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Which one is better?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

So i'm not too good when it comes to audio. I don't understand the difference between these two products. Which one is better for headsets/headphones?

 

 

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi HD 24-bit 96KHz USB 

 

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102032

 

Creative Sound Blaster X-FI surround 5.1

 

http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102035


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Posted · Original PosterOP

Neither. 

 

Why's that?  :P

For those prices you're better off buying a new pair of headphones (depending on what you have now), or an Amp/DAC Combo like the FiiO E10k

 

Any Amp/Dac combo that are good for relatively similar prices as the ones I listed above? BTW I have the Razer Kraken pro headsets


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Why's that?  :P

 

Any Amp/Dac combo that are good for relatively similar prices as the ones I listed above? BTW I have the Razer Kraken pro headsets

you won't benefit from the soundcards with that headset, the Soundstage is imaging is still bad. for $130, you can get an HD518 + Mod Mic 4.0 combo depending on where you live if you're interested in that.


 

 
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Posted · Original PosterOP

you won't benefit from the soundcards with that headset, the Soundstage is imaging is still bad. for $130, you can get an HD518 + Mod Mic 4.0 combo depending on where you live if you're interested in that.

The HD518 look good. Ill take a closer look at them


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The HD518 look good. Ill take a closer look at them

Just a warning though, the HD 518s don't have much bass, so if you are looking for bass then some other solution might be best for you

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Just a warning though, the HD 518s don't have much bass, so if you are looking for bass then some other solution might be best for you

Ya your on point. I was reading some reviews and people were saying the same thing


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Provided your onboard is faulty, sounds bad, or even died (mine did), you could go with either a soundcard or an external DAC/amp combo.

 

As of yet, I could only think of 2 reasons to get a soundcard (as opposed to external dac/amp):

 

- you absolutely positively definitely don't want an external device (outside of your PC's casing)

- you want to use a surround speakers setup

 

The second point is where a soundcard actually shines. It's an integrated surround AV receiver that have the ability to process surround signals, or even upmix stereo signals to surround. An onboard is essentially the same, but like I said, provided the onboard is un-usable.

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Ya your on point. I was reading some reviews and people were saying the same thing

They have enough bass, that's punchy and suits my taste. But if you're a basshead, they won't suffice, though they perform MUCH better for gaming.


 

 
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They have enough bass, that's punchy and suits my taste. But if you're a basshead, they won't suffice, though they perform MUCH better for gaming.

Well i mean it really depends what you are looking for doesn't it? like if you want really booming explosions and don't care much for hearing all of the footsteps then headhpones that are both open and bass heavy would be nice, like the dt990s, but if you want bass light headphones more focused on the highs and mids then you might want a set of senheissers. 


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Well i mean it really depends what you are looking for doesn't it? like if you want really booming explosions and don't care much for hearing all of the footsteps then headhpones that are both open and bass heavy would be nice, like the dt990s, but if you want bass light headphones more focused on the highs and mids then you might want a set of senheissers. 

They don't really focus on anything, they're a good jack of all trades. all personal preference. 


 

 
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They don't really focus on anything, they're a good jack of all trades. all personal preference. 

Oh really? Sorry, I was under the impression that the 5xx series was based on the treble, idkk where I got that from but it's good to know that they are meant to be equal in all aspects. Thanks for the tip!


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You can check out their frequency response graphs on Headroom.


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Oh really? Sorry, I was under the impression that the 5xx series was based on the treble, idkk where I got that from but it's good to know that they are meant to be equal in all aspects. Thanks for the tip!

The treble is definitely not emphasized on the HD518/558s/598s. They have a warmer than neutral sound signature because of the warmer mids.


 

 
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Posted · Original PosterOP

Provided your onboard is faulty, sounds bad, or even died (mine did), you could go with either a soundcard or an external DAC/amp combo.

 

As of yet, I could only think of 2 reasons to get a soundcard (as opposed to external dac/amp):

 

- you absolutely positively definitely don't want an external device (outside of your PC's casing)

- you want to use a surround speakers setup

 

The second point is where a soundcard actually shines. It's an integrated surround AV receiver that have the ability to process surround signals, or even upmix stereo signals to surround. An onboard is essentially the same, but like I said, provided the onboard is un-usable.

There isn't anything wrong with my onboard audio, but the only reason I was looking at external sound cards was because I heard they produce better sound then the onboard. I don't use speakers as much as I use my headsets. I also am not the smartest when it comes to audio so I don't know weather a dac/amp combo would suite my budget of $100


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I went with zxr sound card becuz of sbx studio for gaming and movies

 

my card is external though away from my 3 gfx cards, I do have other stuff like odac/o2, bravo ocean, fiios, soon to be monoprices dac/amp

 

heres a video to compare the surround software, idk where I ran across it but it does give great examples of each

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2BxO9cd-sYA#t=815

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There isn't anything wrong with my onboard audio, but the only reason I was looking at external sound cards was because I heard they produce better sound then the onboard. I don't use speakers as much as I use my headsets. I also am not the smartest when it comes to audio so I don't know weather a dac/amp combo would suite my budget of $100

 

Well, if your onboard is okay, then it should be your priority device to use. It's okay to get an external device (my onboard is working fine, but I'm using a separate device for my headphone), we are boys (assuming you're male :) ), and boys like toys. Just remember that we're getting it because we want to, not because we need to. 

 

Having said that, on the paper, for headphone use, an external dac/amp is better than onboard/soundcards, i.e. less electrical interference, lower output impedance, separate volume knob, etc. In reality you may or may not hear any differences. Even if you can hear the difference, it won't be an overwhelming difference.

 

100 bucks for a dac/amp? You can consider E10k, it's quite good. Or E07k for a bit of portable use. Alternatively, you could get a syba dac, it's sub $50, I think.

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