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Is it worth buying a sound card?

Last response: in Components
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January 19, 2014 1:06:48 PM

Hello
I will get a motherboard which has RealTek ALC889 and i will also buy Siberia v2 Frosts.

Thing is i want them to hear better than i hear on my phone. At the moment with ear plug JVC and an s3 phone, i get really nice music quality. Especially really good bass!

I want something at least equal on my PC. At the moment i have an onboard soundcard and some cheap headphones and they have no power and really, i just don't enjoy listening to music as i do on the phone + jvc ones.

Is it worth buying a soundcard and will it help me with the Siberias ( which in theory have a soundcard already )?
Is there a good budget/performance soundcard? Less than 50 dollars would be nice
January 19, 2014 1:20:21 PM

First of all, gaming headphones suck for music. If you want some good brand, they're gonna be expensive, way more than those 50 bucks you want to spend. Those are high impedance headphones, so you'll need a dedicated amp/dac (this is what a sound card is). The best sound card is the asus stx, and it can drive lots of good cans (not the best though). Its potential lies on stereo sound. So basically, gaming headphones aren't the way to go (for music)
January 19, 2014 1:22:15 PM

The headphones have an integrated soundcard so buying one isn't necessary:) 
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January 19, 2014 1:23:56 PM

I think it depends on personal preference. I love listening to music on my Roccat Kaves plugged into my creative Soundblaster z:D 

HumdrumPenguin said:
First of all, gaming headphones suck for music. If you want some good brand, they're gonna be expensive, way more than those 50 bucks you want to spend. Those are high impedance headphones, so you'll need a dedicated amp/dac (this is what a sound card is). The best sound card is the asus stx, and it can drive lots of good cans (not the best though). Its potential lies on stereo sound. So basically, gaming headphones aren't the way to go (for music)


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January 19, 2014 1:24:12 PM
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The sound that is built into a motherboard is HD quality and there is not much difference between the built in and the add on sound card. Naturally depending on the motherboard there will be a difference in the RealTek chipset that is used but it will still be HD. Some of the more expensive motherboards also include headphone amps.

Your motherboard will definetly have better sound then your smartphone.
January 19, 2014 1:28:32 PM

Awesome!
Thanks for the quick replies!
January 19, 2014 1:31:59 PM

Gaming headsets will never equal a good pair of actual hi-fi headphones when it comes to music, and a sound card would be wasted on something like the headset you want to buy. It will always be better to buy a pair of headphones and a desktop mic instead of one of these 'gaming' headsets.

Your "cheap headphones" sound bad because they're cheap headphones... I'm not sure I understand the problem. You can't blame that fact on the onboard audio. With a $300 pair of SRH-940s, I can hear very subtle differences in the onboard Realtek, but they're so small that you can barely detect it even with a pair of audiophile headphones, let alone a gaming headset.

Realtek onboard will give a cleaner signal than your phone. The sound quality depends on what you're listening with.

Save your money and buy a pair of decent cans like the Audio Technica ATH-M50s - they'll sound infinitely better and you won't be blowing $120 on a pair of $50 headphones with a $5 microphone attached.
January 19, 2014 1:39:27 PM

There is no comparison between actual headphones and ear plugs so if you plugged a set of headphones into your phone you would get better sound. Since the headphones your looking at have a built in sound card that means it will be connecting to your computer by USB and bypassing the built in sound chip and any installed sound card.
!