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Best sound card $200-$300 range, or stick with Phoebus?

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August 7, 2012 4:51:06 AM

So I recently bought the Phoebus and some Razer Tiamat 7.1's. This is my first time ever buying a sound card, so I don't have a lot to compare it to. Basically, I'm not sure if I should keep the card or swap it, in case there is something better.. like maybe an Essence STX??

Basically I can't even use the controller box that it comes with because I have this 7.1 headset, and I'm also weary of driver issues.., and then there's the whole non replaceable opamps thing (which admittedly is still very new to me). I've carefully read through many thread on this, and do not see a tell tale winner.

Is there ANY reason that I would be better off swapping to the Essence STX (Or any other sound card, I am willing to spend more than $200 if it's a good investment). I would likely need to make a decision this week if I am to return the Phoebus, and appreciate and am grateful for your expertise.

I know I could quickly swap for one of these 2 cards at my local shop:
- Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D Fatal1ty Champion -
- Asus Xonar Essence STX - 124dB SNR PCI-E


PS I am also going to be in the market for music headphones to compliment the gaming tiamat 7.1's, would you guys agree senheiser is the way to go? I've also heard good things about the AKG 701 Quincy Jones, but I really like my bass and am not sure they deliver on that front, am willing to go $400 on a good music headset.

Thanks,
August 7, 2012 5:57:48 AM

SoundCards? I thought High-end mobos have sufficient on-board sound quality?
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August 7, 2012 7:24:57 AM

sufficient?
nope...
not for the phones/headsets he wants to use...
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August 7, 2012 8:40:05 AM

The Creative Sound Blaster has got some extra features but the ASUS Xonar is a much much better sound card.They are in entirely different classes
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August 7, 2012 12:03:05 PM

Actuall from all reviews I have read, it looks like asus cards have very nice analog part, which is quite important for add-on sound card (I was looking to change my Creative XtremeGamer to Xonar DX);

but those new Sound Blasters Recon3D are interesting because they have headphones amplifiers build in... So I guess I'll have to read some more reviews on these ones...
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August 7, 2012 6:21:37 PM

Alright, I will be keeping the Phoebus, as I do value their surround sound aspect.

I would like to ask the community:

Now that I have my first sound card and Tiamat 7.1's, how would you rate the decision to purchase the Denon AHD2000's for good music with great bass. I am looking to invest in an excellent pair of music headphones that will compliment my gaming Razer Tiamat's, and will do well powered by the Phoebus card.

Would I notice significantly more power and bass with the AHD2000's?
Are the AHD2000's good value and a top contender for the purpose and price ($369.99).

Thanks as always,

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Best solution

August 7, 2012 7:13:10 PM

1: I wouldn't touch the Recon3D line. Not worth considering
2: Theres an upgrade going to the ASUS Xonar Essence ST(X) or the HT Omega Claro XT. Those cards are REALLY meant around headphone use though...
3: The Denon D2000's are one of the most well respected headsets on the market right now. I've heard VERY good things about them, but have yet to purchase a pair. [I plan to go that route after my Audio Technical M50's give out]. The Phoebus should have no trouble driving them, and you should get plenty of bass out of them.

A good headphone thread:

http://www.head-fi.org/t/534479/mad-lust-envys-headphon...

Granted, slightly more hgh end then you might be looking for, but head-fi has VERY good reviews on most all headsets out there, so its a good place to look around.
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August 8, 2012 4:07:15 PM

Best answer selected by rm - ottawa.
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