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Asus Xonar Essence STX II vs Asus STRIX RAID DLX

Nathaniel7477

43 months ago

Hello, in the next couple of months I'm going to be building a computer, and I want to get a sound card. Sound Cards are new to me, and I've never bought one before.

Currently I'm looking at the Asus Xonar Essence STX II http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-Sound-Essence-STX-II/dp/B00ONSBF4K?ie=UTF8&keywords=asus%20xonar%20essence%20stx%20ii&qid=1464391568&ref_=sr_1_1&sr=8-1

And the Asus STRIX RAID DLX http://www.amazon.com/ASUS-STRIX-RAID-DLX-Sound/dp/B019H3BI3I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1464391632&sr=8-1&keywords=asus+strix+raid+dlx

Honestly the specs look the same to me other than the price. I would like to know, is the Xonar better in any way, or would i just be better off buying the STRIX and saving fourty dollars?

(P.S just so you know my current headphones are crap, but my computer has stretched my budget to the breaking point and I had to choose between a headset or audio card, and I decided to buy the card first. Anything I save will be going towards a Sennheiser HD 598 http://www.amazon.com/Sennheiser-HD-598-Over-Ear-Headphones/dp/B0042A8CW2 that I intend to buy a month or so after the computer.)

Edit: I'd like to mention that I intend to buy a couple speakers, again, because of my budget, they're nothing special, probably going to be these: http://pcpartpicker.com/part/logitech-speakers-980000402

Comments

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Not worth it unless you want virtual surround sound in your games. Chances are if you are using good headphones you will not need any additional software and can rely on the game's sound engine.

Unless you are using a bottom of the barrel motherboard your onboard audio should be fine. Though the amplifier will be lacking for headphones that require more power to reach desirable listening volumes without distortion. HD 598 is not one of these as it is fairly efficient.

If you have a $400 budget for audio I would suggest to use most of it on a pair of headphones. For ~$300 you could get one of Sennheiser's past flagships, the HD 600 or HD 650 and for $100 more a Schiit Magni headphone amp to power them.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

Hello, thank you for the input. I understand that many consider audio cards a waste of money, and because of my limited budget I'm considering to skip on one myself.

However a audio card is something I'm interested in, and IF I do I would like to make an informed purchase, and therefore would like to know the difference between the cards. Do you know?

P.S Thank you for the headphone suggestions, upgrading my headphones, (and my speakers) is probably what I'm going to do and I've had a hard time finding good, and affordable, headphones.

  • 43 months ago
  • 1 point

They have different DACs (digital to analog converter, takes 1's and 0's and turns it into sound), software, and the Strix card comes with a physical volume knob. Amplification wise they are fairly similar and I wouldn't be surprised if they both sound the same. The STX II has swappable OP-amps however which you can use to alter the sound.

Soundcards are a way to get away from onboard audio by having the components for the DAC and amplifier on a separate circuit. If you have issues such as interference creating unwanted noise like U-3C mentioned it would be worth looking into a soundcard or external DAC.

I am not a big fan of soundcards since they tend to be overpriced unless you are buying a budget model and they rely on drivers to work.

As far as headphones go the sweet spot in audio is around $300-$500. Cheaper does not necessarily mean better but there are some good entry level headphones if you are not sure you want to spend hundreds on your audio setup. Most games do not have the best sound quality in the first place, but if you listen to a lot of music you'd likely appreciate higher fidelity sound.

I would also recommend looking into buying used gear if you are looking to save money.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Again, I'd like to thank you for your help and patience, you have been very helpful.

There's something I now realise I should have mentioned in the first place. I don't intend to only use my audio card of games, in fact, during the week it's not uncommon for me to listen to music 2-4 hours a day, and that's something I've been considering while deciding whether to buy an audio card.

However, I've considered what you've said, and all though I haven't entirely given up on the idea of an audio card, I'm currently leaning towards just buying a nice headset. Because of this I've been considering the headsets you recommend me.

They look almost perfect, however, I would prefer closed-back headphones, as I don't like the idea of other people being able to hear what I'm listening to. Would you happen to know is the leakage small enough it wouldn't be a problem? Or do you know of any alternatives of equal quality (and preferably price)? Currently I'm considering the Sennheiser 630VB HD, and the Sennhesiter HD 380.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

Leakage for open backs definitely will be a problem. Anyone in the same room will be able to hear exactly what you're listening to...depends on how open they are but the HD 600 or 650 are prime examples of this. With closed backs you won't have this problem.

For $500 you can easily do better than the 630VB, looks like Sennheiser's approach to beats by dre. 380 would be a good choice though does not come with a mic. If you're looking for a cheap and good headset the HyperX cloud is one to consider.

  • 42 months ago
  • 1 point

I'd love to go with one of the more expensive options, but I think The HyperX Cloud sounds like the best. I really do want a mic and my audio budget is much closer to $200, including the speakers. Is there one you would recommend above the rest? I think I'll get the HyperX Cloud II.

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