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Thread: Audiophile Card or Gaming Card with Amp

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    Default Audiophile Card or Gaming Card with Amp

    The question is, what would be better, an Audiophile card with built in headphone amps like the STX or Titanium HD, or a good gaming card like Titanium Fatality Champion paired with a decent, but maybe not extreme quality headphone amp. The idea of getting back features like Crystalizer or Native EAX supports are appealing after giving up on them while chosing away from megalodon or tactic3d sigma or other gaming headphones, but is the audio performance of audiophile cards are such that even the gaming cards with amps are not enough? Also, the STX and HD are stereo cards where Fatality is a multichannel one. This is also very important if I get a 7.1 speaker system to watch HD movies with multichannel audio. So, when all pros and cons are added up, which option is better?

    And also, while at it, can anyone give details about USB systems like Sound Blaster Digital Music Premium HD
    (claimed as audiophile grade) or Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro? What are their trade offs even if we at least not compare them with the STX.
    Mentioning @Hemlock and @eXsTatik as I believe you have experience with this.

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    depends on your taste actually. i dont like headphones for gaming. i want full surround sound. so i would invest on better speakers rather than sound cards. idea of 7.1 is really bad as it takes lot more space and very few blu ray movies support 7.1. better to get a 5.1 system. for sound card i would say any premium grade would work as long as processor and dac are from well known sources. craetive used to build good cards but i am using asus xonar d2x which uses sigma ???? processor and barr brown dac and to me sound quality is much better than my previous x-fi gamer.

    but if you prefer to use headphone then your choices are very limited and i would say always stay away from usb sound cards or headphones.

    i am neither an audiophile nor an enthausiast of audio. these are just my opinion.

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    About my taste.....it's hard to know. Always used on-board ones with cosonic headphone, and always felt they were crappy. Once used some Yamaha card from a computer from 1997, and that was really good, but with an old unknown headphone. I mostly use headphone, but occasionally use speakers to watch movies with friends. got the 750DJ over any gaming one by peoples suggestion and I'm happy with that. I'd take the STX right away if It didn't have stereo only analogue out. And I'm considering USB ones, specially "Sound Blaster Digital Music Premium HD" (claimed as audiophile quality) as the PCI-E 4x port in my mobo is located such and the Sapphire 4830 is designed so idiotically that putting a large card in there will choke the GPU fan.

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    True stereo = best audio reproduction I am not a big fan of 7.1 as I used to be as headphones with proper soundstage will rape any tiamat 7.1.
    For home use I cant use anything besides my HD558 and Beyerdynamic DT990pro, open cans are truly amazing. I do love my modded HD438 sound signature and after markl modding them the soundspace also expanded.

    The premium USB HD powers my DT990 pro 250 ohm just fine, I do sometimes wish if they would drive them louder but unlike my titanium which makes my DT990 pro bass light (WTF I know) I guess thats because of the absence of a proper headamp.
    The premium HD also is quite dark, it has a very lush production an okay soundstage and good seperation, for the price I cant see myself not recommending it.

    You could demo mine if you like.

    P.s Crystallizer is ¤¤¤¤.

    Also its funny how an I device gives more bass to these very capable shure phones unlike a titanium card.
    But you know what would be better than any amp from a SC ?

    http://www.amazon.com/Fiio-E9-Desktop-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B004M172FY/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1331988528&sr=1-1

    B
    ut its only good if you have an sc like Titanium or something that has a good DAC. Will work well with built in stuff too not as great tho.

    ---------- Post added at 18:50 ---------- Previous post was at 18:47 ----------

    If you get the new microlab H-600 with the optical input you dont need a 7.1 card

    ---------- Post added at 18:52 ---------- Previous post was at 18:50 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by codename5302 View Post
    depends on your taste actually. i dont like headphones for gaming. i want full surround sound. so i would invest on better speakers rather than sound cards. idea of 7.1 is really bad as it takes lot more space and very few blu ray movies support 7.1. better to get a 5.1 system. for sound card i would say any premium grade would work as long as processor and dac are from well known sources. craetive used to build good cards but i am using asus xonar d2x which uses sigma ???? processor and barr brown dac and to me sound quality is much better than my previous x-fi gamer.

    but if you prefer to use headphone then your choices are very limited and i would say always stay away from usb sound cards or headphones.

    i am neither an audiophile nor an enthausiast of audio. these are just my opinion.
    Creative has a better DSP, btw the DAC on the Creatives arent bad, I dont remember which DACs they use and afaik its burr brown and thats not the DAC its the opamp . You should become an audiophile !
    Last edited by eXsTatik; March 17th, 2012 at 19:50.
    FTW!!!!!!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by eXsTatik View Post

    Creative has a better DSP, btw the DAC on the Creatives arent bad, I dont remember which DACs they use and afaik its burr brown and thats not the DAC its the opamp . You should become an audiophile !
    http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-xonar-d2x-review/2

    it is clearly mentioned there.

    creative high ends use burr brown. mine one uses cirrus logic ???? dac. it is not bad but for gaming and movies i believe i get better sound from d2x.

    and no thanks.

    i am already hungry for games and movies. got a decent home theater and a decent pc sound system which meet my requirements. extending knowledge will be too far to me. and you know, more learning is also very dangerous (because you will want to buy expensive things for which you cant have enough money)

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    Quote Originally Posted by eXsTatik View Post
    But you know what would be better than any amp from a SC ?

    http://www.amazon.com/Fiio-E9-Desktop-Headphone-Amplifier/dp/B004M172FY/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1331988528&sr=1-1

    B
    ut its only good if you have an sc like Titanium or something that has a good DAC. Will work well with built in stuff too not as great tho.
    That's what I'm talking about. I just wanted to know which card would have a good processor/DAC, as if it lacks amp I think it can be added. I'm now totally confused between Titanium HD, Titanium Fatality, Premium HD and Xonar DX. I'm currently interested towards the Premium HD as it's USB connectivity will save me the trouble of restructuring the GPU airflow. But is it's DAC is good enough to choose above Titanium or Xonar DX? Aslo, lack of info on EAX availibility is very confusing, along with no information about hardware acceleration.

    Quote Originally Posted by codename5302 View Post
    more learning is also very dangerous (because you will want to buy expensive things for which you cant have enough money)
    Yap, Exactly.

    ---------- Post added March 18th, 2012 at 11:08 ---------- Previous post was March 17th, 2012 at 22:53 ----------

    It Titanium HD available in BD? If yes, Where can I find it and how is the price?

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    Quote Originally Posted by codename5302 View Post
    http://www.guru3d.com/article/asus-xonar-d2x-review/2

    it is clearly mentioned there.

    creative high ends use burr brown. mine one uses cirrus logic ???? dac. it is not bad but for gaming and movies i believe i get better sound from d2x.

    and no thanks.

    i am already hungry for games and movies. got a decent home theater and a decent pc sound system which meet my requirements. extending knowledge will be too far to me. and you know, more learning is also very dangerous (because you will want to buy expensive things for which you cant have enough money)
    I almost forgot that TI and burr-brown were the same LOL. Creative does use cirrus logic dacs which are just as good.

    ---------- Post added at 12:49 ---------- Previous post was at 12:32 ----------

    True true, I know how much I lust for the STAX-SR009 xD and an amp to go with.
    FTW!!!!!!!!!!

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