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Sound Card: Value for Money

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've decided that it's time to purchase a soundcard for my computer. The realtek onboard is just not cutting it. I have a few choices, and a 200$ budget. The question now becomes which card is right for me. I have read a few guides on the site, but still cant make a call. Im not a Audiophile by any means, but i want clear sound, nice deep bass is possible. I use strictly headphones. Its very important to me that the drivers are good quality, and dont take monkeying around to make them work.

Listed below are some possible choices i have picked, but im not limited to these.

(70$) Asus Xonar 7.1
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=29395&...nufacture=ASUS

(100$) AuzenTech Bravura
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=49090&...ture=AuzenTech

(100$) Creative Labs X-FI Titanium
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=42545&...reative%20Labs

(200$) Asus Xonar Essence STX
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=35724&...nufacture=ASUS

I had an old soundblaster audigy but it had problems with ventrilo and teamspeak, so im a bit hesitant about using a Creative product. Feel free to convince me otherwise.

As a side note, my motherboard has no PCI slots, so ill need to use a PCI-E interface card only.

As a side note, all money saved will go towards a new headset. Thanks in advance for your help OCN!
post #2 of 14
Strictly for headphones? More for music than gaming? $200 budget? Xonar ST(X)

Awesome card with built in headphone amp, swappable opamps, high quality componenets and EMI shielding. I really like mine and the drivers have been flawless so far.
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Albino Sasquatch
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post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
I game more than music, but both are important.
post #4 of 14
the 'deep bass' factor is far more dependent on the headphones than the soundcard.

What's your money for both the soundcard and headphone / headset?
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunkosaur View Post
I've decided that it's time to purchase a soundcard for my computer. The realtek onboard is just not cutting it. I have a few choices, and a 200$ budget. The question now becomes which card is right for me. I have read a few guides on the site, but still cant make a call. Im not a Audiophile by any means, but i want clear sound, nice deep bass is possible. I use strictly headphones. Its very important to me that the drivers are good quality, and dont take monkeying around to make them work.

Listed below are some possible choices i have picked, but im not limited to these.

(70$) Asus Xonar 7.1
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=29395&...nufacture=ASUS

(100$) AuzenTech Bravura
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=49090&...ture=AuzenTech

(100$) Creative Labs X-FI Titanium
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=42545&...reative%20Labs

(200$) Asus Xonar Essence STX
http://ncix.com/products/?sku=35724&...nufacture=ASUS

I had an old soundblaster audigy but it had problems with ventrilo and teamspeak, so im a bit hesitant about using a Creative product. Feel free to convince me otherwise.

As a side note, my motherboard has no PCI slots, so ill need to use a PCI-E interface card only.

As a side note, all money saved will go towards a new headset. Thanks in advance for your help OCN!
I use the Auzentech Bravura and I absolutely love the headphone amplifier. It increases my headphone's volume while not losing any quality. I use SteelSeries 5Hv2 headphones.
post #6 of 14
Titanium HD is a nice card as well from what I hear.

The cool thing about getting a nice sound card is that unlike most other computer components they are not obsolete in a year or less. Sound cards tend to progress a lot more slowly giving you a lot of mileage. Those Xonar ST(X) cards are still the same price now that they were when they came out in 2009(?).
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post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
if i get a 100$ card, i could get a new headset, im leaning towards Sennheiser HD555's. Shredicus, do you know what the difference is between the the 70$ xonar and the 200$ xonar stx?
post #8 of 14
DX is a 7.1 card. It's really meant more for a surround system. The ST(X) is built specifically for stereo headphones. It has the headphone amp, which can take a 1/4 adaptor as well as opamps that give the audio a more detailed signature and can be upgrade to suit your tastes. As far as internal sound cards go, the ST is the only one that ever really gets compared to external USB DACs and more expensive audio solutions. This card is really more emphasized towards music, the Titanium HD is a card that would be more geared towards gaming.
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post #9 of 14
If you want to have good music and a amp ... then i would go with this:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829132020

Got a AMP and this would be great for your price rang + some ATH-M50s man ... u can pick them up for about 109$ man (shipped) ... so about 150$ total and you are going to be getting some kicking toons !!!! I got these head phones and the rock man ... I took back a 500$ pair head phones back ... and they kill them man!

Here is the link for the headphones:
Quote:
Bought my M50s here.

http://www.soundprofessionals.com/cg...?item=ATH-M50s

Just put in the little coupon code(1-BP893CW-SAVE60) when it's in your cart and it comes out to 110$ before shipping.
Thats what i did and they are just right in price!

For 150 that is the BEST DEAL!!!!! AMPED Sound card, and GReat sounding headphoens tight sound


PS:
The Really expencve Sound card ST and STX (I have them lol) sound only barly a bit louder but at how loud they are all pushing already not to big a deal ... u are running them any of them at 50% so u dont lose your hearing
Edited by Jackeduphard - 7/23/11 at 10:20pm
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Mini Dragon
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post #10 of 14
I have a Xonar DX 7.1 and use my Audiotechnica ATH-M50 headphones with it. I noticed a HUGE improvement of sound quality after I installed this card.

There are Headphone profiles for the Xonar Sound Control program. I agree with Shredicus on the ST(X) though, they are more for Headphones than the DX is. But $70 for the DX is way too much of a good deal. You can use the other $130 for a decent pair of headphones (like mine) and a Zalman clip-on mic!

Don't use USB headphones at all if you get a sound card. Because they won't utilize your sound card any.

Edit: When you are looking for headphones, you're going to want to look for Closed-Ear headphones if you want Deep Bass. Open-Ear will still have it, but from what I'm assuming you're going to want the pulse pounding and headshaking vibrations. My ATH-M50's pack a pretty good amount of bass, and it's very clean unlike a lot of Skullycandy's I've owned before.

ATH-M50's would be my recommendation as far as General Purpose Hi-Fi Headphones go.
Edited by modinn - 7/23/11 at 10:27pm
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