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Would a sound card improve audio for wireless headsets using optical in?

Last response: in Components
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September 18, 2013 1:03:48 PM

I'm going to build a PC in a couple months and i need help deciding if a sound card is worth it. I'll be using Turtle Beach X41s (yeah i know they're old, but i love them and i already own them). The motherboard i'll be using is the Gigabyte 990FX UD7 with Realtek ALC889 onboard audio and i'll be using the optical out to connect it to the headset receiver. I'm needing to know if something like an Asus Xonar DX (or even better, an Essence STX) will improve sound quality at all, or if it would be better to just use on-board audio. I'll probably be listening to music and watching movies and stuff on my system as well.
September 18, 2013 1:13:06 PM

unless its just 2.0 audio the analogue outputs send out a higher quality audio stream than dts connect or dolby digital live over optical as they only encode audio at up to 114kb's per channel.

this is true even on lower end motherboard audio, its still better than 5.1 over optical.
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September 18, 2013 1:18:36 PM

So are you saying it'd be better to use RCA? Because the X41s have RCA inputs and the UD7 has analog outputs.
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September 18, 2013 1:22:17 PM

just use a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable from the analogue output on the motherboard to the headphones stereo input.
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September 18, 2013 1:26:54 PM

I only have optical and rca inputs on the transmitter. Its a wireless headset. Either way, i can just use a 3.5mm to RCA cable (which is what im using now on my laptop). It would seem then, if im using analog, that a sound card would be better than on-board audio?
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September 18, 2013 11:48:55 PM

I don't think it will make too much if a difference with it being wireless, just set windows output to 50% and increase the volume on the headset or speakers to improve quality a bit.
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Best solution

September 19, 2013 12:20:04 AM

1. Do not buy a high end sound card for "gaming headsets." Gaming headsets are low quality audio wise. Your audio will only sound as good as it's weakest link. You would be over buying if you purchased a high end sound card and you will not notice the difference between the on board and sound card with that headset.

2. If you're just using optical to the headset you do not need a sound card, the on-board will be enough. If you send audio via optical then the receiver will do all the audio processing, not the sound card, so the on board is fine because the sound card will just be a pass through for the digital PCM stream.
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September 20, 2013 11:14:59 AM

Thanks for the answers! I'll spend the money on something else then.
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