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Upgrading onboard sound card

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February 4, 2010 6:57:24 PM

Hi i have the onboard sound card of the motherboard Asus P6T which is i think Realtek AC1200 and i have just ordered the Sennheiser HD 555 headset for games,movies and music.I was just wondering if it is worth upgrading to a Xonar DX,DS or a Creative one with this budget or if the onboard card covers the difference.
a b V Motherboard
February 5, 2010 7:49:04 AM

Welcome to the forums!

Either of the ASUS cards will be a major improvement over your onboard sound codec.
With your headphones though, I would highly recommend looking into an amplified sound card like the ASUS Xonar ST(X) or the HT|Omega Claro Halo.
Although more expensive, either will give you much better sound on your headphones than an unamped sound card.

I would recommend avoiding Creative's sound cards at all costs.
They have sub par sound quality, very pore driver and OS support and are quite overpriced for what they do offer.
The $90 Xonar DX can surpass virtually everything Creaive offers, just being matched in quality by the $280 X-Fi Elite Pro...
February 5, 2010 8:49:52 AM

Did some research on my own using your advice and indeed the best choice is ASUS XONAR ESSENCE ST since it has a headphones amp,will update the experience once i get them!Thanks!
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a b V Motherboard
February 5, 2010 8:51:57 AM

No problem :) 

If have any other questions, just drop another post!
a b V Motherboard
February 5, 2010 9:48:49 AM

creative im supprised there still around, they are useless

onboard is only good for basic speakers and sometimes optical/coax out etc for 1:1 audio quality, other then that its horrible compared to a dedicated sound card
a b V Motherboard
February 5, 2010 10:10:34 AM

I have heard roomers that they are working on a new 'monster' sound card :heink: 
Hopefully what ever they end up releasing at least matches the lowly DX/D1 for sound quality, price and has working drivers for ALL OS's...

Even then, it is going to take some work on their part to get back on my 'A' list.
Their track record for the past few years has been terrible and that whole Daniel_K thing pushed them off the deep end.

Now that their previous trump card EAX is dead, really no reason to buy Creative...
February 5, 2010 5:52:50 PM

I made a further research on these cards and i am curious about how much will i understand the difference in my ears comparing a Xonar Essence ST vs a Xonar D2 for instance.Also i read that the essence doesn't support DTS which will be emulated,but will it be the same?Overall though i hear positive opinions about this card.

I was thinking to buy the expensive one and i can call it a future investment since i read that you can put an additional card on it if you want.

But will it work?

Last but not least i forgot to mention that i cannot see a merchant to buy the HT omega in Europe so the choices shorten a bit :/ 
a c 212 V Motherboard
February 5, 2010 6:02:02 PM

Duskfall said:
Hi i have the onboard sound card of the motherboard Asus P6T which is i think Realtek AC1200 and i have just ordered the Sennheiser HD 555 headset for games,movies and music.I was just wondering if it is worth upgrading to a Xonar DX,DS or a Creative one with this budget or if the onboard card covers the difference.


Depends on what the source is.....if it's MP3's, well than it hardly matters what you use. If it's HD Audio or SHN files, then a card may be worth it assuming you're young enough to have ears that can tell the difference. :) 
February 5, 2010 6:40:46 PM

What about mp3's over 192kbps?
a b V Motherboard
February 5, 2010 11:13:13 PM

There are two big differences between the Xonar D2/D2X and Essence ST/STX.
The first is that the D2(X) is a 8 channel sound card (has outputs for 7.1 analogue channels) where the Essence is dedicated to superior Stereo sound.
The second is that the Essence has a dedicated headphone amp (very useful for you) where the D2(X) does not.
Both cards use the same C-Media Oxygen HD chip, have a similar feature set and both offer top notch sound quality.

While both cards will have no issues Decoding DTS, or any other audio format, the Essence is only able to Encode DDL.
The D2(X) is able to Encode both DDL and DTS Connect.
These features are used only when you intend to use the digital TOSLINK output to allow a receiver to decode the audio stream.
While DTS Connect technically encodes the 5.1 stream at a higher bitrate (1.5MB/s), you would be very hard pressed to tell the difference between it and DDL (640KB/s) encoded audio.
There will be no playback emulation, all audio tracks will play just fine.

No worries if you can not locate the HT|Omega Claro Halo.
Its sound quality is just a hair below the Essence.
It is nice to have options though ;) 
a b V Motherboard
February 5, 2010 11:14:30 PM

JackNaylorPE said:
Depends on what the source is.....if it's MP3's, well than it hardly matters what you use. If it's HD Audio or SHN files, then a card may be worth it assuming you're young enough to have ears that can tell the difference. :) 

Ja, anything below 320KB/s MP3's DO sound kinda low quality with good gear :lol: 
February 5, 2010 11:15:50 PM

Again thank you for the assistance it was much helpful!Cheers!
!