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Sound Card Suggestions

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hello all! I am wondering which Sound Card to get for a new build I am doing. This is going to be my first dedicated Sound Card because i'm sick of the scratchy, buzzing I get from on-board audio. I also am not an Audiophile by any means, but I also don't like cheap audio, either. The headphones I have are the Sennheiser PC 360 and the on-board audio CANNOT handle them. The use is for all around use such as gaming or listening to music or movies.


Well enough rambling, these are the 3 Sound Cards I am planning on getting.



1. Asus Xonar Essence STX: http://www.amazon.com/Asus-Sound-Essence-Headphone-Audiophiles/dp/B005OAP3WG

2. Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD: http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Blaster-Titanium-Internal-SB1270/dp/B0041OUA38

3. Sound Blaster Zx: http://www.amazon.com/Creative-Blaster-Gaming-Control-SB1506/dp/B009XDWUCQ (This is the one I was planning on getting)


Thanks in advance! biggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

Specs:

Motherboard: GIGABYTE 970A-D3
CPU: AMD FX-8350
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 7770 GHz Edition (Overclocked)
RAM: Corsair Vengeance RAM 1866 MHz 8GB
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master N520
Edited by Mokedoke - 6/8/13 at 8:16pm
post #2 of 11
Titanium HD is still the king of the hill in my opinion.
   
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Z77 Bench-a-lot
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LG/Hitachi Slim DVD-R/W Custom MB-Backside VRM-sinks (Copper) 3x NZXT RF-FX140LB 1-2krpm 98.3CFM Case Fans 2x Corsair SP120-PE Case Fans 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
Heatkiller GTX680 "Hole Edition" Block + Backplate XSPC Single-Bay Res (Single 5.25 bay) EK Multioption Res X2 - Advanced 150 DD "Fill-Port Res" + Fill-Port Fitting (Red) 
CoolingCoolingCoolingCooling
2x MCP35X + Heatsinks/80x15mm Fan XSPC EX420 Alphacool NeXXos UT60 240 6x Bgears Blasters 140mm 1800rpm Fans 
CoolingCoolingCoolingOS
4x Koolance 120x25mm 2600rpm Fans Comp/Rotary Fittings (BP/XSPC/Monsoon) Primoflex Pro LRT - White (1/2x3/4) Windows 7 Professional 64bit  
MonitorMonitorMonitorMonitor
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Sleeved Wires w Paracord myself (no Heatshrink) Custom Front and Top Panels w HexxMesh *In Prog... Working on Custom Pedestal Prototype 
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post #3 of 11
What about the ZXr?

It is like the titanium HD on steroids.
Yin&Yang
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Yin&Yang
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Soon
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post #4 of 11
Since the Titanium HD is $135, I see no reason to get a STX or Zx in this scenario.
Get the Titanium HD.

Just keep in mind that the output impedence is way too high for the PC360 though.
post #5 of 11
The ZX is $129, you can go for that here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102049

I just got the ZXR, previously, I had the Xonar Phoebus and before that, the Xonar DX. I can tell you that indeed Asus puts out some really good hardware, but their software is not so good, and the support is lackluster at best. With the Phoebus, we all (near a year later) are waiting for proper drivers that support Windows 8 correctly, namely protected mode. Protected mode allows DRM content (Win8 native apps, DRM, etc)...without it, they don't work. I went to the ZXR, not only are the Burr-Brown DACs better, SNR is better; the software suite is superior IMO and gaming is far improved as far as channel separation and placement. I have Logitech Z906's so I'm sure you can imagine that I hear every difference. The SB breakout box on the ZXR is better than the Phoebus, and I love the connections. If you can and want to, spring for the ZXR, but if not...the ZX should do you just fine. I'd avoid Xonar for the reason of software, anything other than Phoebus can use UniXonar drivers readily found online and I would infact use those (I have in the past), the only issue is you have to select input channel and sampling frequency all the time when you change what you are doing to get the best audio quality...it gets tiresome after a while (you have to do this with stock drivers as well on Xonar).
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay thanks everyone. But what is that second card looking thing in the picture on the ZXr? What do I do with that?


EDIT: I just purchased the ZXr, but still do not know what the second card is. Help is welcome!
Edited by Mokedoke - 6/8/13 at 8:21pm
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mokedoke View Post

Okay thanks everyone. But what is that second card looking thing in the picture on the ZXr? What do I do with that?


EDIT: I just purchased the ZXr, but still do not know what the second card is. Help is welcome!
High-quality DBPro daughter board
The DBpro is another reason why Sound Blaster ZxR delivers only the best audio playback and creation. It offers optical output for outstanding audio playback, plus professional-grade ADCs with RCA Aux-in and optical inputs for studio-grade recording quality.

Basically: if you don't know what it is (other than a normal optical output), you will most likely never need it.
Edited by Tiihokatti - 6/8/13 at 11:58pm
Silent Hawk
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Silent Hawk
(18 items)
 
Redfenix
(23 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570K @4,4GHz Asrock Z77 Extreme4 Gigabyte HD7950 Windforce @1200/1450 2x Corsair Vengeance 4gb 1600mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Western Digital Caviar Blue 1Tb Random LG DVD/RW Antec Kühler H2O 620 (with AC F12 push/pull) 3x AC F12 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
1x Glide Stream Windows 7 Samsung S23A700D Logitech G105 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
Super Flower Golden Green Pro 750W Rosewill Blackhawk Asus ROG GX1000 Xonar DG 
AudioOther
Beyerdynamic DT-770 Pro 80ohm Xilence Fan Controller 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel 3570K @4,3GHz Asrock Z77 Extreme4 Gigabyte HD7950 Windforce @1150/1500 2x Corsair Vengeance 4gb 1600mhz 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingCooling
Western Digital Caviar Blue 1Tb Random LG DVD/RW Antec Kühler H2O 620 (with AC F12 push/pull) 2x AC F12 
CoolingCoolingOSMonitor
3x Spectre Pro LED 2x TY-140 Windows 7 Samsung S23A700D 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Logitech G110 Strider Essential 600W Bitfenix Shinobi (modded) Logitech G400 
Mouse PadAudioAudioAudio
Steelseries QCK+ Xonar D1 Behringer B3031A Superlux HD-681 EVO 
AudioAudioOther
Objective2 desktop version Hifiman HE-400 Xilence Fan Controller 
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post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay, thanks for the help everyone.
post #9 of 11
Great purchase, welcome to the club and enjoy! If you have 5.1 computer speakers like me, it's preferable to hook them up via minijack...the reason being is that with optical, the decoder in the speakers/amp will do the work, whereas with minijack the sound card is doing the work (which is obviously higher quality). This card is incredible as far as connections, you get RCA for front left/right which it comes with an adapter to bring that to minijack, and then you have 2 other minijacks for center/sub and rear. The 2nd card doesn't take a PCI slot, it uses a passover cable and has optical in and out, plus RCA aux in. Have fun with the card and let us know what you think!
post #10 of 11
Please let us know what you think. I am in the market and I am seriously considering this, although it is a bit pricey for me.
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