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Need a cheap DDL soundcard

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January 22, 2013 3:34:42 PM

So I recently purchased an Astro a40 headset with the mixamp, and it turns out that my computer just has an integrated soundcard and lacks Dolby Digital Live, which is required by the mixamp to work properly.

But it does have an optical output that doesn't seem to work, I plugged the mixamp into the optical, and nothing came out of the headset. However, I tested the mixamp and headset with my xbox's optical output and it sounded great.

So, I believe that I need a new soundcard the supports DDL, and I'd like a cheap one that isn't too bad in terms of sound quality, probably < $100 if possible.

Which one shall it be?

More about : cheap ddl soundcard

January 22, 2013 5:30:41 PM

Two points:

1: The a40 should work fine with standard optical out. You'd be limited to stereo, but it should work. I'm guessing you didn't set the PC to output via optical...

2: When using any digital connection from a PC, the receiver at the other end of the audio chain (in this case, the a40) does most of the audio processing. Most of the time, barring $400+ receivers, the soundcard does a better job with audio then whatever device you plug into. This goes doubly when using Dolby/DTS formats, given how heavily compressed both are. Tripply when you consider that surround headphones all have weak drivers and struggle at the driver overlaps. Its this reason why I typically recommend Stereo headsets paired with Dolby Headphone for a virtualized surround effect.


To answer your question: The ASUS Xonar DX is the cheapest card that you can still find without too much trouble with DDL support ($70 or so), though you may be able to find one of Turtle Beaches/Auzentechs older cards that also sport this feature. Most of these cards are unsupported now though, and run on the PCI bus (which few people have nowadays).
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January 22, 2013 5:36:08 PM

gamerk316 said:
Two points:

1: The a40 should work fine with standard optical out. You'd be limited to stereo, but it should work. I'm guessing you didn't set the PC to output via optical...

2: When using any digital connection from a PC, the receiver at the other end of the audio chain (in this case, the a40) does most of the audio processing. Most of the time, barring $400+ receivers, the soundcard does a better job with audio then whatever device you plug into. This goes doubly when using Dolby/DTS formats, given how heavily compressed both are. Tripply when you consider that surround headphones all have weak drivers and struggle at the driver overlaps. Its this reason why I typically recommend Stereo headsets paired with Dolby Headphone for a virtualized surround effect.


To answer your question: The ASUS Xonar DX is the cheapest card that you can still find without too much trouble with DDL support ($70 or so), though you may be able to find one of Turtle Beaches/Auzentechs older cards that also sport this feature. Most of these cards are unsupported now though, and run on the PCI bus (which few people have nowadays).


Thanks for the reply. Well I can assure you that I set my PC to output optical, I spent a couple hours researching this issue, and I messed with it a lot, to no avail.

I browsed the Astro forums a bit, and I found that one of the (cheaper) cards they recommended is the Creative Sound Blaster Recon3D PCIe, any comments on that one?
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January 22, 2013 5:39:36 PM

i wouldnt recommand such cards, the new series is not super good quality compared to the old xfi series.

http://www.jr.com/creative-labs/pe/CLN_SB1270/

109$ and usually worth 160$, very good.

best sound-card in my opinion in the 100$ bracket.

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