Which Better: Good Sound card or Low-End Receiver with HDMI 2.

gregdiamondemail

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Jan 11, 2018
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Hi Guys. Please and Thank you.

Considering obsolescence, and a budget of $200 which would be better for me?

• A high-end sound card such as the SUS Xonar Essence STX II: https://goo.gl/E1v5k9

• Or would a low-end receiver with HDMI v2 such as Sony STR-DH770: https://goo.gl/yxoTiQ
, running HDMI from my GPU, GeForce GTX 960, to the receiver.

My motherboard has sound issues, but due other components compatibility I don’t want to replace the motherboard. It is a GIGABYTE Z170X-Gaming 7: https://goo.gl/j2z9ig
Other people have the same issues with sound and no one seems to have a solution.

• I have an old analog receiver, Fisher CA-862: https://goo.gl/MzQf1R
• I have two old Fisher STV-887A speakers (15” Woofer, 4” mid, 3” tweeter, 8ohm, max 120 W). They are extremely bassy.
• I have Sennheiser HD 558 Headphones with Impedance: 50 Ohms.
• My OS is Windows 10.

I am interested in upgrading; however, cost is a priority. I would have to upgrade piecemeal.

Surround Sound is not a priority, but would be nice in the future. Right now, two good speakers seem like a better option.

I play CS:GO a first person shooter, for which I use my headphones. I currently plug them into the receiver. It sounds better.

Basically, which is better sound-card or entry level receiver?

Thanks.

-Greg



 

anort3

Distinguished
Moderator
The Sony receiver would power your big speakers well and be weaker with headphones. It should do fine with your HD 558s though.

A high end sound card ( I have the original STX ) will have a very good DAC and a high power, clean headphone amplifier allowing you to upgrade to just about any headphones on the market.The soundcard also has built in DSP and virtual surround for gaming, movies etc. as well as a pure, uncolored HiFi mode. What it will not do is power external speakers. The amp part is only for headphones.

So you'll have to balance it based on use.
 

gregdiamondemail

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Jan 11, 2018
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How much do you think running the audio from the STX to the current receiver would diminish audio quality to the current speakers? I mean versus running it from GPU>HDMI>new receiver?

I think I care more about music quality overall than gaming. I am also concerned about purchasing a new receiver and having it become obsolete, also having it break and need repairs...
 

anort3

Distinguished
Moderator
Putting a sound card in the mix won't diminish the audio in any way. The STX II is an audiophile grade part in every way.

Nothing is going to go obsolete. Will it eventually break? Yes. Just like literally everything else. A quality receiver will last years though. I bought my receiver in 2011. I've had my STX since 2013. Both are used daily.

Something like this seems ideal for what you need.

https://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio_visual/hifi_components/r-s202/index.html
 
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