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Old 22-02-2019, 02:03 PM   #16
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using an external sound card does really improve the sound effect in terms of bass more punchy, and tuning surround sound. previously used onboard, the sound sounded crappy, lack the punch of bass and not much surround. after investing in xfi titanium, it has improved way much!
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Old 22-02-2019, 02:57 PM   #17
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using an external sound card does really improve the sound effect in terms of bass more punchy, and tuning surround sound. previously used onboard, the sound sounded crappy, lack the punch of bass and not much surround. after investing in xfi titanium, it has improved way much!
Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro or
Sound Blaster Ommi Surround 5.1

Which one is better?
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Old 22-02-2019, 03:19 PM   #18
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Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro or
Sound Blaster Ommi Surround 5.1

Which one is better?
it would depend on your usage. for gaming, go for SB X-Fi Surround. For Entertainment/movie, SB Omni Surround.

Mine isnt usb. mine uses pcie.
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Old 22-02-2019, 04:00 PM   #19
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im using logitech z906 already which i find the speaker very good, no point getting a sound card right for my pc?
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Old 22-02-2019, 04:13 PM   #20
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im using logitech z906 already which i find the speaker very good, no point getting a sound card right for my pc?
i believe by investing a proper soundcard compared to the onboard. it will make a significant improvement! it might actually enhance your z906 even more. i wanted to get that too but no space. hence i got katana. but also got dedicated t6160.
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Old 22-02-2019, 04:23 PM   #21
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im using logitech z906 already which i find the speaker very good, no point getting a sound card right for my pc?
If you invest in the X-fi surround pro, you can utilize the 5.1 potential.
In the sense for X-fi, you can customize settings for 5.1 like
surround effect and etc.
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Old 22-02-2019, 04:47 PM   #22
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The sound quality improvement will always be in this order, no exceptions. Also, the deeper into the list, the less obvious in improvement/dollar spent.

1. Clean your ears and makes sure no ear wax(serious)
2. Good speakers/output devices like headphones
3. DAC/amps
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Old 22-02-2019, 07:05 PM   #23
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Onboard chips are generally good enough. Which leads to speakers , those that cost at least 250+ even for a 2.1 setup...

For premium sound cards or DAC, you should then invest in speakers that cost around 500+... For example , using Audioengine A5+ wireless Speakers and subwoofer costs me around 1000 dollars...
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Old 22-02-2019, 07:15 PM   #24
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im using logitech z906 already which i find the speaker very good, no point getting a sound card right for my pc?
for your case even if you buy wont have improvement
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Old 22-02-2019, 07:22 PM   #25
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I'm using sounblasterx g6. Best purchase for my ears, can never go back to non dac audio again.
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Old 22-02-2019, 07:23 PM   #26
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To me yes, as I use headphone most of the time

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Old 22-02-2019, 07:23 PM   #27
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Better buy sound card lah spoilt just swap will do otherwise you have to change whole mobo
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Old 22-02-2019, 08:09 PM   #28
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If you want to improve your sound quality be it headphones or speakers. And since your saying your using swans 2.1 speaker. Try and invest in a better speaker first as that will tremendously improve your sound quality. Nowadays the default realtek onboard audio chip is good enough for average users. And is suitable for speakers in the range of $100-$200.

Try and invest in a good speaker first in the range of $300-$500 to improve your sound quality first before you think about investing in a good external dac/amp. Maybe even those expensive bookshelf speakers.

If you try and buy a good dac/amp to go with your swans 2.1 speaker chances are you will hardly hear a difference. Perhaps a slight improvement in mids,highs or lows and bass but there is very little improvement. Most likelyhood you will notice a huge volume increase due to the build in ampifier on those usb dac that you buy.

Long story short invest in a better speaker first and use with realtek onboard. After that got more budget then invest on a good external dac/amp combi. But be prepare to spend alot of money as investing in good audio equipment as a hobby can be very expensive.

And to answer your question, yes external sound card does improve sound quality but not by much. Most of the time you will not hear a difference if your using modern motherboards with realtek chips. The only difference will be the increase in volume. But if your using older motherboards that are 10 years old or older laptops, it could improve the sound quality by alot as it will sound clearer and crispier. As those older mobo and laptops is using very old audio dac that can sound horrible and very low in volume.

Anyway the money is more worth it if you buy better speakers or headphones instead.
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Old 22-02-2019, 10:02 PM   #29
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Better buy sound card lah spoilt just swap will do otherwise you have to change whole mobo
Huh? Onboard sound spoil, can just get usb/pcie soundcard mah.
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Old 23-02-2019, 10:39 AM   #30
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Heng my speaker uses USB



Money is better first spent on the speakers than on the soundcard/DAC.

Just consider the combinations: Spending $500 only on speakers, vs spending $300 on speakers and $200 on DAC. If anybody tells you the latter sounds better, either you made a really bad choice with your $500 speakers, or you can add the guy to your ignore list.

This gets even more unfavorable for the soundcard/DAC if the total cost is lower - At around $200-300, any money spent on soundcard/DAC takes precious budget away from the speakers, at a price point where there aren't many choices of decent speakers.

But on the other side of the argument, I understand if you already have the speakers, you would want a cheap soundcard/DAC to improve the performance. And those $100 soundcards mentioned still can fall under the reasonably cheap category.

The question then becomes will you be able to hear the difference. (Which is kind of the thread title so I apologize for digressing.)

For that, you can perform your own experiment - Compare how your onboard sound sounds like versus another source, can be a source known to be better or a source known to be worse. Like your smartphone. (Some smartphones are pretty bad but many smartphones e.g. iPhones are way above $100 soundcards.) Or a cheap or high-end DVD player or receiver. Or an MP3 player. Etc.

If you can't hear the difference between the good vs the bad source, then no point. If you can hear a difference, then you can decide if that difference is worth paying $100 for. And that's assuming the $100 soundcard has the performance close to the good source (Let's say the iPhone). Chances are, the $100 soundcards will have a performance closer to onboard sound instead.

In fact, onboard soundcards seem to be getting very good. I just searched "Realtek RMAA" and linked the first 3 results:
https://www.audiosciencereview.com/f...-alc1220.6434/
https://www.tweakpc.de/hardware/test...on_ac/rmaa.htm
http://borisgermanov.blogspot.com/20...st-report.html (P8H67-M, old product brah)

The two soundcards you posted perform at best at the same level if not worse
https://www.ixbt.com/multimedia/crea...d51/2448.shtml
https://www.ixbt.com/multimedia/soun...dec-2013.shtml
http://www.madshrimps.be/articles/ar...#axzz5gJkNGRIF

But, this is after all just the raw analog performance. Which you may or may not be able to hear the difference in your experiment above. The additional part of soundcard is the sound effects that it may include... like X-Fi Crystallizer for example. Whether you want to pay $100 for it tho... or whether you'd rather use software methods (which can be free, too)... depends.
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