Go Back   Hardware Canucks > HARDWARE > Audio

    
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old November 13, 2011, 03:50 AM
Amarthfea's Avatar
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: London, ON
Posts: 130

My System Specs

Default External Sound Card, is it time?

So for the last year I've been thinking about getting an external sound card.

Right now I'm spending 95% of my time with headphones, Razer Barracuda's and I love them so much. I hear so much about sound cards increasing the quality of gaming, but i guess I'm kind of worried that my headphones are too old for a sound card.

opinions? I've heard good things about the dx, and Sound Blaster X-Fi

Also as a side note, I am having sound loop problems in BF3 so its been suggested also that i diasable my on board audio, and go external. Another nail in the coffin for onboard
__________________
~Elysium, I behold your beauty...
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old November 13, 2011, 04:33 PM
Jackquelegs's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Burnaby, BC
Posts: 2,590

My System Specs

Default

Well, the DX for one has much better channel separation than onboard. So that'll help you hear some footsteps given that the headphones are capable enough.

I'd say the DX is totally a worthy investment, but if you're not set on spending that much the xonar DG is a good entry point.
__________________
Iapetos
Intel Core i7 930 D0 4.2ghz, Corsair XMS3 6X2GB DDR3-1600 CL 8-8-8-24, Xfire HD5870, Intel X-25M 34nm 80gb, Enermax Revolution85+ 1050W, Xonar D2X

Zephyranthes
E8400 4.0ghz, XFX 780i, Mushkin XP2 PC-6400, Antec Earthwatts 750W

Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old November 13, 2011, 08:21 PM
jcmaz's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 2,453

My System Specs

Default

Yes, the Xonar DG's provide a good bang per buck. At around $20 + MIR, you really have nothing to lose.

NCIX.com - Buy ASUS Xonar DG 5.1 Channel PCI Sound Card 24BIT Dolby Digital DTS 105DB SNR W/ Headphone AMP - ASUS - XONAR DG - in Canada
__________________
“Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something.”

-Plato
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old November 13, 2011, 08:48 PM
KaptCrunch's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 2,854
Default

nice find jcmaz, optical out to surround amp

Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old November 14, 2011, 07:05 AM
b1lk1's Avatar
Hall Of Fame
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Acton, Ontario
Posts: 2,465

My System Specs

Default

I'm not sure about the headphone aspect, but I have the USB X-FI HD and it is an astronomical jump over onboard. I do like ASUS stuff as well and can't go wrong there, but if it is external you gotta look at the X-FI series, much higher specs.
__________________
MY HEATWARE
Reply With Quote
  #6 (permalink)  
Old November 14, 2011, 08:06 AM
Hall Of Fame
F@H
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Markham
Posts: 1,564

My System Specs

Default

I've found that the Xonar DG has a relatively high output impedance not suitable for low impedance headphones, something to watch out for. The DX does not have this issue. The Barracuda's have speakers with impedance ratings varying from 8-64 ohms, not sure how much of a negative impact on SQ you'll get.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old November 14, 2011, 03:53 PM
Amarthfea's Avatar
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: London, ON
Posts: 130

My System Specs

Default

Thanks for the input everyone

I should have been a little bit more specific in my first post. I only have pci express slots open, and I'm going with internal as I prefer to have as little usb devices connected as possible.

I did end up going with a DX, it was only like 85 bucks and I've got a $20 MIR for it, so I'm pleased. I read some reviews and looked like a good card, and comes highly recommended.

I'll be sure to post back when i get it installed tomorrow night and run some tests with it
__________________
~Elysium, I behold your beauty...
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old November 19, 2011, 07:42 AM
Amarthfea's Avatar
Top Prospect
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: London, ON
Posts: 130

My System Specs

Default

So I've been running through the motions with the card and all I can say is I never want to take my headphones off now!

movies sound more surround then they did before. Star wars battles feel as though I'm watching them for the first time again. Games are giving much better accuracy on enemy footsteps, and my music is richer then it ever was before.

The final thing I can say about this card is the smart volume. I have never liked these adjusters before, they usually just dull the whole sound, or put a cap on your highs and lows and raise the over all volume for great bland sound. This one some how is able to keep the highs and lows and if the middle is ever lagging it will only bump up the area in volume without taking the other areas down in volume.

To be honest I don't know how it works, its just magical

amazing card thanks for the input everyone!
__________________
~Elysium, I behold your beauty...
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Time for a New Sound Card. Or is it? Signal2Noise Audio 9 December 22, 2009 11:35 AM
hooked up tv sound out to sound card in but I don't hear the TV Shadowmeph Audio 1 September 18, 2009 10:41 AM
Worth it to buy a sound card or will MOBO sound be enough? Sandro_Bit CPU's and Motherboards 18 August 22, 2009 09:44 AM
Installed sound card, but no sound jcmaz Troubleshooting 5 June 22, 2009 12:39 PM
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Xtreme Audio is not really a X-FI sound card dirtfarmer Audio 15 January 2, 2008 07:15 PM