Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Sound Card vs Stereo System for headphones?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Sound Card vs Stereo System for headphones?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I currently have AUX cable going from my motherboard to my stereo system and then I have plugged my headphones to the stereo system. The sound is pretty good and a lot better than the onboard integrated sound card of my motherboard.

I would like to get rid of the stereo system and get new sound card for my PC so I could plug my headphones directly to the PC. Will the sound card deliver as good sound quality as the stereo system (stereo system is like 10-15 years old)? I was thinking cards like Asus Xonar DGX or DG.

I'm using the headphones mostly for gaming (CSGO etc).

If the sound card will not deliver as good sound, maybe I could get two speakers to be my PC speakers and buy one of those that have headphone connection. I mean in case those speakers deliver better sound. So basicly I want to get rid of the stereo systems main unit. Small speaker I would not mind.
Edited by registered user - 4/5/14 at 5:05pm
post #2 of 10
Depends on the quality of the sound card. I owned the Asus DG and thought it was junk.

Get something better and yes, it will be better than your stereo system.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
What card would you suggest?
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by registered user View Post

What card would you suggest?
Without you giving us any info on which headphones/speaker models you have, you can completely ignore the first poster.
Get the Xonar DGX, superb card for the money if we are not talking about Sennheiser HD800 level headphones/audio equipment (=audiophile equipment).
Edited by Tiihokatti - 4/6/14 at 4:33am
Silent Hawk
(18 items)
 
Redfenix
(23 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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 
AudioAudioOther
Objective2 desktop version Hifiman HE-400 Xilence Fan Controller 
  hide details  
Reply
Silent Hawk
(18 items)
 
Redfenix
(23 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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 
AudioAudioOther
Objective2 desktop version Hifiman HE-400 Xilence Fan Controller 
  hide details  
Reply
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiihokatti View Post

Without you giving us any info on which headphones/speaker models you have, you can completely ignore the first poster.
Get the Xonar DGX, superb card for the money if we are not talking about Sennheiser HD800 level headphones/audio equipment (=audiophile equipment).
Thanks for the input. I don't have headphones or speakers yet, but I'm probably getting something like Superlux HD-330. Definitely something under 200€ though since I will use the headphones mostly for gaming.

If I get active 2.0 speakers for the PC do I still get better sound with sound card like Xonar DGX vs the integrated card? I'm not sure yet if I should buy "regular" or active sepakers but it seems that regular speakers and the sound card would be a lot cheaper than active speakers like Genelec's Also I don't know if I need any additional hardware for the speakers?

How about Nuforce Icon uDAC3. Would that be better than the Xonar DGX?

I'm also getting AVR that will be in the same (living) room. I will have HDMI (and maybe SPDIF) going to the AVR from the PC (the AVR will be around 5 metres away from the PC). Could I use the AVR in some way? One problem that comes to my mind is that if I'm using the AVR for the PC speakers or headphones too then it wouldn't be possible to use the home theater speakers at the same time.

Bit confused which would be the best way to go quality (in this price range) and practicality in mind.
Edited by registered user - 4/6/14 at 8:48am
post #6 of 10
If you want passive speakers (Wharfedale Diamond 9.1/etc.), you need an amplifier+DAC/soundcard for them to work. If you get active speakers they only need a DAC/soundcard to work (like my B3031A).
AVR is an amplifier+DAC in a single package.
If the speakers have their own headphone jack, the speakers act as a plain old extension cable for headphones. Some speakers have an optional (only in use with digital connection) build-in DAC like Behringer MS40 though, at that point the speakers act as a DAC for the headphones.

Yes, you can also use the AVR for the PC. Some AVR have a multi-zone feature which allows you to plug 2 different set of speakers to the AVR (read the article for better description).
I'm expecting that you are getting a separate speaker setup for the AVR/television and PC wink.gif

If you go for soundcard route, Sound Blaster Z (OEM or normal) is good for HD330+speakers. Xonar DGX is fine too but it lacks DTS/DD encoding for the optical output and doesn't have separate speaker and headphone outputs.
Edited by Tiihokatti - 4/6/14 at 11:59am
Silent Hawk
(18 items)
 
Redfenix
(23 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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 
AudioAudioOther
Objective2 desktop version Hifiman HE-400 Xilence Fan Controller 
  hide details  
Reply
Silent Hawk
(18 items)
 
Redfenix
(23 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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 
AudioAudioOther
Objective2 desktop version Hifiman HE-400 Xilence Fan Controller 
  hide details  
Reply
post #7 of 10
i have a couple observations:

1st off many modern AV receivers skimp on the headphone section and are not that good as headphone amps

2nd I love vintage audio and i have a fair number of vintage receivers and amps ... many of them are fantastic headphone amplifers. On my desk i have a FiiO E07K/E09K and a vintage (late 80s) Kenwood KR-V106R 100WPC receiver the other day I was using my Beyerdynamic DT770 Pro 80s generally i just use the FiiO with them but I got curious (not sure why it took so long) and so I started listening with the FiiO and then to the same song with the Kenwood driving the headphones (using my smrt phone .db app to try to normalize the volume.... personally (audio is soo subjective) I came away fully convinced the Kenwwod was clearly the winner for SQ. I got the kenwood for $20 at a thrift store in really nice condition the FiiO combo (grantlng it is dac + dock / headphone amp combo) cost $190~ (gift however so the price was right biggrin.gif)

Going the AVR / vintage receiver route is clearly going to take more deskspace so if you can't fit it it don't make much difference.


some poplular options : O2 + ODAC , Schiit Modi/Magni, Aune T1 (tube hybrid), FiiO E07K/E09K (or E17) ...My FiiO does sound pretty good and one nice thing is i can undock the E07K and use it as a portable dac /amp on the road.

so many options.. Maverick audio D1


I do also own a Xonar DG (it is in my wife's computer..now) it is pretty good (to my ears) and so cheap DG/DGX... might be worth getting the DGX and seeing if it sounds good enough to y'all before dumping money at this... with audio you can spend as much as you want certainly
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiihokatti View Post

If you want passive speakers (Wharfedale Diamond 9.1/etc.), you need an amplifier+DAC/soundcard for them to work. If you get active speakers they only need a DAC/soundcard to work (like my B3031A).
AVR is an amplifier+DAC in a single package.
If the speakers have their own headphone jack, the speakers act as a plain old extension cable for headphones. Some speakers have an optional (only in use with digital connection) build-in DAC like Behringer MS40 though, at that point the speakers act as a DAC for the headphones.

Yes, you can also use the AVR for the PC. Some AVR have a multi-zone feature which allows you to plug 2 different set of speakers to the AVR (read the article for better description).
I'm expecting that you are getting a separate speaker setup for the AVR/television and PC wink.gif

If you go for soundcard route, Sound Blaster Z (OEM or normal) is good for HD330+speakers. Xonar DGX is fine too but it lacks DTS/DD encoding for the optical output and doesn't have separate speaker and headphone outputs.

Yes I will get AVR and either 5.1, 2.1 or soundbar for my TV and 2.0 speakers for my PC. I will ditch the idea of using the same AVR for TV and PC audio. It's just too much hassle and not very practical.

Regarding the Xonar DGX, I don't think I need DTS/DD encoding for optical if I have HDMI cable going from the PC to the AVR? Now that I think about it I'm not sure if I need the optical at all. I think Xonar DGX could be the card to buy since the Sound Blaster costs about 3 times more and from what I've read Creative has a lot of driver issues with 64bit Win7. The main thing for me is to get good sound for the headphones without the old stereo system. When I will start looking for the PC speakers I might find active speakers that have headphone jack so I can add them easily to my set or something tongue.gif But I think I will start with the Xonar DGX and go from there. It's only 30€ so not much will be lost anyways if I have to sell it.
post #9 of 10
As you like gaming, you could also check the demos for different virtual surround techs (for headphones): Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
The Xonars Dolby Headphone adds reverb to the sound which some people dislike (SBX/CMSS-3D don't add any reverb).

The SBZ OEM has pretty good price (60€) Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Free delivery to:
Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Finland, Gibraltar, Iceland, Ireland, Portugal, Sweden and Poland
The prices for the other versions are just silly compared to it.

But the Xonar DGX is pretty solid choice. Tempted to replace mine with ODAC+O2 or Aune T1... And replace DT770 with DT880 while I'm at it...
Edited by Tiihokatti - 4/7/14 at 4:02am
Silent Hawk
(18 items)
 
Redfenix
(23 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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 
AudioAudioOther
Objective2 desktop version Hifiman HE-400 Xilence Fan Controller 
  hide details  
Reply
Silent Hawk
(18 items)
 
Redfenix
(23 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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 
AudioAudioOther
Objective2 desktop version Hifiman HE-400 Xilence Fan Controller 
  hide details  
Reply
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
I play csgo mostly and in that game you have to use 2.0 or headphone settings since surround modes will not give as accurate positioning for the sound. Other games I might play from my TV so the AVR will handle the surround for those.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Sound Cards and Computer Audio
Overclock.net › Forums › Components › Sound Cards and Computer Audio › Sound Card vs Stereo System for headphones?