Best sound card under 100$

I've been looking up several sound cards, and apparantly Creative is soon releasing their Recon3D sound cards. Should I wait for these to come out? And does anyone have a suggestion for a great sound card, for music specifically under $100? The Recon3D sound card is very new, costs 98 euros here in Belgium. Any advice on it?

Here is the link to the Recon3D:
I hope it is intended for music! I do not know a lot about sound cards, so your help would be great. By the way, I currently have a Logitech Z906 speaker system.
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  1. I wouldn't even consider the Recon3D; the specs are horrible; low SnR [102dB; even onboard manages 109 dB these days], no OpenAL acceleration [software effects only], etc. The cards are outclassed by onboard hardware. Simply a case where Creative can go "Its got a quad core" to generate sales.

    Best cards for under $100:
    ASUS Xonar D1/DX
    HT Omega Striker
  2. For those interested:

    If anything, competes against the ASUS Xonar DG in terms of quality/features.
  3. I will use a digital-optical cable, I see the Asus Xonar cards use an adapter for that? I assume that would degrade the sound quality slightly?
    The HT Omega Striker has 2 digital optical ports though. And thanks for the chart ^
    How does the HT Omega Striker compare to the Auzentech Xplosion?
  4. There shouldn't be any degregation going between coaxial and optical.

    The Striker and Xplosion are actually based off the same exact C-Media chipset [CMI8770], and have the same exact feature set [near as I can tell]. Striker is more supported at this point though, and I would expect Vista/7 drivers to be more up to date on the Striker. Should be virtually identical though.
  5. I see that my speaker system has inputs of both digital: optical and coaxial. Which one would you recommend? Or is it the same quality?
  6. Both have their pro's and cons; optical has length requirements and the wire can't take sharp angles, but is immune to RF interferance. I'd go optical if given the choice.
  7. OK. I think I will go with the Xonar D1, because the HT Omega Striker seems completely unavailable here in Belgium or even Europe. I guess the adapter included with the Xonar D1 for digital-optical is good quality? Besdies that, I am planning on getting this optical cable:

    What do you think about my choice? :)
  8. ^^ D1 is fine, just make sure to have a free PCI slot. Also worth noting the D1 lacks DTS encoding [Dolby Digital is fine though].

    The Coax->Optical connector is just a cheap non-powered converter. Does the job. Shouldn't cause any signal degregation.
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