Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

2.1 Speaker Setup, Worth Getting a Soundcard?

Last response: in Components
Share
August 11, 2007 6:40:47 PM

Hey Guys,

Basically last month or so got a whole new system, my motherboard for this system is a Gigabyte P35C-DS3R.

Currently i am usign onboard sound and I have 2.1 speakers, namely Logitech X-230: http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/speakers_audio/home_p... p;cl=gb,en

I wanna get a sound card for better sound quality but basically want something for under £30 or $60 that will produce an improved level of sound quality that these speakers can translate. Any ideas?

As always your opinions are much appreciated guys,

- James
August 11, 2007 8:06:10 PM

Just wondering since I'm getting the same onboard sound with a 4.1 setup. What about it don't you like? Did you have an older setup with better sound?

My hunch is that a $60 card will not give you much of an improvement in a 2.1 setup, but wait for a better answer.
August 11, 2007 8:22:03 PM

Creative hasd a couple cards in your price range. I don't know how much it would help your sound though, as your speakers aren't stretching the on-board sound system very much. You might pick up an extra frame or two in game speed as well since a separate sound card would unload the cpu. There's a few other brands, Turtle Beach and Diamond that will also work, but I don't know how widely available they are compared to Creative.
Related resources
August 12, 2007 12:48:07 AM

Nothing i dont like as such with my on board sound i was just wondering if i would get more clarity out of my sound system as sometimes the songs seem a bit muffled but that might be the quality of the mp3's
August 12, 2007 1:20:13 AM

Charnondall said:
Nothing i dont like as such with my on board sound i was just wondering if i would get more clarity out of my sound system as sometimes the songs seem a bit muffled but that might be the quality of the mp3's


It's hard to say, do you know the specifics of your current on-board audio?
August 12, 2007 8:02:38 PM

Charnondall said:
Nothing i dont like as such with my on board sound i was just wondering if i would get more clarity out of my sound system as sometimes the songs seem a bit muffled but that might be the quality of the mp3's


Not knowing your specific board, I'd say that a few of the on-board sound systems are very good, but some are barely worth the name. They may put out some sound, but that's about it. There can be few, if any, options for changing the sound to the way you want it to sound. If that's the case for your board, then even a $60 card might make a vast improvement.
August 12, 2007 10:48:01 PM

Heres the motherboard: http://www.gigabyte.com.tw/Products/Motherboard/Product... =2631&ModelName=GA-P35C-DS3R

Half way down is the on board audio specs, copy pasting them for ease of reading:

ALC889A Enables a Superior Audio Experience


Excellent Audio Performance
High-performance DAC (Digital-Analog Converter) with 106 dB Signal-to-Noise ratio playback quality, designed especially for Windows Vista Premium PCs.

Blu-ray/HD DVD Full Rate Audio Support
The ALC889A enables high quality Full Rate Lossless Audio for content protected media and support for both Blu-ray and HD DVD formats for an exhilarating home theater entertainment experience.

7.1+2 Channel High Definition Output
The ALC889A provides support for 7.1 sound playback, plus 2 channels of independent stereo output (multiple streaming) through the front panel stereo outputs.


Cheapy sound card better than that?
August 13, 2007 1:26:48 AM

Unless you play games alot or wear headphones, the on board should be fine. If you have the extra money you could buy a sound card, you may notice a difference.
August 13, 2007 2:00:30 AM

Unless you do recording or have a good speaker setup. I would stick with the onboard, you will not notice a difference out of the 2.1's.

Probably a good rule of thumb is to not spend more money on a soundcard than your speakers.
August 13, 2007 3:26:27 AM

the largest difference is simply going to be in the quality of speakers youre using, after that is going to come the sound card and source file that actually has the sound (whether good quality or not)... such as, if youre going through a digital output from your sound card, youre pretty much bypassing the sound card quality altogether, and going straight to the speakers (so to speak)... but, if youre using analog outputs, youre involving the quality of the sound card a lot more, which 'can' have a more profound positive impact if you have quality speakers attached too.

if you have horrible, or even mediocre pc speakers, a better sound card isnt going to make too much difference anyhow (possibly a slight amount, but not near as much as there could be otherwise).

i would look into connecting the speakers digitally if thats at all possible, for uncompressed stereo pcm output over a coaxial or optical cable (that way you really are getting the most out of your current speakers, as you wont have other electical interferences and hum and such getting in the way either), otherwise though, it does seem to be more of a waste to continue investing in your current 2.1 setup, as has been stated.

after all is said and done, it is the speakers youre listening to, not the sound card, or even the sound file. with that said, and even with what chookman said, make sure your setup is balanced, or youll be 'bottlenecking' something... it doesnt seem your current speakers would have much more room to stretch acoustically, and so higher quality sound files, and a higher quality sound card, most likely wont have the impact you might be expecting.

edit: however, if youre wanting an overall major acoustic improvement, thats also affordable... look into getting some headphones, and you should see a fairly major improvement thats also within your budget... and after getting some headphones, a sound card might make more sense then.

got a pair of Panasonic RP-HT355 Headphones a couple years ago... for only $20, they really cant be beat... and for only $20, theyd probably be expected to suck too, lol... thats just it with headphones though (compared to speakers), its that you can get a lot of quality, for not a whole lot of money... and just like with speakers, that doesnt hold universally true either, so youd want to read some reviews first beforehand, to be sure youre getting your moneys worth.
!