Originally Posted by RabidSnail
What makes you recommend that card? I like the optical out (which this does not have) because it has a more universal that the RCA. Receivers may have RCA in, but not most TVs nowadays. I checked out the upper end model of this, the Sound Blaster Titanium Professional, but I cant seem to find it for sale anywhere... Would you suggest that one?
And yes, Damn good is what i'm going for :-p Best is a luxury I cant quite afford right now :-p
The Titanium Professional is nowhere near as good as the Titanium HD. The Titanium Professional is older and just not anywhere near as good. It's just a "good sound card"; nothing more. The Titanium HD is an audiophile-grade sound card. I would say that it's a badass sound card. It even has 4 swappable OP-amp sockets (and it comes with 4 very good audiophile-grade OP-amps pre-installed). I replaced 2 of the OP amps with 2 that were highly recommended, and my audio quality got even better - which I didn't think was even possible. This is one hell of a sound card!
I have 2 reasons why I recommend it: I own it, and it's also in that thread that I linked. That's not why I bought it though. I bought it because a friend recommended it to me. I found that thread after I bought it because I became interested in seeing what threads have been posted in that forum. That's a Stickied thread, so I checked it out and was happy too see this in that thread:
Originally Posted by Simca
Entry Level Audio Interfaces
If your goal is to get an internal soundcard for your PC then there are basically 3 recommendations for you. While there are many other good soundcards, I no longer recommend them because at those price points you'd be better off moving to an external DAC and dedicated headphone amplifier. The headphone amplifier on almost all sound cards are trash and are not meant to amp expensive headphones. They're honestly meant to do not much more than make the volume louder, and louder =/= sufficiently amplified.
The following that 3 soundcards I recommend based on price to performance ratio:
- Asus Xonar DG - This is less than $30 soundcard and will drastically improve performance over your on board sound. Don't let the price tag fool you, this is a legitimate upgrade over onboard sound, that's how bad your onboard sound is! The sound card has a ~150 ohm amplifier on it that's only sufficient for amping low ohm headphones like Audio Technica M50s. This headphone amplifier is not meant to be paired with a pair of Senneiser HD600s and up. The Xonar DG is the PCI version. There's also a PCI-E version called the Xonar DGX and they both perform exactly the same.
- Creative Titanium HD - This is now an aged card. It's no longer for sale, but if you can get your hands on it, it's an excellent sound card at ~$80. This will provide you with just about the best sound you can get via a sound card. As far as price/performance concerned, easily one of the best sound cards on the market. Many gamers are also very happy with the performance this card gave in many games at the time. The only downside to the Creative Titanium HD for some users is that it is only capable of driving ~330 ohm headphones. This honestly shouldn't be an issue, but if it is, then see the 3rd recommendation. An alternative to this would be the Asus Essence ST/X, which is also capable of "powering" 600 ohm headphones, but priced at double this amount, it's unfortunately NOT WORTH BUYING in most instances. Maybe if you can get the card for under say ~130 it would be worth the purchase. Otherwise, do not bother with this sound card.
- Creative Soundblaster Z - This is one of the more recently releases Creative cards. After the Titanium phase they released a set of dreadful cards called "recon 3D". It was all a gimmick and performed horribly. Do not EVER buy those cards. The Z series however, is a good soundcard. While I don't personally feel the Zx and ZxR are worth the price you're paying for it, you can choose to upgrade to those higher versions if you see fit. Specs will tell you they're better than the Z, but real world performance may not give you that impression. Ultimately, on many accounts, the ZxR faired WORSE than the 2 generation old Titanium HD. While I would rather have the Titanium HD over the Z, this is a viable option at this price, especially if you're on a very strict budget and need a sound card that will run 600 ohm headphones. The amplifier on this card will do the trick, but it's not recommended you run 600 ohm headphones off this unless you know you'll be upgrading in the near future and are getting a great price on the headphones now.
See the mention of the Titanium HD? Read about it! I mean, OMG. lol What more do you want, right?
However, again: study the thread. If you want the best possible audio with an optical connection, then the rest of that thread might prove to be extremely helpful.
Edited by TwoCables - 3/26/14 at 3:59pm