Cheap soundcard for headphones?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by Wag, Jul 17, 2017.

  1. Wag

    Wag Gawd

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    Right now I'm using a pair of Audio-Technicas ATH-AD700 with my MSI X99A's onboard ALC892 chipset. It's just not very loud. Would an Audigy FX be a good choice? They can be had for ~$20 or so on eBay.

    I have an old X-Fi Xtreme audio PCI-e sitting here. That one doesn't have a headphone amp, correct? Would it be better than my onboard sound?
     
  2. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

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    I would say it's worth trying the X-Fi if you have it around. Im looking at an old Guru3d review and it says that card uses the same ST 4558CN op amps my X-fi XtremeMusic used. I used the ExtremeMusic until PCI was dead and it was much louder than any onboard with my AD700x.

    Now I just use a USB Fiio DAC rather than messing with internal cards.
     
  3. Wag

    Wag Gawd

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    Nevermind. I just installed the Creative card and I'm sorry I didn't a long time ago. It's much superior to the crappy onboard sound. Louder from both speakers and headphones and much more crisp and clear. The CMSS efects are pretty impressive too- much better than the Razer 3D audio stuff.

    This should be fine for gaming and occasional music listening. I'll invest in a really good sound card when they come down in price a bit.

    Amazing that a 5yr old+ sound card can sound better than new motherboard onboard.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017
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  4. Kardonxt

    Kardonxt 2[H]4U

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    That's one of the things I really like about audio. Sound quality doesn't really go out of date. I would still be using my 12 yo ExtremeMusic if my last few builds had PCI slots.
     
  5. Wag

    Wag Gawd

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    I have quite a few old PCI audio cards lying around including a HDMI audio card and an awesome M-Audio card. Of course, no PCI.

    Now that I know add-on cards make a difference with good cans I'll be looking to buy the AE-5 when they sell a stripped down version without all the lights and other useless nonsense.

    The modified Win10 drivers (Creative support was discontinued 2yrs ago) for the X-Fi Xtreme doesn't have proper CMS-3D support, no audio-mode switching. So I'll just use it in the meantime.
     
  6. Wag

    Wag Gawd

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    I picked up a Xonar DGX off eBay for $14. Has a headphone amp. Turns out there's a known problem with the card- it's not loud enough from the front headphone jack. Figures.

    Back to the X-Fi Xtreme.
     
  7. Supercharged_Z06

    Supercharged_Z06 [H]ard|Gawd

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  8. NukeDukem

    NukeDukem [H]ard|Gawd

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    My X-Fi Titanium HD sound card is by far the oldest component in my system, and still rocking! CMSS-3D is still arguably the best for positional audio in gaming. DAC is just fine, no noise issues. I just run the line-output RCA to a good external headphone amp to feed the HD800's and I am all good! I would grab another used Titanium HD in a heartbeat if mine ever fails on me.
     
  9. Wag

    Wag Gawd

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    The thing about the X-Fi Xtreme Audio is that it's basically an older Creative model that has no game-mode in the drivers. It has no hardware acceleration or ASIO support. Yes, it sounds great- more than loud enough with my 32Ohm Audio-Technicas ATH-AD700s (even from the front headphone jack) but it's lacking on features. Since it's no longer supported by Creative, the CMSS-3D only supports 2-channel, not the proper multichannel mixing most other cards use these days.

    I suppose I could use Razer Surround with it- that does proper multi-channel encoding.