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Need help with finding a decent Audio card.

Last response: in Home Audio
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September 16, 2009 7:07:54 AM

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:

Case: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811146051
Processor:http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115202
Motherboard: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131365
Ram: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231272
Video Card: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814103076&cm_re=4890-_-14-103-076-_-Product (Getting two of these)
Hard Drive1: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136322
Hard Drive2: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152185
Power Supply: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139009
Headphones: http://www.medusa-usa.com/roccat-kave-solid-51-surround-sound-gaming-headset-p-967.html

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.

One of my friends suggested the Tritton AX360 with an Omega Stryker audio card (Thats what he uses)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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. :) 
September 16, 2009 12:18:47 PM

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.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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September 17, 2009 10:59:52 PM

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.
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September 21, 2009 12:29:05 PM

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.
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