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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
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD 1800X Asus X370 Crosshair VI MSI 1080 Ti Gaming X 32GB GSkill 3200 CL14 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
Samsung 840 Pro Intel 730 WD RE3 Noctua DH-15 
OSMonitorMonitorKeyboard
Windows 10 Pro Qnix 1440p IPS 96Hz NEC PA272 27" 1440p Leopold FC660C Topre 
PowerCaseMouseAudio
EVGA 850W Supernova G2 Fractal Design Define R4 Logitech G502 ODAC + O2 
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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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