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Are sound cards worth it to you? - Page 5

Poll Results: Do you think sound cards are worth it for the price?

 
  • 66% (111)
    Yes, I think they're worth it for their price
  • 33% (56)
    No, I don't think they're worth it for their price
167 Total Votes  
post #41 of 73
I had been using my integrated audio for a long time because the sound card I have didnt have good drivers for win7. Eventually I noticed the computer speakers buzzing a little, so I installed my old sound card and it solved the issue.
    
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post #42 of 73
Since music is important to you a sound card will be a big difference compared to some onboard sound. Just remember you need to have a good source to start with BR/DVD movies and good quality mp3's/flac to get the most out of your speakers/sound card. I have been really happy with my speakers currently using some Audioengine A2's and M-Audio av-30's on my other computer. A few OCNers have gotten the Swan M10's and I heard nothing but good things about them.
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post #43 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca View Post
Louder=/=Clearer
Most people don't A/B test sound cards with volume matching. A human ear will always prefer the source that sounds louder even if every else is equal.
post #44 of 73
I cant seem to justify what you actually gain by using a sound card? isnt it down to the quality of the actual file to how it sounds? these things baffle me, haha
post #45 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roweyi7 View Post
I cant seem to justify what you actually gain by using a sound card? isnt it down to the quality of the actual file to how it sounds? these things baffle me, haha
People who don't care about sound quality baffle me. Sure, some crappy MP3 track with 128kbps fidelity won't sound any different no matter what; it'll probably actually sound better on low-end sound processors. But I almost never settle for an MP3 with less than 200KBPS, and if I really like certain music I'll download the WAV's well over 1000KBPS. I can't even begin to understand the people who rip music from YouTube audio, which is usually very low quality.

However, I DON'T use a sound card. Why? Because if you don't use headphones, they're enormous wastes of money. I used to have an HT Omega Halo Claro XT and Z-5500's, tried Z-2300's, Swan's, and Klipsch's too... But all the PC speaker systems are junk, IMO, too.

S/PDIF doesn't sound any different coming out of your onboard than from your sound card. Don't waste money on a sound card unless you use headphones.
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post #46 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Roweyi7 View Post
I cant seem to justify what you actually gain by using a sound card? isnt it down to the quality of the actual file to how it sounds? these things baffle me, haha
It has to do with several things, but mainly the quality of the DAC (digital to audio converter). Since your sound files on the computer are in digital format and you hear sound as analog waves, it must be converted. Higher quality DAC = higher quality sound you hear. Some sound cards also provide amplification to better drive your headphones if you have a good pair.

The quality of the source is important, but you're taking that source and running it through onboard audio, think of it as "bottlenecking" the quality of your audio system.

Thats my non-technical explanation, if its wrong someone correct me.
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post #47 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by AzO View Post
<snip>
If you want quality sound, spending anything less than $200 is a waste of money, but hey someone has to fill that section of the market and that market is doing quite well.
Greetz
I disagree. There are sound cards that are suitable for fairly serious even pro quality audio recording in the sub $200 category. My ESi Julia has excellent specs (and sounds even better than mere specs might indicate) and even has switchable inputs from Phono jacks to 1/4 inch ring-tip-sleeve pro-level Phone Jacks (they know better than to bother with crappy consumer level Minis) for mics and mixers. It can be found for between $100 and $140 and is worth twice the price. A very serious DAW can be constructed with four of these without breaking the bank.

I have heard such extreme quality cards as Hammerfall etc and they are excellent, but these do come close and at 1/4 to 1/6 the cost. The savings to a startup recording studio or a DIY band allows to spend the difference on better microphones et al and then at the same cost divided differently, I'd go with ESi or MAudio.



Check a serious audio review here
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post #48 of 73
Off topic: Should I get a sound card for Klipsch Promedia 2.1 then? Will I benefit with these speakers?
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Fearless~
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post #49 of 73
For my uses, not worth it. I'm using a pair of cheap Dell speakers that I've had for years. Getting a new sound card would require me to get better speakers/headphones in order to really utilize its capabilities, and I just don't wanna put out the extra cash for that.
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/hwaw
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post #50 of 73
Quote:
Originally Posted by Citra View Post
Off topic: Should I get a sound card for Klipsch Promedia 2.1 then? Will I benefit with these speakers?
yes I have those speakers and its wayyyyy different compared to the onboard audio

My soundcard makes music, movies, and videogames so much better. Plus like everyone else has been saying it makes sound much more crisp and bass sounds great.
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