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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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Silent Hawk
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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 
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