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Old July 14, 2015, 06:51 AM
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Default M-Audio M-Track II USB as a sound card

Hello HWC,

I was in this boat a few days ago, on which sound card to buy. I ended up getting the creative Sound Blaster Zx.

My friend is in need of an upgrade from onboard sound and has a the chance to buy a M-Audio M-Track II USB for 30 dollars from a friend that upgraded.

Would this be a good upgrade for a sound card. Mostly plays FPS (CSGO). He is using HD598s

Thanks
Scott

Last edited by GreatSc0tt; July 14, 2015 at 07:13 AM.
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Old July 14, 2015, 07:43 AM
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OK so I deleted my first post because it was a rambling mess :) I can't figure out by looking up the M-Audio M-Track II USB whether or not is has a DAC and/or amp/DAC combination. It must have a DAC since it is intended to interface analog to digitial interfaces (correct me if I'm wrong). So, if it can function similarly to any number of amp/DAC options for the PC (e.g. I have Mayflower O2+ODAC combo, awesome!) then it could be a good upgrade over onboard. It may not "sound" better because that can be pretty subjective and onboard is decent these days, but it will very likely sound cleaner (coming from the isolation of the DAC outside the PC and related interference) and could boost the sound in his headphones if the M-Audio includes an amp and his HD598s are higher than normal impedence. I can't figure out if the M-Audio has an amp, it does have headphone out.

I would say $30 is pretty cheap, if it works. Any chance he could try before he buys? Also my last question would be why does he need an upgrade over onboard, what's missing that he's looking for?
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Old July 14, 2015, 07:55 AM
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he listen to my Sound Blaster Zx and he was able to hear the footsteps alot better now he wants an upgrade lol
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Old July 14, 2015, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatSc0tt View Post
he listen to my Sound Blaster Zx and he was able to hear the footsteps alot better now he wants an upgrade lol
And so it begins...
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Old July 14, 2015, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatSc0tt View Post
he listen to my Sound Blaster Zx and he was able to hear the footsteps alot better now he wants an upgrade lol
When I bought my first sound card it made an instant impact on my FPS skills just because of this.

I would suggest looking at a dedicated sound card instead, as they have drivers that are made for emulating 5.1 or 7.1 sound in headphones. Something like the Asus Xonar DGX should be in his price bracket, or even the external Xonar U3.

Last edited by SugarJ; July 14, 2015 at 09:24 AM.
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Old July 14, 2015, 09:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarJ View Post
When I bought my first sound card it made an instant impact on my FPS skills just because of this.

I would suggest looking at a dedicated sound card instead, as they have drivers that are made for emulating 5.1 or 7.1 sound in headphones. Something like the Asus Xonar DGX should be in his price bracket, or even the external Xonar U3.
I think he will, the friend is going to let him borrow the M-Track II.. Do you think it will improve his sound?
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Old July 14, 2015, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreatSc0tt View Post
I think he will, the friend is going to let him borrow the M-Track II.. Do you think it will improve his sound?
It depends on the onboard DAC. I think it will sound better for music. Will it be able to provide the positional audio to help track footsteps better? Probably not, although it may be a better quality sound and that will help. This device is actually built for hooking up guitars and mics to computers for recording, not for headphone amplification.
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Old July 19, 2015, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarJ View Post
When I bought my first sound card it made an instant impact on my FPS skills just because of this.

I would suggest looking at a dedicated sound card instead, as they have drivers that are made for emulating 5.1 or 7.1 sound in headphones. Something like the Asus Xonar DGX should be in his price bracket, or even the external Xonar U3.
He is looking at the Asus xonar U3 USB u think that would be better than the m-track for gaming?
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Old July 19, 2015, 06:58 PM
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For gaming and positional audio, yes I do. It's hard to quantify without having both pieces in hand, but for his use I'd rather take the Asus. If his main usage was music and video listening, the M-Audio might be the better piece of equipment.
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Old July 20, 2015, 04:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarJ View Post
I would suggest looking at a dedicated sound card instead, as they have drivers that are made for emulating 5.1 or 7.1 sound in headphones. Something like the Asus Xonar DGX .
I have a Xonar DGX and is really nothing to write home about. Many onboard solutions today are actually on par or even better than the DGX.
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