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Discussion in 'Sim Racing Hardware' started by Terry Rock, Nov 10, 2014.
While most of it is correct, some of it is just pure BS, I have yet to encounter a onboard soundcard that can kick a pair of 64ohm headphones to life, let alone a 80ohm one!
There is no question that a high end sound card sounds considerably better than onboard audio. It depends on the speakers or headphones being used but there's quite a noticeable difference. The Creative ZxR sounds utterly outstanding compared to any onboard audio solution. Granted I also am a bit of an audiophile, I have a set of Sennheiser HD 650's and HD 800's which a lot of people wouldn't even consider due to the price. The ZxR sounds great for the 650's but admittedly I do have a dedicated headphone amp for the 800's.
Most of high end audio is BS. Subjective tests are only worth anything if they are blind tests, I would put examples of terribly done non-blind tests, but in the previous post we have two already...
I've been an audiophile for about 20 years, I've been a musician for equally long, I've done the prequal course for sound technicians and I've worked at a studio for about a year. Finally I've done 3 years upper secondary school to become a audio/video repairman. I think I'm qualified to tell whether a motherboards onboard soundcard has the power to drive a pair of headphones or not without closing my eyes...
The audio genre is indeed full of BS, and a fair share of what was mentioned in that video was indeed correct, a onboard soundcard may very well offer the same fidelity as a discrete one does (or even better), I haven't done any A<>B testing so I can't comment on that, but I have done A<>B testing using my onboard vs a €15 ASUS Xonar DG with headphone amp, and I assure you that even my mother would tell the difference as the onboard fails to deliver enough output power to move the high impedance drivers of my 64ohm headset, so on this part they where talking straight out of their arses.
Have a look at the next video in the series and you'll notice how laughable some of it is, doing a blind A<>B test between MP3s and FLAC using a song with the dynamic range of a C64 song..........
Note that I'm not claiming FLAC is better, I don't use FLAC myself as I find MP3s to offer great quality at much less space, but their test was utterly retarded and proved little to nothing.
I do however fully support the solution they propose, using a USB DAC with a headphone amp, but funny how they claim that a discrete soundcard with its own DAC and headphone amp is just bullshit, but their own product which is essentially the same makes all the difference in the world. Now in most cases they are right, but it's not as simple as saying "discrete soundcards are bullshit", because there ARE discrete soundcards that are better than onboard soundcards, but they usually cost a fair share and are targeted towards people recording audio rather than gamers, and as of late most of them have moved to USB as it has improved it's throughput enough to handle several channels of audio at once.
To each their own I suppose.