Audioengine D1 vs. Creative ZX

madgun

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Hey guys,

I bought a pair of Audioengine A5 premiums and currently have an Asus Xonar D2X that I am looking to replace. I also have a pair of Sennheiser HD555 that I use regularly.

So there were a couple of considerations. I was looking to buy an AudioEngine D1 to serve both my speakers and the headphone since the D1 has a headphone amplifier, which is a bonus. On the other hand creative has a ZX that can amplify upto 600 Ohms.

I like the portability factor of the D1 and wanted to know whether it was any good for PC gaming? Also creative has a higher end model, the ZXR. Is it worth upgrading to the ZXR, which has better DACs and head phone amplification? Or will the ZXR be overkill for my use case.

Since I am getting the ZX and the D1 in roughly the same price, what would be your thoughts?
 

Meeho

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Xonar D2X seems better than both of them. How come you're replacing it?
 

madgun

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I am getting line noise from the sound card, tested it with both my headphones and speakers. It's been serving me nicely for a lot of years but I guess it's just time to replace it!
 

spaceman

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Xonar D2X seems better than both of them. How come you're replacing it?

Nope. If you are gaming, the creative Z series is better. I had the Asus. Music and movies are about the same but gaming sound was improved with the Z.
 

madgun

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With my setup, will i notice any difference if I went with a ZXR instead of a ZX?
 

spaceman

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With my setup, will i notice any difference if I went with a ZXR instead of a ZX?

Nope. You could hear maybe a 5% improvement. Not really perceptible until you get better speakers and headphones(not that yours are bad). A ZX would be a perfect fit and sound great.
 

madgun

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I guess one thing I can infer is that, for PC gaming, we should prefer a sound card than an external DAC. I guess the Burr-Brown DACs on the ZXR are attracting me over but perhaps my setup wouldn't benefit too much from them. Moreover I have the ASUS D2X that already deploy Burr-Brown DACs but looks like their directional audio is a bit lacking when compared to the Z series.
 

jalex3

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I game pretty heavily 20-30+ hours each week. Unless you use the software, surround or mic features. You would be better off with an external DAC. Do you really need 600ohms? If you don't need the features simple quality is better.
 

madgun

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I game pretty heavily 20-30+ hours each week. Unless you use the software, surround or mic features. You would be better off with an external DAC. Do you really need 600ohms? If you don't need the features simple quality is better.

So I guess you would prefer an external DAC?
 

spaceman

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So I guess you would prefer an external DAC?

Not in your case. If you want better gaming sound, get a Z. You can plug both your headphones and speakers into it and switch b/w them in desktop.

If you want to improve on the gaming sound, get a separate external amp like a little cmoy and it will perk up the headphones a bit. Sound out of the card can be a bit bright to younger folks.
 

madgun

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Not in your case. If you want better gaming sound, get a Z. You can plug both your headphones and speakers into it and switch b/w them in desktop.

If you want to improve on the gaming sound, get a separate external amp like a little cmoy and it will perk up the headphones a bit. Sound out of the card can be a bit bright to younger folks.

Great. I guess the 100$ that I would save up not buying the ZXR, I could get a better amp somewhere down the road. So that potentially filters the ZXR from my list.
 

madgun

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So I ended up getting a great deal on the ZXR. It was to the point whereby the price difference between the ZX and ZXR was 60$ hence I snagged one. Otherwise I was all set on the ZX.
 
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