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Decent sound card and speakers?

Last response: in Components
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May 27, 2010 10:12:30 PM

Hi guys. I'm looking at an audio upgrade for not too much money. I'd like to be able to buy stuff locally just to make it easier and quicker. So, I'm currently looking at the AuzenTech X-Fi Forte 7.1 card with Logitech X-540 5.1 Speakers. I'm wondering if this is a pretty good combo. Currently I'm using mobo sound (ASUS P7P55D PRO HD audio) and simple Altec Lansing 2.1 speakers that are now several years old and I've noticed they're starting to have that slight background buzz.

I don't want to spend more than $250 on this. If the sound card is overkill for those speakers I'd certainly not mind getting a cheaper one ;) 

My main use for the sound system is gaming then music then movies (I generally watch DVD and BluRay on my PS3)
May 27, 2010 10:24:54 PM

Get better speakers, cause sound card doesn't really matter too much.
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May 27, 2010 11:21:57 PM

Agreed. Get the best speakers you can afford and use your mobo sound, at least for starters.
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May 27, 2010 11:35:01 PM

Well the problem there is there's a huge gap in speaker prices. Goes from these at $110 to a very very similar set for $160 (Creative Labs Inspire T6200 5.1) and then the next best are $450 and $500 which is way more than I'm willing to spend.
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May 27, 2010 11:39:17 PM

Get the X-540. They sound great for their size. The portability is nice too, so you can drag them to parties or whatever.

And the motherboard sound is decent in most cases, although I have yet to test for a difference myself. I can't see a reason to upgrade to a soundcard unless you intend to pay like $500 for speakers.

If you find after you get your new speakers, that the buzz is still present, then it is the onboard. I would not spend more than $50 on a soundcard but I don't have any recommendations due to lack of experience.
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May 27, 2010 11:47:53 PM

Well, that's the thing they are decent but I can see why a sound card would indeed be overkill for them. The other option however is to buy some good 5.1 headset. I don't really like headsets (not just a comfort issue which is mostly minor but because it also cancels outside sounds like people trying to talk to me) but I guess I'd still have my 2.1 speakers for music or what have you.
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Best solution

May 28, 2010 12:13:12 AM

The X-540's are pretty good for their price I picked up a set for my girls setup for $79.99 and at first I had them on the onboard sound which was a Realtek on a GigaByte board. The sound was pretty good she thought it was fine but I had an old Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum laying around and threw that in there and I was blown away by how good those cheap speakers actually sounded. The Bass the little sub puts out is quite boomy so I hope you like bass at high volumes the satellite speakers can sound a bit distorted but for the price you can't beat them. I have a set of Logitech Z-5500 on my setup which sound like night and day compared to the 540's but still for the price of the 540's it can't be beat.

I would suggest get the speakers first and see how it sounds if you think it sounds good then just leave it at that, but if you feel it could sound better get the soundcard. The AuzenTech X-Fi Forte 7.1 is a great card and you will definitely hear a difference in sound with it.
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May 28, 2010 12:16:25 AM

saaiello said:
The X-540's are pretty good for their price I picked up a set for my girls setup for $79.99 and at first I had them on the onboard sound which was a Realtek on a GigaByte board. The sound was pretty good she thought it was fine but I had an old Sound Blaster Audigy Platinum laying around and threw that in there and I was blown away by how good those cheap speakers actually sounded.

I would suggest get the speakers first and see how it sounds if you think it sounds good then just leave it at that but if you feel it could sound better get the soundcard. The AuzenTech X-Fi Forte 7.1 is a great card and you will definitely hear a difference in sound with it.

Good to hear! However, I'm looking at headsets right now just browsing. I obviously want to get the best within reason... anyway, the Razer Megalodon and the Logitech G35 gaming headsets seem really good and probably will be better than the speakers... any thoughts on that?

I've also found a Sound Blaster XiFi Titanium for about $85 which may not be quite as good as the AuzenTech but it's a lot cheaper too.
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May 28, 2010 12:20:54 AM

The Titanium is a great card but if you are planning on going with headphones you are gonna need a card with a built in headphone amp. I have the Titanium it sounds awesome on my Z 5500's.

I dont know that much about headphones so I really have no suggestions there I cant stand having headphones on.

The Logitech G35 they connect using the USB so you dont even need a sound card for them I believe the Razor Megalodon use USB also so they bypass the soundcard all together.
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May 28, 2010 12:30:15 AM

That is true they are USB... so I'd save on getting a sound card but then the question is, how good are they really? I'm with you on not really liking headphones, but they seem like a very good option for the price. However I can get the X540s and the Titanium card for about the same price as a headset...
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May 28, 2010 12:41:38 AM

I personally would go with the x540's they do have some pretty good sound for their price but dont expect them to fill a huge room with sound. But for the average size bedroom or office will give plenty of sound.

If you have a Best Buy near you they have the 540's for $10 cheaper.
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May 28, 2010 12:43:58 AM

Sweet deal. Well, lots to consider but maybe I'll head over to the store and check some stuff out... I know they have a good return policy so I might get the speakers and sound card to test out and keep them if I like them. They do price matching too :) 

Thanks for the help everyone
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May 28, 2010 12:44:42 AM

Best answer selected by Wolfram23.
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May 28, 2010 2:47:27 PM

I got the x540s and AuzenTech X-Fi Bravura so far sounds great but I really only had time to set it up and try it for like 10 mins =/
Tonight I'll thoroughly check it out tho!
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