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New PC setup planned - recommendations & such

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi people

The task of simply buying a new pair of headphones has turned into something greater... before, I was using a pretty cheap (I think) pair of Philips headphones, they were pretty decent though. However, I think I accidentally loosened a connection somewhere by accidentally pulling on the cable, as the left cup isn't working anymore.

I wanted to step up in quality this time, so I'm looking at buying a sound card alongside my new headphones. I've been eyeing the Sound Blaster Zx - ~150 bucks where I live, and it seems to deliver plenty (I don't care for or need the ZxR's daughter card; also I need the slot space for an eventual second 7970) in terms of sound - I could even plug in a bass guitar for some rudimentary recording, if I ever get around actually starting off with it biggrin.gif I'm not a competitive gamer or anything and usually don't play multiplayer, so positional audio and such does not matter much to me as long as the game will sound fine.

As for the headphones, I was looking at AKG K550s. That would set me back some 180 Swiss francs. I'm not looking for the heaviest bass, though I do like some crisp, clear bass with a little weight to it for listening to Om, for example - but I'd wager mids and highs are more important, for I mostly listen to metal music. This is just a guess, I'm not really knowledgeable on audio terminology.

What do you think? Is getting the card worth it? Reading some mixed receptions, but the consensus seems to be that with a decent pair of cans (Which the K550s seem to be?), there is quite an amelioration to be had.

As an aside, I am mostly using 320 kbps MP3s, which I would think is appropriate for that kind of setup? Or should I try .flacs?
Edited by crust_cheese - 11/27/13 at 9:58am
post #2 of 4
Hello there!

If you are in to music, I would rather choose Asus Xonar D2X or Essence STX. Both sound great for music/movies and not bad at all in gaming. Love my D2X, crisp and clear sound.
But the Blaster ZX should be good too, although I have heard the Xonar's are better in music while ZX is better in positional audio in games.

For headphones the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80ohm is a great choice, these can actually compete with headphones at 2-3x the price very often and can really play any kind of music, movie or game.
Crisp and clear sound, with perfect amount of bass. Coupled together with my D2X the sound is incredible really.
Since you are in to metall, I have some experience there with Dimmu Borgir (Symphony songs like The Serpentine Offering & Gateways) and Metalica with the S & M album. Both sound great really! Happy as can be.
In Norway these are also cheaper than the AKG's, so have a look. I promise you will not be disappointed smile.gif

When it comes to 320kbit vs FLAC, there is a difference. 320kbit is enough for most really, but FLAC does have that little extra in sound quality (it's lossless after all), but requires A LOT more space. I had some 8minute songs at 60mb++.
I would recommend to try it out and hear for yourself, and then you can decide if you think the little extra sound quality is worth the space.

Best of luck!
    
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|Logitech G810 Orion Spectrum RGB| |Cooler Master 700w Silent Pro Gold| |Antec 1200 Orange mod| |Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum RGB|  
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|JBL L890 speakers| |Emotiva XDA-2 receiver| |2x Advanced Acoustic mono amp @ 200w 8ohm| 
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post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 
You've helped me before, and now you do again? tongue.gif

Tusen takk for your input! I placed my order yesterday evening. Against your recommendation, I went with the Sound Blaster ZX, as both the Z and the ZXR receive glowing reviews (never found a ZX one, though?!), and because ASUS gear is, inexplicably, a good 40-50 bucks more expensive in Switzerland, even though the Essnece STX and ZX should be in about the same price bracket.

Anyway, I am now anxiously waiting for my order to ship, and thanks again for your support smile.gif
Edited by crust_cheese - 11/28/13 at 8:30am
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by crust_cheese View Post

You've helped me before, and now you do again? tongue.gif

Tusen takk for your input! I placed my order yesterday evening. Against your recommendation, I went with the Sound Blaster ZX, as both the Z and the ZXR receive glowing reviews (never found a ZX one, though?!), and because ASUS gear is, inexplicably, a good 40-50 bucks more expensive in Switzerland, even though the Essnece STX and ZX should be in about the same price bracket.

Anyway, I am now anxiously waiting for my order to ship, and thanks again for your support smile.gif


No one really bothers to review the Zx separately as it is exactly the same as the Z, just with the ACM module.
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