I am building a new computer for gaming/programming and would like something better then an on-board sound card. I've routed it down to these two as the highest quality gaming sound cards but I cannot decide which.
So I ask, which of these would be better? They are both about the same price. Perhaps there is something better you could recommend?
Neither. The Recon3D lineup is the lowest quality soundcard lineup of all of them right now, and the Titanium Champion costs too much compared to offerings from ASUS, Auzentech, and HT Omega to really recommend.
Knowing the speaker/headphone setup and any future upgrade plans would help a bit too.
I rarely use my speakers for games so I care not for them. As for headphones, I currently use some standard earphone's which I don't know the size of. Although I am considering upgrading to the Cyborg F.R.E.Q. 5 Stereo Gaming Headset which I believe works through usb.
As for future upgrades plans I doubt I will be upgrading after I have made this computer until it becomes horrendously out of date.
I recently got a great deal on a Recon 3D to push my AKG Q701 headphones. It was a big improvement to the Mixamp that I was using. If you can get one for around $100.00 I would recommend it. but yes, if you are a freakish audiophile you can do better. Without side by side comparison you wont tell the difference, though. It is more down tot he headphone being used at that point. That is your weakest link.
The headset you post is solid w/ 50mm drivers. The card processing surround and those phones will sound good. If you want even better sound in games, movies and music invest in good quality headphile grade phones and a cheap clip-on mic from amazon. I recommend the following for excellent sound positioning in gaming:
DT880 (250 ohm)
The Recon 3D does push these well considering the 600ohm headphone amp.
Stay away from "true" 5 speaker surround sound headphones. They are a gimmik and cannot represent a true 360 degree sound stage.
Running Dolby headphone processing blows the doors off the positioning of the 4.1 speaker per cup setups. They are absolutely useless. I have purchased and returned 6 different brands trying to find out if it even works. The sound is HORRIBLE because each driver is cheap and small anf the positioning is nothing even close to realistic.
I'm not an audiophile as such but if the Recon3D isn't particularly good then I would like to try for something better. Although I do like the look of those first headphone's.
Anyone have any recommendation's for the sound card?
Out of curiosity, aren't creative card's meant to somehow be the best for gaming? Is that just marketing propaganda that I've heard?
Propoganda. They had a market monopoly every since they ran Aureal out of the market in the early 2000's, and it wasn't until C-Media made an audio chipset that you started to see other companies enter the soundcard market. The C-Media CMI-8788 chipset the majority of soundcards are based on now is competitive feature wise with the X-fi lineup, and some even have a few additional features [Free Dolby/DTS encoding, 192KHz playback, etc]. And ASUS/Auzentech/HT Omega tend to use higher quality parts, thus giving a higher quality card compared to Creative, which uses cheaper parts to increase their profit margin.
That being said, all the brands tend to tune their cards slightly differently, so you might prefer the tuning of a X-fi over a C-Media based ASUS card. Thats what the built in EQ is for though...[really, scout mode and the like are nothing but EQ presets...]
Hmmmm... Well I like the sound of the ASUS Xonar Essence STX. However it doesn't have support for EAX 3.0, 4.0 or 5.0 which I have heard could be a major setback for a gaming computer. The next one down the line would be the Titanium which gamerk316 didn't recommend. So what do everyone think? Does the EAX support REALLY matter?