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Best soundcard for gaming and headphones only

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
Hi there!

I've read a lot of topics on here. First I want to say thanks a bunch. If it wasn't for this forum, I would have probably bought a crappy 5.1 'gamer' headset.

I think I am going to buy the Sennheiser HD558 with a clip on zalman mic. AD700's aren't available where I live (Netherlands). Senn HD555 is also not available (sold out everywhere or too expensive). My second choice is the Senn PC 350. If you guys have anything to say about this, feel free.

I am currently only using onboard audio, and want to buy a new soundcard.
I won't listen to music at all. It's only for gaming and watching movies/tv-series. I play all kinds of games, but mostly FPS/RTS.

I am looking at the Asus Xonar DG now (24 euro). It's PCI though... Does it make a difference if it is PCI or PCI-E? And should I get it or should I pay more money for one of these:

Asus Xonar D2X/XDT (90 EURO)
Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series
(secondhand for 75 euro)
ASUS Xonar Essence ST PCI (I can get this one secondhand for 90 euro)
creative x-fi xtreme music I maybe (not sure) could get this one for 10 euro (!)but I've heard the 5.1 ports are broken and give static. The owner says 2.1 works fine though.

my max budget is 100$, but I really want something cheap if the quality is good enough for headphones.

Thanks in advance!

not sure if relevant, but here are the rest of my specs:

GA-MA770T-UD3P mobo with crappy onboard realtek
amd phenom 955
4850x2 ati GPU
4 gb ddr3 corsair

And just to be extra clear: It's not for music. At all. smile.gif
Edited by Zakka - 3/11/11 at 7:54am
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post #2 of 33
If you want the top card, go for the st. It is the best card that asus makes (other than the stx but they are pretty much identical) and it is intended for high end headphone use. It has a dedicated amp. You will get amazing sound quality. Avoid the Creative x-fi, the sound quality they produce is not up to par with asus/ other manufacturers

edit: and no pci or pci-e doesn't really matter. It really just depends on where you want to/have room to plug it in.
Edited by omnius19 - 3/11/11 at 8:08am
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post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 
Omnius thanks a lot! What do you think of the Asus Xonar DG as a budget solution?
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post #4 of 33
From what I've heard, the dg has pretty good sound quality so I would say it is a good alternative. It all depends on how much you want to spend. It certainly will not sound quite as good as a dx/st but it will sound way better than onboard audio. Check out this review http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/soundcards/2010/10/26/asus-xonar-dg-review/2

Oh and just so you know, the st's dedicated amp is not necessary to drive the cans that you have now so that might affect your decision. If you ever go up to higher end headphones though, you will be happy you have the amp.
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post #5 of 33
i use the cheap HD202s and love them, i could only imagine how awesome the others would be. anything form sennheiser should be good
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post #6 of 33
If music is of no consequence then the DG will do just fine, or DX, or any of the Xonar's in that line.

Go for it!
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post #7 of 33
here is an st review to compare what your getting between the 2. I would say go for the dx if your not going to listen to music. It is a great deal.

http://www.stereophile.com/computeraudio/asus_xonar_essence_ststx_soundcards/index.html
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post #8 of 33
Here's the situation[Mike Face]:

The Essence ST is too much card for you and is more for music afficionados. It has an amp that you won't be making use of and is therefore obsolete for your purposes.

Titanium Fatal1ty is more for 5.1 gaming.

Xonar DG is a very low end sound card with a built in amp, again, you don't need the amp and are wasting your money for that feature when you could simply get a better card.

Take the Xonar D2X out of the equation as well, because the ST would be the better card for the same price and we've already ruled that out.

The Xtreme Music isn't a bad little card, but if it has problems, I don't care if they affect you or not at the moment, I would most likely stay away from it. Who knows when the problem will spread to the rest of the card or how much the person isn't telling you is wrong with it.

See if you can score the Titanium HD for under 100 in your country. I don't know what stores ship there, but that's the sound card I would go for.
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post #9 of 33
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Simca;12693639 

See if you can score the Titanium HD for under 100 in your country. I don't know what stores ship there, but that's the sound card I would go for.

You are all very helpfull, thanks.biggrin.gif

The titanium hd is way too expensive here(135-150 euro) You mention the D2X and the sonar DG. what about the xonar DX (price is 48 euro, between the DG and the D2X)?

Here is a list with cards by the way. Its in dutch but it might give you an idea which cards are available to me http://tweakers.net/pricewatch/cat/53/geluidskaarten.html
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post #10 of 33
Go for the DX. It's geared more towards music like Asus cards generally are, but it's good for gaming as well.
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