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External sound device advice

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
Just wondering if anyone can recommend a usb soundcard / dac solution with a headphone amp, 3.5mm or RCA out for 2.1 speakers, and Mic-In (I have a XLR Condensor Mic running to amp to 3.5mm out). Something like the Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD. Reviews seem to indicate this isn't that great.

I currently have/had a Sound Blaster Z. However, I've downsized my motherboard to a Mini-ITX (ASRock Z77e-ITX) board. The Realtek AC898 is NOT going to cut it. It's OKAY for my speakers (Corsair SP2500), but not headphones(JVC HARX900 64-Ohm). I am looking into getting a mPCI-e to PCI-E adapter cable / riser. I wanted to what other options I've got.
I do like that the Sound Blaster Z has echo cancellation for when I'm using speakers/mic and I'd like to keep this feature. I tend to use speakers a lot more often than headphones. If I go with a USB solution that does not have mic-in, and opt to use the on-board sound for mic-in, I would lose echo cancellation, correct?

I mostly game, but also listen primarily to metal.

Thanks
post #2 of 3
There is nothing that will do everything you want, so you might as well keep the Z if you can. Otherwise I would say just get a USB DAC like a Sabre tiny, Behringer UCA202, or Schiit Modi, and Schiit magni for an amp. Fiio E07K for a bit cheaper solution.

Another possible solution would be a focusrite 2i2, or other interface, which would act as a DAC, mic preamp, and headphone amp. You'd still lose echo cancellation, although I can't believe you use a condenser mic with speakers.
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My System
(19 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
3570K GA-Z77X-UD5H EVGA 980 ti Classified 16 GB Samsung 30nm 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung 840 Pro Intel 730 WD RE CM Hyper 212 EVO 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 10 Dell S2716DG 1440p 144 Hz G-Sync NEC PA272 27" 1440p Leopold FC660C Topre 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
EVGA 850W Supernova G2 Fractal Design Define R4 Logitech G502 ODAC + O2 
Audio
Earwerkz Supra 
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrGroove View Post

Another possible solution would be a focusrite 2i2, or other interface, which would act as a DAC, mic preamp, and headphone amp. You'd still lose echo cancellation, although I can't believe you use a condenser mic with speakers.

Echo cancellation and push-to-talk make it "okay". Admittedly, I did go WAY overboard on the mic setup for my needs.
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