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Question about speakers and sound cards

Last response: in Components
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November 10, 2008 7:23:55 AM

If anyone could help me out with my dilemma, It would be greatly appreciated. :) 

Ok to start off I'm contemplating on getting a new sound system and sound card, but have no general idea as to where I should start. I'm either thinking of getting a 5.1 or 7.1 sound card. My question is, Is 7.1 backwards compatible with 5.1 or no?. Reason I'm asking this is because I'm thinking of getting a 5.1 sound system ,but also Thinking of getting a 7.1 soundcard to use until I have a nice budget to get a good 7.1 sound system.

Thanks in advance :)  :)  :) 
November 10, 2008 8:27:48 AM

7.1 is a waste of money. Stay with your 5.1, as thats plenty, and 7.1 doesnt offer enough improvement/cost, plus more headaches with wires, compatibility etc IMHO
November 10, 2008 9:01:39 AM

Well if that's the case then i'm probably better off getting a 5.1 sound card.

I'm most likely getting the logitech z-5500 speaker system cause I have heard good stuff about them, plus I have had good experience with logitech products. Also Could someone possibly recommend me some good and or decent sound cards. My price range is around 50-70$, but if there is better options for more or less please tell me.
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November 10, 2008 11:49:38 AM

Even tho I dislike Creative for all their drivers/things theyve done, if youre gaming, theyre the one to get. I have the Z5500s also, theyre great for gaing, ok for music, but I like them alot. Theyre only 5.1 anyways, so glad to hear youre going 5.1. Specific Creative cards, havnt kept up, as I have an old Audigy 2Zs
November 10, 2008 11:58:42 AM

What do you currently have? Then we could point you to something worth spending the money on, and not leaving you feeling like you have wasted your money.
November 10, 2008 11:52:19 PM

I have a Creative SB Live! CT4670 Sound Card. It's probably pretty old ,but it works for now. I do game a bit but I'm looking for a nice sound card for mostly movies,music and anime. Also if the z-5500 speakers aren't really good for that then could someone help me out with some better speakers?.
November 11, 2008 3:25:38 AM

I like my 5500s for movies, and love them for games, theyre ok for music, not great, but if you like bass, youll like the 5500s. If you can, go somewheres where you can hear them, vs possibly other solutions for you, then decide
November 11, 2008 5:53:01 AM

Hmm that sounds like a good idea. I'm still trying to figure out a good sound card to get. If anyone could give me some more ideas that would be great. :) 
November 12, 2008 3:03:23 AM

Could anyone give me some recommendations for a soundcard?
November 14, 2008 5:28:51 PM

I mulled over getting a soundcard for a while, and finally chose to go with the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude. It will run you about $150 though, so it's over the budget you suggested, but other than onboard it's the only soundcard I've had experience with ;)  I've been very happy with it, and even with a pretty cheap speaker system (the logitech X-540) I can hear a very big quality difference between the onboard I had. I hear things now that I just didn't hear before. The prelude itself is one of the best gaming soundcards you can buy, so if you can fit it into your budget I would definitely recommend it. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Some reviews
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/multimedia/display/auz...

The other card I was considering originally was the Asus Xonar DX, which is probably the best soundcard you can get in your pricerange. Newegg has it for $65 after rebate, $90 without rebate. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... It's pretty feature packed, with all the Dolby this and that thrown in, along with high quality components. The reviews are great

http://techreport.com/articles.x/14500
http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum/hardware-canucks-r...

Both the prelude and Xonar DX offer up to 7.1 channel surround. And yes, it's all "backwards compatible", so you can enjoy your 5.1 setup on a 7.1 card. I decided to go for the prelude because it was on sale at the time, so I decided to splurge on the highest end offering I could :) 
!