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Old May 11, 2010, 01:12 PM
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Default Sound card for music and games (headphones and 2.1)

I'm looking to get a high end sound card. I mostly care about my FLAC music collection that I've never really given justice to. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get some HD 555s and an Essence STX, and listen to most of my music all over again. If it's deciend for games in stereo then that's good enough for me.

Anyone here have an Essence STX? Is it worth it? Any other better options? Don't really care about surround sound options at all.
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Old May 11, 2010, 02:32 PM
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555s are...okay. You can do better at that price range though

In terms of Essence STX, lowfat has one, and I'm sure he'll be here soon. Fantastic soundcard when you're looking for the best. I have never been able to justify the price, hence I got a prelude
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Old May 11, 2010, 02:40 PM
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Yeah, I'm looking at some Grado headphones now actually. They seem like a better option for the kind of thing I'm looking for.

EDIT: I'm leaning towards the Grado SR80i.

Last edited by Full Speed; May 11, 2010 at 03:07 PM.
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Old May 11, 2010, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackquelegs View Post

In terms of Essence STX, lowfat has one, and I'm sure he'll be here soon.


If sound quality is what you are looking for then you can't beat the Essence STX (well besides the Essence ST). Especially for the price. You could use a separate external DAC & headphone amp. But that is going to be considerably more money.
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Old May 11, 2010, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Full Speed View Post
Yeah, I'm looking at some Grado headphones now actually. They seem like a better option for the kind of thing I'm looking for.

EDIT: I'm leaning towards the Grado SR80i.
Grado headphones aren't the best for gaming, and for music they're best suited to rock. They have fast transients, tight bass, good highs and a very forward midrange. However, they lack good soundstage, which is important for gaming. You don't need a huge soundstage, but a decent soundstage makes games sound more convincing. I have the SR225's and they're my least favorite for gaming.

My favorite headphones for gaming (and I have a lot) are the Denon AH-D2000's and Audio-Technica ATH-AD900's. I prefer the AD900's slightly more for gaming and the D2000's slightly more for a wider variety of music.

I'm also a huge fan of the CMSS 3D technology found on X-Fi cards. For the games it works well with, it works really, really well.
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Old May 11, 2010, 06:04 PM
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Those headphones would be just for the music, and I mostly listen to rock or derivatives of rock. I was only really wondering about the sound card being decent for gaming, since I'd be using a 2.1 system or other headphones for that.
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Old May 11, 2010, 06:20 PM
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I have a Xonar DX and it works great for gaming. The Essence can only be better.
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