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Sound Card Advice <$200

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I have up to $200 to spend on a sound card. Looking for the best price to performance sound card so I dont have to spend all the $200. The card will be used for my headphones (AT-A900X), and to be used for my Home Theater. I normally bitstream audio to my receiver (Denon AVR-1712), and I was wondering if I should continue doing so after the purchase of this sound card? Or should I let my sound card process the information and send it to the receiver?

My home theater consists of the Denon AVR-1712, 4x Infinity P163's, 1x Infinity PC351, and an Elemental Designs A2-300 Subwoofer.

I will be putting this on my sig rig and it will be used for gaming and as a HTPC. I have been bitstreaming audio currently from my Radeon HD7950.

Thank you for the help!
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post #2 of 40
if you use a receiver the audio card is bypassed generally. There's no reason to have audio bypassed, let your receiver do the work, a sound card won't compete.
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post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpykeZ View Post

if you use a receiver the audio card is bypassed generally. There's no reason to have audio bypassed, let your receiver do the work, a sound card won't compete.

Thank you for clearing that issue up.

On to the next, what sound card would be best to use with my headphones. I won't be doing anything more elaborate then gaming mostly.
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post #4 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeletor6 View Post

Thank you for clearing that issue up.

On to the next, what sound card would be best to use with my headphones. I won't be doing anything more elaborate then gaming mostly.

I usually only let my friends use ht omega, best sounds cards out. Pricey for what you need though. Lo into fiio amps, nice little things people use form headphones. I've got the e7 and e9, though I'm selling the e9 since I don't use it.
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post #5 of 40
Thread Starter 
If the ht omega ($150) is overkill, what kind of cards would be right for my needs? Should I be looking for a sound card/amp combo or each separately?

I have read the AT-A900X is easy to drive.
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post #6 of 40
You sould take a look at the ASUS Xonar series
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post #7 of 40
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by shilka View Post

You sould take a look at the ASUS Xonar series

Thank you. Which model(s) would be most suitable and highly reviewed?

I've also read some posts where people mention creative makes the best cards for gaming. How does the Creative Titanium HD compare our is that even a worthy comparison? I am fairly lost when it comes to what to look for in sound cards.
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NuCleOpHilIcIty
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post #8 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by skeletor6 View Post

Thank you. Which model(s) would be most suitable and highly reviewed?

I've also read some posts where people mention creative makes the best cards for gaming. How does the Creative Titanium HD compare our is that even a worthy comparison? I am fairly lost when it comes to what to look for in sound cards.

To be honest i dont know anything about the Asus Xonar series other then its regarded as some of the best soundcards you can buy

I use a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro Series myself
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post #9 of 40
The Asus Xonar DG(X) is the lowest end of the Xonar series and the ST(X) is the high end. Both have headphone amps, with the ST(X) being better.

The difference between the X and non X branded is PCI (non) vs PCI-e (x), and price with the PCI-e versions typically being 10 or so more (though this is surprisingly not the case with the STX on Amazon right now).

Otherwise, look into the Sound Blaster Zx.

All 3 that I've listed should come in under your budget (the ST might be slightly above, but if you have the slot the STX is a hell of a deal right now) and all 3 have headphone amps that will drive your phones.

I have a DG, but if I had to choose right now it would probably be the STX due to the price, or the Zx due to the fact that it's newer (better drivers, not necessarily better hardware) with the STX probably winning out in the end.

Should be noted that I do not use my PC for gaming. Only for music while I'm working.
post #10 of 40
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the honesty. I appreciate recommendations even if you don't own the card.

To satisfy both recommendations, how do the following cards compare and what are the major advantages that I would get over a $29.99 card (ASUS Xonar DG)

1.) Asus Xonar STX ($169.99) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829132010&Tpk=asus%20stx&IsVirtualParent=1

2.) HT Omega Claro w/ Built in Amp ($199.99) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829271004


From a financial aspect, I am willing to foot the money. From a philosophy aspect, what is the price:performance gained in the >$150 cards. Most the movies I watch are in DTS or DD format (lossy audio) and the music I listen to is mostly 320kbps.

Are the most demanding cards for lossless music and movies? or do they also benefit for gaming?

Thanks for all of the help thus far.
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NuCleOpHilIcIty
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