Should I buy a sound card if I only use headphones?

backtopc

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Sep 8, 2009
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I only use headphones, HD 555's. And it's mainly for gaming or movie watching. Mostly gaming. I notice that certain games the sound isn't so high with my onboard sound. Would it make a big difference if only using headphones?

Should I be investing in a small upgrade maybe $20-50 on a sound card, or something better make a big difference? What sound cards would you recommend in situation?
 
Solution
The best card according to most people would be the ASUS Xonar Essence STX:

http://www.asus.com/Multimedia/Audio_Cards/Xonar_Essence_STX/

However this is near the $200 end of the scale.

Head over to this website if you want to read of some sound card advice, there is a computer audio section and a thread on this sound card :)

http://www.head-fi.org/

Good luck!

pezonator

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I'm no Expert on sound but I used onboard sound until I decided to put my X-Fi Gamer Pro back in and OMG! It's like a Suzuki vs a Ferrari. My headphones are Sony from a few years back and I can easily tell where footsteps are coming from in games.

I'm not sure which card to recommend but one with a dedicated Headphone Amp is the way to go in your situation. Do you have a max budget?
 

backtopc

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I don't really know what my budget should be since I never bought a sound card before, and the fact that I only use headphones I don't know if I should have that high of a budget. I guess between $100-200 would be my highest. But I only would consider spending that much if It was a significant difference.

The onboard sound I have is decent. But I feel like I'm not getting the full experience I should be getting for the money I spent on my system.
 

pezonator

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Dec 13, 2011
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The best card according to most people would be the ASUS Xonar Essence STX:

http://www.asus.com/Multimedia/Audio_Cards/Xonar_Essence_STX/

However this is near the $200 end of the scale.

Head over to this website if you want to read of some sound card advice, there is a computer audio section and a thread on this sound card :)

http://www.head-fi.org/

Good luck!
 
Solution

bullwinkel

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You don't need a headphone amp with HD 555's. I purchased a Xonar DX under similar circumstances. I love the sound upgrade from onboard. I use ATH-AD700 for music and gaming. You don't need to got any more than ~$100. With a rebate from newegg, you can get it for about $68.