Need a sound card solution

The place to sound off on all things related to audio, from sound cards to speakers.

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Need a sound card solution

Postposted on Fri May 14, 2010 4:09 pm

So, let me give you all my basic setup, so you can get a general idea of what I'm lookin for. I have an Asus VW246H 24" LCD monitor that has a DB-15, HDMI, and DVI connector on it. On my desk, I have my PC, and XBOX 360, a PS3, and a Wii. The video hooks up are like so.

PC - DVI
XBOX 360 - VGA
PS3 - HDMI
Wii - HDMI via one of these component to HDMI converters. Works beautifully.

The problems comes, from getting sound out of all these devices. I am constantly having to climb behing the PC to switch things around and it's driving me insane. I do not use speakers, instead I use a set of Turtle Beach HPA2 5.1 headphones. I love them. They're hooked up 5.1 analog to the the onboard sound on my DFI INFINITY P965-S.

Currently, The PS3 HDMI in to my monitor, and I have a stereo mini cable running out of the line out on the monitor running in to the line in on the PC's sound card. The Xbox 360's two RCA sound cables run to an RCA to Stereo mini cable. The RCA out on the Wii is also hooked up to an RCA to stereo mini cable. I have one Stereo Mini extension cable hooked up to the line in on my PC, and I switch the cables out depending upon which console I am playing at the time. It's annoying have to climb under the desk and plug and unplug **** everytime I decide I want to play something different.

What would be optimal, would be a sound card with several analog line-ins (like 2 or 3) and a toslink line in for the PS3. I'm even willing to switch headphones, as the HPA2, while nice, aren't a limiting factor here. I have not been able to find a solution that works for me. I'd like to keep this, not necessarily budget, but out of the $120+ range. If I have to deal with swtiching the stereo mini cables out all the time, I can do that. But something with a one or toslink ins on top of the stereo mini in would be wonderful. I've been out of the sound card loop for quite some time, so I'm not even sure what it considered decent anymore.

Any further questions about my setup, feel free to ask. I've done my best to describe my complex set up.
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BuddhistFish
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Re: Need a sound card solution

Postposted on Fri May 14, 2010 4:42 pm

TX-SR508

this is over the 120$ range but maybe you will find it's worth it
just plug ur headphones into that
1 cord
no mess
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Re: Need a sound card solution

Postposted on Fri May 14, 2010 4:46 pm

I was hoping to stay away from the home theatre receiver area, as I have limited space on my desk and one of those will not fit. I'm really interested in the Xonar line, in fact I'd love an Essence STX, but sadly don't have the spare organs to sell for one.
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Re: Need a sound card solution

Postposted on Fri May 14, 2010 4:52 pm

i do not believe they make a PC sound card with more than one analog line in
I am pretty sure the Essence STX does not have multi inputs other than 1 analog and maybe 1 toslink
i think it even needs a adapter thing that is probably included

you are welcome to buy a switcher or hub but that will cost a good chunk that you could have put towards your receiver
anyway, I know it's a tough decision
you can get a cheaper receiver as well, or even find a used one. you do not need 7.1 channels. but if you plan to buy new, dont get under 300$
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Re: Need a sound card solution

Postposted on Fri May 14, 2010 4:55 pm

At this point, it looks like a good possibility might be X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Champion Series. The breakout box would allow me to use the RCA inputs directly, and the card itself has toslink ins on it. I can handle keeping the cables on the desk and not having to climb behind everything everytime I want to play a different console.

Not that giving Creative any money makes me happy.
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Re: Need a sound card solution

Postposted on Thu May 20, 2010 9:55 pm

As you're probably aware of, the 360 can also work with optical though it won't be beneficial without 5.1 speakers. However, it may help for headphones; for the X-Fi if the card can downmix 5.1 into virtual headphone surround. (The 360's analog stereo output simulates surround sound for speakers, not headphones and this cannot be configured to the best of my knowledge.) I just ordered the X-Fi yesterday though so I'm not sure how many inputs it can handle, nor if it can adapt a 5.1 toslink signal to work for headphones nicely, though the latter seems very likely. I'd bet it can at least handle the line-in and toslink simultaneously though, but you may not be able to use both the front and back line-in's simultaneously. I'm unsure on the aux input however but since it's not designated as a mic input, it would likely work. On the other hand, a friend has reported problems with mic in quality but it might be possible to resolve this by adjusting the settings. (Which I can do on my laptop's so-called mic-in, and it works as a line-in.)

Have you had any luck with using analog audio splitters? They usually don't work since when one console is turned off, it re-diverts audio signals into it, though I can only verify this for the Xbox 360. (The 360 is the only console I have in my computer setup.)
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Re: Need a sound card solution

Postposted on Mon May 24, 2010 9:26 pm

Thanks to some brain storming with Ryu, I finally have a solution.

My Wii, currently hooks goes from Component to HDMI via one of these contraptions. That leaves the two RCA audio cables hanging.

I will connect my Wii, 360, and PS3 to an HDMI Switch Box. Run the stereo out from the monitor to the line in on my PC. (Which is what I currently for sound from my PS3.) and then run an RCA to Stereo Mini adapter off the two RCA audio plugs from the Wii cable and plug it into the stereo mini in on my monitor.

No more cable switching.
No more switching to VGA when I want to play my XBOX.
Easy and simple. I might just post pictures when I get it all set up.
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