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Easy Digital out?

Last response: in Home Audio
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August 7, 2009 10:02:16 PM

Hi I have a desktop running vista 64 and I use the integrated sound card (an MSI board with Realtek)

I recently got some Astro A40 headphones with the external mix amp, but my problem is that I don't have a digital out on my computer. What is the easiest way to get a high-quality 5.1 surround signal to my mix amp?

I don't require high quality audio except through my head phones, so I figure I don't need a high quality internal sound card, just one that has an optical or digital coax output. Is there an easier way though? Like a module with these connections? I wonder because the audio manger says the integrated card is capable of 5.1/7.1.

I'm not sure if a high quality sound card (like a sound blaster fatal1ty) would effect/improve my signal through the a40's beyond the digital connection aspect; any input would be helpful.

More about : easy digital

August 9, 2009 7:06:38 AM

You could go 3.5mm or coaxial to your amp, but you'll be limited to the quality of the analog signal you send out. A soundcard seems to be the best bet, if you want the best quality possible.

You don't need a really expensive card, anything with Dolby Digitial Live (realtime digital 5.1 encoding) and Dolby Pro Logic (upmix to 5.1) will do. Auzentech Prelude and ASUS Xonar DX would be my recommendations, BTW.
August 10, 2009 4:11:42 PM

I don't know if having a multichannel input is necessary on that unit as it mix down the signal to a pair of drivers L&R.

If your PC can do that than just plug in your Left and Right channel and is as good as 5.1 mix down from that external mix amp. If there’s any difference, I would say it's only marginal and for me it's not worth the money even at $35. It's like putting center/front/rear channel in one box.
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