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Hmm how does this compare to an external AMP/DAC?
I consider buying the O2 AMP/DAC combo or the Shiit Stack since I'm not that familiar with internal sound cards, but this seems to be getting an overwhelming amount of positive notes.
As I wrote above, this card is good, but can't really compete with a Schiit-stack. The latter is classes above this or any sound card I've tried.
I agree with this. I don't use Schiit, instead I have an LHLabs GeekOut 1000 connected to USB for listening to music. I'll also use it for games, but it remains 2-channel. Alternatively, I'll use my Astro A40s (or any headphones I have) plugged into the Astro Mixamp, which has an optical connection directly to the motherboard. I'll use the Astro A40s headphones whenever I need a mic. I NEVER use the motherboard's audio out jack.
The ZxR card will likely have much better audio than the motherboard audio out, but if you're looking for the best audio output, it is going to be through a USB 2.0 connection to an external DAC.
Part of it is getting the audio processing as far away from the motherboard as possible. There is a lot RF interference inside the computer cabinet and this will have an effect on audio quality. Even an AudioQuest DragonFly v1.2 will likely sound better than any computer sound card because you can connect it with a high quality USB cable long enough (6") to separate it from the computer
Hmm perhaps I should just cancel my order and get a Schiit, heard really good reviews about it. The Zxr is also more of a convenience item for me as I don't have really high-end headphones nor speakers, just middle of the line. I'm buying it for a bit extra performance but currently still contemplating if its worth the money.
Yeah in terms of audio quality improvement over your on board audio, the difference will probably be minimal if you aren't an audiophile. I'm not and can barely tell the difference. It does sound better but not $175 better. I bought it for the other features it offered me, not just the audio quality. So if all you want is something that just sounds better than your existing audio, you might be better off with the Schiit instead. For me it was worth it. Also I should note that I use Audio-Technica M50X and S, And A900x headphones, old Bose C2 pc speakers I got in an auction for $20 and a Marshall Stanmore Speaker (over optical). The beauty of this card is I can have both speakers and a headphone connected all at once and easily change between them for playback.
Thank you for your feedback, you know what, I'm not an audiophile and don't plan to be one, just good quality music is fine for my ears. I'm going to back out of this deal and get more keyboards. My A40s work just fine and both my Skype and Steam defaults to that when I want to talk in-game so there's literally not much value in buying. I'll save the money for keyboards or a pair of V-Modas which I can really use on the go.
The Schiit stack is probably one of the best for the price.
I know. I'm pretty much set on getting them as soon as I free up some funds and have more time to actually sit down to enjoy music instead of just using it purely on my commute.