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Sound card required for good audio?

Hello,

Just built a new gaming PC. 1080, i7 7700k, asus motherboard etc.... I also purchased a new Sennheiser game one headset. I read some reviews on amazon from some people saying you need a soundcard for the sound quality of the headset to really shine.

What do you guys think? Is a sound card required? Is it worth it? I wonder if I even have a slot available for it.
Reply to mugaro
23 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about sound card required good audio
  1. Yes and no. Gaming headsets generally do not require a separate soundcard/amp/DAC to produce good sound because they are "easy" to power. The only reason why you would want a soundcard would be to eliminate some of the interference that is normally present in a PC case, but it is so little that only paranoid ears can hear it.

    The best headphones normally require more power than what your motherboard can provide in order to produce the full range of sound. I do not believe you will be able to hear a big difference from a soundcard with your headset.

    If you really want to get something and are concerned about quality sound get better headphones first, then get a DAC.
    Reply to Jester Maroc
  2. Do you think the Sennheiser game one headset is not good enough to warrent a soundcard then is what you are saying? Its a 250 retail headset, figured it would be decent. I couldnt find many headsets with as good as reviews. The astro headsets had absolutely awful reviews.
    Reply to mugaro
  3. I have a set of G4me One from Sennheiser. I have tried it on a SoundBlaster Z and an Asus SOAR both for around $120 Canadian. The sound is awesome in both compared to the default soundcard on my motherboard.

    Anything around $100 to $140 is fine. Higher price is mostly for remixing/DJ/Professionals uses.
    Reply to Sulfurous
  4. mugaro said:
    Do you think the Sennheiser game one headset is not good enough to warrent a soundcard then is what you are saying? Its a 250 retail headset, figured it would be decent. I couldnt find many headsets with as good as reviews. The astro headsets had absolutely awful reviews.


    The headset is good. What I mean is that it is easy to power.

    However, since we have someone with first-hand experience stating that there is a marked difference I will concede that it is probably worth the investment. A soundcard/amp/DAC will give you richer sounding sound.

    The newer motherboards have very good onboard though, so...

    When buying headphones, an amp/soundcard/DAC can only do so much. The more expensive the headphones the better the sound for the most part. There is a significant difference between good $100 headphones and good $400 headphones.
    Reply to Jester Maroc
  5. Does anyone have any recommendations on where to purchase a sound card? Which are good for a pc gamer? A google search leaves what looks like not the greatest results. Maybe thats because I don't know what i'm looking for.
    Reply to mugaro
  6. Asus and Creative have good options.
    Reply to Jester Maroc
  7. mugaro said:
    Does anyone have any recommendations on where to purchase a sound card? Which are good for a pc gamer? A google search leaves what looks like not the greatest results. Maybe thats because I don't know what i'm looking for.


    Honestly I suspect most gamers don't run dedicated sound cards. My assumption is the majority run of the built in sound. If you really are into great sound an external DAC will provide much better sound since its isolated from the PC. Also, there are a lot of headsets that are USB which have there own DAC like the Sennheiser PC 333D.
    Reply to JamesSneed
  8. Well Yes soundcard makes a difference but you need good speakers or headphones to to hear the difference i am using sound card since last 5 years and onboard soundcard is no match
    i am using creative Zxr Sound card

    Do some research and choose carefully while you are going to buy sound card
    i like Asus too i was using Asus Xonar D2X the sound card was great but for movies only it has that punchy sound that moves need but i have not used that for long time
    i am happy with my Zxr now its like all in one for me
    Reply to nitinvaid20
  9. Why don't you buy this: https://www.amazon.com/Micca-OriGen-High-Resolution-Preamplifier/dp/B01BURJVOC/

    Much better than a soundcard.
    Reply to Jester Maroc
  10. Jester Maroc said:
    Why don't you buy this: http://www.schiit.com/products/fulla-2

    Much better than a soundcard.


    its much more like the Amplifier the decoding is still done by the PC card
    and if you have the sound card then its going to do all the DAC itself much better
    Reply to nitinvaid20
  11. nitinvaid20 said:
    Jester Maroc said:
    Why don't you buy this: http://www.schiit.com/products/fulla-2

    Much better than a soundcard.


    its much more like the Amplifier the decoding is still done by the PC card
    and if you have the sound card then its going to do all the DAC itself much better


    Yeah, didn't notice that. My bad. Updated. Thanks
    ;)
    Reply to Jester Maroc
  12. I just have a Sennheiser gaming one headphones. Its only got a sound and mic cable nothing more or less. My old sennheiser pc350 mic broke, so I bought a usb plug in shitty 20 dollar mic. Now the headphone no the earpiece broke so the sound is all crackly. So now I bought this one, was this a good purchase? The reviews were great, i'll look into the sound cards recommended in the post. I think I have a PCI slot available, i'll check my pc when I get home.

    My old gaming pc from a few years ago, I had the asus rampage V extreme mobo, it actually had a sound card already on the mobo, it seemed like it was ok.
    Reply to mugaro
  13. It was not a bad purchase. Those Sennheisers are pretty decent. What is nice about getting a DAC instead of a SoundCard is:

    1) No distortion of sound from interference inside the PC case.

    2) You can use it on other devices too, like a laptop.

    3) I believe the sound is better on a DAC than on your average $100 PCI sound card.
    Reply to Jester Maroc
  14. Ok so I can buy a DAC like the one posted on amazon and it will be better than a sound card. I can plug my headphones into the DAC?
    Reply to mugaro
  15. Yes, you can plug the DAC into your PC via USB and then your headphones into the 3.5mm or 1/4" jacks. It will work fine.
    Reply to Jester Maroc
  16. mugaro said:
    Ok so I can buy a DAC like the one posted on amazon and it will be better than a sound card. I can plug my headphones into the DAC?


    Yes if you go that direction take a look at the "Schiit FULLA 2" like jester said you just can't beat that DAC / headphone amp for the money.

    Another more expensive option is Audio Engine HD3 or HD6 speakers. They also have a built in DAC and headphone amp. This would be a good route if you wanted good quality speakers as well as the headphones.
    Reply to JamesSneed
  17. Is the audio quality better with what jester suggested over the FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)
    Reply to mugaro
  18. mugaro said:
    Is the audio quality better with what jester suggested over the FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black)


    Haven't owned both but others have. Both of these get great reviews and would be much better than a sound card. I would get the Fulla.

    Reasons to get a DAC.

    1. Noise in your sound
    2. Your onboard makes the sound warm or cold sounding
    3. Over all low quality sound coming from your onboard
    4. Can look nice

    Reasons to NOT get a DAC.

    1. No noise.
    2. No coloring in your onboard.
    3. You already have transparent sound. ( kinda the same as Nr. 2)
    4. Takes up space.
    5. You will need to buy an amp.

    Reasons to get a AMP.

    1. You cant power your headphones. (your headphones don't get loud enough)
    2. Your headphones sound muddy only at that pc (kinda the same as Nr. 1)
    3. Can look nice.
    4. You want to try tube sound. (they get really hot, so do NOT touch them.)

    Reasons to NOT get a AMP.

    1. You can power your headphones.
    2. Takes up space.

    Credit: https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/561901-before-you-buy-amp-and-dac-recommendations/?page=14
    Reply to JamesSneed
  19. I don't see anything on amazon called a schiit fulla 2, but I do see FiiO E10K USB DAC and Headphone Amplifier (Black) vs Micca OriGen+ High Resolution USB DAC and Preamplifier - 24-Bit/192kHz PCM and 64x DSD
    by Micca
    Reply to mugaro
  20. Best answer
    Shitt only sells through their website.

    To help you decide which DAC to purchase you may wish to look at Zeos' reviews: https://www.reddit.com/r/Zeos/comments/66xylk/guide_dac_amp_combo_units/

    EDIT: If you end up having to choose between the FiiO E10K and the Micca OriGen+, I would recommend the Micca because it has a dedicated power supply which enables it to power headphones that have high resistance. What that means is the fullness/richness/bass and volume will be far superior on the Micca.
    Reply to Jester Maroc
  21. Thanks, I think i'll go with the Micca.
    Reply to mugaro
  22. Bought the thing, setup was a pain. Notice no real difference in sound/sound quality haha
    Reply to mugaro
  23. mugaro said:
    Bought the thing, setup was a pain. Notice no real difference in sound/sound quality haha


    Then send it back :)
    Reply to JamesSneed
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