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Choice between two 7.1 sound cards with optical out ($50-$150 range)

I'm looking for a Dolby 7.1 sound card with optical out (optical in would be nice as well, but that's not a requirement). This is for interfacing with an optical-based sound system to be used for both watching movies and gaming. I don't have any plans for doing professional sound recording/editing at this time. I can't think of any other requirements that I'm looking for out of a sound card.

My system is relatively modern, 32 GB RAM, 4.0 GHz Devil's Canyon, GTX 1080, Windows 10, so I don't think the rest of my hardware will be a limiting factor.

Based on my research currently I'm considering:

ASUS PCI-Express x1 7.1 Channel Sound Card XONAR_DX/XD/A/90-YAA060-1UAN00Z (And here is the ASUS product page)

And

Creative Sound Blaster Audigy PCIe RX 7.1 Sound Card (And here is the product page)

Based on what little I know about sound cards, the ASUS seems to have the better pedigree of features, and the promised conversion of 5.1 to 7.1 seems like a nice feature (Supposedly also stereo to 7.1, but this doesn't seem possible?).

However I'm certainly willing to look at other options; I'd be willing to go up in price some (let's say to the $150 range?) if there's just an obvious better choice and would offer meaningful features that I shouldn't live without.

What's my best option?
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about choice sound cards optical 150 range
  1. Best answer
    Seeiong as you will be using optical to output digital to your receiver, the soundcard is absolutely inconsequential. If you have a MB with optical out adn 7.1 just use that. If not, get the cheapest card you can find that has optica out.
  2. Hlsgsz: The Motherboard has optical out, but it's going to a headset (specifically designed for 7.1) that uses an optical in, so I'm not using a receiver anywhere with my setup. I couldn't get the surround to work, and after research it appears I require a sound card for the headset.

    So honestly just as cheap as possible card, as long as it supports 7.1 and I should be good to go? Don't worry about the other features the product pages brag about?
  3. NexTerren said:
    Hlsgsz: The Motherboard has optical out, but it's going to a headset (specifically designed for 7.1) that uses an optical in, so I'm not using a receiver anywhere with my setup. I couldn't get the surround to work, and after research it appears I require a sound card for the headset.

    So honestly just as cheap as possible card, as long as it supports 7.1 and I should be good to go? Don't worry about the other features the product pages brag about?


    Yes. 7.1 and optical out. Everything else is inconsequential as the card will be doing no analogue operation whatsoever.
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