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Razer Barracuda and what Sound Card

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December 2, 2009 3:45:20 PM

So at the moment I have the Razer Barracuda headset and considering it sound really bad with on board sound I was wondering if I should purchase a sound card? This would be my first ever non onboard sound card so just wondering if I would notice a difference?

Also im quite a few games such as CSS, the 5.1 sound is glitched and does stuff like echo for no good reason or just sound completely broken, is this onboard being bad and would a Sound Card fix this does anyone think?

So yea basically what I'm asking is whether it is worth getting a sound card for it, if so which one, budget lets say £60, but you can go higher if you really need to. And if someone finds one could you tell me what power connections it needs (do sound cards even have power connections or does it run through motherboard connection?) thanks.
December 2, 2009 5:59:51 PM

While others may have a different opinion, I personally think sound cards are not needed unless you need very high quality audio, or need the connections that the sound card provides over your onboard sound. Many soundcards use the exact same chips as those found on the onboard audio. Only the more expensive cards include things like special parts for converting digital to analog, and vice versa.

BTW, are you using the 3 x Headphone jacks, or the HDMI adapter?

One other thing I read about these headsets is that it works better if you set the audio to 4/4.1 instead of 5.1. This made the difference for some folks.
December 2, 2009 6:00:44 PM

Depends. What motherboard are you using in which the sound is integrated on?
Sound cards don't use nearly enough power to saturate the PCIe power. Even graphics cards didn't need their own power connectors until a few years ago.
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December 2, 2009 6:09:07 PM

festerovic said:
While others may have a different opinion, I personally think sound cards are not needed unless you need very high quality audio, or need the connections that the sound card provides over your onboard sound. Many soundcards use the exact same chips as those found on the onboard audio. Only the more expensive cards include things like special parts for converting digital to analog, and vice versa.

BTW, are you using the 3 x Headphone jacks, or the HDMI adapter?

One other thing I read about these headsets is that it works better if you set the audio to 4/4.1 instead of 5.1. This made the difference for some folks.

4 Headphone jacks if you count the microphone.
December 2, 2009 6:11:35 PM

enzo matrix said:
Depends. What motherboard are you using in which the sound is integrated on?
Sound cards don't use nearly enough power to saturate the PCIe power. Even graphics cards didn't need their own power connectors until a few years ago.

P5Q SE is my mobo. Yea I didn't even know that PCIe did power, thats why I asked, but thanks for the answer.

I don't know whether it is that Razer Barracudas are bad or if my Onboard is bad? I mean I used some Sennheiser 350HD I think they are, the ones from my drum kit and they are a lot better than my Barracuda. Its just too much hassle keep on taking them off and on the drums and they are my brothers as well so he whines. Also they don't have a mic either. I was thinking about buying some Steelseries Siberia V2 if it turned out the Barracudas are just dire, anyone had experience with them?
December 2, 2009 6:12:27 PM

festerovic said:
While others may have a different opinion, I personally think sound cards are not needed unless you need very high quality audio, or need the connections that the sound card provides over your onboard sound. Many soundcards use the exact same chips as those found on the onboard audio. Only the more expensive cards include things like special parts for converting digital to analog, and vice versa.

BTW, are you using the 3 x Headphone jacks, or the HDMI adapter?

One other thing I read about these headsets is that it works better if you set the audio to 4/4.1 instead of 5.1. This made the difference for some folks.

Brb ill try 4.0 ingame... sorry for the spamming of posts, can't be bothered to edit into one.
December 2, 2009 6:27:06 PM

Still not working, I hate you Razer, overpriced and broken goods.
December 2, 2009 7:30:26 PM

Well, could be onboard, could be the headset.

For under $100, I'd recommend the ASUS Xonar DX and HT Omega Striker. Above that, look at the ASUS Xonar D2/D2X, ASUS Essence STX, Auzentech Prelude, Auzentech Forte, and HT Omega Claro.
December 2, 2009 9:57:17 PM

gamerk316 said:
Well, could be onboard, could be the headset.

For under $100, I'd recommend the ASUS Xonar DX and HT Omega Striker. Above that, look at the ASUS Xonar D2/D2X, ASUS Essence STX, Auzentech Prelude, Auzentech Forte, and HT Omega Claro.

No idea which one it could be? I mean I've had my hopes up that its the Onboard, but the amount of bad user reviews, I mean it might be the case that it SUCKS w/o a sound card and becasue most people from amazon don't have a sound card they keep giving it *** ratings? But yea thanks for the suggestions, any sound card in specific? I'd rather not muddle through loads of reviews like I have been doing recently.
December 2, 2009 10:10:58 PM

Understand this: The headset is only outputting what the sound card is generating, so if it sounds bad, chances are its the onboard sound. But while you think it is hardware related, I would think it more likely that the software is to blame.

Perhaps you have settings that generate virtual channels, like CMSS. Try setting all the audio device settings for the onboard sound to default, then try the 4.1 thing.

Alternately, I noticed there is a DVI connection for the headset, if you run ATI 4xxx series, I believe you can output multichannel audio through an extra DVI port (assuming you don't have a second monitor).
December 3, 2009 5:47:48 AM

festerovic said:
Understand this: The headset is only outputting what the sound card is generating, so if it sounds bad, chances are its the onboard sound. But while you think it is hardware related, I would think it more likely that the software is to blame.

Perhaps you have settings that generate virtual channels, like CMSS. Try setting all the audio device settings for the onboard sound to default, then try the 4.1 thing.

Alternately, I noticed there is a DVI connection for the headset, if you run ATI 4xxx series, I believe you can output multichannel audio through an extra DVI port (assuming you don't have a second monitor).


I've tried setting them to default and it does nothing to make it any better really, and it says on the packaging not to plug it into a graphics card so? But yea I have a 4870.
December 3, 2009 10:59:06 AM

The ATI thing doesn't help, as theres no way to connect the headset to it short of using a reciever...

I own a Barracuda headset; its so-so, but better then you're run of the mill headphones. I'd lean towards onboard being the bigger problem (running beyond 2.1 on onboard sound is generally not the best for quality...). But you'd get a better return on a $100 soundcard then on a $100 headset, thats for sure.
December 3, 2009 1:21:36 PM

gamerk316 said:
The ATI thing doesn't help, as theres no way to connect the headset to it short of using a reciever...

I own a Barracuda headset; its so-so, but better then you're run of the mill headphones. I'd lean towards onboard being the bigger problem (running beyond 2.1 on onboard sound is generally not the best for quality...). But you'd get a better return on a $100 soundcard then on a $100 headset, thats for sure.

Thanks, saying "for sure" really got me happy :D . I suppose I will get a soundcard then, thanks guys. If anyone has any sound card suggestions for £50 and up go for it, otherwise, you guys have done a great job at answering my questions!
December 3, 2009 3:20:33 PM

ASUS Xonar DX ~ $80
HT Omega Striker ~ $80

My top two <$100 soundcards.
December 3, 2009 4:29:06 PM

gamerk316 said:
ASUS Xonar DX ~ $80
HT Omega Striker ~ $80

My top two <$100 soundcards.

What is your OS? Btw does this headset have no bass or does it just need a soundcard?
!