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Best external sound option for HTPC?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am currently looking for the best sound option for an HTPC that will be running off a mini-ITX motherboard with only one PCI-e slot. That slot will be used for a GPU down the road, if needed, so, unfortunately, I am unable to get an HT|Omega Claro Halo sound card for this HTPC build.

I will be using Sennheiser HD555 headphones to listen to high-quality audio via movies, music, and games. What options are available for this build concerning the topic at hand? Thank you all in advance.
    
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post #2 of 11
Hmmm, i dont know if you are using headphones, but if it was like a LCD TV then i would just recommend a video card that has decent onboard sound...
    
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by HunterWolf View Post
Hmmm, i dont know if you are using headphones, but if it was like a LCD TV then i would just recommend a video card that has decent onboard sound...
    
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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
DAC, anyone? Any other options out there?
    
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post #5 of 11
You won't have a receiver for the HTPC? Is it just headphone only?
E9 or Tube Magic are often recommended. I like my E9 it's on par with my Xonar Essence ST.

http://www.mav-audio.com/base/product/tube_magic_d1
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post #6 of 11
DACs work the same as an external sound card right? It connects with USB and has an optical port
Because I need an external sound card for my astro a40 mixamp + headset so I can get Dolby Live for 7.1 surround.
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post #7 of 11
If you are using headphone just use the onboard sound or an external DAC. However, I see no point in having an HTPC if you're going to be using headphones...I personally would use at least a 5.1 setup (not virtual). If you are using a receiver to decode the audio just pass it over through S/PDIF or HDMI if you're using lossless (DTS-MA DD True HD).
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
The onboard sound isn't good enough, that's why I made this thread.

Is it possible to get audio as good as a quality dedicated sound card outside of using a quality dedicated sound card?
    
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post #9 of 11
Yeah...external USB DAC is your best bet.
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Another option would be to bypass the GPU, just run onboard video, and put a PCI x1 sound card in the PCI-e slot.
    
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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