Want 2 Improve Sound What Should I Buy

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KoutaFG
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Hello and thank you for taking a look at my thread,

I've been looking to improve my computers sound quality for some time now but I've never been one to really look into what gives computers great sound, nor do I know what to look for in sound cards and or headphones, so first off this is what I have.

I'm currently using my motherboards onboard sound card, which is
- 7.1 CH HD Audio with Content Protection (Realtek ALC892 Audio Codec)
- Premium Blu-ray audio support
- Supports THX TruStudio™

As for what's plugged into the onboard sound card are the razer carcharias headset, which I've had for a few years and now feel like their volume is slowly quieting, that or I'm going deaf.

I prefer headphones or a headset so for this upgrade I'll either be buying a new sound card or a new pair of headphones or a new headset or with what I got, could I justify spending 80 to 150 or 200 on an upgrade?

ASRock 990FX Extreme3 CPU: Phenom II X4 945e 3.0 Ram:(2 x 4GB DDR3 ) GPU : HIS 2GB 6950 PSU: Corsair 850w

spawnkiller
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I have a THX prostudio onboard card on my MSI mobo and vs a cheap x-fi xtreme audio, it's real crap, the 25$ X-fi is far better (i also upgrade to a xonar DX after and the Xonar is far better than the x-fi) For 80$ i suggest the Xonar DX, or for the cheap way, the Xonar DGX (or DG for PCI legacy) also, top of the line is ASUS made (if only stereo playback, the "essence" line or only gaming, 7.1, etc... the Pheobus but they're 200$ a piece (but as i know the essence line really worth this price with great quality headphones and i'm sure the pheobus is a really good product too...)

I personnaly own the Xonar DX and i really suggest you this card as in the 80$ range it pretty most the best as it beats the 160$ X-Fi titanium (in my ears) and don't have so much trouble with drivers on windows 7 (as far as i know, it was a pain in the *** to install my x-fi on my HTPC... (i have siberia V2 headphone with 32 ohms impedance) and the console laucher work half the time, somtimes need reboot, sometimes crash, etc... (it's the beta version as the latest stable version don't even launch on my config...)

PS: I heard some great things about Auzentech but i never had the chance to tried them, it's the creative X-fi chip but on a better PCB and custom driver (as i know)

Also the Razer Carcharias have the same impedance as my Siberia so i'm pretty much sure that the Xonar DX will suite your needs ;) And trust me, a real soundcard make a HUGE difference in sound quality and volume as i can't turn up to the max without a little listening as it's too loud and you can surely go deaf when on max volume for a long time...

Gaming PC: MSI Z77A-G45 ::: Intel Core I7 3770k @ 4.83Ghz ::: EVGA GTX680SC Signature ~1300mhz Boost/7122mhz ram ::: 16GB 4*4gb G.Skill 2240mhz CL10 ::: ASUS Xonar DX ::: Crucial M4 128gb (windows) + Intel 330 180gb (Steam games) + 1TB Caviar Black (storage) ::: Cooler Master Silent Pro Gold M1000 ::: Antec P280 ::: Noctua NHU12P SE2 ::: ASUS VE247H ::: Logitech G510 ::: Cooler Master Storm Sentinel II ::: Logitech X530 ::: Steelseries Siberia V-2 Black & gold edition

98% Of people under 25 surround their minds with rap music, if you're part of the 2% that stayed with rock, put this in your signature, ROCK IS BETTER!

KoutaFG
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Alright, thanks for the suggestion!

KoutaFG
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Read a few reviews on the Xonar DX card and read in a few that there were some driver issues with windows 7, which is what I'm running but they didn't sound like any show stopper issues, so I guess here in a couple weeks I'll probably buy the card unless someone comes up with a better suggestion, in total I'll have about 180 to pay for this upgrade, so long as its an actual notice able upgrade heh.

spawnkiller
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Never had such issue, however i don't reccommend the X-fi as on 3 PC, my X-fi Xtreme barely run on my HTPC and was a week of troubleshooting to get it to work and even now i sometimes have BSOD or console crash when switching modes or plugging devices... However with the newer ASUS drivers, my DX work well and install without any troubles and it was a breeze to setup all my EQ and 5.1/Headset settings... That's why i give good advice on this card even if some have trouble, with windows 7 pro 64bits on the 2 PC (my old and my new build now as i just keep the card for my build) i never had troubles in 1 years of usage (and i run my pc 24/7 maybe 350 days a year so that's my point ;)

Anyway, i can only reccommend this product to you as i own this specific card and as i know, it's the best in the 80-100$ range as better card worth 150 to even 200-250$ and if you don't have a 300$ headset, you won't notice any difference from buying a even better card (except if you have like 600ohms headset that is surely about 300 to 500 bucks...)

KoutaFG
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Well If I'm only spending $80 on the sound card, that'll leave me $100 for a upgrade on my headsets, like I said I am currently using razer carcharias, with $100, could I do better?

I mean I like my Razer Carcharias, there extremely comfortable, I only think I could wear them for days non stop and they'd never get too hot or get painful what so ever, are there any headphones or headset that can deliver the same comfort with better sound or am I better off just replacing them with the same headset or just sticking with the ones I have now?

matacks
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For soundcards the ASUS Xonar Essence STX looks really good. I have noticed that one recently.

spawnkiller
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I don't think any "gaming headset" would e far better for only 100$ as of all the model i tried, there's the Siberia in the 80$ and then a huge bump in price for not that much more... Sennheiser PC360 is far better but i thinks it's more than 200$ so i suggest that you keep your razer headset, anyway it would perform better with a good soundcard, you'll notice the difference and be very happy for sure !!

KoutaFG
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Alright, thanks for the help.

KoutaFG
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This is just like newegg I went to buy the Asus Xonar DX sound card, having had it in my cart for the past week or so, ready to buy it and today when I went to fork over the cash, the damm thing went out of stock go fraking figure right?

Anyways, is the ASUS Xonar D1 7.1 basically the same card as the ASUS Xonar DX 7.1, cause its the only one in the same price range, well 13 bucks more, which piss's me off but I'll bite the bullet if its as good if not better of a sound card.

KoutaFG
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F&$*K!! even amazon is out of stock on it, at the $81 pirce, what the F$%K? was last night buy that same card for every one but me or something what kind of bad luck is this holy $hit...

KoutaFG
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Never mind, I ended up finding the DX on ebay for just 6 dollars more so I got it there, hopefully I don't regret buying from Ebay, though the person had sold well over 100k items and still had a 99.5% feedback so hopefully I'm all good.

spawnkiller
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Let us know how it goes !!

KoutaFG
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Will do, tracking says it'll be here on the 10th.

Also, go figure newegg brings it back in stock last monday . . . Heh, newegg is walking on thin ice for me, they have great prices but they seem to have THEY worst timing when it comes to running out of items, that or I just have they worse luck.

KoutaFG
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Sound card came a day early, I have it in my system now and running, listening to music and omfg, at only 53% this sound card is louder then my old onboard card set to 100%, sounds better but I'm not too sure how much better, haven't gotten the chance to test it but, so far so good, installing it was a bit of a pain but its in there.

spawnkiller
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Yeah integrated audio don't have a great voltage output to headset compare to good sound card ;) i kept mine just for that !!