Choosing a sound card

Hello everyone!
i want to buy a sound card.
price: 60$
Requirements: i have a home theater systems 5.1 that connect through optical cable, and i have 5.1 true headset with mic that connect through analog connection.
so i need sound card with: optical out + 5.1 analog out +mic in, right? and i want all of that will work at the same time, so i can hear in the headset and my frien who sit next to me can hear throgh the home theater systems.
my headset with headset amp (, so i don't know i need amp in the sound or not, remeber that i could change in the future the headset to a 5.1 headset that doesn't have amp...
i thought about Xonar DG, or DS, but i don't know, please help me.
7 answers Last reply
More about choosing sound card
  1. Note that you will not be able to output using two different outputs at the same time with any soundcard.

    The ASUS Xonar DG(X) and D1/DX are probably the best all around options for you. The DX costs a bit more, but gives the ability to realtime Dolby encoding over SPDIF.
  2. what is Dolby encoding?
  3. SPDIF is incapable of transmitting uncompreseed 5.1 audio signals. Compressed 5.1 formats, like Dolby, are capable of being transmitting over SPDIF.

    On the PC, since the standard connection is analog, there are very few instances where Dolby soundtracks are used. As a result, when using surround media (games are a prime example), you will be limited to just 2.1 using SPDIF, because a standard 5.1 track can not be passed over the connection.

    Dolby Encoding through Dolby Digital Live simply takes an uncompressed 5.1 format, and converts it to Dolby Digital, which can then be passed through over SPDIF. This allows transmission of 5.1 audio over SPDIF which wouldn't otherwise be possible.
  4. but it is real 5.1 or fake?
  5. Real. Crappy quality because of the audio compression, but real. Only way to get 5.1 via SPDIF though.

    Personally, I've used real 5.1 headsets, and I've used virtualized 5.1. I prefer virtualized. Real 5.1 headsets all have problems with undersized drivers. and gaps where the audio jumps when switching between drivers.
  6. 1. so SPDIF on my motherboard when it connect to my home theater systems is not real 5.1?
    2. so only way to do 5.1 on headset through analog and 5.1 home theater systems through SPDIF is only with asus DX? and it still not be at the same time, right?
  7. What about a 3.5mm > 2x 3.5mm splitter? I used to do that at school with my friends to listen to music in class with our headphones, can't you do something similar here?
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