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Sound card for headphones

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I'm currently using onboard ALC892 sound card that I want to upgrade to a dedicated one within ~€80. I use headphones exclusively, I have CAL! and HD558 (mostly music and gaming).

So now I have a hard time deciding between Xonar DX and Creative Sound Blaster Z. I can get an OEM version of Z in the same price as DX. From what I found on forums both cards were somewhat recommended (with DX being more popular) but there was no direct comparison between those two -- could be because the DX is much older card.

The one difference I was able to pick up is that the Z has built in headphone amplifier that DX does not - would this make a difference? Any suggestions?
post #2 of 3
One thing I love about the xonar is you can switch out the op amp in search of the headphone sound you like the best. there are lots of options and they are usually not as painful price wise as this
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=221247462711&catId=293&item=221247462711

but to give you an idea
Edited by Ultisym - 7/27/13 at 10:09am
   
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post #3 of 3
DX has ~100ohm output impedance and SBZ has ~20ohm output impedance.
It is recommended to aim for a situation where the soundcard output impedance is 1/8th (or less) of the headphones impedance-rating.

Personally I recommend to get the SBZ, or Xonar DGX (~10ohm output impedance). I have both Xonar D1 and DG and prefer the DG over D1 with my 80ohm headphones.
D1 is the same card as DX, but with PCI instead of PCIe.
Edited by Tiihokatti - 7/27/13 at 10:33am
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