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Alternative to SB Titanium HD/ASUS Essence STX/HTO Claro Plus

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December 19, 2010 1:58:35 AM

So i built a rig for music mixing and production, and i thought, "eh, ill just get an OEM X-Fi sound card with PAX drivers". Well, upon receiving my KRK monitors and my AT M50 headphones, i noticed the quality isnt upto par for my needs and moreover, there is an annoying buzzing that my ears can spot on all sound modes even on low volume.

Now, after listening to the Titanium HD, i thought "this fits my needs with its phenomenal sound and its drivers from Creative actually work" but it lacks 7.1 outputs in case i wanted to hook it up to my Denon receiver. While its not 100% necessary, i would like 5.1/7.1 analog just in case. Now from what i understand, the Asus STX and HT Omega Claro Plus are worthy alternatives, but i do game occasionally and Dolby Headphone isnt upto par with CMSS-3D for positional cues IMO. That isnt 100% necessary as well, but i would like to have it.

Which leads me to this: before i jump the gun on one of these, is there a cheaper alternative that would give sound quality on par with the 3 aforementioned cards with 5.1/7.1 analog outputs and maybe some positional audio headphone tech for gaming? I can get a good headphone amp on the cheap if the soundcard doesnt have one. I just bought all this equipment and now, im just trying to be conservative now after the soundcard debacle.

As it is, im leaning towards the Titanium HD since i can get it for $120 but the Claro Plus has the 7.1 analog while the STX is also great but i know has issues with apps and its Xonar ASIO driver and no 5.1/7.1 analog. Lets me hear yalls thoughs please.
December 19, 2010 11:02:56 AM

Get the claro, you'll find it more of a swiss army knife when you've mentioned you do alot of things. As an all-rounder, the claro can and will hook up to all you have lying around.

Headphones?
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

http://www.astrogaming.com/products/detail/4/A40-Headse...

FYI - The HT | omega claro has an onboard DTS + Dolby headphone amp...your getting more than what your paying for. Driver support is also good. Coupled with studio monitors, your looking fine with the HT.

The Titanium HD is for 2.0 setups that compliment any audiophiles studio/monitor setup
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