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Thread: Change X-Fi or not

  1. #1
    Xtreme Addict kromosto's Avatar
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    Change X-Fi or not

    I had an sb2 zs audigy 2 and very happy with it but because my mobo doesnt have pci slot i need to chage it. No i have a x-fi titanium but for me it is not good as zs. I want to change it with a better one but dont know anytihng about new sound cards. please give me some advice. also a 7.1 headphone advice is needed.


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  2. #2
    Xtreme Member The Jesus's Avatar
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    Depends on the budget, musical listening type, and if you care about games (positional audio) or music (quality level) more

    I personally recommend the Asus Xonar Essence STX. Great levels of audio quality, while still being able to deliver in game positional audio perfectly. If you're more concerned with gaming, go with the Creative Titanium HD. Unless your budget is higher, then that's something I'd direct you to Head-Fi for

    As for headphones... Well... I don't recommend headphones that are labeled as surround sound or 5.1 or 7.1 as they are usually marketing ploys. The new Razer headphones say they have true 7.1, but I have not experienced them to offer my opinion. I have yet to find a flaw with my BeyerDynamic DT770 Pro 250 Ohm headphones. The Dolby Surround Sound emulator on the Xonar creates excellent audio placement on these headphones. If you want closed (sealed, no sound leakage) headphones, look no further. If you want open (everyone hears what you hear, lol), I'd suggest the DT880 headphones as I used them previous to these and they were by far better quality sound and feel, BUT they are open. (If you want to know what open/closed is all about, I can explain that too )

    Sorry if this was long-winded, I get caught up in the moment, lol.

    EDIT: Also, there is the new Asus Essence One. Its incredibly expensive, but according to the reviews I've seen, its absolutely incredible. Again, all depends on budget!
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  3. #3
    Xtreme Member fr0wn3r's Avatar
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    But what happens with all the Dolby and DTS features when using Essence One? It doesn't support those?

    I can confirm that you can take any good stereo headphone and use it in combo with Xonar soundcard that supports Dolby Headphone and get a very nice emulation. Heard it. Didn't lack anything in that setup.

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    Xtreme Addict kromosto's Avatar
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    ty for answers also @The Jesus it will be very nice if you explain the open and closed thing too. i am really know nearly nothing on this topic.


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  5. #5
    Xtreme Member The Jesus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fr0wn3r View Post
    But what happens with all the Dolby and DTS features when using Essence One? It doesn't support those?

    I can confirm that you can take any good stereo headphone and use it in combo with Xonar soundcard that supports Dolby Headphone and get a very nice emulation. Heard it. Didn't lack anything in that setup.
    I'm not 100% sure, but I assume they just run software on the PC side or it might be built into the unit, never looked that much into it due to the price range :P

    Quote Originally Posted by kromosto View Post
    ty for answers also @The Jesus it will be very nice if you explain the open and closed thing too. i am really know nearly nothing on this topic.
    Absolutely I'll just break it down to the essential information.

    Open:
    Not sealed cups (over ear).
    Allows a larger soundstage (better for gaming positional audio, allows your ear to judge distance).
    Everyone can hear what you listen to.
    Better musical qualities.
    Less "tin" sounding.
    Less bass.

    Closed:
    Sealed cups (over ear) mostly, none I've used have been 100%.
    Allows a decent sized and perfectly acceptable soundstage, but just not that of the open.
    Most people can't hear what you're listening to unless its turned up really loud or you're in a silent setting.
    Almost as excellent sound quality, but just not quite.
    More "tin" feeling.
    More bass.

    I'm sure there's science and theories behind all of this info, but I'm not a Head-Fi member and have no interest to be, lmao.
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  6. #6
    I am Xtreme zanzabar's Avatar
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    for gaming, the closed have a better sound stage as you get very simmilar directional but the closed have more noise blocking (as they are closed so less ambient noise.) on the "tin" it depends on the headphones as ones with (or modded) with good padding opposite the driver on closed are more accurate than open, and unless you go into the $300+ range like some AKG 702 (the best headphones that are mass produced and that you can go buy) closed are almost always better for general purpose and the open are mostly used for studios since they are easier on your ears as they keep more normal air pressure but it just depends on the person if they notice it. a good comparison if you have a guitar center near is to try the BD range since they are all identical just the 770 is closed, 880 is semi closed and the 990 are open.

    for the card, i would go with the htomega eclaro, it has a headphone amp, good drivers, and allround top shelf componants http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...Tpk=ht%20omega . the auzen forte is a nice card, its got the standard xfi chipset and a good headphone amp but it uses the xfi chip so that kinda sucks since it uses creative drivers and with EAX and HAL gone from windows vista/7 you dont get the good stuff and just bad drivers so it is not as good as the HT but its a little cheaper. then the other option is to use onboard and go out digital to a receiver or headphone DAC/amp.

    what MB are you using, onboard may be sufficient to power and have a real card on it so if you went with 80 ohm or less headphones you would be fine.
    Last edited by zanzabar; 04-02-2012 at 06:21 PM.
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  7. #7
    Xtreme Addict kromosto's Avatar
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    @The Jesus ty and another question how much sound bleeds out side if i use open. as i dont want to annoy my wife

    @zanzabar i have x58 ud3r


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  8. #8
    Xtreme Member The Jesus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kromosto View Post
    @The Jesus ty and another question how much sound bleeds out side if i use open. as i dont want to annoy my wife

    @zanzabar i have x58 ud3r
    Pretty much all of it. I'd suggest closed, like the DT770.
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  9. #9
    Xtreme Member fr0wn3r's Avatar
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    for the card, i would go with the htomega eclaro, it has a headphone amp, good drivers, and allround top shelf componants http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...Tpk=ht%20omega . the auzen forte is a nice card, its got the standard xfi chipset and a good headphone amp but it uses the xfi chip so that kinda sucks since it uses creative drivers and with EAX and HAL gone from windows vista/7 you dont get the good stuff and just bad drivers so it is not as good as the HT but its a little cheaper. then the other option is to use onboard and go out digital to a receiver or headphone DAC/amp.

    what MB are you using, onboard may be sufficient to power and have a real card on it so if you went with 80 ohm or less headphones you would be fine.
    I agree on this. I would like to get my hands on HT Omegas but there aren't any in Europe, would believe that same goes for Istanbul. Though you can order one directly from their website too.
    Anyway didn't mention HT Omegas only cause their range is consisted mostly of PCI cards so they don't look future proof to me regards of the future of PCI slots. Not sure what's with the one based on PCI-e? I see it is based on same CMI8788 audio chip so it has to use PCI-e bridge chip. If you want to use it for some audiophile setup in your home and are purist kind of guy it's a no go. Otherwise you can chose that one too.

    @ zanzabar

    You have any data how much those bridges affect performance of the audiophile systems? Do they add much jitter? Holding my purchase of a sound card for quite some time now... planning to build some head-fi oriented setup for a start as I just recently got interested in much better sound i.e. hifi...

    EDIT - Oh yeah, that I use UD5 mobo and had run Senn's cans from it and it sounded really nice. Low impedance models have no trouble at all with it. Think you'll be just fine, it uses the same/similar codec prolly the exit components are of the same grade too...
    Last edited by fr0wn3r; 04-03-2012 at 08:45 AM.

  10. #10
    I am Xtreme zanzabar's Avatar
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    i honestly dont know about the pci-e to pci bridges in numbers but i dont think that they would add jitter now that the slots are not pci then converted to pci-e then back to pci-e like the 775 days so the latency is lower with only having the 1 bridge now and since the slots are much lower latency now than before on intel i dont see it becoming a problem.


    dosnt the x58 ud3r have 2x pci slots on the bottom, and its got a realtec with a chumpy looking power so it would not be my 1st choice but it should work.
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  11. #11
    Xtreme Addict kromosto's Avatar
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    my bad i have x58a ud3r and actually have 1 pci slot occupied with another card.

    ty all i decide to first look for ht omegas then Asus Essence One if cant find or afford any i will stick with my x-fi as if i am not mistaken it will not worth it to change it. and look for dt-770. i dont think i can find dt-770 here but will be in germany in 3 weeks i will get one from there.


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  12. #12
    Xtreme Member fr0wn3r's Avatar
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    Thanks zanzabar, makes sense... But these old school purists around me are killing my mind with their talk about signal and jitter stories. OFC at first place they even don't wanna hear about our consumer lvl sound cards, but I can't give up on every feature they offer for a pure stereo signal, i.e. I'm still gaming, watching movies... I wish that HT Omega just releases the PCI-e version of their top offer.

  13. #13
    I am Xtreme zanzabar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kromosto View Post
    my bad i have x58a ud3r and actually have 1 pci slot occupied with another card.

    ty all i decide to first look for ht omegas then Asus Essence One if cant find or afford any i will stick with my x-fi as if i am not mistaken it will not worth it to change it. and look for dt-770. i dont think i can find dt-770 here but will be in germany in 3 weeks i will get one from there.
    sorry for saying go to guitar center i missed that you were in turkey. if you cannot get one of those cards u can always go optical out to a full sized receiver. something like a low to mid tier onkyo or yamaha works great and over here you can get them for under $100, and an older used non HDMI one will go for around $50-75 even if its a top range from 3-4 years ago. that wont get the best quality but it will be like a higher end audio card and it will amp anything.

    Quote Originally Posted by fr0wn3r View Post
    Thanks zanzabar, makes sense... But these old school purists around me are killing my mind with their talk about signal and jitter stories. OFC at first place they even don't wanna hear about our consumer lvl sound cards, but I can't give up on every feature they offer for a pure stereo signal, i.e. I'm still gaming, watching movies... I wish that HT Omega just releases the PCI-e version of their top offer.
    they will have a halo pci-e chip out soon since the 2011 has no pci i cannot see c-media just dropping out of the chip game and once that is out then ht will be all over it.
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  14. #14
    Xtreme Member fr0wn3r's Avatar
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    Cheers for the info! Hope they release it in next couple of months!

  15. #15
    Xtreme Member davidm71's Avatar
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    Go for the Phoebus!

    I'm waiting for the Asus Phoebus card. Last month I bought the Xfi Recon3D Pro and not pleased. For one thing no 4.1 support. Just 2.1 and 5.1. Also the Creative software sucks. For example settings aren't retained between windows session if you manually disable a center channel. Not only that doesnt sound as sharp as the old PCI XFI Professional I use to have. Luckily I bought the Recon at Bestbuy and I have a 60 day return period..

    So stay away from the Recon3d..
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