Best new PC audio options for 2018?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by JoseJones, Nov 17, 2017.

  1. JoseJones

    JoseJones Gawd

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    If you were hoping to put a new computer together say by spring, what Computer Audio options would be best for 2018 onward?

    I currently use a pretty old system and have just been using these wired Turtle Beach X12 headphones & and some cheap PC speakers so I'm not sure what cool new options await so, I'm wondering what the best options are but for the best price. I'm hoping to be able to easily go back & forth between my computer, TV, XBox X, Discord, Skype, without having to disconnect & reconnect cords everytime I want to change devices.

    It would be sweet if the AMD AM4 X470 motherboards came with Dolby Atmos audio support and Bluetooth support ... what's the new 5.0 all about?
     
  2. illram

    illram [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you want something central to handle the audio for multiple devices and decode Dolby etc. a receiver is probably still your best bet. Not sure what else you're looking to upgrade.
     
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  3. Pillars

    Pillars Limp Gawd

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    Really good = external setups
     
  4. RPGWiZaRD

    RPGWiZaRD Gawd

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    When on this topic, is there really some external setup which handles virtual surround? I suppose there is that new Smyth Realiser A16 coming out which looks like a good buy if you're very serious about audio and positional sound but is there something else out there?

    For me no 5.1/7.1 processing support = no buy on a PC setup.
     
  5. Pillars

    Pillars Limp Gawd

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    Using optical out, yes. However Imo for the highest quality sound 2ch is king.
     
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  6. JoseJones

    JoseJones Gawd

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  7. JoseJones

    JoseJones Gawd

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  8. spaceman

    spaceman [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I have a decent 2 channel. Very entry level. All used gear. Each piece around $100. It is very immersive. BF1 is my favorite game sound source.

    That atmos would be nice though.
     
  9. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard Proud Brony

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    I always prefer 2.1 for my PC audio. I'm running a DAC, power amp, pair of bookshelf speakers and subwoofer. Sound is immaculate, but I spent way too much $$, which is very easy to do when it comes to audio. ;)
     
  10. illram

    illram [H]ard|Gawd

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    I have a Soundblaster X7 which does pretty good virtual surround sound. I also have an E5 which also presents 7.1/5.1 VSS pretty well, just the amp section is a slight notch lower than the X7. There is also the Sennheiser GSX1000/1200 which people like, but its amp is fairly weak.
     
  11. RPGWiZaRD

    RPGWiZaRD Gawd

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    I do have both the ZxR and G5 (same as E5 without the Bluetooth support) but I'm not quite pleased with those (ZxR for its poor surround processing, I never liked SBX but it doesn't even do 5.1/7.1 properly that on the other hand G5 does thx to the changes to "virtual 7.1 surround sound" option added but it just doesn't sound all that good speaking strictly sound quality, almost like there's a clipping distortion due all processing which doesn't seem to be able to turn off or if you switch to "hifi" mode you do lose proper 5.1/7.1 channel mixing support. I mean even the ASRock ALC1150 setup sounds cleaner with less distortion unless you are in "hifi" mode at which you are just pure stereo) and I'm not confident at Creative at this point to give X7 a try, their drivers aren't using the hardware to its full potential it seems to me.

    Smyth Realiser A16 again is almost 2 grand as pre order price and well that's several times more than my headphones cost so it's not quite at my budget range. I do have the money but not quite the insanity to go for it, I'm a bit cheap like that, so would rather stick to 150 ~ 500 range roughly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  12. illram

    illram [H]ard|Gawd

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    There is the Nx Waves and the Out of Your Head software you can also try?

    On the E5 and X7 both simulate multiple speakers to Windows and use SBX Pro. Does the ZxR not do that? Over at Head-Fi people seem to agree that the E5 is, for whatever reason, using a different surround software than the G5. I have not verified that as I do not have a G5. Creative's implementation of their surround software is very confusing.

    Yes, VSS meses with the sound quality, although I never found it to sound like clipping. Just lots of echo-y reverb depending on how high you push it.
     
  13. Brian_B

    Brian_B Gawd

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    If your going external, why bother with virtual 5/7? May as well just get actual channels at that point - virtual I find is really only useful in headphones. I can understand if space/layout is an issue, but virtual surround sounds like junk on external speakers in my opinion.

    Bluetooth on PC is not a big issue and doesn't need to be a part of the sound card, as your sound card still processes, your just changing the output device.

    I agree with illram, I would look to a receiver setup. That lets you get all those various devices your wanting to support in one go via HDMI. Especially if you are talking Atmos - those require some pretty specific speakers above and beyond basic Surround Sound, and you aren't going to do that virtually or with very many PC-oriented solutions.
     
  14. JoseJones

    JoseJones Gawd

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    I agree with you and the others here, Brian ... I think my main issue right now is that I have no Bluetooth options. Dolby Atmos is more of a pipe dream due to the costs but I'd consider a DA sound bar when they start making them smaller and less pricey. My system is old and the only thing I own right now that has Bluetooth is my iphone 5, so, I was considering upgrading to the iphone8 with BT5 and get an AMD AM4 X470 motherboard with BT5 - I can use the BT app. for XBox One X. I suspect I'll be good after I finally own a few BT5 devices.
     
  15. Brian_B

    Brian_B Gawd

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    You can usually just add Bluetooth via USB easily enough without needing it built into a particular motherboard.

    I don't know that BT5 is available yet though, and from what I gather, most of it is oriented around energy use, which is not a concern in a PC.
     
  16. DoubleTap

    DoubleTap [H]ard|Gawd

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    These are not super new, but they are an incredible deal. The KEF Q100 speakers are $249 at Amazon - I got mine for $299 in May and I thought that was a great deal.

    https://www.amazon.com/KEF-Q100-Bookshelf-Loudspeakers-Black/dp/B0047K3X1M


    This is a good review from a former KEF hater...



    If I can swing it (and the annual bonus gods smile on me), I'm going to try to get the uber LS50s and put these in the living room.