophile headphones + a Titanium HD. Audiophile headphones outclass crappy gaming headphones.


    I have got a pair of audiophile headphones, I dont want to buy "gaming headphone" if I can already reproduce what they already do (at least not the ones with the separate drivers).

    Do you get pseudo 5.1 or 7.1 with the Titanium HD and headphones?
    Why did you not choose the Asustek Xonar Essence STX instead?


    I like the Essence STX, but the Titanium HD performs similarly, and it has CMSS-3D Virtual which provides a really good virtual surround sound effect that works great with my my headphones.
  10. edogawa said:
    frustin said:
    edogawa said:

    I use audiophile headphones + a Titanium HD. Audiophile headphones outclass crappy gaming headphones.


    I have got a pair of audiophile headphones, I dont want to buy "gaming headphone" if I can already reproduce what they already do (at least not the ones with the separate drivers).

    Do you get pseudo 5.1 or 7.1 with the Titanium HD and headphones?
    Why did you not choose the Asustek Xonar Essence STX instead?


    I like the Essence STX, but the Titanium HD performs similarly, and it has CMSS-3D Virtual which provides a really good virtual surround sound effect that works great with my my headphones.


    I have the XFi Xtream Fatality Pro (which I bought in 2007). It has CMSS-3D as well and it works very well with my stereo headphones. Would I benefit an upgrade to the Titanium HD?
  11. It will depend on your headphones, but essentially it may.

    If you only game with the headphones, and not a big on loseless music stick with what you have for right now.
  12. If you want the best then it normally has to be expensive.
    Personally I use an x-fi titanium HD, which is superb for gaming, movie and music.
  13. would an Asus vulcan pro headset be a prime example? :/
  14. edogawa said:
    bouncedk said:
    Wow so many useless answers here. "Use onboard" lol ... The best sound card for gaming is the Sound Blaster Z. Even with a par of "gaming headphones" the audio quality will still be much better and you will be able to hear the difference clearly.


    Lol.
    No you won't hear an improvement in sound quality with a gaming headset, at least not on modern motherboards. Gaming headsets are terrible sound quality wise.

    The best sound card for gaming isn't necessarily the Sound Blaster Z.

    For headphones the Titanium HD/Essence STX/Soundblaster Zxr would technically be better. The Z is more budget friendly for speakers.


    Shows you know squat about headsets :)
    Try on the Sennheiser pc 350 in combination with ASUS XONAR ESSENCE XT, best sound in a headset you'll get :)
  15. RealSXTC said:
    edogawa said:
    bouncedk said:
    Wow so many useless answers here. "Use onboard" lol ... The best sound card for gaming is the Sound Blaster Z. Even with a par of "gaming headphones" the audio quality will still be much better and you will be able to hear the difference clearly.


    Lol.
    No you won't hear an improvement in sound quality with a gaming headset, at least not on modern motherboards. Gaming headsets are terrible sound quality wise.

    The best sound card for gaming isn't necessarily the Sound Blaster Z.

    For headphones the Titanium HD/Essence STX/Soundblaster Zxr would technically be better. The Z is more budget friendly for speakers.


    Shows you know squat about headsets :)
    Try on the Sennheiser pc 350 in combination with ASUS XONAR ESSENCE XT, best sound in a headset you'll get :)


    Not sure where you get off saying I know squat about headsets....

    The Sennheiser headsets are kind of an exception to the rule since they are actually pretty good, and made by an audio company, and not a "gaming peripheral" company which always have terrible headphones. The Sennheiser headphones are the only ones to even consider though, but pricey for the average gamer.
  16. RealSXTC said:
    edogawa said:
    bouncedk said:
    Wow so many useless answers here. "Use onboard" lol ... The best sound card for gaming is the Sound Blaster Z. Even with a par of "gaming headphones" the audio quality will still be much better and you will be able to hear the difference clearly.


    Lol.
    No you won't hear an improvement in sound quality with a gaming headset, at least not on modern motherboards. Gaming headsets are terrible sound quality wise.

    The best sound card for gaming isn't necessarily the Sound Blaster Z.

    For headphones the Titanium HD/Essence STX/Soundblaster Zxr would technically be better. The Z is more budget friendly for speakers.


    Shows you know squat about headsets :)
    Try on the Sennheiser pc 350 in combination with ASUS XONAR ESSENCE XT, best sound in a headset you'll get :)

    Please... only reply if you have something useful to OP question.No need for insults like that last reply. ;)
  17. A good gaming headset is the sennheiser 360's. They are about $210 on amazon. I was using an xfi xtreme audio and a $60 gaming headset. I recently upgraded to the senn's and also an ASUS XONAR DGS. The difference is night and day.
  18. I have a SB-X-fi sound card and the razer tiamats and they work together flawlessly, it sounds amazing!!
  19. Bit late, but I'l throw in my recommendation.

    If your running a ~$100 or lower gaming headphone/headset, don't bother spending much on a sound card. I use an ASUS Xonar DGX for my Razer Carcharias headset, I haven't noticed any difference in pure audio quality but I have definitely noticed the headphone amp. That and the Xonar card allows you to tweak far more settings than the onboard does and supports more features, so if you are a budding audiophile then no doubt you can tweak things to your liking.
  20. Many people have issues with sound blaster drivers for win7 and 8. The asus sound cards would be the better choice.
  21. jeremymh said:
    Looking for a really good sound card for gaming. I have looked at several Asus brands but the reviews have not been too kind and I have also looked at the
    Creative Sound Blaster ZX SBX products as well. Anyone have a good suggestion or the card I list is as good as most of them out there or what would any of you recommend?


    Hey bro honestly every one will say something different, I myself spent alot of time and money on finding whats best for me (Game mostly with the occasional Metal throw down) compared head phones sound cards and what not speaking to friend chasing any useful info on forums and really got me know where! I had to bite the bullet bought a few headsets (over and a period of time) tried a different combos with a low end Asus xonar DG (which is to bad but lacks grunt) and ended up with Asus Xonar Essence STX and a set of CM Storm Sirus S.

    I enjoy the high gain through the head set, the card is well suited to 600Ohm Gaming head set, puts out nice clean 5.1 audio with heaps of kick .... and it its shinny and red so bad ass factor is awesome!
  22. Stay a away from Creative, is 2007 they were removed from the stock exchange, I belive they are in financial trouble. The have dropped all phone support, I waited for two weeks just to get an email reply. There software was constantly crashing and messing up my sound to where I had NO sound at all in wiondows, I would have to reboot to fix the issue. In the email they wanted me to uninstall their software and reinstall it. Upon doing so I got a Black Screen error after post saying my MBR had issues and it was probably from a recent hardware change. After trying a cold boot my system now Blue Screens every time windows tries to launch. This card is being pulled from my system, and after many great years (in the past) ise SB cards, I'm all done with Creative.
  23. may be a bit late, but last post was in december after all

    alright so to the OP, heres what i like using, sound blaster zx card with a steel series siberia v2 (the 3.5mm jack version)
    ive loved sound blaster and honestly am blown away by the quality of this new card, not to mention the scout mode option, it just insane

    now for a lil back story
    i guess you could call me an audiophile, i love my music, but i love my gaming almost as much and as generic recommendation id say go with a mid range sound blaster x-fi card, you cant be let down... but as a gamer who likes looooong gaming sessions the only headphones ive found that can comfortably be worn for 4-5+ hours id have to recommend the steel series siberia v2s and the astro a40s or a50s, they have the quality you want great durability
    the ones ive used the most till i got the new zx card were the diablo steel series siberia v2s which are usb, gone through 2 and the first pair lasted me about a year of heavy abuse and im onto my 2nd pair with 6+ months in
    the usb is a pain, its super short, low quality construction, but so long as u dont abuse it youll have no problems, ive worn these for 60 hours in my record breaking sleep deprived gaming session without comfort complaints lol

    but back on to topic the usb siberia headphones wont take advantage of any sound card you use, ive found for gaming stereo heaphones vs any other tech will always beat out the other because you wont notice the difference at all really

    but if your gonna be using headphones with regular audio jacks like im using thanks to the new sb x-fi card ive been using id say you really wanna have some kind of decent audio card, otherwise if your going usb, dont even bother

    as for sound cards again the x-fi cards ive had lasted me forever and i have no concerns and wanted to look into a new card to try for more surround feeling emulation... kinda giving up on doing this cuz its just too much of a waste of money
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