Aug 1, 2018101 views

Good Amp+Dacs under $250?

I was wondering which amp/dac combo, or separate would be a good longterm investment? I do game quite a bit so dolby surround sound would be nice. I was thinking between the Schiit stack, or the Creative Soundblaster x7s. I'd say 250$ is around the amount that I'm willing to spend. Thank you!

I have a Creative Soundblaster Z soundcard
I myself am thinking of hooking up a schiit stack up to it through the optical in/out link to get better sound out of it while maintaining the surround sound for gaming
Schiit stack. Just got the Modi 2 multibit, but you can get the entry level dac for $99. Everything about Schiit is fantastic, from the quality to being made in the US and beyond. They have the best products for the price.
thank you. have you tested it on any games?
Can't speak to your dolby requirements since I'm not too experienced with that, sounds like you need a capable receiver box; I can only talk about my experience with the schiit stack products and 2.1 setup. I have the Magni 3 Uber Amp, Modi 2 Dac. Now I'm getting the SYS, so I can switch and control volume from my monitor speakers and headset with a click. I'm extremely happy with the products, and I can hear a major improvement from my old Mayflower Electronics dac/amp setup. I have a fiber -long run usb cable to my computer 50 Feet, so my last amp/dac would often disconnect from my computer after sleep, or just suddenly stop working and need a power cycle. No issues with my schiit products. If you do go this route think ahead of time about if you need the Magni 3 Uber, or just the regular one. Since I'm getting the SYS, I don't really need the extra inputs it has.
btw, the SYS is totally optional. I just didn't like having to unplug my headphone when I wanted audio to pass through on my monitors.
Checkout Zreviews on youtube for more suggestions.
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You may be thinking of this the wrong way. To achieve the sound from multiple sides to the listener, you will need a surround setup with multiple physical speakers. Those speakers will need to be plugged into a receiver box of some sort that supports them, and can push enough power to power them- the receiver will take a source such as your blu-ray player and output the sound to the array of speakers 5.1, 7.1 setups, etc. A combo dac/amp type of unit that people commonly have on their computer desk is not what you are looking for in this scenario. The amp/dac desktop kind of units that are below $250 are commonly for the purpose of powering a headset, from a source like a computer, or xbox. Often times these units also support another input such as powered monitors at the same time. There are gaming headsets that market that they do 7.1 surround sound. These headsets only try to simulate this effect. From what I hear these dubious headsets take the source and make it sound airy and cut off other mid range sound making it sound more directional. Of course the source material is dependent on the surround experience you will have. I'm wearing my normal headset right now. If I hear "Headphone Test - Luigi" on youtube, you will see it sounds highly directional, because the sound was recorded for that purpose. Many blu-rays are recorded in this way, hence why people like dolby surround setups and things like that for movies. Directors have sounds come from every direction. From what I know, and I may well be wrong --PC games sound is not that directional, and you hear right and left. So even if you had a surround speaker setup, you would get the same effects that a person with a headset would get. Only difference is sound hit your ear from every direction instead of dead on. If the sound makeup in the game is really good, it may display that surround effect much better. Maybe search on this, since I don't know much about this part. Far as the Schiit dac, amp goes. These things are used so you can bypass the existing sound devices inside your computer, which is filled with electrical interference. On my old computer plugging in headsets to the front of the machine would give me a hiss sound always. Now that I use the dac, amp devices on my desk, it functions better. There are more high quality components in it processing my sound than the tiny section of my pc's motherboard. It does have a certain sound signature different from my old dac amp unit I think, but I wouldn't go so far as to say vastly different from any other competent dac /amp devices in this price range. You shoud look up "Z Review - Schiit Stack V2 UBER Edition" on youtube for a better review on the shitt stack products. Also search up what a dac and amp actually do. This will give you a pretty good idea on what you want to do.
Just to clarify, I'll be using the dac/amp with my pc. S Yeah, I was just wondering if I needed that dolby surround sound(which comes with the soundblaster x7), I wont be using them for speakers just yet, but I might invest in the Uber. I've seen a bunch of Zeos' reviews, and he recommends this on reddit. This seems like a better deal compared to the Mayflower o2, at a much similar price, with a better price to performance ratio.
Imo 7.1 sound marketing is gimmicky, if the drivers are that close to your ear, you can't tell a difference with surround and stereo, but apparently dolby surround is to be trusted. Honestly, now that I'm getting over the accessiblity of the soundblaster in my country, I think I'll go with the schiit. I'm just scared that the soundstage will change, though I'm using a focusrite to listen to music, which I doubt the schiit stack will be worse.
Thanks for helpin me out.