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best sound quality card?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
do any of you experienced audiphiles know which sound card can make the most difference with my monster turbine pro earphone? im upgrading from an onboard and i have couple ones in mind:

Asus Xonar D2x
Creative X-Fi titanium fatal1ty
and the AuzenTech Bravura

i basically heard good things/bad things about all of them and they seem to be quite popular. but the thing is all i care is sound quality when playing back music, i listen to music a lot and do some sound mixing work so it's important. i don't care about sounds in games:gunner2:

thx

----
edit: oh ya, i don't know much about sound cards so recommend me other ones if you think is better
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post #2 of 8
Always thought monster was a hyped brand but... I'd go for the D2X. In the audio world, anything with fatality's name on it is pretty much guaranteed to be a joke.

I'm no pro, but I follow the buzz to know what's good and what's not, and the Xonar D2X is a professional quality sound card. If I recall correctly it's got a built in headphone amplifier that's pretty damn good for what it is.

I have the Xonar D1 and it's very impressive. I hear the D2X is all that much better. Can't go wrong with it.
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post #3 of 8
Any budget? I assume you are only interested in stereo instead of surround and use it only for playback. Can consider device with build in DAC and headphone amp.

http://www.ibasso.com/en/products/?type_one_id=18
http://www.headamp.com/pico/pico_dac_amp/index.htm (might be a little expensive)
Edited by larrytan - 12/30/10 at 9:17pm
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
budget: 200 give or take,

and yes i don't have a surround sound system... the Auzentech bravura seems to have an amplifer, how's that card compared to asus d2x?
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post #5 of 8
I can't tell you much about the Auzentech Bravura, but I do have first hand experience with the Asus Xonar D2X, Xonar D1, Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty, X-Fi XtremeMusic and X-Fi Titanium HD. I've tested all of these using my JVC HA-DX3 headphone and Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers and I'll have to say that sonically, the Xonar D2X and the Titanium HD are the best ones. I can't really say which of the two is better, but the D2X has some nifty features like LEDs on the outputs to help you plug in wires when the computer is on and has a really nice DAC chip as does the Titanium HD. The D2X is also 7.1 capable through analog connections (TRS), something that the Titanium HD is not capable of without connecting it to a receiver that takes optical. In that case, I believe it can only do 5.1, according to the Console Launcher.

Both are very good with music and movies but the D2X is very rich sounding. I know that's a cliche word but it really does come down to that. If used in stereo (2 channels L/R), the D1 and D2X are hard to discern. However, the X-Fi Titanium HD, on the other hand is somewhat different from those two. It sounds "thinner" than the D1 and D2X but not by much but it gives a great sense of space. Those three cards are all very detailed but the Xonars are not as good for gaming sound positioning (particularly FPS like BFBC2), something that the TiHD does extremely well. That's what made me pick the TiHD over those two. I've had my D1 for about 6 months and it's probably going to be given to my parents. It's a nice card, but running around half deaf no matter what setting I choose in the control panel breaks the deal. The D2X is just about the same when it comes to positioning in games.
Edited by RallyMaster - 12/30/10 at 9:46pm
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post #6 of 8

Dude he doesn't need something for games.. he doesn't care for surround sound positioning cues. "I don't care about sounds in game."

OP I'd get a nice DAC/Amp like the FiiO E7 or the NuForce uDAC-2, they are portable and sound better than any sound card. A USB DAC is basically like a high-end usb soundcard which doesn't use surround but has very high audio quality.

Link:


Link:


If you insist on getting a sound card, buy the Asus Xonar Essence, it's the best sound card available, and it uses high-end components.

Link: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-014-_-Product
post #7 of 8
I'm very happy with my Xonar STX.. powers my lowly Promedia 2.1's and Sennheiser HD 555's beautifully
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
thanks! i guess i'll wait for review about the auzentech, and i'll probably get the xonar d2x
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mission3
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