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Go Back   Blu-ray Forum > Audio > Headphones, Portable Audio, Computer Audio > Computer Audio


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Old 06-09-2012, 06:36 AM   #1
Tony208 Tony208 is offline
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Default What sound card do you use?

Yeah I got the first thread in this subforum... again

HT Omega Claro 7.1

sounds pretty damn good

played Iwo Jima (won sound editing oscar) the other day, wow
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Old 06-09-2012, 06:47 AM   #2
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony208 View Post
Yeah I got the first thread in this subforum... again

HT Omega Claro 7.1

sounds pretty damn good

played Iwo Jima (won sound editing oscar) the other day, wow
Congrats......again!

Nice to see we now have a dedicated Computer Audio forum.

I just installed an Asus Xonar Essence STX soundcard. Talk about an improvement in quality! Amazing!!!!! I'm now looking for some decent active monitors to up the ante another notch!
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:07 AM   #3
pentatonic pentatonic is offline
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E-Mu 0404 pci. It's got many hours of use but surprisingly still a very capable card. E-Mu is known for products that are relatively "high end" for cheap. analog in and out, 2 digital in and 2 out using ASIO. Would mainly use it to do my tracks.

When I move my server pc (with this card) I will probably get a Xonar Essence for my main pc, being a high quality headphone amp also is a great bonus for the price.
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Old 06-09-2012, 08:26 PM   #4
prerich prerich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
Congrats......again!

Nice to see we now have a dedicated Computer Audio forum.

I just installed an Asus Xonar Essence STX soundcard. Talk about an improvement in quality! Amazing!!!!! I'm now looking for some decent active monitors to up the ante another notch!
Have you considered the Peachtree or Adams? The Xonar sound cards are great! My last formal sound cards were the M-Audio 410 and the creative Audigy, I went to the Xonar Slim when it first came out!
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Old 06-09-2012, 09:55 PM   #5
Offender_Mullet Offender_Mullet is offline
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I think a lot of the pci/pci-e sound cards are gimmicky. Graphics cards have the ability to decode audio. That's pretty much all you need. I'd recommend that setup for the casual user. 2 hdmi cables and you're done. Easiest setup possible. Gaming, blu-ray viewing, etc. was all great. Never had an issue. Plus the in upwards of $200 that sound cards can cost can go towards better hardware components for your pc.

Also, the majority of motherboards (starting in the mid-range) come with a nice on-board soundcard.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:18 PM   #6
pentatonic pentatonic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Offender_Mullet View Post
I think a lot of the pci/pci-e sound cards are gimmicky. Graphics cards have the ability to decode audio. That's pretty much all you need. I'd recommend that setup for the casual user. 2 hdmi cables and you're done. Easiest setup possible. Gaming, blu-ray viewing, etc. was all great. Never had an issue. Plus the in upwards of $200 that sound cards can cost can go towards better hardware components for your pc.

Also, the majority of motherboards (starting in the mid-range) come with a nice on-board soundcard.
If you listen on your pc and not your HT, trust me a good soundcard does make a difference. I have a very decent onboard but it doesn't come close to my old E-Mu for music listening. Through monitors or headphones you do hear the difference.

On an HTPC though I agree all the decoding is done by the receiver, but for a dedicated music pc it's a minimum.
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Old 06-10-2012, 08:04 PM   #7
wilky61 wilky61 is offline
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I listen to music via my laptop, so I have purchased an external USB DAC (the HRT Music Streamer II+) to supersede my laptop's internal sound. I like that this DAC is very simplistic and specific in its design; the only audio output available on my laptop is USB, so I don't mind that this DAC only features USB input. I figured it would be wiser to purchase a DAC specifically designed for USB than to purchase a DAC that was probably designed for optical yet also features a USB input thrown in for good measure...

Last edited by wilky61; 06-10-2012 at 10:13 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:01 PM   #8
GunZenBomZ GunZenBomZ is offline
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Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro Series 7.1 Sound card
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:18 PM   #9
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prerich View Post
Have you considered the Peachtree or Adams? The Xonar sound cards are great! My last formal sound cards were the M-Audio 410 and the creative Audigy, I went to the Xonar Slim when it first came out!
I considered an outboard DAC, but after reading the reviews of the built-in headphone amp on STX I went with it. 124dB S/N ratio What's not to love? I'm very happy with this card!
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:20 PM   #10
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pentatonic View Post
If you listen on your pc and not your HT, trust me a good soundcard does make a difference. I have a very decent onboard but it doesn't come close to my old E-Mu for music listening. Through monitors or headphones you do hear the difference.

On an HTPC though I agree all the decoding is done by the receiver, but for a dedicated music pc it's a minimum.
+1. I'm listening purely through my PC...no HT streaming or hookup. This card gives me the kind of performance I am after.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:23 PM   #11
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GunZenBomZ View Post
Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro Series 7.1 Sound card
Creative makes a nice card and I had a X-Fi Music Xtreme card for years. problem with Creative is they can't get their act together when it comes to drivers. It took them over 2 years to update their drivers for Win7.....that's completely unacceptable.
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:50 PM   #12
pentatonic pentatonic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Vinyl View Post
Creative makes a nice card and I had a X-Fi Music Xtreme card for years. problem with Creative is they can't get their act together when it comes to drivers. It took them over 2 years to update their drivers for Win7.....that's completely unacceptable.
Hence why E-Mu got worse when Creative bought them, very poor driver support. They only have beta drivers for older products. Shame as the product is great.
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:12 PM   #13
Johnny Vinyl Johnny Vinyl is offline
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Originally Posted by pentatonic View Post
Hence why E-Mu got worse when Creative bought them, very poor driver support. They only have beta drivers for older products. Shame as the product is great.
It is a shame. The STX card didn't come with Win7 drivers, but Asus had them available on their site to support their customers who needed it. That's the way you do it.
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:15 AM   #14
singhcr singhcr is offline
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I use the ASUS Xonar Essense ST card. It's a PCI version and has the option to add a 7.1 surround expansion card. I use the Uni drivers instead of the official ASUS ones. It's a great card for just listening because even YouTube videos sound better, but it's a great card for music listening, movies, and games- not to mention 192/24 recording and ASIO playback.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:02 AM   #15
pentatonic pentatonic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singhcr View Post
I use the ASUS Xonar Essense ST card. It's a PCI version and has the option to add a 7.1 surround expansion card. I use the Uni drivers instead of the official ASUS ones. It's a great card for just listening because even YouTube videos sound better, but it's a great card for music listening, movies, and games- not to mention 192/24 recording and ASIO playback.
Do you use the built it headphone amp? I know JV loves it.
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Old 06-11-2012, 04:34 AM   #16
singhcr singhcr is offline
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Originally Posted by pentatonic View Post
Do you use the built it headphone amp? I know JV loves it.
Yep, I use that as my primary means of listening to my PC. The headphone amp is one of the best things about the card as you can change the input impedance to match your headphones and it sounds great!
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:07 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singhcr View Post
Yep, I use that as my primary means of listening to my PC. The headphone amp is one of the best things about the card as you can change the input impedance to match your headphones and it sounds great!
Yes plus it features swapable opamps to furter taylor your sound to your liking. I'm sold
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Old 06-11-2012, 02:21 PM   #18
prerich prerich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Offender_Mullet View Post
I think a lot of the pci/pci-e sound cards are gimmicky. Graphics cards have the ability to decode audio. That's pretty much all you need. I'd recommend that setup for the casual user. 2 hdmi cables and you're done. Easiest setup possible. Gaming, blu-ray viewing, etc. was all great. Never had an issue. Plus the in upwards of $200 that sound cards can cost can go towards better hardware components for your pc.

Also, the majority of motherboards (starting in the mid-range) come with a nice on-board soundcard.
I actually use a graphics card now, and I like it, however I would like to have something like the Xonar with the daughter 7.1 analog out card. Yes, a graphics card is great for a casual user and even for music, but others who listen to music only - there are some nice cards and dacs out there.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:49 PM   #19
pentatonic pentatonic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prerich View Post
I actually use a graphics card now, and I like it, however I would like to have something like the Xonar with the daughter 7.1 analog out card. Yes, a graphics card is great for a casual user and even for music, but others who listen to music only - there are some nice cards and dacs out there.
Agreed and for many, headphones is the only way to get real hi-fi at low prices, but you need good DACs and amp for that, onboard just usually doesn't cut it (though they have improved a lot)
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:28 PM   #20
PrivatePixel PrivatePixel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Offender_Mullet View Post
I think a lot of the pci/pci-e sound cards are gimmicky. Graphics cards have the ability to decode audio. That's pretty much all you need. I'd recommend that setup for the casual user. 2 hdmi cables and you're done. Easiest setup possible. Gaming, blu-ray viewing, etc. was all great. Never had an issue. Plus the in upwards of $200 that sound cards can cost can go towards better hardware components for your pc.

Also, the majority of motherboards (starting in the mid-range) come with a nice on-board soundcard.
It seems that manufacturers are leaning towards Creative Labs to provide audio chips (such as the CA20K2) for their mid- to upper-range motherboards, which I assume is a better alternative to Realtek's HD audio codecs (which I dislike tremendously). I can't comment on their quality as I haven't heard their output, but I'm not a fan of Creative's offerings (due largely to their drivers), so for me, I would opt for a separate PCI/PCI-e solution over an onboard one.

I use an ASUS Xonar DX (PCI-e 1x version) in my current rig and couldn't be happier.
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