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Sound card worth it?

Last response: in Components
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November 16, 2009 3:21:59 AM

i searched the forums couldn't find the question im looking for.
i have the tritton ax pros. i got them for gaming on the pc and ps3. on the ps3 they rock. for games and movies. but for the pc it's a let down. still good sound but dosent sound like 5.1 like the ps3. i got onboard audio evga 780i.
is it worth it to go with a sound card? i use the optical conection, and yes ive done the +10 setting. i read that it wont matter optical is optical i also have 2.1 logitech speakers dount it will make a difference with a $25 set though.

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November 23, 2009 1:40:50 AM

bump a little help poeple
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November 29, 2009 5:41:29 AM

bump bump
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December 11, 2009 5:05:44 AM

A sound card makes sense if you're going to output the signal to decent home stereo or very high end computer speakers. I have a pair of 5.1 Altec Lansing which sound better than any Logitech pair and even those that cost more. Basically, if you have $25 speakers you are wasting your money if you choose to get a sound card.

For headphones, I've heard ASUS Essense series of sound cards are great. I have not researched them but saw that line on a post as highly recommended. Do some research before you decide. Personally I would get the HT Omege Claro+ sound card. The ASUS may better suit your need.
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December 11, 2009 8:50:38 AM

mkw34 said:
...i read that it wont matter optical is optical...

Not qutie true.
Your hardware and drivers both need to support DDL Encoding to output 5.1 surround over optical.
Most likly your hardware is only passing a stereo PCM signal through the optical output.

I would recommend using the analog inputs to your cans controller box.
This will both dodge any hardware/driver issues involving DDL Encoding and give you a higher quality sound than your controller box's DAC is likley to produce.
Just make sure to change your computer from 2 channel analog output to 5.1 analog output in the control panel/audio control software or it will still only output 2 channel sound.

If you still want to upgrade from your onboard codec, look into ASUS' Xonar DX.
It has DDL Encoding and very nice sounding analog output along with it.

The ASUS Xonar Essence is a great sounding sound card, just not for you (same with the HT Omege Claro+).
While they both offer DDL Encoding through TOSLINK, their primary purpose is to have an extremely pure stereo analog output section along with a headphone amplifier for standard cans.
As you cans require their own amplifier/DAC, these cards would be massive overkill.
Either stick with your onboard using analog output or pick up a less expensive Xonar DX for its DDL Encoding capabilities.
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