$150-$250 Sound Card for Z-5500D

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by Cinamonk, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. Cinamonk

    Cinamonk Member

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    Hey there,
    Im about to buy a set of logitech z-5500's but acknowledge that it won't really be worth it unless i get a sound card to make sure i get as descent sound as I can. So I was wondering what recommendations of sound cards you guys can make with the price range $150-250. The important things for me (in list of priority are) Games, Music, Movies.
    Thanks for any help :D
     
  2. GrimRe

    GrimRe Member

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    In order of preference:

    Asus Xonar D2(X)
    Bluegears b-Enspirer
    Auzentech Xplosion X-Fi
    X-Fi XtremeMusic

    In terms of price vs performance the b-Enspirer is a clear cut winner, but the Xonar under $200 may come close.
     
  3. googlevich

    googlevich Member

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    Uh, the Auzentech Xplosion isn't based on the X-Fi chip. I think you may be confusing it with the Prelude.

    Anyway for the most part going by your list (games, music, movies) I'd say get an Auzentech Prelude or Asus Xonar. The good thing about the Prelude is it is based around the X-Fi chip so has all the Creative 3d effects for games like EAX 5.0 and such.

    But any on that list will be fine.
     
  4. Liam.

    Liam. Member

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    chaintech av710 > amp > speakers is what i would do for speakers hehe.

    prelude has nice music playback and all the gaming features too, and if youre into modding stuff you can replace opamps on it.

    otherwise asus or bluegears.
     
  5. Ilumina

    Ilumina Member

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    Auzentech Xplosion X-Fi with modded opamps.. Can even blow the chaintech away.
     
  6. Mongolian

    Mongolian Member

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    I'd have to say the Auzentech X-Fi Prelude too but you can only replace the front channel op amps, not the surround. I plan on getting the prelude soon as my XtremeGamer, while great for games, just doesn't cut it for movies and music.

    With a steady hand you can always mod an XtremeMusic for the best value for money, but you'll need to find a second hand one somewhere.
     
  7. PsychoSmiley

    PsychoSmiley Member

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    HT Omega Claro+ plus does everything perfectly and I'm a very solid gamer. Sure you miss out on EAX (nothing lost honestly), but the card makes up for it in pure robustness, clarity and quality of it's output.
     
  8. MagyaR

    MagyaR Member

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    Modded opamps?
     
  9. stuii

    stuii Member

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    they're replaceable to whatever you choose to buy...

    but of course that only counts for analogue outputs anyways, so if you're using coax or opti then it wouldn't make a difference I believe
     
  10. NismoR31

    NismoR31 Member

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    i have an x-fi fatal1ty fps in perfect condition for $200 if you want it
     
  11. impact_player

    impact_player Member

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    My understanding is that the z5500s have very ordinary capabilities to play back a digital feed into them, and that if you're wanting quality sound (given that you've already got the z5500s and so don't have the option of getting something else), then using analogue input will give you better sound if you've got a good soundcard.

    I also believe that X-Fi (creative ones) don't output digital sound in games on more than two channels. I can't recall exactly what it is, but they won't output DTS or something like that. One of the dolby standards, google it for a definitive answer.

    I have an Omega Claro (non-plus) and it is very very good. But I don't care that it doesn't have EAX, because I'm using Vista anyway, and I believe that it's not supported. It may just be because the Creative X-Fi vista drivers are/were complete rubbish. They might be better now than they were when I did my research about 8 months back.

    Otherwise, for a cheap option with surprisingly good quality, I'm told the Chaintech 710 is a great card for, what, 40?

    Edit: And Stuii should be right, the op-amps make absolutely no difference if you're going to run digital into your speakers. If that's your plan, and you've got the capability to do it with your motherboard, save your money and do something else with it cos you won't notice one iota of difference.

    Edit: My bad, I thought you already had the z5500s. My advice still stands.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2008
  12. vanjastar

    vanjastar Member

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    z5500s prefer analog input? Damnit, my mystique prefers digital output :mad:

    The creative chip doesn't have dolby live or DTS connect to encode the surround sound into a digitial signal which is why it only supports stereo output. The auzentech card basically puts a dobly live/dts connect encoding chip onto an x-fi.
     
  13. OldnBold

    OldnBold Member

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    EAX is supported in Vista through Alchemy drivers.
     
  14. dasuperham

    dasuperham Member

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    i currently use the auzentech x-fi prelude with the Z-5500s, i use both the optical and the analog, optical i found better for music with DDL & stereo surround, for movies i turn DDL off and let powerdvd handle the optical, and for games i use the analog. never looked back, everytime im at a mates place listening to music i always miss my setup at home lol
     
  15. Ilumina

    Ilumina Member

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    Analogs are still the best no matter how good digital get.. (You don't get great hifi systems that runs on digital). In the end it really depends on what you are after.
     
  16. vanjastar

    vanjastar Member

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    What? All our audio sources are digital at the moment, why would running analog to the amp be better? If you run your z5500s through sound card analog you're going through two amps, if you run it through digital you only go through the z5500 amp (which is the prefered option).

    I'm yet to find a Home Theater which sounds better with analog from the (HD/BR)DVD player to the amplifier. Its all optical/coaxial.
     
  17. -Rift-

    -Rift- Member

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    Exactly. But z5500's are not "Hi-Fi" speakers and thus you can't notice the difference, and if your amazingly super human ears can you probably won't be buying Logitech speakers of any kind in the first place.
     

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