Titanium HD vs Asus Xonar Essence vs Realtek 1150

MrVasarovsky

Estimable
May 23, 2014
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Thinking of buying a dedicated Sound card for my rig. Can you suggest, would I get a noticeable boost in sound quality if I will use either Titanium or Essence for my Sony MDR-XB700 headphones? Will use it 50% gaming 40% music 10% movies
 

ttimberlak443

Honorable
Jan 11, 2014
129
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10,760
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My ASRock Extreme4 Z87 has the Realtek 1150 chip. When it was working (it decided that it would start distorting everything out of the blue) it sounded only ok. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either. It simply got the job done.

When it went out, I got a discrete card instead of dealing with RMA'ing my motherboard. I got an ASUS Xonar DGX and it made a world of difference. Keep in mind, it is driving a pair of Sennheiser PC360's, so these have a higher impedance (50 ohms) than those cans. While the Realtek chip could drive them alright, the Xonar DGX really made these guys sound much fuller. I'm hearing more accurate low end and they are much punchier when the song calls for it.

While I haven't had experience with either of those cards, pretty much any discrete card (while not necessarily needed) will outperform the Realtek chip in almost every way. I would like to point out that sound cards that expensive probably aren't needed. It seems to be minimal improvements passed $40.
 

ttimberlak443

Honorable
Jan 11, 2014
129
0
10,760
35
My ASRock Extreme4 Z87 has the Realtek 1150 chip. When it was working (it decided that it would start distorting everything out of the blue) it sounded only ok. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't great either. It simply got the job done.

When it went out, I got a discrete card instead of dealing with RMA'ing my motherboard. I got an ASUS Xonar DGX and it made a world of difference. Keep in mind, it is driving a pair of Sennheiser PC360's, so these have a higher impedance (50 ohms) than those cans. While the Realtek chip could drive them alright, the Xonar DGX really made these guys sound much fuller. I'm hearing more accurate low end and they are much punchier when the song calls for it.

While I haven't had experience with either of those cards, pretty much any discrete card (while not necessarily needed) will outperform the Realtek chip in almost every way. I would like to point out that sound cards that expensive probably aren't needed. It seems to be minimal improvements passed $40.
 
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