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EPICSNIPER145

I just got my first sound card

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I can tell you from switching to a nice soundcard the difference in quality from my Asus P8Z77-V (which does have good audio on it) compared to my Xonar Essence STX was fairly noticeable. Much cleaner sound floor (no static sound when there was nothing playing) and just much cleaner sounding audio when it came to listening to music. The better sounding audio did not come from the card making the sound louder either as I don't blast my audio to the max 24/7, nor does the card automatically make the sound loud. Audio on PC's is a pretty subjective topic and everybody is different when it comes to their audio solutions. This is just my experience with decent onboard audio and switching to a higher end sound card solution. 


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I'll just leave this here.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1rXcJuEsy0

I cant even tell you how many times I have posted that video when someone says "Oh, go get a sound card"


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I also disagree with the video. . . 

 

I use Sehnniser HD 25s to game on, and the realtek onboard just wasn't cutting it.

I bought a DGX and it has amped it up abit . . . As for people who says louder isn't always better? well it sounds abit louder than it was, and a bit cleaner, it certainly doesn't sound worse.

What I will say with the DGX though, it's an entry level product, I wasn't expecting much from it, but I got what I expected and for £20 it's decent enough

 

Could I have stuck with onboard sound? arguably yes, but the headphones are rated at 70ohm, just wanted something to give them abit more power.

 

However, my Turtle beach PX21s sounded shit before the soundcard, and sound worse after it was installed. . . so u know? 


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I will now f off, enjoy your waste of money and have a happy new year.  ;)

Dear lord, guys is anyone else horrified by how dickish people have been in this thread? 

 

calm down, there is absolutely no reason to get mad in this argument. 


“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.”    -Henry Ford

 

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I wonder what @LinusTech thinks of this, considering how highly he praises even low priced sound cards like the Xonar DGX.

 

 

I also disagree with the video. . . 

 

I use Sehnniser HD 25s to game on, and the realtek onboard just wasn't cutting it.

I bought a DGX and it has amped it up abit . . . As for people who says louder isn't always better? well it sounds abit louder than it was, and a bit cleaner, it certainly doesn't sound worse.

What I will say with the DGX though, it's an entry level product, I wasn't expecting much from it, but I got what I expected and for £20 it's decent enough

 

Could I have stuck with onboard sound? arguably yes, but the headphones are rated at 70ohm, just wanted something to give them abit more power.

 

However, my Turtle beach PX21s sounded shit before the soundcard, and sound worse after it was installed. . . so u know? 

People don't seem to realize that louder means that the sound card has more power, and if it has more power, it can drive headphones with a higher impedance.

 

The the HD558s for example, with their rating of 50 ohms impedance:

post-1491-0-77623700-1388208824.jpg

Of course your amp is going to make those sounds better and not just because they're louder. Onboard won't be able to drive that impedance spike properly.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Dear lord, guys is anyone else horrified by how dickish people have been in this thread?

calm down, there is absolutely no reason to get mad in this argument.

am I being a dick or is everyone being a Dick to me or to each other in general
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am I being a dick or is everyone being a Dick to me or to each other in general

Its a bit of both, a lot of people don't believe in sound cards, others think that they are amazing.

For me I'm gonna stick to my FiiO E10 DAC/AMP both for portability (Laptop and other) along with

IMO better quality. 

Hate me if you will but that's my own opinion, either way enjoy what you will.


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It is called placebo, you believe it is going to give you better sound, but it doesn't

 

I notice a difference between my onboard and my phoebus, but I also notice the same effect, same volume, same quality as my fiio d3 dac+ fiio e5 that I bought originally to use my ad900x's with my xbox.  

 

The difference between my headphones on the onboard vs the phoebus or fiio d3+e5 is a big difference, they sound extremely "meh" and feel really underpowered, I impulsed bought my phoebus back then and kinda wish I would of seen some things first before buying it.

 

since Im selling my phoebus for an o2amp+odac I've been using the fiio d3 + e5 and it sounds exactly the same as my phoebus lol, the only thing that sucks is I lack a little bit of customization on the EQ now which doesn't bug me to bad.


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The only dedicated Sound Card that you should actually ever have is one with an optical IN.

Using one set of headphones and being able to use TeamSpeak while playing console games is just a freaking god-send. Same thing goes for not having to switch between moniters of limit yourself to one or the other.

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whatever stop being annoying and f off

Dear lord, guys is anyone else horrified by how dickish people have been in this thread? 

 

calm down, there is absolutely no reason to get mad in this argument.

Simply doing as told

 

If you have a pair of normal speakers/headphones you dont need a sound card.

 

If you HAVE proper gear,a sound card helps.

 

/end debate

why pay 200$ for an inferior product compared to a DAC/Amp when you have the money for expensive hardware that can take advantage of either anyway.

For the price of a mid range card, the experience with onboard that can drive a given pair of headphones will be comparable if not better, for a higher end solution, a dac/amp would be better.

Sounds cards are best for people that need the inputs or for music production.

 

I also find it a little weird, if this is true that is, that every company that makes sound cards knows that they're pretty much selling fancy PCBs that do nothing at all. And how long have sound cards been around now? Why was almighty Logan the first to stumble upon this. 

That's not a very good argument at all to support something's existence. If there's a demand for anything as ridiculous as venetian sunglasses, there's a market for anything and someone to make it. People don't stop making things because they're useless, they stop making things because they no longer sell, a lot of audio cards are the diet pills of PC components. Sound cards were useful before, they have passed their period of worth as onboard has improved and externals have gotten cheaper and better. It takes time for people to catch on which is further retarded by those conservative. Also Logan is far from the first person to stumble upon this, lol. 

 

That video is like 80% BS.

 

With USB vs PCIe sound card, there is no significant difference. It's down to the DAC and amp on the thing.

 

That video really sounds like Mayflower trying to sell their unit. Especially that BS about how the game designers wanted their music to sound. Was BF3 really more enjoyable with the horrible blue filter?

 

I'd like to point out that Logan tends to have videos that contradict the opinions of the majority. For example there was that video where the FX-8350 beat the Core i7 2600k by a large margin in several games. I'm pretty sure that result could not be recreated by many people, which leads me to believe that they have some bad testing practices or are doing these for publicity.

 

 Which sound card did you test it on?

 

I've noticed a greater resolution of sounds between my Xonar DX and my ALC 882. I've also noticed an improvement in the quality of bass between my Xonar DX and my Fiio E10.

 

There's definitely a difference in the sound that they produce, and the difference definitely is an improvement.

 

For a blind taste test, you could consider that I had multiple people tell me that my microphone quality had improved when I switched from my onboard to my sound card. People asked if I got a new mic, but it was just the sound card.

 

 Except an amplified signal will improve the quality on anything with high impedance drivers.

 

You don't need an amp for making it loud, you need an amp for the drivers to function properly, if you have high impedance headphones.

You didn't quote me here, but I feel inclined to commentate. 

 

You can ask @MayflowerElectronics himself, he won't market the amp and will remind you (I think he does in the video) that the o2 amp is built on a free design, you can buy the same thing from whoever. I'm going from memory because it's late, I'm tired, and don't feel like going through a 20 minute video, but I'm pretty sure he describes how they build them and what they have available. As a representative of his company, I don't feel that's overstepping at all. 

 

And I'd prefer my sound device to not be altered by my sound card if I for whatever reason had one. Keeping the signal and source as close to the perfected original state would be what was intended. A sound card coloring the audio layered on top of headphone bias will greatly change what is heard from what is intended. That point is completely valid. If you'd rather your sound card automatically raise low end response and add in all of that fancy audio processing they push, then that's fine, but that's far from BS. Flat amplification and flat response with changes to suit preference or to compensate done by EQ is optimal unless you're in for a musical fetish of sorts. Anything other than that is straying from the original, not done by you, and out of your control. 

 

I've tried my 990's with a friends STX before, compared to my E10 I didn't really hear a difference. 

 

Amplified signal never improves the sound quality on anything, what you say will be true in the case of a pair with high resistance but you have it somewhat phrased misleading. An amplified signal may provide enough voltage to correctly drive a pair, it may also correct for damping. You do need an amp to make it loud, that is the purpose of an amplifier to increase the amplitude of the output signal. What @Matsy said is not wrong, the word usage and the lack of implications by said word choice is what you're getting at.

 

I wonder what @LinusTech thinks of this, considering how highly he praises even low priced sound cards like the Xonar DGX.

 

 

People don't seem to realize that louder means that the sound card has more power, and if it has more power, it can drive headphones with a higher impedance.

 

The the HD558s for example, with their rating of 50 ohms impedance:

attachicon.gifDesktop_2013_12_28_00_32_44_469.jpg

Of course your amp is going to make those sounds better and not just because they're louder. Onboard won't be able to drive that impedance spike properly.

Not trying to call you out, but you've lost all credibility in my eyes here. I'm not sure @ShearMe has seen this thread yet, but he'd probably throw a fit over that. 

 

I would also love if you could provide me with a recent source where he praises low priced sound cards. 


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Only it isn't just making it louder.

 

Now look. Whilst I agree that for gaming specifically little more than the onboard is needed I don't agree at all when it comes to music. Why doesn't a good sound card make a difference in gaming? quite simply because the sound files being played by the game and passed through the sound card are usually so so in quality. They're almost always compressed which degrades the sound quality.

 

There are many other things that sound cards are judged by which have not been covered by this video. Namely -

 

Frequency response.

Noise level (measured in DB)

Dynamic range (DB)

THD (Total Harmonic Distortion) THE most important part of any piece of sound equipment.

IMD+

Crosstalk.

 

Now here's the thing. Let's take a look at Realtek HD onboard audio -

 

http://g4zfq.alotspace.com/RightMarkTests/RealtekHD-on-board-Audio.htm

 

Or rather -

 

Summary Frequency response (from 40 Hz to 15 kHz), dB

+0.12, -0.44
Good

Noise level, dB (A)

-72.7
Average

Dynamic range, dB (A)

72.8
Average

THD, %

0.012
Good

THD + Noise, dB (A)

-66.3
Average

IMD + Noise, %

0.090
Good

Stereo crosstalk, dB

-68.8
Good

IMD at 10 kHz, %

0.089
Good

General performance

 
Good
 
 
 

 

Now I'm hoping that posts as it should. Note - Good, good, average. 

 

Now high end sound cards (dependent on model) rate FAR more highly than that. They use higher quality components (BTW there's no difference between a Realtek HD on a £40 motherboard or, say, a Crosshair ROG)

 

Let's add in the results from the sound card I went to so much trouble to fit in my PC shall we?

 

results.png

 

Ain't that a bitch !

 

And it's when you start getting out things such as lossless FLAC and other forms of audio that you absolutely WILL notice a big difference.

 

Now I sort of understand what Logan is saying there (not technically, I worked for the British Broadcasting Company or BBC producing all of their studio speakers) but simply banging on about resistance is not going to cut it here. Audio is FAR more in depth and complex than Logan seems to understand.

 

If what he is saying holds any water then companies such as Rogers (who I used to work for producing near field monitors to BBC spec) and other high end audio companies would not be in business, and all we could possibly want is any old set of speakers with a decent impedance and high sensitivity. But unfortunately it doesn't work like that. The same can be said for amplifiers, DACs, hell, ANY piece of audio equipment.

 

Just because you may lack the correct set of ears and more importantly the critical listening skills needed to differentiate good quality audio from run of the mill doesn't mean we all do ! 

Now go and find a site and test that compares new realtek devices to a sound card,  that is clearly not an apples to apples comparison. Most realtek devices nowadys have an SNR at or above 100dB and I don't think any of them were ever as low as 72dB in the last 10 years.

 

I suggest you take a look at those Realtek results, then compare them to a few high end sound cards.

 

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2005/10/31/creative_xfi/6

 

The results are night and bloody day.

 

That's not even a comparison to a realtek device,  that's a comparison to an old Nvidia solution for nforce chipsets, when was the last time anyone used one of those?  FFS STOP COMPARING OLD ONBOARD TECHNOLOGY, NO ONE USES IT AND NO ONE HAS SAID IT IS BETTER!

I wonder what @LinusTech thinks of this, considering how highly he praises even low priced sound cards like the Xonar DGX.

 

 

People don't seem to realize that louder means that the sound card has more power, and if it has more power, it can drive headphones with a higher impedance.

 

The the HD558s for example, with their rating of 50 ohms impedance:

attachicon.gifDesktop_2013_12_28_00_32_44_469.jpg

Of course your amp is going to make those sounds better and not just because they're louder. Onboard won't be able to drive that impedance spike properly.

Its not about an amps power output, the important spec of a headphone amp is output impedance, people seem to confuse this with power all the time. They are different, there is no point in having an amp that can drive 600 ohm headphones if it's own output impedance is so high it changes the FR of the Bass or top end.

 

 

Seriously people, if you have to dig up old tests and comparisons you clearly have no idea what is going on. 


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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Who is mayflower like what do they do. Sorry I just don't know them.

He is a guy, he does audio stuff. Pretty chill, has a beard and gives people deals on his products. 

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Only it isn't just making it louder.

 

I'd go through signal theory with you and why all those stats don't actually matter most of the time (or are loaded!) with modern well-built devices, but why, since Monty already made videos:

 

http://www.xiph.org/video/vid1.shtml

 

http://www.xiph.org/video/vid2.shtml

 

implementation matters in analog audio, not the individual components.  Also note both of those noise values are inaudible to the human ear.

 

Also, about RMAA:

 

http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/02/rightmark-audio-analyzer-rmaa.html


"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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I would like to bring to light something that one of the audio guys (You know who you are) mentioned awhile back in a PM.
"Why is it bad for Tyler to promote his product and business, but its widely excepted that Asus can do it." 
Both are businesses, both have bills to pay, so calling Mayflower out for selling a product, something that he didn't even do in Logans video mind you, means that by proxy you MUST! also call Asus, or Creative, or any other company on the face of the planet out for marketing. 
On a more thread topic related note, it is natural and healthy to be upset that you have been told that a product you paid your hard earned money on is pointless or WORSE! then onboard. But numbers are number, and science and facts don't care about your money, pride, or product. They tell the truth about what product is best, and the product you may or may not have bought is subpar, so go ahead get angry, being angry won't change the numbers, or make your product spontaneously better. It will just upset you and the other side of the argument. 
/end post

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If you have a pair of normal speakers/headphones you dont need a sound card.

 

If you HAVE proper gear,a sound card helps.

 

/end debate

 

You also need decent source material. I suspect this, combined with sub-par gear, is why many people can't tell the difference between integrated audio and a dedicated solution.

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You also need decent source material. I suspect this, combined with sub-par gear, is why many people can't tell the difference between integrated audio and a dedicated solution.

File type and bitrate makes no difference if the bit rate is about 256-320, while I will concede that some tracks do have a noticeable different signature in a lossless codec, most of the time there is no measurable difference. 

So there is no point going about converting your whole library to flac because you aren't cool and you're wasting space on your storage medium. 

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Well this thread has gone pretty sideways now hasn't it?


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It is so funny people only started saying that "soundcards are BS, don't buy them" only AFTER this video appeared. What a coincidence. 


 

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It is so funny people only started saying that "soundcards are BS, don't buy them" only AFTER this video appeared. What a coincidence. 

Been saying it for a long time, go check the posts, been fighting a losing battle for months. 

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hm, quite.

-snip-

isee222-1.gif


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If you have a pair of normal speakers/headphones you dont need a sound card.

 

If you HAVE proper gear,a sound card helps.

 

/end debate

 

Unless people are joking, the whole "/end debate" thing is arrogant. 

 

A sound card does not always help, especially if you "HAVE" proper gear.  the debate will never be ended because people will always fall victim to marketing hype. The reality is that different headphones react differently to different amplifier specs and these are constantly changing and evolving like all technology.  

 

Honestly if people applied the same arguments to GPU and CPU benchmarking/testing as they do to sound cards they'd be laughed of the forums.


QuicK and DirtY. Read the CoC it's like a guide on how not to be moron.  Also I don't have an issue with the VS series.

Sometimes I miss contractions like n't on the end of words like wouldn't, couldn't and shouldn't.    Please don't be a dick,  make allowances when reading my posts.

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