Hey everyone, so, I am building a faorly high-end computer near the end of the year, and am looking for something thats been around, is known to be good, and supports 7.1/5.1 sound, I will be using headphones mostly, and on rare occasions some crappy speakers (Nothing I really care about the sound that hard with, mostly the headphones) And would like some audiophile opinions on sound cards. The rig I have created as a base, just to take a look at what I could build now and switch out and min/max price-for-power is here:
I am completely open to different headphones but I am willing to sacrifice some quality for comfort (And I need the bigger cans, thus why I picked the roccats) I know that they are 20hz-20,000Hz and I am okay with that because of the comfort and the amount of tinkering I can do with them.
Like I said, I am looking for a good price, well known, and will be compatable with my new build. I will be using this computer for lots of gaming and listening to music frequently. Thank you for your time.
Recommend the Tritton AX Pro's (the upgraded version of the 360's you're friend has). Compatable with the PS3/360 too.
What you need to get 5.1 out of a optical connection is twofold: You need a soundcard with DDL (Dolby Digital Live) support to encode all audio to a 5.1 signal that can be transmitted via the optical output, and a reciever/decoder that will decode that signal. In this case, both the Tritton AX Pro's and Tritton AX 360's have a decoder module that will decode a Dolby Digital signal, so that isn't much of an issue of you get one of those headphones.
The issue then becomes the soundcard, and DDL support. The Stryker is a good card, but ASUS would simply knock its socks off. I don't know what you're budget is, but the ASUS Xonar DX should be quite affordable and give excellent quality.
I have read some reviews on the Tritton AX Pro's that say they pinch the ears somewhat and are a bit uncomfortable after time. I have already gone ahead and ordered my headphones so really all I need is the sound card, You say that this Xonar is a good card? And with a $25 MIRB its cheaper and better than the omega stryker? Really, my budget is probably $150 or so on the audio card. Unless it is a serious step up for another $35 or so.
The Xonars (in my opinion, and a lot of others here) offer better sound quality then any other brand, bar none. The main thing is DDL support; as long as you get DDL support, you shouldn't have any issues with 5.1 over optical.