Sound cards, do they make a difference or waste of money?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by RemixDeluxe, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. RemixDeluxe
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    RemixDeluxe GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Does a dedicated sound card really have a night and day difference compared to an onboard one? Most audiophiles (weird name btw) swear by them and say they are a must have for music and especially PC gaming. Some high end headphones I've looked into mentioned you wont get the full performance out of them with just onboard sound alone but I wanted to hear it from the PC gamers rather than sound and music enthusiast. From someone that does a lot of PC gaming does this really make or break the games you enjoy or give a better sense of depth and immersion in the games you enjoy?
     
  2. DarkFlare69

    DarkFlare69 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    At these prices? http://prntscr.com/a2kvph Probably not. I would spend the money on a video card where it actually matters. If the sound is different, it won't be outragously different
     
  3. RemixDeluxe
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    RemixDeluxe GBAtemp Psycho!

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    But this topic isnt about graphics/video cards. I'm interested in getting the best sound out of my system as possible.

    Just wanna know if headphones alone will cut it.
     
  4. GreatCrippler

    GreatCrippler Greatness Fallen

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    Quality of board, quality of sound card, and quality of speakers all effect this. The more you spend on all 3, the better off your sound quality.
     
  5. DarkFlare69

    DarkFlare69 GBAtemp Psycho!

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    If you care that much, then, it probably will help.
     
  6. RemixDeluxe
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    RemixDeluxe GBAtemp Psycho!

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    I'd love to get better speakers instead of headphones but my roommates would get pissed. Until I get my own place I'm sticking with headphones for now.
     
  7. FAST6191

    FAST6191 Techromancer

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    If said sound card has inputs that the stock motherboard one does not (midi, extra inputs, xlr....), extra power you might want (to power better microphones, able to drive lower impedance headphones/speakers/whatever*) or have greater numbers of outputs (to listen to all that 11.2 music and play back films doing the same -- basically everything comes with 5.1 these days) and such a thing is what you want then it might be worse considering.

    *this is probably what said headphones meant -- you stick them in the little laptop headphone port and it will not perform the best as said port will not be able to drive them fully. You have an amplifier (this can include your hifi stack if it is close enough) that can do the impedance (or if the headphones are otherwise powered) and you are good.

    If you are dealing with bluetooth or spdif (the orange "phono" lead or covered red light you might have seen on sound cards) then we are well into silly country.

    As a reflection upon the quality... yeah you get a bottom of the barrel piece of asrock junk and put it against some fancy almost home studio thing from creative and you might even be able to hear the difference and will certainly be able to show something on an oscilloscope. For the average person's ears with normal/half decent speakers in a normal room that just wants to hear things clear enough then no.
    "better sense of depth and immersion"
    If you are comparing like for like then no. If you are comparing buying a sound card, getting fancy closed back 5.1 headphones and comparing them to sticking some cheapo earbuds into a nasty consumer laptop then yeah it could well be night and day.

    There is a popular phrase when dealing with audiophools (those that might want good audio but which fall for all sorts of nonsense like monster cable and worse) that runs something like "if it works better for you then great, just don't expect your mates to hear it". I am not quite sure that is the case here but it would probably be close and one would wonder whether it was ultimately worth it when the original was more than serviceable.
    In most cases though you will hear the poor mastering of the average modern audio CD, whatever they are doing in films these days.

    This changes somewhat if you want to capture audio directly into a machine as the ADCs for most onboard sound cards are good enough for skype but not that much more, though for capture you do have a few options these days. Otherwise buy some better headphones, buy a better SSD, save the money or buy a better graphics card, better mouse.... anything short of fancy LEDs to put in your computer's fans.
     
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  8. Armadillo

    Armadillo GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Worth it, if only to avoid having to deal with realtek.
     
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  9. RemixDeluxe
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    RemixDeluxe GBAtemp Psycho!

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  10. HentaiHedghog

    HentaiHedghog Banned

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    Maybe it would've been better to make a new thread...
     
  11. RemixDeluxe
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    RemixDeluxe GBAtemp Psycho!

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    I hate to waste space on another topic thats nearly identical to this one and I started this topic because I thought I needed a sound card for headphones I was looking into. I try to leave as less of a footprint on this site as possible.
     
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  12. RemixDeluxe
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    RemixDeluxe GBAtemp Psycho!

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    If this doesnt get anymore responses I'll make another topic. I just dont like taking up space when the subject is nearly identical.
     
  13. cearp

    cearp the ticket master

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    wouldn't a usb dac be fine? does that replace the whole sound card in the computer problem?
     
  14. RemixDeluxe
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    RemixDeluxe GBAtemp Psycho!

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    Seems like a tacky way to resolve the problem.
     
  15. cearp

    cearp the ticket master

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    why are they tacky? i thought they were good, portable, etc. i don't have one, so i don't really know
     
  16. RemixDeluxe
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    RemixDeluxe GBAtemp Psycho!

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    It does the job for sure but I like to try to limit what I use externally for my PC as much as I can. If a sound card which you can install internally does those functions then it seems pointless. Also depending how good the sound card or headphones you purchase they may come with a tuner/converter already.
     
  17. RemixDeluxe
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    RemixDeluxe GBAtemp Psycho!

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    I'm still unsure which to choose between these two as these are the ones I really want. I like both but I'm trying to find some clear distinction on what makes the Audio-Technica worth its price cause if it mainly does the same job as the Hyper X then theres no sense in spending hundreds for nearly the same quality. I'm not an expert with headphones or sounds, I'm just going off by specs and reviews alone.

    http://www.audio-technica.com/cms/headphones/0c3da2c2fc5cd24f/index.html

    http://www.hyperxgaming.com/us/cloud/hscp
     
  18. Originality

    Originality Chibi-neko

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    Without looking at any specs or reviews, all I can say at a glance at the pictures is that the Hyper X looks more comfortable. Round headphones always end up digging into my ears after a while.
     
  19. RemixDeluxe
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    RemixDeluxe GBAtemp Psycho!

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    From an aesthetics and comfort point of view I admired the Hyper X more as well. I'm not sure if the audio-technica was designed that way on purpose but not having any kind of cover around the headband part makes the expose wiring of it look cheap which hinders my decision towards it just a little bit.