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Buy a sound card or stick with my onboard motherboard 7.1 audio?

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a b V Motherboard
August 29, 2013 8:07:30 PM

I'm planning to get the ASUS XONAR U3 as it's currently $40 and pair it with a Sennheirser Headset, Idk which sennheiser yet but my budget is around $100-150. Would I notice an increase in sound quality by getting that XONAR U3 or should I just stick with my onboard audio and get the sennheiser? Thanks
a b V Motherboard
August 29, 2013 8:13:09 PM

It would have to be a good headset for you to hear a difference. Also the quality difference between the mobo audio and Sound card may not be much. Im looking into it now.
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a b V Motherboard
August 29, 2013 8:24:38 PM

PyjamasCat said:
It would have to be a good headset for you to hear a difference. Also the quality difference between the mobo audio and Sound card may not be much. Im looking into it now.


I'm planning to get a Sennheiser HD 518. What do you think?
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a b V Motherboard
August 29, 2013 8:44:31 PM

You probably won't notice much of a difference. I would suggest an internal sound card over the Xonar U3.
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a b V Motherboard
August 29, 2013 8:55:53 PM

Those are nice headphones. I have a pair. I also have an Asus Xonar Essence STX. The quality improvement over my mobo codec is a moderate amount, generally flatter sound which will be closer to the intended audio output. Your codec is the Realtek ALC1150, which is already good, but you may find an improvement with a good headset (HD 518's) and decent sound card. One of my reasons for getting the card was to reduce recording latency, which it does also. I would suggest you buy the Headphones first and then decide whether or not there is room for improvement or if you really need an improvement as on board audio these days tends to be quite good, as long as you don't need to record professional quality sound or have a real ear for perfection.
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a b V Motherboard
August 30, 2013 12:02:33 AM

PyjamasCat said:
Those are nice headphones. I have a pair. I also have an Asus Xonar Essence STX. The quality improvement over my mobo codec is a moderate amount, generally flatter sound which will be closer to the intended audio output. Your codec is the Realtek ALC1150, which is already good, but you may find an improvement with a good headset (HD 518's) and decent sound card. One of my reasons for getting the card was to reduce recording latency, which it does also. I would suggest you buy the Headphones first and then decide whether or not there is room for improvement or if you really need an improvement as on board audio these days tends to be quite good, as long as you don't need to record professional quality sound or have a real ear for perfection.


Holy shiznits! Xonar Essence is expensive lol. Anyway, thanks for your reply. I'll get the headphones for now. I'm just a guy who wan't to fully experience the sound quality of FLAC's that I have in my collection. And hopefully those HD 518's will deliver and no need for a sound card.
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