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I guess im an Audiophile!

Last response: in Components
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April 15, 2012 12:14:54 AM

Well i built a new computer this past winter, it was my first build in a really long time. I thought to myself "on board audio must have improved by now" and i didn't get a sound card. Asus z68 pro/gen 3 mobo by the way.

well i was wrong, i loaded up battlefield 3 and i was very surprised how bad the base was and how tin canny the highs sounded. So what did i do? i threw in my 10 year old creative audigy 4 and things were back to normal.

Is this normal? Im having a hard time beliving my 10 year old (even when it was new not that great) sound card is still leaps and bounds better than on board audio. All the drivers were install correctly it just had such crappy range.

which leads me to my next question, is my creative audigy 4 still holding its own today or should i get a new sound card?

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

I have been looking at that card, the low profile should fit between my SLIed GTX 580's, i know its probably not the best but its probably an improvement over the my audigy 4.

I was looking at this one
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

but i dont think my audio technica A700's are high enough quality to make use of it, plus i think i would have to change my CPU heatsink to get it to fit because SLI GTX 580 blocks most of the open PCI ports.

What do you guys think? should i go for the quick upgrade? or should i save up a bit and get new headphones w/ that sound card which in turn i would also need to get a water block for the CPU.

More about : guess audiophile

April 15, 2012 5:06:54 AM

This is why USB headsets have become so popular, they have in-built sound-cards. Really in the modern day unless you have a high end speaker system you don't need a sound card.
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April 15, 2012 5:34:07 AM

Do you have to have a headphone amp? Do you listen to speakers as well or would you like to have a good option for that for possible future use?

The reason I ask is that while the "HT | OMEGA Claro Halo" has a quality Headphone Amplifier It doesn't have 5.1 or 7.1 analog connections and if you want to use your cards high quality DAC's (digital to analog converter) for PC speakers greater than 2ch you will need the analog connections.

There are several options. You could buy the "HT | OMEGA Claro Halo XT" or add on the "HT OMEGA XT Extension Board" at a later date assuming that HT | OMEGA still sells them. Right now they are available direct or through amazon for $59.99
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B005OU7MZ2/ref=p...

Of course this is assuming you have the need, desire and/or room for it in the first place. The Halo and Halo XT are excellent cards by the way.

You could also forgo the Headphone Amplifier if it's not super important and buy the HT | OMEGA CLARO II 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But the best option for you might be this card: "HT | OMEGA eClaro 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1" this card is very low profile and should fit nice in your top PCIe x1 slot which is were I have mine.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These last 2 cards don't have a dedicated headphone amp but, my A700's still go pretty loud on my eClaro and they do have both digital and analog connections for up to 7.1. All of these cards, the Claro Halo, Claro Halo XT, CLARO II and the eClaro use the same Audio Chipset. They also all have a five egg rating on Newegg. There isn't even one single Asus or Creative internal sound card that can boast that.

The Claro Halo, Claro Halo XT and eClaro also have a swappable OPAMP socket.
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April 15, 2012 3:56:09 PM

Hazbot said:
This is why USB headsets have become so popular, they have in-built sound-cards. Really in the modern day unless you have a high end speaker system you don't need a sound card.


I disagree, by my original post there is a huge difference in sound quality between a 10 year old sound card and a brand new motherboard. Also, i find usb sound card options lacking at the very least. A good sound card is a good investment for someone with a good set of head phones, its not just for music listeners with great speakers.



Idonno said:
Do you have to have a headphone amp? Do you listen to speakers as well or would you like to have a good option for that for possible future use?

The reason I ask is that while the "HT | OMEGA Claro Halo" has a quality Headphone Amplifier It doesn't have 5.1 or 7.1 analog connections and if you want to use your cards high quality DAC's (digital to analog converter) for PC speakers greater than 2ch you will need the analog connections.

There are several options. You could buy the "HT | OMEGA Claro Halo XT" or add on the "HT OMEGA XT Extension Board" at a later date assuming that HT | OMEGA still sells them. Right now they are available direct or through amazon for $59.99
http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B005OU7MZ2/ref=p...

Of course this is assuming you have the need, desire and/or room for it in the first place. The Halo and Halo XT are excellent cards by the way.

You could also forgo the Headphone Amplifier if it's not super important and buy the HT | OMEGA CLARO II 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Interface Sound Card
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

But the best option for you might be this card: "HT | OMEGA eClaro 7.1 Channels 24-bit 192KHz PCI Express x1" this card is very low profile and should fit nice in your top PCIe x1 slot which is were I have mine.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

These last 2 cards don't have a dedicated headphone amp but, my A700's still go pretty loud on my eClaro and they do have both digital and analog connections for up to 7.1. All of these cards, the Claro Halo, Claro Halo XT, CLARO II and the eClaro use the same Audio Chipset. They also all have a five egg rating on Newegg. There isn't even one single Asus or Creative internal sound card that can boast that.

The Claro Halo, Claro Halo XT and eClaro also have a swappable OPAMP socket.


I don't have to have a headphone AMP no, i thought it would increase quality, after researching i just found out all it does is raise the volume haha. No my a700's go up past the point of comfortable volume levels so i don't need the increase.

I would like them to be speaker compatible but i don't have a tradition computer speaker set up. I have a really nice home theater audio speaker system that i use for my TV. It has digital audio port which should work on that low profile HT omega eclaro wouldnt it?

How do you like your eclaro? the software pretty user friendly? not compatibility problems with games? Thanks for your post!!!
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April 16, 2012 10:40:44 AM

sp0nger said:
I disagree, by my original post there is a huge difference in sound quality between a 10 year old sound card and a brand new motherboard. Also, i find usb sound card options lacking at the very least. A good sound card is a good investment for someone with a good set of head phones, its not just for music listeners with great speakers.

I agree with everything you said. This idea that nobody needs a sound card anymore because on-board has gotten that good is rubbish. Either the person making those comments doesn't know any better and is just repeating something he heard or they don't have an ear for quality, some people don't. At least that's what THEY say. Mostly (I think) it's something they just don't find important. Each to their own.

sp0nger said:
It has digital audio port which should work on that low profile HT omega eclaro wouldnt it?

How do you like your eclaro? the software pretty user friendly? not compatibility problems with games? Thanks for your post!!!

As long as your home theater system has a digital optical connection (this is most likely the type it has) it is compatible, yes.
Some audio systems only have the older RCA type digital coaxial connection. If this is the case it won't work. The eClaro doesn't have that, but if your system was made in the last 10yrs or so it probably has the optical and very possibly the RCA (coaxial) type as well.

The eClaro's software is very user friendly, I have never had any compatibility or driver issues ever!
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