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Old 11-27-2017, 04:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by CCM Photographer View Post
I get my audio straight from the onboard audio on EVGA mITX motherboard. No room for a dedicated sound card so I plug directly to the mobo using either usb or 3.5mm. I think the onboard chip is a Creative Sound Blaster Recon 3Di.

I've been reading up on the Audio Technica headphones and a majority of people recommend the m50x, AD900x, and AD700x.. depending on what you use them for. What's your thoughts on portable sound cards with the built-in headphone amp?
My M50x work with my desktop's mobo (which has a built-in, dedicated headphone amp) and surprisingly as well on my Laptop (which I don't believe has anything special but it has a Dolby certification). I picked the closed design largely because I travel with this set and it does double duty as my music cans when I'm on cross country or international flights.

For External Vs Internal Sound devices, in my opinion, it really comes down to the two particular devices. For external devices, I would look for ones that have a dedicated sound processing chip (I'll touch on why in my response to Tracker below). I would expect that it'd be hard to tell the difference between an external one and your integrated audio (which creative does offer as a dedicated board as well). Some integrated audio solutions, the motherboard may degrade the audio due to it's proximity to other components on the board (this varies from Mobo to Mobo but, generally if the manufacturer puts in a quality chip, they often include other measures to reduce interference).

As for those three headphones- The first biggest difference is that the other two are open backed which means other folks in the room will be able to hear you (does that matter in your case?) After that, you're getting into how well they match your hearing (abilities and preferences). For example, the AXXXX series can go deeper in the bass range (down to 5Hz) than the M50x (down to 15Hz), and all three have the same impedance so, their only differences may be in the 'color' of their sound which is largely lost on me.

One note: I'm personally of the mind that I want my audio to match as closely as possible to the source material. Some audiophiles (which I do not personally have the ears to be) go in this direction while a large majority of audiophiles look for their devices to give their audio certain qualities which may not actually be in the audio (i.e. the 'warmth of a tube amp applied to CD audio). I've come to find that most monitors (to incl. headphones) marketed for "Studio" are closer to my end goal (with some brands being the exception).

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typically USB connection bypasses the onboard soundcard and does the processing though the device, case in point my speakers, connect through USB, and i dont install my sound card drivers on my motherboards, because they dont get used.. now, if you have a designates USB audio port, that would be different

ans far as onboard sound goes, its all about the same, i was always a big soundblaster guy over the years, they have been in the game for over 20 years now, they must be doing something right
It is my opinion that USB audio can vary tremendously. I know a lot of the early (and current low cost) USB audio devices actually rely on the CPU to render the audio and only USB devices with dedicated sound chips (i.e. Realtek, Creative, that are typically advertised) actually render the sound.
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Old 11-27-2017, 05:20 PM   #12 (permalink)
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This pretty much mirrors what I've read. Right now I'm leaning more towards the m50x exactly for those reasons.
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Old 11-27-2017, 06:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tracker View Post
typically USB connection bypasses the onboard soundcard and does the processing though the device, case in point my speakers, connect through USB, and i dont install my sound card drivers on my motherboards, because they dont get used.. now, if you have a designates USB audio port, that would be different

ans far as onboard sound goes, its all about the same, i was always a big soundblaster guy over the years, they have been in the game for over 20 years now, they must be doing something right
I did not know this!
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Old 11-28-2017, 09:00 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I have some old ath-m30's with a modmic that I replaced my gaming headset with. Much more comfortable and a lot better sound than I got out of the old head set. I think it was a logitech but I don't remember. It was more concerned with making you look like futuristic space commander than being a good headset. If you do go modmic make sure to get the unidirectional one unless you want everyone to hear you clacking away on the keyboard. I had been running a dedicated sound card (asus xonar) for years until it stopped working in windows 10, I honestly can't tell the difference between it and the onboard sound.
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Old 11-28-2017, 10:07 AM   #15 (permalink)
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There are some advantages and disadvantages to a DAC "external sound card" vs internal sound card.
Since the DAC is outside of your case there's no magnetic waves from you cpu and video card to interfere with the analog.
But as of now DACs don't have an hdmi input which has a higher bandwidth than usb and optical.

You can also setup 5.1 speaker system to your DAC, but you'd have to buy an amplifier and cable splitters. Since they don't have an input/output for all speakers, IDK how cable splitters would split the audio correctly since its analog.

So I'm looking at AV receivers for headphones and speakers since they have their own DAC, amplifier, HDMI input, and have 7.2 output.
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Old 11-30-2017, 08:34 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Does anyone know what happened to the audio equalizer in windows 10? AFAIK it should be accessible through the enhancements tab on audio properties but the tab itself is missing.

If I go through troubleshooting I get an open enhancements button but it takes me to the same audio properties menu, with no enhancements tab.
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