(Gaming Audio) Safe to connect DAC to powered studio speakers?

stoph9003

Commendable
Oct 1, 2016
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Can I connect a DAC to powered studio monitors to increase the sound quality? Will I start a fire if I try to connect the two? Am I better off getting a soundcard? So many questions and I've had trouble getting any straight, informative, answers. Please help.
 

stoph9003

Commendable
Oct 1, 2016
4
0
1,510
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The speakers are alesis 5 elevate active studio monitors. Also, after reading up a bit more I decided I'd go for an external sound card (sound blasterx G5) because it seems to be a better option for me. It seems to be, fundamentally, the same thing as a DAC, but this one is geared more towards gaming audio. What do you think?

Thanks for the reply.

 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
any "external dac" is compatible with any "powered speaker" pretty much.

a dac outputs a low level signal and a powered speaker expects this. as long as we arent talking about dac + amp combo units or unpowered speakers you are fine.

quality wise a schiit modi would be ideal but its a bit costly compared to the speakers. that is entry level hifi stuff. it does one thing and one thing well stereo audio.

a soundcard might be more useful IF
- you need virtual surround sound
- you want a microphone input (and dont want to use onboard for that)
- you need 5.1 (if soundcard you get supports it)

a soundcard is basically a dac + weak/mid level amp + software in one package.

whether you want a soundcard or dac depends on your needs and preferences honestly.
 

stoph9003

Commendable
Oct 1, 2016
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Well, I'm trying as good audio out of my pc as, oddly enough, my xbox 360 has. It sounds as good as my pc looks, especially with the speakers i'm using. I'm just trying to get the same audio quality/depth out of my pc, so I was looking into external sound cards (soundblasterx G5 to be exact). I just haven't been too clear on how these devices work, especially in the realm of gaming audio, so thanks for the info.

 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
any mid level soundcard should be about equivalent to the xbox in terms of audio quality i would believe. i know the xonar dx or creative z internals would be great. i dont know a whole heck of alot about the g5 as i think its a newer model but some of the externals from creative or asus are decent.

a dedicated dac is going to sound better than a soundcard but its also more limited (to stereo only output, no inputs) which is why i said it depends on what you want in a product. honestly given that you said you have powered speakers and did not list any other devices for input i'd say a dedicated dac only like the modi might be your best choice if quality is important. be aware that dac lack amps so if you ever wanted to use headphones with it you would need an amp. my second choice would be the xonar dx internal as it has the same dac as the $200+ stx but lacks the powerful amplifier.

worth looking at http://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/7664/creative-sound-blasterx-g5-external-usb-7-1-card-review/index.html
you dont want/need virtual surround for speakers. not unless you're into that sort of thing at least.
 

stoph9003

Commendable
Oct 1, 2016
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1,510
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Thank you so much for the info. I've ended up going with the G5 because I found it for a serious discount, plus I'd like to have the option to go 7.1 at some point, which the G5 accommodates (through headphones)
 

WyomingKnott

Distinguished


Why is there a product called the Schiit Fulla? Why? Because it's easy to remember?
 
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