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Sound Card Question

Greetings,
My motherboard is the Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5.
I have 5.1 speakers but i dont like the sound a lot.
So the question is: Is the on board sound chip good enough? Or should i change it? Should i get better speakers or a soundcard too? If yes, which sound card you suggest for gaming purposes?
Thanks
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  1. Best answer
    The Gigabyte Z97X Gaming 5 has good native sound as far as on-board audio goes. First thing I would try would be better speakers before investing in a dedicated sound card.

    If you want a recommendation on a dedicated sound card just in case, the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Zx is a very solid mid-range sound card.

    Sound Card: Creative Labs Sound Blaster Zx 24-bit 192 KHz Sound Card ($89.99 @ Best Buy)
    Total: $89.99
    Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2015-11-28 00:40 EST-0500
  2. Thanks for answering. IM thinking the Logitech Z506 Surround 5.1 speakers. Are they good?
  3. Those Logitech's are very nice.
    What speakers do you have now?
  4. Which 5.1 speakers do you have?

    And I do recommend buying a dedicated soundcard, however, as my music technology lecturer at university told me... "You have to be prepared to pay for it - the cheaper soundcards barely surpass the on-board sound chip.
    Now granted, I've only had one soundcard in the 9 years I've been able to afford to build my own PC and that's been the Creative X-Fi Fata1ity which has been great. However, as motherboards start to curtail PCI slots in favour of PCIe, that will no longer work in some.
    Creative's support is also fairly poor. Forum posts/posts to the company often are met with no/little response.
    Their driver update program is pretty shoddy too. BUT, their hardware is great.

    The other big player of mid to high-end audio (I'm not talking going into the professional range) is ASUS.
    Whilst this particular sound card is expensive and depending on your speakers, might not be suitable, the video is really interesting that Newegg provide:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA24G3KG4914

    Ultimately, it depends on a number of things.
    1) What do you want your sound for? Gaming or audio creation?
    2) What speakers do you have? You say you have 5.1, but if it's a cheap 5.1 product, it's not worth paying mega bucks for a decent soundcard.
    3) If you're looking at replacing your speakers, which way are you going to go? A pair of monitors, or stick with your 5.1?
    Pros and cons to both - the monitors will sound better, but they're going to be bigger/bulkier, they're going to be more expensive and you'll only have stereo sound. Surround sound - you generally only have tweeters/mid range and then all the bass comes from one source.

    Hope this proves food for thought but also not too overwhelming!
    NC
  5. ^ All the info neo_classical shared is spot on.

    To answer your specific question, the Logitech Z506 are fairly entry-level surround speakers. They might be better than what you have currently, but to start to hear really impressive sound you would need to start looking at the $200 range such as the Logitech Z906.

    It's always hard to guage the perfect recommendation because audio quality is often quite subjective from person to person. That said, the Logitech Z506 are perfectly good entry-level surround speakers.
  6. Thank you all for quick responses.
    I want immersive sound for gaming purposes only. I want to play The Witcher 3, for example, and feel part of the word, due to Sound.
    Thus, will the combination of the Logitech Z506 and Soundblaster Z soundcard make me feel that way?
  7. I agree with glamdringfh as well as your own suggestions Pelasgos. For an entry level system, I would say that that combination will serve you well. I also can vouch from experience that playing the Witcher 3 with 5.1 surround sound really does add to your immersion in the world.
    I adored that game. Giving myself a break before I go back in and play both expansions but hearing a drowner scream behind you, or the crackle of fire to your side or the sound of a running river to your right... CD Projekt RED did great work!
  8. Yes, that pairing would be a very good start.

    If, after getting them, you still yearn for even better audio take a look at saving up for the Logitech Z906 I mentioned. The Soundblaster Z can pair up quite a way past the Z506 line. You might be perfectly happy with the Z506 set, so best thing to do is try those out first and see what you think.

    As a side note, I'm doing the exact same thing neo_classical. Haven't played the first expansion yet, waiting until they are both out. ;)
  9. Neo classical i agree. The Witcher 3 is so awesome in so many ways, its rediculous.
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