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teddy710

Sound Cards: Do We Need Them

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2 minutes ago, Dackzy said:

A dac does not have what it takes in it to out put the signal with the voltage it need to and there is things that is called combos like a external dac and amp in one single box and soundcards. Maybe take the dac as the gpu and think of a amp as the cable that runs to your screen and your headphones as your screen with out the cable you can do anything with your screen.

errr yea im more confused now lol

but its fine, as long as i know they amplify the signals after they convert it then its fine :P

 

"if you dont know, just accept it" - my lecturer for this exact topic (dac and amps)


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2 minutes ago, Moonzy said:

errr yea im more confused now lol

but its fine, as long as i know they amplify the signals after they convert it then its fine :P

 

"if you dont know, just accept it" - my lecturer for this exact topic (dac and amps)

Well you can read my post where I keep things really simple.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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The answer depends on how you define your need.

 

If all you need is audible sound, then no, you do not need an aftermarket sound car.  But neither do you need fancy speakers or possibly even headphones.

 

But if you want higher audio quality, or access to more channels of sound, then yes you need an aftermarket card.

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If you game then there might be depending on your head, shoulder and ear shape. The default Head related transform function that comes with DirectX for headphones is bang on average, and for some people that gives them decent surround sound and they can tell where sounds are coming from. However for others its awful and doesn't sound good at all. Dolby Headphones and SBX are both technologies on sound cards that change the sound signature using 7.1/5.1 input to reproduce the positioning of the sound and then use a better quality and different HRTF to place the sound appropriately. Most gamers don't know about this partly because they don't realise it exists and also because they may never have a problem with the one in directX.

 

Thankfully you can easily tell if you would benefit from having this technology by putting your headphones on, turning off any processing for 3D you might have and then listening to this:

 

 

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3 hours ago, ThomasD said:

The answer depends on how you define your need.

 

If all you need is audible sound, then no, you do not need an aftermarket sound car.  But neither do you need fancy speakers or possibly even headphones.

 

But if you want higher audio quality, or access to more channels of sound, then yes you need an aftermarket card.

just no. Just read my post about this because I dont want to explain why you are wrong. Linked in signature.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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7 hours ago, ThomasD said:

The answer depends on how you define your need.

 

If all you need is audible sound, then no, you do not need an aftermarket sound car.  But neither do you need fancy speakers or possibly even headphones.

 

But if you want higher audio quality, or access to more channels of sound, then yes you need an aftermarket card.

Nope.

If audio quality is of concern, an external DAC and amp will be much better.

Sound cards are becoming the 'headset' equivalent of a DAC + amp and you are only buying them for the convenience.

 

However there are definitely needs for a cheap sound card, for example you need an optical out somehow but you mobo doesn't have one.

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9 minutes ago, seduce_me said:

Nope.

If audio quality is of concern, an external DAC and amp will be much better.

 

 

Nope. There is just a lower risk of getting interference.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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1 hour ago, Dackzy said:

Nope. There is just a lower risk of getting interference.

High end DACs and amps make a small difference, but the audio quality is still improved.

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3 minutes ago, seduce_me said:

High end DACs and amps make a small difference, but the audio quality is still improved.

A soundcard has the same things on it as a dac an amp has so if you have a sound card and a dac and amp with the same parts on them they will sound the same and us as humans can only hear so much. A xonar stx II will sound just the same as a dac and amp that cost the same.-


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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3 minutes ago, Dackzy said:

A soundcard has the same things on it as a dac an amp has so if you have a sound card and a dac and amp with the same parts on them they will sound the same and us as humans can only hear so much. A xonar stx II will sound just the same as a dac and amp that cost the same.-

Though in high price sound cards it's different.

Like a 200$ sound blaster card Will not measure as well as a magni+modi


n0ah1897, on 05 Mar 2014 - 2:08 PM, said:  "Computers are like girls. It's whats in the inside that matters.  I don't know about you, but I like my girls like I like my cases. Just as beautiful on the inside as the outside."

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Just now, spwath said:

Though in high price sound cards it's different.

Like a 200$ sound blaster card Will not measure as well as a magni+modi

That is also a sound blaster and sound blaster is not known to be transparrent and just because the math says something is better does not equal that the human ear can hear the difrence. A 200$ sound card might be equal to a 150$ amp and dac because it also has mic in put and 5.1 or 7.1 and that also cost. A sound card is not a bad value if you need the 5.1/7.1 and mic input, but if you just need for headphones a dac and amp is a little better value and you will get alittle better parts, but it is only very few people who will notice a diffrence if they all are transparrent.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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I don't need a "good" sound card because the onboard audio on my motherboard has an optical output which goes to my AV receiver for my gaming rig. The HTPC is connected to the on board graphics via HDMI.

 

Buying an off board/internal sound card which is superior would be a waste of money because I'm not using any analogue inputs or outputs on any of my machines.

 

 


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Sound cards aren't just a DAC and an AMP though. They are also a bundle of processing capabilities, some of which is dumb stuff no one cares about (why would I want my sound to be like in a bathroom?!) but some of it like the 3D positional stuff is really valuable and recreating a wide surround field when using headphones. To reduce a sound card down to just amp + dac isn't right, they do more than that and on all aspects they are not equal.

 

My soundblaster Z really sounds bad with a pair of HD598s, it bugged me for ages how muffled it sounded and then I got a magni/modi and it fixed the muffled sound but then I didn't have surround sound processing for SBX and I could not tell where I was getting shot from in Arma 3 or battlefield. Then I used an optical out with SBX from the soundblaster Z into the magni/mod and got the best of both worlds. I know first hand how much the dac/amp thing externally can be worth but also the value of the sound card and its processing of 5.1 to headphones.

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If your computer is connected to an external audio device/speakers via digital audio by hdmi or optical, it makes absolutely 0 difference.  Optical and hdmi output 1s and 0s.  Whether those 1s and 0s come from a sound card or onboard audio is exactly the same.

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11 hours ago, Dackzy said:

just no. Just read my post about this because I dont want to explain why you are wrong. Linked in signature.

Get over yourself.

 

Or better yet explain why in your very own "Reasons to get a AMP" you include  "your headphones sound muddy only at that pc"?

 

Is that somehow different than "you want higher audio quality"??? 

 

Or is there an industry standard for audibly 'muddy'?

 

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, BrightCandle said:

Sound cards aren't just a DAC and an AMP though. They are also a bundle of processing capabilities, some of which is dumb stuff no one cares about (why would I want my sound to be like in a bathroom?!) but some of it like the 3D positional stuff is really valuable and recreating a wide surround field when using headphones.

 

That's marginally useful in games. But, as we've seen before, you seem to be highly biased in favor of virtual surround. I, like many regulars here, are less impressed by it due to the echo-y, artificial soundstage that it creates.

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3 minutes ago, ThomasD said:

Get over yourself.

 

Or better yet explain why in your very own "Reasons to get a AMP" you include  "your headphones sound muddy only at that pc"?

 

Is that somehow different than "you want higher audio quality"??? 

 

Or is there an industry standard for audibly 'muddy'?

 

 

 

 

You can hear when sound is muddy with no problem.
When your headphones sounds muddy at only that pc, this means that your pc can power them. when you know how your headphones should sound you will in 1sec be able to hear if the sound is muddy or not.
A amp is only an amplifier is not a miracle worker they can only improve sound if your onboard cant power your headphones.
"you want higher audio quality" if you read my post I say that most motherboards today have transparent sound and then a dac will not improve the sound unless your motherboard is colored or you want a more colored sound that the dac you want will make.


There is only so much a normal human ear can hear, and most motherboards have so good onboard sound that most people cant hear the difference between a dac and amp and their onboard.


The best way to improve audio quality is by getting better headphones and by having songs from good masters(a high quality source). A mp3 from a good master will sound the same as a flac 16 bit from a good master, for 99,9% of all people.


If your headphones sounds good on other computers and you have tried a amp on your own pc to see if it was a power problem, but the sound is still bad then you have a bad onboard dac.


I know that this might be a little hard to understand, but just because math says something is better on paper, does not mean that you can hear it.


What happens for most people is that they buy a amp and dac and thinks wow the sound is so much better now, but  for most people it is their brain saying to them that it must be better because it cost more and therefor you think it is better.

There is some videos on youtube where they take to 100% identical cakes and says one cake costs lets say 20$ and the other one cost 200$ and people say that the 200$ tastes better even though they are the same cake.

 

I would love if people could just ask me about the things they dont understand in my own post or send me a pm.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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Two years ago I made an FAQ thread to answer this question.  All it's done is prove to me over and over again nobody ever reads - even stickies - they just post.  I won't tell you your business, but every time I see another thread on this topic I die a little inside.  


"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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4 minutes ago, h264 said:

Two years ago I made an FAQ thread to answer this question.  All it's done is prove to me over and over again nobody ever reads - even stickies - they just post.  I won't tell you your business, but every time I see another thread on this topic I die a little inside.  

I tried to do so nobody would make something like this.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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5 minutes ago, h264 said:

Two years ago I made an FAQ thread to answer this question.  All it's done is prove to me over and over again nobody ever reads - even stickies - they just post.  I won't tell you your business, but every time I see another thread on this topic I die a little inside.  

 

On this forhim we're forbidden to tell people off for this behavior, in case we harm delicate n00b feels and make things unwelcoming.

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7 minutes ago, SSL said:

 

On this forhim we're forbidden to tell people off for this behavior, in case we harm delicate n00b feels and make things unwelcoming.

Veterans vs. Noobs huh? Tilt the scale towards the veterans, and nobody new wants to join.  Tilt the scale towards the Noobs, and everyone wants to leave.

Edited by h264
clarity

"Pardon my French but this is just about the most ignorant blanket statement I've ever read. And though this is the internet, I'm not even exaggerating."

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Dackzy said:

You can hear when sound is muddy with no problem.
When your headphones sounds muddy at only that pc, this means that your pc can power them. when you know how your headphones should sound you will in 1sec be able to hear if the sound is muddy or not.
A amp is only an amplifier is not a miracle worker they can only improve sound if your onboard cant power your headphones.
"you want higher audio quality" if you read my post I say that most motherboards today have transparent sound and then a dac will not improve the sound unless your motherboard is colored or you want a more colored sound that the dac you want will make.


There is only so much a normal human ear can hear, and most motherboards have so good onboard sound that most people cant hear the difference between a dac and amp and their onboard.


The best way to improve audio quality is by getting better headphones and by having songs from good masters(a high quality source). A mp3 from a good master will sound the same as a flac 16 bit from a good master, for 99,9% of all people.


If your headphones sounds good on other computers and you have tried a amp on your own pc to see if it was a power problem, but the sound is still bad then you have a bad onboard dac.


I know that this might be a little hard to understand, but just because math says something is better on paper, does not mean that you can hear it.


What happens for most people is that they buy a amp and dac and thinks wow the sound is so much better now, but  for most people it is their brain saying to them that it must be better because it cost more and therefor you think it is better.

There is some videos on youtube where they take to 100% identical cakes and says one cake costs lets say 20$ and the other one cost 200$ and people say that the 200$ tastes better even though they are the same cake.

 

I would love if people could just ask me about the things they dont understand in my own post or send me a pm.

LOL, you really need to get over yourself.  I understand you all too clearly.

 

What you don't understand is that every bolded term you use is totally subjective.  In other words, they are opinions in the eye of the beholder.   Beyond that they are meaningless.  Yes audiophools throw them around like they have absolute and measurable differences, but that doesn't make it so.

 

I do agree with your opinion that "most people cant hear the difference between a dac and amp and their onboard."  I'll go one step further and say that even among those computer users who can hear the difference most of them really don't care enough to justify the hassles and expense of more gear.

 

I also agree that if your audio data is not of at least CD audio quality then hardware choices are largely irrelevant, and that headphone (or speaker) choice in those instances are about the only thing that will make a difference.  BUT those differences are due to actual differences in the audio response of the drivers coupled with the listeners personal preferences. (e.g. some people like thumping bass response, others don't)

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1 minute ago, h264 said:

Veterans vs. Noobs huh? Tilt the scale towards the veterans, and nobody new joins.  Tilt the scale towards the Noobs, and everyone wants to leave.

We need to have a good balance and teach people some things :) I am here on this forum because there are little to none of the insane audiophiles and I want to help people learn more about Headphones, amps, dacs, laptops and desktops.


Before you buy amp and dac.  My thoughts on the M50x  Ultimate Ears Reference monitor review I might have a thing for audio...

My main Headphones and IEMs:  K612 pro, HD 25 and Ultimate Ears Reference Monitor, HD 580 with HD 600 grills

DAC and AMP: RME ADI 2 DAC

Speakers: Genelec 8040, System Audio SA205

Receiver: Denon AVR-1612

Desktop: R7 1700, GTX 1080  RX 580 8GB and other stuff

Laptop: ThinkPad P50: i7 6820HQ, M2000M. ThinkPad T420s: i7 2640M, NVS 4200M

Feel free to pm me if you have a question for me or quote me. If you want to hear what I have to say about something just tag me.

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3 minutes ago, h264 said:

Veterans vs. Noobs huh?

 

Not at all. One can be a "noob" without being an lazy, ignorant, pain in the ass.

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