What does sample rate matter on sound card?

I was looking at getting a decent sound card.
Pretty much down to 3 cards priced about the same and seem similar:

Ceative Soundblaster X-fi titanium (comes with powerdvd software)
HT Omega Striker 7.1

and the one most interesting right now:
ASUS Xonar 7.1

The first two have a 'sample rate' of 96khz,

while the Xonar has a 'sample rate' of 192 khz (which is the rate that the more expensive cards next step up (about double) have.

Does the 'sample rate' matter any? I cant find any info on this.
Anything anyone knows about any of these cards that fall into the category of 'Its great, except I cant believe they didnt include.....with it, so I cant use it'

Help greatly appreceiated.
5 answers Last reply
More about what sample rate matter sound card
  1. Well, in theory the higher rate means better quality sound if the source is also that rate. For instance, blue ray audio is usually (always?) 192khz.

    You'd have to ask an audiofile if it actually makes a difference to your ears, as I cannot hear the difference at all. Though I can't tell the difference between my friends 3 grand sound system and my "came with my tv" stereo.. Probably not teh one to ask. lol
  2. chances are you wont wont notice any difference between the two
    192khz is better but you would need an insane set of ears and good studio monitors to tell the difference.

    unless you plan to make music id go with the x-fi titanium
  3. thanks yall.
  4. Below is a simplified discussion on the concept of Analog to digital converter which is commonly used for sound quantization and reproduction.

    Analog to Digital Converter

    http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/SmartSpending/blog/page.aspx?post=1390081&_blg=1,1390081

    Digital to Analog Converter

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_to_analog_converter

    The quality of reproduction is dectated so many factors (not only sampling rate)
    1)linear/non linear ADC
    2) Accuracy
    3) Quantization Error
    4) Aperture Error
    5) Sampling Rate
    6) Aliasing
    7) Oversampling
    On So on...

    Since the discussion is limited to Sampling rate. Below is the Nysqust Sampling Theorem which to summarize means

    "to create an accurate reproduction of a signal (S) with highest freq component (f) the minimum sampling freq should be 2(f) but limited to sign(S)<(f).

    "The higher sampling frequency will result to better signal reproduction"


    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shannon-Nyquist_sampling_theorem
  5. thanks leon.

    from your next to last statement, i sumrise then that the highest (f) value really is the deciding factor as to whether or not the higher sampling rate would be beneficial.
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