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Soundcard

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December 4, 2012 5:49:32 PM

Hello, I'm looking for a nice sound card fore my pc. I dont know a lot about sound cards but I've been told the difference is pretty noticeable. so I want one :) 
Currently I'm using Logitech's z-906 (yes, I know they are far from optimal, as far as music quality goes, but I love them :p ) and I'm looking for a new set of headphones with some solid sound on the side.
My question would then be if anyone can recommend a sound card which will fit my needs? And I'd LOVE it, if the sound card had enough "room" for both my speakers and my headphones :) 
And also, what kind of connetion should I use for my speakers, I'm not familiar with all the names of the different ones, so I'd appreaciate it if you could feed it to me as a baby (not literally, but you get the point)

Thanks :) 

More about : soundcard

December 4, 2012 6:41:54 PM

Now a days, motherboards come with pretty nice sound cards built in. I don' think you'll hear any difference in quality with headphones. After-market cards are really just for adding more speakers and features. Your money will go further by spending the saved money on better headphones.
December 5, 2012 10:54:25 AM

flexxar said:
Now a days, motherboards come with pretty nice sound cards built in. I don' think you'll hear any difference in quality with headphones. After-market cards are really just for adding more speakers and features. Your money will go further by spending the saved money on better headphones.


Thanks mate
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December 5, 2012 1:05:42 PM

Well, if you need to support both a set of headphones and a speaker setup, you'd probably want a soundcard with both a headphone amp and the standard 5.1/7.1 analog outputs. The ASUS Xonar DG(X) fits that bill at the low end, and the ASUS Xonar Phoebus at the high end.

And yes, there is often a significant difference in quality when using a decent soundcard with decent speakers/headphones.
December 5, 2012 1:20:37 PM

I know an expensive card can make a small difference, but like I said, your money will probably be better spent on better headphones if you have a decent motherboard.

I have a Sabertooth 990fx an it comes with better on board sound than dedicated sound cards up to $100.

Read this for more info:
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1910718
December 5, 2012 2:25:47 PM

flexxar said:
I know an expensive card can make a small difference, but like I said, your money will probably be better spent on better headphones if you have a decent motherboard.

I have a Sabertooth 990fx an it comes with better on board sound than dedicated sound cards up to $100.

Read this for more info:
http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/archive/1910718


Not really.

1: Sample Rate really doesn't matter. No real reason to go above 48 KHz. Anything above is just icing on the cake really.
2: SnR, while important when talking about pure analog quality, isn't the only major component of quality. You have harmonic distortion, frequency separation, signal dropoff, frequency response times, and a bunch of other stuff that doesn't make it to the spec sheets. Onboard does VERY badly in all these areas compared even to ASUS $20 DG(X).

http://techreport.com/review/23358/asus-budget-xonar-dg...

Note the dropoff in the ALC898 compared to the other soundcards.

Onboard is "ok" for cheap $20 desktop speakers. Even a $20 soundcard like the DGX is a significant improvement in audio quality.
December 5, 2012 2:39:28 PM

The drop-off that you see is at the 20khz mark. That isn't an accident. People can't ear above 20khz. Why pay for great sound at frequencies that you can't hear?

"The ear is the ultimate receptor of the rendered digital audio. Since it can hear frequencies no more than 20KHz"
http://www.cs.ucsb.edu/~htzheng/teach/cs182/schedule/pd...
December 5, 2012 2:49:15 PM

flexxar said:
The drop-off that you see is at the 20khz mark. That isn't an accident. People can't ear above 20khz. Why pay for great sound at frequencies that you can't hear?

"The ear is the ultimate receptor of the rendered digital audio. Since it can hear frequencies no more than 20KHz"
http://www.cs.ucsb.edu/~htzheng/teach/cs182/schedule/pd...


I can hear up to around ~22KHz or so, based on listening tests. The above is just as fake as the "the eye can't see more then 30 FPS" argument.

Secondly, you ignored the fact the even before 20 KHz, the ALC898 was worse in basically every test, especially compared to the DX (which is expected really).
December 5, 2012 3:06:15 PM

Spending the saved money on better headphones is still the way to go.

Spending:
-$50 on headphones and $50 on sound card = good quality
-$100 on headphones and using on board sound card = much better quality

Signals are much easier to produce than sound waves. The most important thing to not go cheap on is speakers/headphones.
December 5, 2012 4:49:56 PM

flexxar said:
Spending the saved money on better headphones is still the way to go.

Spending:
-$50 on headphones and $50 on sound card = good quality
-$100 on headphones and using on board sound card = much better quality

Signals are much easier to produce than sound waves. The most important thing to not go cheap on is speakers/headphones.


I disagree; You can not be any better then the incoming signal.
December 5, 2012 6:36:23 PM

How could you disagree?

Upgrading your sound card might make your audio a few percent better. Maybe 5% max. (this is according to your own charts)

Upgraing your terrible speakers to nice speakers has the potential to make the sound 1000% better.

I know you can't make better sound than the incoming signal. That's not the problem. The problem is with how efficiently your speakers turn that signal into sound. Speakers aren't very efficient at doing that, especially cheap speakers. The real bottleneck with great sound is with the speakers, not usually the incoming signal.
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