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Usb sound card vs regular sound cards?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
My sound blaster headphones brought a usb sound card with them and I never thought of hooking up my speakers to it till now and wow what a difference the bass was so much clearer well everything was lol. So now that I see what these things can do is it better to get a sound card I can put in my pc or get a usb one?
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post #2 of 11
I would get an internal sound card. What would you be using it for, and what is your budget?
Also, what are the exact headphones that you will be using with it?
    
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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well I already got one that came with my headphones so I need one for my speakers. mainly for games and movies dont listen to a lot of music
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post #4 of 11
It doesn't really matter what connection you use. What's important is the chip that's inside it.

USB sound cards have a bad reputation because most of them are either $2 ones from China or come bundled with headphones, which are also very cheap to keep costs down.

Also because the good ones don't refer to themselves as "sound cards", since well... they aren't. USB DAC(referring to the chip that actually converts the digital music into analog sound) or Audio Interface is the more common term.



That being said, PCI sound cards are much more common than USB DACs, and for someone just moving on from onboard you'd be better off getting a traditional sound card. Also, you'll want to plug your headphones into the sound card if you can, because while whatever $10 DAC Creative has shoved into your headphones is better than onboard, it will still get blown out of the water by even a $25 Xonar DG.
Edited by nathris - 3/25/12 at 7:49pm
    
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post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
lol thanks for the 411, is there a sound card you recommend? Dont really want to spend more then 50 bucks lol seeing as thats what my speakers cost me
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post #6 of 11
Have a quick read of this here
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
I think thats out of date seeing as I just looked for the extreme gamer and its 45 bucks lol

Btw my MB has a optical out connection is that better then using the regular aux cable? asking in case I want to hook it up to some speakers that bring optical connections
Edited by whocarez - 3/25/12 at 8:31pm
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post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by whocarez View Post

I think thats out of date seeing as I just looked for the extreme gamer and its 45 bucks lol

Regardless, there's some good info on there that can help you with your decision. For example if you're primarily a gamer, then you'd generally want to look in to Creative and Auzentech cards.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by whocarez View Post

I think thats out of date seeing as I just looked for the extreme gamer and its 45 bucks lol
Btw my MB has a optical out connection is that better then using the regular aux cable? asking in case I want to hook it up to some speakers that bring optical connections

Again, as Nathris stated. Optical is just another connection that will bypass the onboard sound completely. It's going to depend on the quality of the internals of the speakers handling the digital signal.

Now if it was midrange receiver it will easily be better than your onboard.

As for a sound card. XtremeMusics can be had for dirt cheap and just a full size XtremeGamer. The Xonar DX can be found for $50 if you get a good deal on it.
    
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post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys for all your help im going to read some reviews on both you suggested
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