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Which sound card to buy?

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Anonymous
April 17, 2011 9:48:13 PM

i want to buy a sound card with a budget of 100 usd. which one should i buy? is Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio good (i can get it for 82 usd)?

More about : sound card buy

April 17, 2011 10:03:12 PM

Don't buy a Creative card you'll ultimately be disappointed.
What speakers and or headphones do you have?
April 18, 2011 1:43:03 AM

Personally, I would not even pay $50 USD for an CL Audio Xtreme Audio.
Get an Asus Xonar DG, it's a lot less then $100.
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Anonymous
April 18, 2011 7:26:20 AM

i have Audio Technica ATH-PRO700
so you're suggesting Asus Xonar DG?
April 18, 2011 8:16:44 AM

Asus Xonar DG this too~~
April 18, 2011 8:23:36 AM

Yeah the DG would be a good, budget friendly choice
April 18, 2011 5:14:45 PM

Here's a quick reference guide I always give people...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
$30: (headphone): Asus Xonar DG
$50: (surround): Asus Xonar DS
$90: Asus Xonar D1(x)

$110: Auzen X-Fi Bravura (works especially well for headphone users)

$150: (surround): Auzen X-Meridian
$150: (headphone): Auzen X-Fi Forte

$190: (headphone): Xonar Essence ST(X) [Only if you don't plan on doing a surround setup]

$200(240): HT Omega Claro Halo (XT) [Halo if you use headphones, Halo XT if you want analogue surround in addition]
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I'd really recommend the X-Fi Bravura, like Davcon said. It has an integral Headphone amplifier and replaceable OPAMPS if you'd ever want to improve your sound quality for fairly cheap. It's really a well-rounded card in general that does everything fairly well.
If you can't stretch your budget that far, my second choice would be either the Asus Xonar DX or the Xonar D1 - the same card, only on different interfaces. You can decide which would suit you better. The only exception to this would be if you're a headphone user. If that's the case, then the Xonar DG would be a better choice as it also has an onboard headphone amp that you'll definitely want. Drivers for all the suggested cards are rock solid - please, don't buy a Creative Sound Blaster card... their drivers are absolutely awful and you'll be terribly disappointed when it only works half the time.

:D 
April 18, 2011 5:42:00 PM

In the $100 range, teh best options are the HT Omega Striker and ASUS Xonar D1/DX. [Right now, I place the Striker *slighty* ahead of the D1/DX, but only by a hair...]. Moving down a bit, you have the more affordable DS, but you start to lose a few features at that level.

The DG is unique, because its the only low-priced card with a headphone amp [The Auzentech Forte is the next cheapest option]. If you aren't using a headset, then theres little reason to buy the DG though...
April 19, 2011 3:32:45 AM

gamerk316 said:
In the $100 range, teh best options are the HT Omega Striker and ASUS Xonar D1/DX. [Right now, I place the Striker *slighty* ahead of the D1/DX, but only by a hair...]. Moving down a bit, you have the more affordable DS, but you start to lose a few features at that level.

The DG is unique, because its the only low-priced card with a headphone amp [The Auzentech Forte is the next cheapest option]. If you aren't using a headset, then theres little reason to buy the DG though...


The DG has a headphone amp. but not the DS or DX?
April 19, 2011 1:31:38 PM

Nope. Its aimed for a specific use, unlike other cards with an amp [Auzentech Forte, ASUS Essence ST/STX, HT Omega Claro Halo, Creative Titanium HD] which also have excellent analog audio outputs. Aside from the amp, the DG has very little going for it. Of course, for someone using a pair of really good headphones, the DG becomes a very low-price option, but otherwise, I wouldn't bother with it.
April 20, 2011 12:53:59 AM

If the DS and DX do not have a headphone amp. what do the cards use to power the headphones?
April 20, 2011 1:05:53 PM

Well, usually the headphones don't NEED power, the amp just provides some extra juice to really drive the headset to their maximum potential. Unless you have a REALLY high end headset, you typically don't need a headphone amp...

Also:

Quote:
is Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio good


Its the worst X-fi card. Technically, its not even an X-fi, just a re-branded Audigy, and has a LOT of known problems. Plus, its blown out of hte water by the cheaper ASUS DS.
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