What sound card to buy?

vbimport

#1

Hi:

I recently decided to move away from the on-board audio chip-set to a PCI card. As I’ve got fairly high end stereo stack system with decent full range Wharfdale speakers connected to it which is connected to my PC audio out by a gold plated oxygen free cable. I’ve always found the sound to be a bit lifeless and flat though.

so I’ve heard that PCI sound boards can significantly improve audio quality and I’ve found two likely contenders which seem to fit my needs and limited budget but which one.

Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi SB0790 Xtreme 7.1

Or

Card Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 SB0350 7.1.
[SIZE=2]
[SIZE=2]Please bear in mind, for me, its all about the quality and clarity of the audio that each can provide so if you could advise me on that basis, I would appreciate it.

[SIZE=2]T[SIZE=2]hanks[SIZE=2].

[/SIZE][/SIZE] [/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE]


#2

Many complicated questions here. If you’re delivering audio to your system digitally, it won’t make a lot of difference. If you intend to use analog connects, then by far the biggest differences will be in the DAC that the card offers. A PCI card simply cannot offer the quality DAC that most any decent AVR/processor offers. A good quality DAC board by nature is LARGE, too large for a PCI card.

Another option is digital from the PC to a dedicated DAC, then analog to the audio system. This starts to get expensive. It all really depends on what you’re connecting the PC to and how.

Now, if you want to delve into high-res digital audio, only stereo is possible over optical/coax connects. 5.1 requires HDMI and a video signal to keep it company.


#3

both of your nominated sound card models are old models. Sound blaster have been heavily criticised over their poor sound quality, poor driver support and lackluster product support.

Try another brand.


#4

I neglected to mention also that your source material is pretty important. If you’re listening to MP3, it won’t much matter what hardware you use.


#5

Any sound card that is extremely compatible with these drivers. Pumping out true 96kHz DTS is awesome.


#6

[QUOTE=debro;2669190]both of your nominated sound card models are old models. Sound blaster have been heavily criticised over their poor sound quality, poor driver support and lackluster product support.

Try another brand.[/QUOTE]

Really well I beg to differ I had very good experiences using the cards from soundblaster to Audigy 2 cards and thinking of getting the latest Soundblaster card again. Not sure what problems you had but never gave me any problems and one that died they RMA it for me. All that poor sound is also as one says “In the Eye of the Beholder”…


#7

[QUOTE=devil81;2669137]Hi:

I recently decided to move away from the on-board audio chip-set to a PCI card. As I’ve got fairly high end stereo stack system with decent full range Wharfdale speakers connected to it which is connected to my PC audio out by a gold plated oxygen free cable. I’ve always found the sound to be a bit lifeless and flat though.

so I’ve heard that PCI sound boards can significantly improve audio quality and I’ve found two likely contenders which seem to fit my needs and limited budget but which one.

Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi SB0790 Xtreme 7.1

Or

Card Creative SoundBlaster Audigy 2 SB0350 7.1.
[SIZE=2]
[SIZE=2]Please bear in mind, for me, its all about the quality and clarity of the audio that each can provide so if you could advise me on that basis, I would appreciate it.

[SIZE=2]T[SIZE=2]hanks[SIZE=2].

[/SIZE][/SIZE] [/SIZE][/SIZE][/SIZE][/QUOTE]

Those cards are way old the latest version top line for Creative:

Sound Blaster Recon3D fatality Professional with or w/o the front I/O panel. If you had good listening with those older cards I would say to keep with that setup and unless your a music studio production that would be a different league of setup itself. I play games and listen to cds and mp3 and watch movies DVD/BR and steam on my desktop and so far Creative have worked will with me. Also not knowing what hardware you using it for but considering Creative been around for quite some time and yes they have driver issues and not other company has driver issues or bugs. I rather stay with a product from a company that been around longer in that at least they won’t fold or leave the market all together if the product doesn’t do good.


#8

[QUOTE=coolcolors;2669268]Really well I beg to differ I had very good experiences using the cards from soundblaster to Audigy 2 cards and thinking of getting the latest Soundblaster card again. Not sure what problems you had but never gave me any problems and one that died they RMA it for me. All that poor sound is also as one says “In the Eye of the Beholder”…[/QUOTE]
That would be the ear of the Beholder, unless you suffer immensly from Synesthesia :slight_smile:


#9

[QUOTE=coolcolors;2669268]Really well I beg to differ I had very good experiences using the cards from soundblaster to Audigy 2 cards and thinking of getting the latest Soundblaster card again. Not sure what problems you had but never gave me any problems and one that died they RMA it for me. All that poor sound is also as one says “In the Eye of the Beholder”…[/QUOTE]Creative cards are terrible. Of course they did the RMA on it their reputation is in tatters from many stuff ups on their part, They will do anything to get back into the good books.

If you want a good card go for an Auzentech or ASUS Xonar both of these card series make and creative cards sound like onboard sound.