Considering the jump to 7.1. Assistance required!
Hey fellow sound enthusiasts! Hope you've all had a great holiday season. Now, to the business at hand...
I'm 99% certain that I'm going to make the jump to 7.1 on my PC. However, I am really uncertain of which soundcard to get. I am stuck between the Asus Xonar Essence and the Phoebus. I mainly use my PC for gaming so I feel the Phoebus would be the better buy, but I can't tell if it does 7.1 or only 5.1. If there are better options out there, please feel free to make suggestions.
Also, I am looking for a nice pair of headphones to go along with the new card. Being that the Razer Tiamat are currently the only 7.1 set on the market, I am thinking that is the logical choice as well. I have heard mixed things regarding these, so I would like to hear your thoughts on them.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and, once again, enjoy the holidays! :thumb:
i would not say much, but if you are going surround[5.1/7.1] I would prefer to go with a surround speaker setup rather than headphones.
I kind of a taste for stereo headphones. Here I am talking about top quality. 7.1 speaker setup will be costly, but they will be worth it, where as in a headphone, it wouldnt give you any good audio entertainment.
But if situation insist you on getting a headphone[eg: not to wake your neighbours up] than you can go a headphone setup, but here I would still prefer stereo over surround.
and here is a phoebus article http://www.hardwarecanucks.com/forum...rd-review.html
If you are dead set on having 7.1 headphones, then the phoebus and Tiamat are your best option.
Otherwise, the soundcards are very similar. The Phoebus has a newer model DAC and has 7.1, but doesn't have as good of a rated signal to noise ratio as the STX. They have the same headphone amp. They are the same price, but I would suspect that Asus had to cut some costs from the card to pay for the volume controller, but I can't see that difference in the specs. Also, I've read that some people have had software issues with the phoebus, but I'm sure that will get worked out soon.
For headphones, my friend has the Tiamats and the 7.1 is kind of neat. However,comfort/clarity/volume just isn't anywhere near the quality of the sennheiser PC360s that I normally use. I really didn't like the headband on the Tiamats. Personally I much prefer a good open 2 channel set with virtual surround for games.
Audio is so much more about preference than numbers. If you have the chance I would recommend trying the Tiamats and then trying some quality 2 channel headphones. If you can't listen to them, at least try them on to see if they are comfortable.
Stay away from multidriver headsets produced by PC peripheral companies, especially crap ones like Razer.
A good soundcard will mimic surround through Dolby headphone with decent results and not sacrifice sound quality when going 2 channel. Dustin1706 is bang on suggesting Sennheiser over Razer.
I'm curious as to why you want 7.1 in a near field set up? Even my home theater with 120" projector set up is perfectly fine with 5.1- for my desk top is 2.1 is more than enough.
There is so little stuff out there taking advantage of 5.1 let alone 5.1 its simply not worth it.
The market is now upto like 11.1 or something and the only movie I know that takes full advantage of that is Expendables 2.
For PC gaming almost EVERYTHING is 5.1 if that.
for me i use spdif MB out to a home theater reciever thats 7.1 99% of time i hear 2.1 in games
The Tiamats are 5.1 as well as 7.1. Multi speaker headphones have come a long way in the last couple of years. Another feature I like with the Tiamats,is the speaker volume pod. It allows you to connect 5.1 or 7.1 desk tops via a dongle that's included in the Tiamat package. With one push of a button,you can switch from headphones to desk tops. Don't knock them, til you've tried them.
So should I just go for a 5.1 card and a stereo headset because 7.1 isn't really supported yet? Would the STX be the better buy in this case?
Also, anyone have anymore headset recommendations? Definitely intrigued by those sennheiser PC360s now.
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