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Which Soundcard?

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October 10, 2009 10:05:43 PM

I currently have a creative soundblaster audigy SE with X-540 speakers and i want to upgrade to a better sound card but I don't know which one to choose between the 3

1)ASUS Xonar DX 7.1 ($75.61 CAD after rebate)
2)AuzenTech X-PLOSION Cinema 7.1 ($79.99 CAD after rebate)
3)HT Omega Striker 7.1 ($89.99 CAD)
*prices are from NCIX.com

All 3 of them have pretty good reviews and they cost around my price point. I often play games and listen to music and sometimes watch movies.

More about : soundcard

October 10, 2009 10:33:18 PM

the asus card sounds phenomenal for both music and movies but does not offer full eax support, not a gamer so I'm not sure what the exact differences are
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October 11, 2009 2:12:34 AM

All of them use C-Media chipsets with only Xonar use C-Media top of the line chipset. I have it and the sound is quite good, better than any onboard audio or Creative X-Fi Titanium which I bought after it to try out. The only problem with it is if you already went through Creative Vista driver hell, then on ASUS side the same thing is going on and on from Vista to Windows 7, with the latter highly unusable due to clicking noise whenever you start a song in any player. That's why I went back to Vista for now. To be honest ASUS driver support is highly horrid, in a sense they also trump Creative in this department.
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October 11, 2009 2:52:36 AM

thuan said:
All of them use C-Media chipsets with only Xonar use C-Media top of the line chipset. I have it and the sound is quite good, better than any onboard audio or Creative X-Fi Titanium which I bought after it to try out. The only problem with it is if you already went through Creative Vista driver hell, then on ASUS side the same thing is going on and on from Vista to Windows 7, with the latter highly unusable due to clicking noise whenever you start a song in any player. That's why I went back to Vista for now. To be honest ASUS driver support is highly horrid, in a sense they also trump Creative in this department.


i'm using xp right now, would I have any problems with the Asus drivers?
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October 11, 2009 3:27:42 AM

I don't think so. But your mileage may vary. On any version of Windows, Xonar EAX emulation is flaky at best, so you may want to reconsider if you want that feature. If you want EAX better go with Auzentech X-Fi Forte. If you don't want EAX better go with the others you mentioned. Personally I prefer the HT-Omega.

As for me, I am music nerd so I went with this http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B00170F28M/ref=s9_si... sometime ago and with these speakers http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/product/B000XR2OC2/ref=s9_si... it blows any other sound cards I have heard out of the water. It uses Via Envy24 chip and the Windows 7 driver has been released just now.
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October 11, 2009 5:33:06 AM

Hi,

Just my two cents. I have the Xonar D2X and the X-Plosion Cinema. The X-Plosion has replaceable op amps and you can tailor the sound quality to your liking. I upgraded mine and it sounded great. Now to the cons. When you startup your computer it makes your speakers pop. I find it very annoying. I guess you could keep speakers off until computer has started up. The D2X has a delay relay to prevent this. I'm not sure if the DX has this. The X-Plosion is pretty limited on features too. No digital inputs, no Dolby Headphone, and software is quite limited. Good if you hate all the crap Creative installs. There is no time alignment/delay for different distance speakers. THe Xonar D2X is my favorite. Sounds awesome. Drivers work great. I had compatibility issues with the pci express being detected correctly. Some motherboards worked fine some didn't. So check that too. There is EAX support but it's an older version and is emulated. Creative cards are alleged to be better for gaming. I've never compared directly so I can't tell you which one is better. Oh, and I can only speak for Windows XP. Hope this helps.
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October 11, 2009 11:16:21 AM

The DX has these delay relays, too. Now the previous poster said something about motherboard compatibility I remember that my DX had compatibility issue with my previous mainboard, too. You might better go with a D1 or DS. The DS has inferior sound quality though.
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October 11, 2009 7:37:03 PM

It's hard to choose between the HT Striker and the Xonar DX because the Striker has DTS encoding and the Xonar DX doesn't but the Xonar is better in games because it has a EAX emulator and the Striker only support up to EAX 2.0.
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October 12, 2009 12:10:00 PM

EAX works fine for me, just remember its for EAX5 only. From my experiences, the games teh Xonar can't emulate happen to be the same ones that Alchemy has issues with...

Really, the DX wins on both quality and features; The X-plosion is simply getting on, and the DX has a more complete feature set (Dolby Headphone/Speakers, DDL/DTS-C) then the Omega Striker.
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October 12, 2009 3:45:26 PM

@gamerk316: Do you realize that these technology you listed the Striker also has or it has the equivalence of DTS technologies? And if you mean output and input, the Striker has more actually http://www.htomega.com/striker.html . Quality wise they sound the same to my ears. For analog sound card, personally I would go with the Onkyo SE-200 LTD. Only problem with it are you're virtually only able to get it in Japan, no HW acceleration (EAX2.0 through software), have to pair it with an expensive studio monitor speaker set, have to use lossless audio file and it's around 200$. The damn thing has output of a high end Hi-Fi system.
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October 12, 2009 9:06:22 PM

IMO the best soundcard for the money is the HT-CLARO/Striker depending on budget.... I have used several cards ranging from SB to ASUS to Auzentech and the HT line blows everything away... my 2 cents....
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