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Buying my first Sound Card, Would like a Great Card, Tips Plz and Ty!

Last response: in Components
August 4, 2012 3:14:17 AM

Hi all,

Okay so I've decided to take the plunge and treat myself to my very first sound card and headset experience. I've got a very nice rig, with the AS Rock Extreme7Gen3 MOBO and two gtx 580's with an i7 2700k cpu and ax 1200 psu. What I would like to add to my system........ is a sound card! I nearly bought the Creative Sound Blaster X-FI Titanium HD card earlier today at the bestbuy in town, but soon discovered a far superior Computer store in town called Canada Computers that had this card on clearance for $99.99. They had a very exciting inventory of sound cards and headsets, so I decided to come home and do some research tonight before making my big purchase. I would like to get both a sound card and a headset!

Is this soundcard a steal, or are there better options?

The primary usage will be for gaming and music, but also for watching videos, and ultimately, I may incorporate into future plans of getting a full blown audio system (my speakers now are dismal, but one step at a time, yes?)

Headset wise, I would like a great gaming headset, but a headset that is great for hiphop music with nice bass. I know this decision alone is a tall order, since I spent hours researching bass headsets/gaming headsets already today.

If you guys could offer suggestions or a short list of decent sound cards and headsets, I would be very excited to hear what you experienced ppls recommendation.

My original plan was to get the Sound Blaster X-FI Titanium HD Card, with the Senheiser PC 350 or PC360 (for gaming headset) and a Monster Inspirations headset (for music with good bass). Now I understand this is probably a lowsy choice for music, but I was limiting my research to bestbuy inventory at the time. The Canada Computers has all the superior brands like grado, audio-technica, akg, maybe ultrasone and shure, to name a few.

I don't mind spending around $300 for a good music headset, and maybe $200 ish for a gaming headset. I am assuming I can get a great sound card for $200, but I am not sure and am flexible.

I was also looking at the Bose quiet comfort 3, but I heard that the bass was not that amazing and something tells me that I can do better. If I did go this option, however, I could get a discount.

Thank you for your feedback, I am going to do some more research tonight/tomorrow morning and hopefully make my purchase sometime tomrrow afternoo < depending on results :)  >

August 4, 2012 3:16:10 AM

Oh and also, there was also a combo deal at the store for the ASUS Xonar Xense Premium Gaming PCI - E Audio Set with Senheiser PC 350 Xtreme Edition Headset for $280.00. But it was on clearance and no returns if purchased. Please advise :) 
August 4, 2012 3:31:29 AM

What about the new ASUS Xonar Phoebus 24-bit 96KHz PCI Express x1 Interface Gaming Soundcard Set?

I JUST saw a youtube unboxing of this and INSTANTLY fell in love. It even comes with a device that acts as a microphone without the need for having one on your headset. It looks sooooo cool, is this a good choice? Omg it loooks sooooo amazing, am I wrong??!!

It's also only $200!! and if I got this, I could probably do away with bothering to get a headset with a mic, since this sound card comes with a microphone that sits on your desk, and then I could just opt for one really good headset for music, bass, and gaming all in one for around $300. I am not sure what headset is a good option though, what do you guys think so far? Thanks!
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August 4, 2012 8:06:06 AM

At present my plan is to go and try out some of the following headsets at my local computer store. I picked out a few that appear to be in stock, and were featured in a cnet review:

-Audio Technica ATH-A900X - Audiophile Closed-back Dynamic Headphones $320.00
-AIAIAI TMA-1 - DJ Headphone w/ Mic (Black) $220.00
-Audio Technica ATH-M50, Professional Closed-Back Studio $180.00
-Sennheiser HD 598 - Open Circumaural Headphones with E.A.R. Technology for Outstanding Sonic Accuracy and Clarity $300.00
-Shure SRH550DJ - Professional Quality DJ Headphones $100

I will assume they are fairly priced and take one of the more expensive ones home for testing. Are these suitable candidates?

As for the sound card, I will give a chance for more feedback and either opt for the new Asus Phoebus card, or whatever alternative/superior choice be suggested. Again my budget for a headset and sound card is around $600.

Look forward to hearing from you guys for thoughts on this,

Thanks again,

Best solution

August 4, 2012 10:09:11 AM

You appear to have concentrated on music headsets. There are some really good 3d gaming headsets around and toms has done several reviews recently.

Try this one for a start.


August 4, 2012 7:20:28 PM

Hey all, I just got back and have now picked up the new Phoebus card and a pair of Razer Tiamat 7.1's. While Canada Computers did have the AKG 701's in online stock, I was happy to be able to grab the Tiamat's on the spot. I am now wondering whether I would be better served to keep the Tiamat's, or to return them and order a pair of AKG 701's. One thing to consider is that the AKG 701's are $400 while the Razer is $180. Do yall think I made a good decision with the headset? This is my first sound card purchase after all, I am not sure what to expect :)  I do know that I will not open the box until I hear feedback, as I am perfectly willing to be patient.

The 2 options I see right now are:

A) Keep the Razer Tiamat 7.1 as a gaming headset, and see how it does with music/bass on the Phoebus card, and if need be invest in a dedicated music headset in the near future or
B) Return the Tiamat, and order a pair of AKG 701's to pair with the Phoebus.

What would you guys do? I guess what I'm thinking is, I don't want to waste the Phoebus on a headset that is inadequate, but I also saw good review on the Tiamat and like gaming.. and the phoebus is a gaming card. :) 
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August 4, 2012 8:15:37 PM

Update: I'm keeping the Tiamat and will be looking for good stereo headsets to invest in, for the near future. I am thinking AKG 701's, feel free to lemme know if you have any good choices around $300-$400. Thanks!
August 4, 2012 8:15:47 PM

Best answer selected by rm - ottawa.