Question Should I go for an ASUS Xonar SE or stick with my mobo's ALC887?

Jul 19, 2019
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I'm looking to buy a sound card so I can get some headroom for HiFi headphones in the future.
My motherboard is an ASUS PRIME A320M-K with a Realtek ALC887 Audio Codec but ASUS's sound card has a Realtek ALC1220X and I'm afraid I'm not going to hear any difference.
My headphones are a pair of JVC HA-RX330 and I'm looking to upgrade to a pair of Pioneer SE-M521 because of its wide frequency response.
So the final question is am I going to be just fine with onboard audio or do I really need a dedicated sound card?
 

Mandark

Distinguished
I would recommend going with an external USB dac and amp.

There are many good ones like the Aune X1S and others

And when you upgrade a really good headphones you’ll really notice the difference
 
Jul 19, 2019
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I would recommend going with an external USB dac and amp.

There are many good ones like the Aune X1S and others

And when you upgrade a really good headphones you’ll really notice the difference
The price is ridiculously high for my budget. I'm not trying to go all out, just something that's cheap and reliable.
 

Mandark

Distinguished
Schiit Audio Fulla is $99 and a great DAC/AMP combo. Super versatile and can drive powered speakers As well as headphones and I own one of these and I love it. Of course if the card is more affordable than get the card
 

anort3

Titan
Moderator
Unless you can't get those headphones loud enough then don't spend any money on a better source. Spend that money on better headphones instead. Asus does audio quite well and neither pair you listed is going to scale up with anything beyond what's on the board.
 
Jul 19, 2019
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Unless you can't get those headphones loud enough then don't spend any money on a better source. Spend that money on better headphones instead. Asus does audio quite well and neither pair you listed is going to scale up with anything beyond what's on the board.
After doing even more research, I'm thinking of just going for it and spend $100 on the E10K and an extra $50 for a used pair of DT770 80ohm. My budget is tight at the moment but I'll do the purchase later. Is this setup good enough?
EDIT: I've heard that Creative Sound Blaster Z is a capable sound card too. I've read somewhere about the 1/8 rule but I'm still confused on what it is. Audio equipment isn't my strong suit.
 
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anort3

Titan
Moderator
You're still backwards. Get the DT770s and add the E10K later if onboard isn't sufficient. It probably will be. The 80ohm DT770s aren't hard to drive.

What are you wanting new headphones for? Music or gaming? What genres of music?
 
Jul 19, 2019
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You're still backwards. Get the DT770s and add the E10K later if onboard isn't sufficient. It probably will be. The 80ohm DT770s aren't hard to drive.

What are you wanting new headphones for? Music or gaming? What genres of music?
I do both, mostly gaming, but I listen to music as well. Pretty much any genre, I'm looking for a flat-sounding pair. Overall I just want better sounding cans.
 
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anort3

Titan
Moderator
The DT770s are quite V shaped with boosted highs and lows at the expense of recessed mids. Amazon had the Sennheiser HD599 for $99 on Prime day. Lowest ever price. They're back to the normal $140 now but are still a good buy at that price. No amp needed. The 599 is a revised 598 and despite being my oldest and 'lowest end' pair I still use my 598s as daily drivers and for gaming.

https://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-HD-599-Open-Headphone/dp/B01L1IICR2

Best ear of the youtube reviewers.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HORNc3QQ9mc
 

anort3

Titan
Moderator
Another extremely solid choice in that price range ( little more ) is the Massdrop x Sennheiser HD58X Jubilee. If you'd said primarily music and some gaming I'd have recommended them first. Your onboard would probably still drive them but they are getting in the territory of responding to a entry level amp/DAC. They don't scale up like the HD600 and 650 do so no need to spend a bunch though.

https://drop.com/buy/massdrop-x-sennheiser-hd-58x-jubilee-headphones
 

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