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Headphone amp on a soundcard? Asus Xonar.

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March 12, 2011 6:57:07 PM

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

Features
Features
Built-in Headphone AMP

$29.99



But apparently, the more expensive PCI-E Xonar DX 7.1 doesn't have a headphone amp? I'm not sure how typical it is, maybe it's so typical that it's not worth mentioning except on super low end cards for marketing?

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March 12, 2011 7:38:00 PM

The Xonar DX is more of a home theater card that people use for multichannel sound. Focusing on a single headphone amp sort of defeats the design goal of the card. You're expected to be using speakers that have a amplification stage outside of the card.

The Xonar DG is cut down and only offers that real quality sound out of the single channel. By sacrificing the other channels and only using a quarter of the usual high end DACs and caps they can really reduce cost while giving you that nice headphone amplifier.
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March 12, 2011 11:06:27 PM

d0gr0ck said:
The Xonar DX is more of a home theater card that people use for multichannel sound. Focusing on a single headphone amp sort of defeats the design goal of the card. You're expected to be using speakers that have a amplification stage outside of the card.

The Xonar DG is cut down and only offers that real quality sound out of the single channel. By sacrificing the other channels and only using a quarter of the usual high end DACs and caps they can really reduce cost while giving you that nice headphone amplifier.


I have read many reviews for the Xonard DG
NONE of them were bad
before I bought one
here is one for example
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/soundcards/2010/10/26/...
in one of the reviews they did extensive audio tests
and it actually matched up to the DX in many of the them
OF COURSE it is a lower end card
I could have bought a better card BUT
I saw no reason to spend the extra money
I didnt need 7.1 (have it on HDMI on GPU)
and just wanted a better mic input than
onboard
Sometimes it is not about
budget but whether there is
a reason to spend more money
for features you DONT use
I have seen customers with I7s that never do more
than browse facebook,rip cd and email LOL
They could have bought computers for half as much
and never noticed a difference
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a b Ĉ ASUS
March 12, 2011 11:18:39 PM

^+1 nice post king smp !
I agree the DG really delivers a worthwhile solution for little money.
A nice cheap improvement over onboard plus a bonus headphone amp.
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March 12, 2011 11:29:31 PM

Thank you Davcon
I do appreciate overkill in appropiate circumstances
If your a hardcore gamer and run dual HD 6970 with watercooling
and OCd with Voltmods then I can appreciate that
but if your using that same system to Farm on Facebook
well that is just silly :) 
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March 13, 2011 1:26:50 AM

Eh? Never said it was a bad card, just a specialized one. It does very well at what it was designed to do.

Almost every test is front channel/headphone. When the DG and DX use similar parts then they will of course sound nearly the same. Give the DG some high impedance headphones and I bet it will outstrip the DX in stereo sound.

And yes I agree, why pay for what you're not going to use?
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March 13, 2011 1:43:05 AM

d0gr0ck said:
Eh? Never said it was a bad card, just a specialized one. It does very well at what it was designed to do.

Almost every test is front channel/headphone. When the DG and DX use similar parts then they will of course sound nearly the same. Give the DG some high impedance headphones and I bet it will outstrip the DX in stereo sound.

And yes I agree, why pay for what you're not going to use?


^+1 very good post
I was being a little sensitive :cry:  lol
Too many people are buying Porsches to go grocery shopping :) 

BTW Xonar DG blows away older Audigy with analog 4.1 to creative surround sound system
really is amazing how a $35 card can beat a $150 card from years ago
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March 13, 2011 5:01:42 PM

Best answer selected by Ogre Choker.
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March 13, 2011 5:05:09 PM

Helpful insight, much appreciated. I went ahead and got the Xonar DX 7.1's. I had purchased a pair of Sennheiser HD555s a few weeks back and was slightly disappointed.


However now that I have the combo of sound card + headphones, it's auditory bliss. One of the best investments I've made.
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August 17, 2011 4:15:35 AM

Any chance the Xonar DX has a headphone amplifier chip, but Asus for some reason hides that fact.
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