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Best Sound Card

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
If money wasn't an issue, what would you guys say is the best overall sound card for both gaming and music if that's not the case lets put them in two categories.

Best sound card for:

- Music
- Gaming

take into consideration that one would be using both headphones and speakers.

and btw I already have the Xonar Essence STX
Edited by phaseshift - 4/21/11 at 6:08pm
post #2 of 14
I have this one in my HTPC hooked up via optical cable and I love it

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16829102024
    
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post #3 of 14
if you want some really good drivers look at some of these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ame=HT%20Omega
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post #4 of 14
Gaming:

Highly dependant on game:

X-fi Titanium HD

Music:

Anything with an ESS Sabre32 DAC in it. (e.g. DIY design Buffalo DAC, the Oppo BDP-95 bluray player, Oppo BDP-83SE bluray player).

Value for money DAC wise: Asus Essence STX with opamp upgrade options.

Little point of buying a nice soundcard with crap headphones and speakers so what's your current setup?
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by chinesekiwi View Post
Gaming:

Highly dependant on game:

X-fi Titanium HD

Music:

Anything with an ESS Sabre32 DAC in it. (e.g. DIY design Buffalo DAC, the Oppo BDP-95 bluray player, Oppo BDP-83SE bluray player).

Value for money DAC wise: Asus Essence STX with opamp upgrade options.

Little point of buying a nice soundcard with crap headphones and speakers so what's your current setup?
right now I have the Promedia 2.1 speakers and HD555s. BUT I want to upgrade my HD555s to something better WAY better but won't cost an arm and a leg, budget is 300ish. Any recommendations?

anywho I have the STX right now, I started a thread at the head-fi forums asking for headphone recommendations they are saying I need to get an amp as well, the headphone amp on the STX is not enough?
post #6 of 14
Go ASUS Xonar DG, built in amp for only $30. Otherwise, go all the way for a Xonar Essence STX.... there is no middle ground. Migrating away from creative and XFi can be the scariest thing a gamer can do, yet the alternatives are so much greater.
 
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post #7 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blindrage606 View Post
Go ASUS Xonar DG, built in amp for only $30. Otherwise, go all the way for a Xonar Essence STX.... there is no middle ground. Migrating away from creative and XFi can be the scariest thing a gamer can do, yet the alternatives are so much greater.
Um, Blindrage, he already has an STX...
I believe that a simple op-amp change (optional) and a headphone amp will do the trick for the OP.
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post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blindrage606 View Post
Go ASUS Xonar DG, built in amp for only $30. Otherwise, go all the way for a Xonar Essence STX.... there is no middle ground. Migrating away from creative and XFi can be the scariest thing a gamer can do, yet the alternatives are so much greater.
what alternatives do you speak of? I don't mind selling off my STX to find the better...but I'm not sure if I'm willing to spend a great deal on a combo of things. I think after I get a new set of cans that will be it, but I still need to figure out if there is something much better out there for music than the STX
post #9 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by allikat View Post
Um, Blindrage, he already has an STX...
I believe that a simple op-amp change (optional) and a headphone amp will do the trick for the OP.
Ha, maybe I am a little blind... a bit misleading since it wasnt objectively posted in the OP. In that case, get a Woo-amp and better headphone setup(actual playback) before another soundcard.
 
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post #10 of 14
The Essence STX is what i believe to be the top of the line card when talking about internal for either gaming or music, the headphone amp on that card will be more then enough to drive w/e you plan on buying for $300(Headphone Impedance: Optimized for 32~600Ω)

For headphones at that price range i would look at getting either some BeyerDynamics or AKG's.
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