Should I buy a sound card? Which one?

IshtarGate

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Oct 15, 2013
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I have a HyperX Cloud headset. I'm not disappointed with the sound and I am no audiophile, but I do appreciate better sound quality, and I like things that are shiny. I've been looking at sound cards for the past day and I'm not really sure if I should get one or not.

Assuming I do get a good external sound card, I might consider investing in better headphones that can be driven by it. I am looking specifically at the Asus Xonar U7 and the Creative Sound Blaster Omni. I can't use an internal sound card because of my setup.

What I don't know is—do I actually need one? Will the audio quality be substantially better than my Realtek HD on-board audio? What about if I get better headphones from the $200-$250 range and drive them with the card?

Thanks for reading!
 
With a good high quality headphone, get a discrete sound card to get the best performance. Audio chips on mainboards are very good as well but because they are on a board with all other components, it can have a quality influence when it comes to clear sound.
 

IshtarGate

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I'm using a Gigabyte GA-B85M-D3H with the latest Realtek HD drivers.

A USB headset is also something I've considered, but from what I've heard it's always a better idea to go with headphones + discrete microphone?



Thanks for the link! That was what originally sold me on the Creative Omni actually, hehe. But what it doesn't answer for me is whether I *should* get a sound card at all or not. Do they really have a noticeable impact?
 

IshtarGate

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Oct 15, 2013
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Hmm, not sure if anyone around me will be carrying it, but I'll ask around, that's a good idea. Thanks!
 
With a good high quality headphone, get a discrete sound card to get the best performance. Audio chips on mainboards are very good as well but because they are on a board with all other components, it can have a quality influence when it comes to clear sound.
 
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