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aftermarket audio virgin needs broken in.

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Okay, here is the skinny. I am an avid PC gamer and have never used anything other than my onboard sound and 10 dollar logitech headset. I am wanting to break into the audiophile world and finally hear what there is to hear.

Before I dig into my wallet too far, is there going to be so much of an increase in sound quality that it will blow me away and justify the money? If not, well, I see no need to upgrade.

Anyway, what would you all suggest as a good starters sound card and pair of cans for lets say < $200.
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post #2 of 9
It depends on the person really.

TBH you could give me the best audio set up in the world and i wouldn't notice that much difference between that and on board.

Yet some people would be having an in-ear orgasm beside me lol

If you are one of them people that notice a lot of poor quality in speakers and music ect then the high end equipment would be worth investing in
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post #3 of 9
What kind of music do you listen to?
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post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Well I listen to rap and rock, and I go through and can pick out poor spots in the recording quite well, but never really concern myself with the speakers' quality :S. I am just wondering if I can get a much better gaming experience with aftermarket sound, but I guess as you are saying I'll just have to dive in and see if I notice a difference.

So, hardware suggestions?
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post #5 of 9
well first, are the headphones you have just the cheapo kind?
If the bottoming out bothers you and you don't like missing half the detail of the song, id say maybe upgrade a bit.
Not that I have excellent headphones or anything, but I notice the most significant difference when listening to music...
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post #6 of 9
Both source and headphones matter quite a bit, so I would try to upgrade both.

Headphones wise the Grado SR60 is generally regarded as one of the best if not the best inexpensive headphones for around $70, it has a pretty good bass for the price, and nice and warm mids. http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-ma...tafeed=froogle

Sound card is going to be a tough one. Most decent aftermarket sound cards will better than your onboard.

The X-Fi extrememusic orshould do a decent job, but I can't vouch for drivers on that though. http://www.xpcgear.com/xtrememusic.html

For a better sound quality, but no EAX 5.0 support, which is irrelevant in Vista, the B-Enspirer is a very good card. http://www.ncixus.com/products/21153...RER/BlueGears/

For even better sound, there is the HT Omega Claro. http://www.ncixus.com/products/22972/CLARO/HT%20Omega/

For a compromise on sound quality and better gaming performance, there is the Razer AC-1. This will still sound better than the X-Fi, but you will need to disable driver signing in Vista x64 to have it working properly. http://www.buy.com/prod/razer-barrac...203405979.html

Any combination of the Grado + sound card should get you to around your budget.
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post #7 of 9
I've never heard of the Grados being great gaming headphones, but I may just have missed that. Mostly what I hear for gaming are Senn and Audio Technica.
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by triggerc View Post
Both source and headphones matter quite a bit, so I would try to upgrade both.

Headphones wise the Grado SR60 is generally regarded as one of the best if not the best inexpensive headphones for around $70, it has a pretty good bass for the price, and nice and warm mids. http://www.headphone.com/guide/by-ma...tafeed=froogle

Sound card is going to be a tough one. Most decent aftermarket sound cards will better than your onboard.

The X-Fi extrememusic orshould do a decent job, but I can't vouch for drivers on that though. http://www.xpcgear.com/xtrememusic.html

For a better sound quality, but no EAX 5.0 support, which is irrelevant in Vista, the B-Enspirer is a very good card. http://www.ncixus.com/products/21153...RER/BlueGears/

For even better sound, there is the HT Omega Claro. http://www.ncixus.com/products/22972/CLARO/HT%20Omega/

For a compromise on sound quality and better gaming performance, there is the Razer AC-1. This will still sound better than the X-Fi, but you will need to disable driver signing in Vista x64 to have it working properly. http://www.buy.com/prod/razer-barrac...203405979.html

Any combination of the Grado + sound card should get you to around your budget.
No to the razr barracuda, its horrible waste of money.
the omega is nice, but if you use games that support X-fi,
dont bother getting it, the xtreme gamer is your best bet,
if you got the money, the Auzentech Prelude.

I'd say go with some ATH's or seinheissers, like ATH-500s or ATH-A700's
or HD 555. The 555 are open, and won't perform well with rap
or if you're a basshead, but its excellent for gaming. As for the sound card,
extreme music/gamer will do fine. Depends on which headphones you get
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post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Safetydan View Post
I've never heard of the Grados being great gaming headphones, but I may just have missed that. Mostly what I hear for gaming are Senn and Audio Technica.
It's not the best for gaming that's for sure, but most of the worthwhile offerings from Senn and AT would push you out of your budget. The only offering from Audio Technia I could see fitting into his budget would be the ATH-AD500, which is definitely better than the SR60 for gaming, but also more expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by phospholipid View Post
No to the razr barracuda, its horrible waste of money.
the omega is nice, but if you use games that support X-fi,
dont bother getting it, the xtreme gamer is your best bet,
if you got the money, the Auzentech Prelude.

I'd say go with some ATH's or seinheissers, like ATH-500s or ATH-A700's
or HD 555. The 555 are open, and won't perform well with rap
or if you're a basshead, but its excellent for gaming. As for the sound card,
extreme music/gamer will do fine. Depends on which headphones you get
The Barracuda AC-1 is only slightly more expensive than the B-Enspirer, but with better components all around, how exactly is that a waste of money? X-Fi support for games is pretty much nullified by Vista, even with Alchemy it doesn't fare much better due to the numerous bugs. With Daniel_K gone now, how can you justify having incompatible hardware until Creative gets on track? The Prelude is a good choice, but that will be out of his price range if the OP also wants better headphones.
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