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ASUS Essence STX or Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Which sound card is better for high quality headphones?
BTW...I will be buying headphones priced at $250 or higher thumb.gif
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post #2 of 4
STX has higher output level in case you're getting something with low sensitivity and high impedance, lower output impedance (though still higher than you want for certain models, mostly certain in-ears), probably lower distortion (though not in the range where it matters). It also has a 1/4" jack, so it's a bit more mechanically secure and convenient if you get headphones terminated with 1/4". I mean, pigtail adapters are fine, but that's still some extra stress on the jack.

All in all, the STX is more of a headphone-oriented product, for what that's worth.

Depending on needs, there's not too much reason you shouldn't get something external though. Or two somethings rather than just an internal sound card... not that I'd suggest spending up, just looking at other options. It could also be internal sound card + external amp.
post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeaj View Post

Or two somethings rather than just an internal sound card... not that I'd suggest spending up, just looking at other options. It could also be internal sound card + external amp.

No need for an external amp. I've exhausted myself reading/watching several reviews about the Essence STX and I'm convinced on buying it. I'm currently eye-ballin' Beyerdynamic, Sennheiser, & AKG. I'm guessing if I pair this sound card to either of these headphones I'm considering to buy, my ears should be very satisfied.
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post #4 of 4
I prefer an external amp for my STX. I just didn't care for the sound of its on-board amp. It doesn't seem to have enough oomph for high impedance headphones. Use tubes for high impedance and solid state for low impedance.
 
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