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Looking for appropriate soundcard for grado SR 80i

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I'm currently using integrated audio to a FiiO E5 Headphone Amplifier to my Grado SR 80i. I mostly watch downloaded tv shows and movies and listen to mp3s. I'm planning on upgrading to a blu ray drive and start buying movies to watch in highest detail. I don't play any games.

I work online so I end up watching a lot of stuff on my computer or listen to music when I need both monitors to work, so sound is more important to me than staying with an integrated audio card. I know audio doesn't take up much computer resources but that's another reason i want a dedicated audio card to free up system resources to work.

Can anyone recommend an appropriate sound card for me? I'll never use speakers. I might upgrade my headphone in the future, but that will be a long enough time away that I'll upgrade sound card and headphones at the same time.

I was looking at some $200 xonars but I'd think that would be overkill for me. I was looking at the new $20 xonar with amp but figure if I already have a cheapy external amp it wouldn't be much of an upgrade. So, I'll consider any price point from budget to under $200.

Anyone have any thoughts?
post #2 of 3
I don't know anything about DACs (not even sure what they are exactly ), though afaik they're the better option over normal soundcards for those who don't care much for gaming. I often see the Musiland 02 monitor highly recommended.

Read up on headfi!
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/...-monitor-02-us
http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/.../what-is-a-dac

and OCN:
http://www.overclock.net/sound-cards...s-essence.html
Edited by Buttnose - 1/20/11 at 5:43pm
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
I've been hearing the same thing about that, though I admit I don't know much about it. And I think that's probably the way to go. Can I still get a budget card and an external DAC later?

A concern I have is putting the audio processing on the audio card and not the CPU. I'm thinking an external DAC wouldn't process the audio?
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