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Upgrades For A Novice Listener

Hi everyone,

Bit of background:

I've been using an inexpensive ($25) 2.1 Logitech set of speakers along with on-board audio on my MSI Z68A GD65 G3 motherboard (Realtek HD). I mainly use it to listen to music (iTunes/Pandora, standard bit rates) and play games (BF3/Skyrim). I am not a professional by any means, but I can tell the obvious difference between poor car speakers and higher end ones with tweeters.

I need to go the headset route for noise reasons, so I thought I'd go higher end with this sound card:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829271001 (HT Omega Striker 7.1)
and these headphones (so I could also take them on the road, which is why I didn't pick a 7.1 gaming headset):
http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M50-Professional-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B000ULAP4U (Audio Technica ATH-M50)

My question to you all is, would plugging these headphones into that sound card allow someone like me be able to notice the difference between that setup and my current one?

Please note that these are the max I would like to spend, but better options at a cheaper price are welcome :)

Thanks in Advance!
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about upgrades novice listener
  1. Yea. Using a inboard audio setup vs. a external audio card really makes the difference.

    Good Luck!
  2. Best answer
    Don't bother with that sound card, get this one instead

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102044

    It's the best card available for both gaming and listening. There are better solutions for pure audiophiles but these will lack the boost for gaming.

    Also, you pasted the card link for the headphones but you must get a headset that uses analog jacks, no USB headsets.

    These are the headphones that I use

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16868996045&Tpk=sharkoon%20x-tatic%205.1

    They can be plugged directly into any 5.1+ sound card and also contain a Dolby Digital decoder for 360/PS3 usage
  3. Pinhedd said:


    These are the headphones that I use

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16868996045&Tpk=sharkoon%20x-tatic%205.1

    They can be plugged directly into any 5.1+ sound card and also contain a Dolby Digital decoder for 360/PS3 usage


    First of all, do you use a refurb sound card/can attest to their quality?

    Also, sorry I posted the wrong link for the headphones(edited it in the OP, but here is it: http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M50-Professional-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B000ULAP4U?tag=vglnk-c1001-20

    They are not USB, they use a stereo plug, how would these compare to your link (please note that I would like to use these on the road and would prefer no mic with them)? Thanks!
  4. WhoKnew22 said:
    First of all, do you use a refurb sound card/can attest to their quality?

    Also, sorry I posted the wrong link for the headphones(edited it in the OP, but here is it: http://www.amazon.com/Audio-Technica-ATH-M50-Professional-Monitor-Headphones/dp/B000ULAP4U?tag=vglnk-c1001-20

    They are not USB, they use a stereo plug, how would these compare to your link? Thanks!


    My sound card was purchased new. I just linked to that card because it's the first one I found of that model (which is what I have). Most stereo headphones don't have full range speakers (3hz - 24Khz+) which limits low frequency effects (bass) but some come close to the full range. Surround sound is also nice
  5. Pinhedd said:
    My sound card was purchased new. I just linked to that card because it's the first one I found of that model (which is what I have). Most stereo headphones don't have full range speakers (3hz - 24Khz+) which limits low frequency effects (bass) but some come close to the full range. Surround sound is also nice


    Okay thanks for the tip, these go from 15-28K, but I don' t listen to too much bass-heavy stuff. So let's say I do go with that sound card, will an average guy like me really notice the difference vs. just the headphones?
  6. WhoKnew22 said:
    Okay thanks for the tip, these go from 15-28K, but I don' t listen to too much bass-heavy stuff. So let's say I do go with that sound card, will an average guy like me really notice the difference vs. just the headphones?


    Yes, especially with studio headphones
  7. Pinhedd said:
    Yes, especially with studio headphones


    If you could purchase one first, which would you choose, headphones or sound card?
  8. WhoKnew22 said:
    If you could purchase one first, which would you choose, headphones or sound card?


    If you have crummy headphones right now, go with the sound card
  9. Best answer selected by WhoKnew22.
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