Which external sound option

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Which external sound option

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:17 am

EDIT: Nevermind, I forgot I had a topic on this from before. Thanks though!


So I'm trying to pick an external sound option for my gaming PC and HTPC. I plan use whichever one I purchase with each system, so that's why I want the external, USB, option. Basically, I'll use it on my gaming PC when gaming, then on my HTPC when I want to watch a movie.

I'm choosing between these two:

The Creative X-Fi 5.1 SB1095

and

The Asus Xonar U3

So, I'm looking for better performance than the sound options on my MoBos which are both Realtek. I have a set of Seinnhesier 429s, and a Zalman mic for my gaming PC. My HTPC would use the optical out to connect to my older 5.1 Sony surround sound system.

Budget is $50.

I like the X-Fi since it has volume control right on the box. My headphones don't have volume control built in. The X-Fi also has a remote which is nice. So I'm leaning towards the X-Fi as the better all around solution.

What do you all think?
Last edited by southrncomfortjm on Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/MSI 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/Asus 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Which external sound option

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:44 pm

I'm just curious why you're not using HDMI in your HTPC?

Movies/music and other HTPC-ish stuff will be dependent on the quality of your TV or receiver, surely? The source signal from your movie or music should reach the speakers in digital form without even touching your onboard sound anyway.
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Re: Which external sound option

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 2:24 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:I'm just curious why you're not using HDMI in your HTPC?

Movies/music and other HTPC-ish stuff will be dependent on the quality of your TV or receiver, surely? The source signal from your movie or music should reach the speakers in digital form without even touching your onboard sound anyway.


No hdmi on my receiver unfortunately.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77 Extreme4/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB Ballstix Tact 1600 CL8/MSI 7850 2GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 550w/Win7

HTPC: i3 3225/H77/8gb g.skill 1.25v/1+2TB HDD/Asus BR/Asus 7850 2gb/Silverstone GD05B/Antec 380w/InfiniTV 4/Win7
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Re: Which external sound option

Postposted on Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:23 pm

Well, review sites rate the Xonar over he X-Fi

User reviews on the big etailers slate the Xonar for being a complete **** to get working properly.

You're choosing between a dog and turd in the $50 analogue audio category but I'd probably agree that the X-Fi makes more sense.
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Re: Which external sound option

Postposted on Sat Apr 06, 2013 11:17 am

Chrispy_ wrote:You're choosing between a dog and turd in the $50 analogue audio category but I'd probably agree that the X-Fi makes more sense.

Yeah, I was actually thinking that a $50 USB sound adapter probably isn't going to be significantly better than the onboard, unless you happen to have especially crappy onboard. (And yes, Realtek definitely used to qualify as "especially crappy" but they seem to have gotten better in the past few years.)
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