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Topic # 150497 24-Jul-2014 17:31
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Hi

I guess this is a more generic question regarding computer hardware. I just wanted to see people's opinions of using the computer on-board soundcard vs getting a dedicated sound card?

The reason I ask this is that I saw Amazon had this soundcard on sale and I am quite tempted on ordering one in for myself. I guess its not a lot of money, but I wanted to know if anyone on here has used sound cards after using the motherboard for their speakers/headphones and what sort of differences were there? Is it worth getting a dedicated sound card or shall I just carry on using the onboard one. 

I do have decent speakers (Audioengine 2) and I do use Logitech G420 headphones for computer - they come with a USB plug in so not really an issue.

Thanks!!



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  Reply # 1095086 24-Jul-2014 17:33
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this question is highly dependent on which side of the audiophile argument you want to land on...




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  Reply # 1095092 24-Jul-2014 17:40
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Rather than buying a soundcard, use an external DAC - or upgrade your excellent little Audioengine 2 speakers to Audioengine 2+ (with inbuilt DAC).




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  Reply # 1095094 24-Jul-2014 17:41
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fair enough. I do like good sounds (not necessarily boomy, but clear highs and mids are very important). In terms of gaming, watching movies and listening to music, would I be able to get noticeably better sound than the onboard stuff?



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  Reply # 1095100 24-Jul-2014 17:47
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Sideface: Rather than buying a soundcard, use an external DAC - or upgrade your excellent little Audioengine 2 speakers to Audioengine 2+ (with inbuilt DAC).


I have been looking at the Dragonfly DAC. That has been on my wishlist. But with that, I cannot have headphones and speakers connected simultaneously.. Other than that, no real deal breaker.. Oh, and its twice the price.. But then I can use it with my macbook as well on the go.. so thats a tradeoff. 

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  Reply # 1095101 24-Jul-2014 17:48
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Krishant007: fair enough. I do like good sounds (not necessarily boomy, but clear highs and mids are very important). In terms of gaming, watching movies and listening to music, would I be able to get noticeably better sound than the onboard stuff?


IMHO, yes.
The inside of a PC is full of nasty electrical noise, which even a good sound card may pick up.

PS  I have a pair of Audioengine 2+s and love them. I actually use them more often than my high-end HiFi system which cost 50 times more.




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  Reply # 1095104 24-Jul-2014 17:54
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Krishant007: I have been looking at the Dragonfly DAC. That has been on my wishlist. But with that, I cannot have headphones and speakers connected simultaneously.. Other than that, no real deal breaker.. Oh, and its twice the price.


The Dragonfly is an excellent option and is a bargain at the price.
Why would you want to listen to headphones and speakers at the same time?
The Audioengine 2+ option is simpler, but you would have to sell your old speakers.




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  Reply # 1113565 22-Aug-2014 16:54
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The Audioengine D1 DAC is a great piece of kit, probably cheaper than upgrading to the A2+ speakers too I'd imagine.

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  Reply # 1113675 22-Aug-2014 19:34
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essceebird: The Audioengine D1 DAC is a great piece of kit, probably cheaper than upgrading to the A2+ speakers too I'd imagine.

+1
The AudioEngine A2+ speakers have a 16-bit DAC built in.
The A2+ handles up to 48K transfer rate, and up to 16 bits bit-depth.
The AudioEngine D1 DAC does 24 bit, and is powered by USB.
The D1 handles up to 24 bits and any sample rate to 192KHz.
Will drive your existing A2 speakers beautifully.





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  Reply # 1114515 24-Aug-2014 13:23
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i've never used anything but the built in sound component in my motherboard ever, i'd be interested to know if the sound is any better as well.

i've got these speakers





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  Reply # 1114580 24-Aug-2014 14:56
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I have never had satifactrorly low noise on the output of onboard sound that I could listen to it loud and not hear whirs and chirps of motherboard noise in the quiet bits/when not playing things.

One PC I had, I couldnt even listen to it quietly without the same problems. Connecting headphones directly was unacceptably noisy and the volume control only reduced the sounds I wanted, not the noise.

I use a USB to optical adapter and then a DAC. That way no groundloops either since its optical between the noisy PC and the rest of the system.




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  Reply # 1115619 26-Aug-2014 07:44
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I've recently purchased an external soundcard (Soundblaster Omni 5.1) and it blows away my previous gaming headset when used with some older Sony MDR-V300s.

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  Reply # 1116031 26-Aug-2014 18:01
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It used to be that one of the main reasons for gamers to use a discreet sound card vs onboard was that the card would use less resources than the onboard. Does anyone know if this is still the case? Or have gaming machines got to the point where you wouldn't notice the difference anyway?

Brumfondl





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