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Need Help Choosing a Sound Card

Last response: in Home Audio
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June 26, 2010 3:19:44 PM

So I decided to buy the Sennheiser PC 350 headset with my new gaming rig that I spent $1500 on. Now I just need a quality sound card to compliment it. Right now I'll be using on board audio from a Gigabyte Motherboard with the Realtek ALC889 audio. I've heard so many different things from 1 extreme to the other from some users saying the $59 motherboard's on board audio would work perfectly to some users saying that my money would be better spent getting a low/mid end headset with a higher quality sound card if I want good audio cause motherboard on board audio is crap.

Anyways I need some help deciding what I should do, all and any advice will be awesome. If you have links to sound card/audio guides that would be really nice. If you know of a nice sound card that would compliment my Sennheiser PC 350 headset please find it on newegg and link it so I don't have trouble finding it or look up the wrong version, and explain why it compliments the PC 350 so well if you can.

All I really know is the technical data of the PC 350 from the website and that it is a Stereo high quality headset.



Thanks for help in advance,
So1dier

More about : choosing sound card

June 26, 2010 4:36:30 PM

ASUS, auzentech, HT omega

all those cards are excellent.

if you want surround sound effect, then you can get a card from anyof those mentioned above, with DOLBY HEADPHONE.
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June 26, 2010 4:41:59 PM

by the way the PC350, has high impedence, you may want to get a headphone amp. some cards have amps built in to there soundcards so u may want to research into that.
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June 26, 2010 6:47:26 PM

MEgamer said:
by the way the PC350, has high impedence, you may want to get a headphone amp. some cards have amps built in to there soundcards so u may want to research into that.


What does high impedence do and how does an amp fix that?
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June 26, 2010 7:36:38 PM

impedence is a measureof resistance in a AC circuit. (basically it changes according to the given frequency)

an amplifier , will be able to provide more power to the headphones, so that it will be able to play properly.

you willl notice more mids and bass with a headphone amp,

Dont bother buying the PC350, if u aint going to get the amp, as it sounds kinda crap, if u know what i mean.
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June 27, 2010 3:01:11 AM

MEgamer said:
impedence is a measureof resistance in a AC circuit. (basically it changes according to the given frequency)

an amplifier , will be able to provide more power to the headphones, so that it will be able to play properly.

you willl notice more mids and bass with a headphone amp,

Dont bother buying the PC350, if u aint going to get the amp, as it sounds kinda crap, if u know what i mean.


I already bought the PC350, a little bit too late to go back, all I can try to do is make it sound the best it can.

So do you have any suggestions on what is good to buy? Should I just buy a sound card? or buy a sound card with an amp? or forget the sound card and just buy and amp?

Does this have an amp on it, or this cheaper one.

Will I need to spend $250 on an amp to get get good audio cause it seems like only the $200/$250 sound cards have amps. Should I have just gone with the Razer Carcharias because it has low and fast impedance which means without an amp I will get better sound and save money?

If you could link examples it would be much appreciated.
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June 27, 2010 7:27:41 AM

Hi, I wouldn't consider using any on-board sound if your looking for serious quality. The first job you have to do is to get the sound out of the computer as cleanly as possible, with the best possible audio quality you can afford, this means getting either a pro PCI card, or preferably, a USB or Firewire box, something like these......

http://www.focusrite.com/products/saffire/saffire_6_usb

http://www.presonus.com/products/detail.aspx?productid=...

I know these may seem a bit OTT, but they will give you good clean audio transfer, which you can then feed into an amp and speakers, or even better, a good pair of active speakers, which you can connect to the pro balanced outs on the Focusrite, and the Presonus for low noise operation. Also, most of these boxes will drive most headphones to a decent level, as they are intended to studio monitoring purposes.

PP.





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June 27, 2010 9:29:07 AM

Well I am only looking to improve quality for my Sennheiser PC 350 stereo headphones, as I will probably never buy speakers. This computer is mostly for gaming, so getting a sound card that improves fps is plus, but so is getting better audio for gaming and music(mostly mp3/pandora one) so its not the highest of quality. Finding the right balance is tough when you don't know anything about this topic.

So for these headphones could I get by by buying the fatil1ty sound card, or should I just buy a sound card with an amp on it?


Another way of asking is how much will quality of sound improve with just a sound card and no amp(for my specific headphones)? Or if I decided to save up for an amp later, how much better would the sound be when I bought the amp?
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June 27, 2010 3:44:23 PM

creative cards are good at improving some FPS in games.
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June 27, 2010 4:58:31 PM

Didn't really answer my question. :( 
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June 27, 2010 8:05:20 PM

I think you need ASUS Xonar Essence STX

just google it ;) 
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June 27, 2010 10:24:16 PM

so1dier said:
Or if I decided to save up for an amp later, how much better would the sound be when I bought the amp?



Depends what amp ! a decent beefy hi-fi amp, will drive your headphones more than enough, something like a secondhand NAD, on Ebay, would more than do the job. Try your local boot sale, bargains are to be had, new modern amps will be a disappointment, they just don't have the build quality, or the current delivery....and are so over-priced.

PP
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a c 117 V Motherboard
July 8, 2010 5:46:57 AM

so1dier said:
So I decided to buy the Sennheiser PC 350 headset with my new gaming rig that I spent $1500 on. Now I just need a quality sound card to compliment it. Right now I'll be using on board audio from a Gigabyte Motherboard with the Realtek ALC889 audio. I've heard so many different things from 1 extreme to the other from some users saying the $59 motherboard's on board audio would work perfectly to some users saying that my money would be better spent getting a low/mid end headset with a higher quality sound card if I want good audio cause motherboard on board audio is crap.

Anyways I need some help deciding what I should do, all and any advice will be awesome. If you have links to sound card/audio guides that would be really nice. If you know of a nice sound card that would compliment my Sennheiser PC 350 headset please find it on newegg and link it so I don't have trouble finding it or look up the wrong version, and explain why it compliments the PC 350 so well if you can.

All I really know is the technical data of the PC 350 from the website and that it is a Stereo high quality headset.



Thanks for help in advance,
So1dier

My situation is similar ALC889A which doesn't cut it.
Solution
http://ncix.com/products/index.php?sku=35596&vpn=AZTXFF...
Night and day difference and i can attest to the headphone output i use AKG's and they sound fine.
The Forte has all the features of Creatives most expensive card and more.
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