Question DAC or PCIe Sound Card?

Crag_Hack

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Dec 25, 2015
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Hi I have a quick question in preparation for the holidays... what will give better audio quality at the same price level? A DAC or a PCIe sound card? Thanks!
 

hang-the-9

Titan
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Mar 25, 2010
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Hi I have a quick question in preparation for the holidays... what will give better audio quality at the same price level? A DAC or a PCIe sound card? Thanks!
What are you going to be using with it? In general an external USB setup will be better quality and be more flexible, but you will need an amp for headphones with just a DAC. The kicker is "at the same price level". Are we talking about a $30 sound card and a $30 DAC or 100 or 200? it also depends on if you need a mic input or not.

For cheap, I would stick with a sound card or onboard motherboard audio, for $75+ I would get an external DAC/AMP.
 

Crag_Hack

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Dec 25, 2015
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@hang-the-9 Thanks. I am talking about a price of ~200$. I am looking at the Audioengine D1 on the DAC side (comes with a headphone amp built in... will it still work well with my speakers?) I will be using whatever I get with Bose Companion 2 Series III speakers.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
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Mar 25, 2010
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@hang-the-9 Thanks. I am talking about a price of ~200$. I am looking at the Audioengine D1 on the DAC side (comes with a headphone amp built in... will it still work well with my speakers?) I will be using whatever I get with Bose Companion 2 Series III speakers.
For those speakers, don't bother with buying anything special to run them, just use the motherboard audio. They are OK 2.0 speakers, but not close to the quality that I would spend extra on to run a better signal to them. It's like buying high end 98 octane gas for a 20 yr old Corolla.
 

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