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Headphone/Speaker solution

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, I think I really need your expert advice on this one. Heres my setup.

Soundcard splits into Headphones and receiver which connects to 2 floor standing speakers. I'm using the Creative X-Fi Xtreme Gamer, which has been nothing but a pain since I bought it so many years ago. Either because the sound card is crap or because I'm splitting a connection between my receiver and my headphones or because I'm using a RCA to 3.5mm converter, it sounds awful.

Pretty much, I'm trying to find a solution to connecting my speakers and my headphones to my sound card. I suppose I could connect my headphones to the receiver, but I hate the idea of converting 3.5mm to RCA to connect my receiver to my PC then converting RCA to 3.5mm to connect my headphones to my receiver. Also, I'd hate to need my receiver on at all times.

I've been looking at the HT Omega Claro Halo solely because it allows me to connect my RCA straight into the card, but at $200 I sort of get the feeling its overkill for a 2.0 setup and gaming headphones.

Is there a cheaper solution that lets me hook my receiver and headphones straight up to the soundcard? Are there cheaper sound cards that have RCA and line in? Are there perhaps headphones that use RCA that I should be using instead of converting 3.5mm to RCA? Ideally, I'd like to be able to turn my receiver on at the press of a single button and output audio without having to split any connections or use any converters.
Edited by dare365 - 4/1/11 at 9:16am
post #2 of 6
i have a solution for you get your self a nuforce udac. its basically DAC with built in headphone amp, and it has coaxial and RCA out, which are always on.
http://www.nuforce.com/hp/products/iconudac2/index.php
Edited by spice003 - 4/1/11 at 12:58pm
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spice003 View Post
i have a solution for you get your self a nuforce udac. its basically DAC with built in headphone amp, and it has coaxial and RCA out, which are always on.
http://www.nuforce.com/hp/products/iconudac2/index.php
Wow, very interesting!

Just a few questions. I read a few reviews, and one mentioned that sound cards are "a far cry from the quality offered in even a budget level DAC." So does that mean this thing will give me better quality, if not the same than the $200 HT Omega Claro Halo? Keeping in mind that my setup is only 2 floor standing speakers connected to a receiver.

My other question is, how is it with directional sound? I'm a gamer and being able to hear exactly where footsteps were coming from without having to look was always the one thing I appreciated about my old Soundblaster Audigy 3 was great at and my Xtreme Gamer is absolutely awful at.

And finally, is the HUD-MX1 a decent alternative? Unlike the uDAC-2, the HUD-MX1 seems to have optical out.

EDIT: Just wanted to clarify, I spend most of my time gaming and using my headphones so if the option to make the audio experience better in games over music and better on my headphones than my speakers, I would go with gaming and headphones all the time. Thanks!
Edited by dare365 - 4/1/11 at 2:38pm
post #4 of 6
Just a few questions. I read a few reviews, and one mentioned that sound cards are "a far cry from the quality offered in even a budget level DAC." So does that mean this thing will give me better quality, if not the same than the $200 HT Omega Claro Halo? Keeping in mind that my setup is only 2 floor standing speakers connected to a receiver.

Yes


My other question is, how is it with directional sound? I'm a gamer and being able to hear exactly where footsteps were coming from without having to look was always the one thing I appreciated about my old Soundblaster Audigy 3 was great at and my Xtreme Gamer is absolutely awful at.

not sure about other games, cause i only play BC2, and their footstep sound sucks. call of duty on the other hand sounds great.

And finally, is the HUD-MX1 a decent alternative? Unlike the uDAC-2, the HUD-MX1 seems to have optical out.

udac2 has digital coaxial out which is the same thing as optical but it uses copper instead of fiber. I haven't seen a receiver that didnt have coaxial in so you should have no problem with connecting it to you receiver. I havent read any reviews about HUD-MX1, but you can check out head-fi.org and is if anyone posted one.

EDIT: Just wanted to clarify, I spend most of my time gaming and using my headphones so if the option to make the audio experience better in games over music and better on my headphones than my speakers, I would go with gaming and headphones all the time. Thanks!

well since you it has a digital out, you can leave it plugged in to your receiver and if you decide you dont wanna use headphones, you just turn udac2 off, and the outputs still work, even if the know is in off position.

i use my udac2 with dt-990 every day, its a great little device, only costs $129. no sure about HID-MX1( edit: $179)


MX1 head-fi review http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/...x1-usb-dac-amp

also udac2 vs mx1 http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/...udinst-hud-mx1

Edited by spice003 - 4/1/11 at 4:03pm
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post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by spice003 View Post
Just a few questions. I read a few reviews, and one mentioned that sound cards are "a far cry from the quality offered in even a budget level DAC." So does that mean this thing will give me better quality, if not the same than the $200 HT Omega Claro Halo? Keeping in mind that my setup is only 2 floor standing speakers connected to a receiver.

Yes


My other question is, how is it with directional sound? I'm a gamer and being able to hear exactly where footsteps were coming from without having to look was always the one thing I appreciated about my old Soundblaster Audigy 3 was great at and my Xtreme Gamer is absolutely awful at.

not sure about other games, cause i only play BC2, and their footstep sound sucks. call of duty on the other hand sounds great.

And finally, is the HUD-MX1 a decent alternative? Unlike the uDAC-2, the HUD-MX1 seems to have optical out.

udac2 has digital coaxial out which is the same thing as optical but it uses copper instead of fiber. I haven't seen a receiver that didnt have coaxial in so you should have no problem with connecting it to you receiver. I havent read any reviews about HUD-MX1, but you can check out head-fi.org and is if anyone posted one.

EDIT: Just wanted to clarify, I spend most of my time gaming and using my headphones so if the option to make the audio experience better in games over music and better on my headphones than my speakers, I would go with gaming and headphones all the time. Thanks!

well since you it has a digital out, you can leave it plugged in to your receiver and if you decide you dont wanna use headphones, you just turn udac2 off, and the outputs still work, even if the know is in off position.

i use my udac2 with dt-990 every day, its a great little device, only costs $129. no sure about HID-MX1( edit: $179)


MX1 head-fi review http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/...x1-usb-dac-amp

also udac2 vs mx1 http://www.head-fi.org/forum/thread/...udinst-hud-mx1
Sweet! Ill go with the uDAC-2! Just saved me $80.
post #6 of 6
glad i could help
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