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Old February 1, 2009, 08:55 AM
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Originally Posted by NightRain View Post
Well from what I can see the Forte does have a nice additional feature over the Prelude and that is the dedicated headphones amp. For me this was nice as I was looking for something to boost my headphones and this worked better for me than an external amp. If you have a high impedance set of headphones then a AMP is a must have. As far as I could tell only the Forte and the upcoming HomeTheater HD support the dedicated headphone amp.

I just ordered the Forte today and decided on it because of the headphone amp since it should make my Sennheisers sound much better. I preferred the PCIe interface because it is above my video card and I would rather not have my sound card in the middle of crossfired GPU's. I currently use a Sound Blaster Audigy X-Gamer and I'm expecting the Forte to be a major improvement.

I had also considered the Asus Xonar D2X but didn't like its lack of front audio connectors. Plus it was $50 more than the Forte. I also briefly considered the Asus Xonar DX but felt the Forte would be a much better card overall, especially considering the headphones amp. It was easy to justify spending $40-50 more on the Forte compared to the Xonar DX since a basic headphone amp would cost that much anyway.

The only other Sound cards I can think of with a dedicated headphone amp is the HT Omega Calro Halo and Calro Halo XT. They are around $220 and $280 respectively in price. Much higher than the $151 I paid for the Auzentech Forte and they are still only in PCI.

So if you want a headphone amp to power higher impedance headphone the Auzentech Forte is a great option.
Thanks for the reply but did this end up in the wrong thread? I'll have a look at the omega's though forgot all about those.

So far from the feedback:

1.) Forte is as good as the Prelude and the Forte is about $50 cheaper. If the Forte is the same SQ as the Prelude Then I'd rather buy the Prelude just to not have to use a breakout cable.

2.) the Prelude and Forte are better than the xplosion even though the explosion is muchmore upgrade friendly in the opamps.

So, so far the prelude is the best choice?
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