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why do I need sound card? - Page 2

post #11 of 55
yea a sound card is night and day, especially when using headphones, if u are just going to pass it off to ur amp then there is no point, but if u are going to invest in a decent pair of headphones then grab a sound card first, i have an asus xonar d2 and do not regret it at all
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post #12 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by _02 View Post
I think I bought my Echo MiaMIDI card for about $200, to produce music. You can easily spend thousands of dollars on a standalone DAC, several more thousand dollars on a dedicated amplifier, and many more thousands of dollars on a set of speakers.
How to you like teh Echo MiaMIDI?
post #13 of 55
First off, don't just buy a good pair of headphones or speakers and expect to notice any gains in sound quality. It just doesn't work that way.


Like Domino said, with a good pair of speakers/headphones AND a good soundcard you will be amazed at the improvement of sound quality.



However, if you are just not a music head, or sound geek you probably won't benefit much from one. Although, you do seem like a gamer, and a sound card is a must have when gaming.


- Obz



For a gamer I would just check out the Asus, Auzentech, and Creative line of sound cards.

I prefer the older Xtreme Music sound cards, GREAT sound quality, for a GREAT price.


- Obz
Edited by THEoBZ - 4/25/11 at 9:45am
post #14 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Domino View Post
How to you like teh Echo MiaMIDI?
I think its a great card. It didn't cost much, it sounds great, and has a MIDI input cable along with balanced TRS 1/4 outputs. The solder joints are breaking on the outputs because my cat likes to tug on the cables...

I've remedied that, but the damage is done. Echo offered to fix it for $30 shipped when I emailed them. Their driver package has been updated many times as well, and looks and works better now than when I bought it.

I'd recommend it, but I'm not up on the offerings now. I bought this several years ago.
    
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post #15 of 55
I hear things in call of duty that I've never heard before. Just small stuff in multiplayer maps. Like birds chirping (unrealistic but still) just little stuff like that in games. But also important things like actually hearing the echo in a big room when people are talking, and making it not sound fake.

Personally, I'll never use onboard + good audio equipment ever again.
post #16 of 55
I agree with basically all the statements above.

If you're a gamer, here's where you'll see the largest jump in sound quality imo.

Music does still sound better with a better DAC and components, but is less obvious and is heavily determined by your headphones/speakers.

That Xtreme Gamer is a low end card. I'm not sure if I would personally invest in anything less than a Xonar DS.

Also, Shameless Plug. Check out the On-Board vs Sound Card thread. Link to it in my signature below.
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post #17 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Riou View Post
Sound cards have higher signal-to-noise ratio. Basically that means your sound will be louder with less noise/artifacts. Basically, your music and sound will be "cleaner."

Now you still need a good pair of speakers/headphones to even notice the difference. If your speakers are cheap and low quality, a sound card cannot help with that.
Dedicated sound cards have higher SNR, but the gap between the two are smaller than you imagine.


108dB from an 775 chipset on board versus 118dB from a D2X.

Quote:
Since the majority of the people who own CD's don't complain about the quality of the audio (about 100dB SNR), having a sound card that produces more than that is generally unnecessary.
http://www.techwarelabs.com/reviews/.../index_2.shtml

A sound card will NOT increase sound quality for everyone. People here need to understand that the sound may sound "louder" or "hotter" through speakers, but in a technical standpoint, there is hardly any change in the quality.
Edited by youra6 - 4/25/11 at 10:03am
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post #18 of 55
Imo even a non audiophile could easily tell the difference between a realtek onboard vs xonar dx because it is really quite obvious to hear the quality improvements. It was like taking sheet of cloth that was covering my ears as all range of sound was just more clear and less muffled.

Would most be happy enough with onboard for stuff and not think about an upgrade, probably. But the difference is there and it's not a tiny difference that you can barely tell the two apart. Especially the midrange which makes the sound so much more muffled with onboard with cheapests parts on the DAC.

If you value listening to music, watching media, or gaming on computer as the creater intended to, spending $30-40 for even a cheaper entry lvl card like xonar dx like mine could improve the clarity of sound quite a bit for gamers and media consumers alike. I really think that this improvement in quality going to a separate card is really worth the cost especially if you have a decent set of speakers or a headphone.

The difference from the bad to decent audio is quite big and easy to tell, but from good/better to best audio in audiophile level quality can really be quite subjective and opinion based on each person's taste. Going from bad to decent is a huge step forward in my book.
    
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post #19 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by _02 View Post
I think its a great card. It didn't cost much, it sounds great, and has a MIDI input cable along with balanced TRS 1/4 outputs. The solder joints are breaking on the outputs because my cat likes to tug on the cables...

I've remedied that, but the damage is done. Echo offered to fix it for $30 shipped when I emailed them. Their driver package has been updated many times as well, and looks and works better now than when I bought it.

I'd recommend it, but I'm not up on the offerings now. I bought this several years ago.
Sounds awesome. It seems to weird as a sound card (how it looks and whatnot). Never seen a card like that before.

Hhaha, caaats...
post #20 of 55
Most gaming pc's have a high quality sound card.It has to have a sound card to be a true gaming pc,I think.
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