Onboard sound VS dedicated sound card

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Avatar image for insane_metalist
#51 Edited by insane_metalist (7797 posts) -

I tested this with my onboard audio (ROG SupremeFX) and it had a little bit of bass.
Once I tested this with my Sound Blaster Z, it's like day and night difference.

@horgen said:

@Truth_Hurts_U said:

This actually sounds a lot cleaner and a bit deeper bass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UijHChw2VOM

That would be the same, just another edition, of the song I linked to...?

Avatar image for kraken2109
#53 Edited by kraken2109 (13271 posts) -
@insane_metalist said:

I tested this with my onboard audio (ROG SupremeFX) and it had a little bit of bass.

Once I tested this with my Sound Blaster Z, it's like day and night difference.

@horgen said:

@Truth_Hurts_U said:

This actually sounds a lot cleaner and a bit deeper bass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UijHChw2VOM

That would be the same, just another edition, of the song I linked to...?

If there's night and day difference you have some kind of EQ/DSP/Other processing going on with one of the sound cards. A different DAC or amp will not cause that much difference.

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#54 Edited by silversix_ (26347 posts) -

I bought an Asus DG. Was a waste and wouldn't suggest. But now im using a headphone amp and that makes a very nice difference for music and games that have actual good sound effect (BF series for example). Currently have a TOPPING VX1 amp, FiiO Taishan DAC and a pair of Sennheiser HD558. I saw the Sennheiser HD 598 for $150, dunno if its worth an upgrade or not.

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#55 Posted by Lach0121 (11402 posts) -

@kraken2109 said:
@insane_metalist said:

I tested this with my onboard audio (ROG SupremeFX) and it had a little bit of bass.

Once I tested this with my Sound Blaster Z, it's like day and night difference.

@horgen said:

@Truth_Hurts_U said:

This actually sounds a lot cleaner and a bit deeper bass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UijHChw2VOM

That would be the same, just another edition, of the song I linked to...?

If there's night and day difference you have some kind of EQ/DSP/Other processing going on with one of the sound cards. A different DAC or amp will not cause that much difference.

Exactly!

There could be difference in sound with different DACs, tubes, circuitry ect. However, if its really night & day then there is extra DSP going on.

I can't count how many times on producer/composer forums where those who know better, have to constantly re-iterate to those that say "my music sounds different once its rendered, as opposed to inside the DAW using ASIO drivers" that they must have dsp on their soundcards tunred on, they do some searching and find out that is exactly the case. ASIO bypasses all of that nonsense btw, if your not familiar.

Turning off all of that, or making sure all of that is turned off, is one of the first things I do for a new rig.

Avatar image for horgen
#56 Posted by Horgen (120597 posts) -

@Lach0121 said:

Exactly!

There could be difference in sound with different DACs, tubes, circuitry ect. However, if its really night & day then there is extra DSP going on.

I can't count how many times on producer/composer forums where those who know better, have to constantly re-iterate to those that say "my music sounds different once its rendered, as opposed to inside the DAW using ASIO drivers" that they must have dsp on their soundcards tunred on, they do some searching and find out that is exactly the case. ASIO bypasses all of that nonsense btw, if your not familiar.

Turning off all of that, or making sure all of that is turned off, is one of the first things I do for a new rig.

I haven't touched anything sound related on my computer since I built it...

@silversix_ said:

I bought an Asus DG. Was a waste and wouldn't suggest. But now im using a headphone amp and that makes a very nice difference for music and games that have actual good sound effect (BF series for example). Currently have a TOPPING VX1 amp, FiiO Taishan DAC and a pair of Sennheiser HD558. I saw the Sennheiser HD 598 for $150, dunno if its worth an upgrade or not.

That's one of the cheap ones right? I was wondering if it was any good. Costs like 1/5 of the price or less compared to many others I saw.

@insane_metalist said:

I tested this with my onboard audio (ROG SupremeFX) and it had a little bit of bass.

Once I tested this with my Sound Blaster Z, it's like day and night difference.

@horgen said:

@Truth_Hurts_U said:

This actually sounds a lot cleaner and a bit deeper bass.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UijHChw2VOM

That would be the same, just another edition, of the song I linked to...?

Glad you said that.

Avatar image for silversix_
#57 Posted by silversix_ (26347 posts) -

@horgen: yeah its the cheapest one and it may be worth it if you have a crappy motherboard but if you have a decent $150+ mobo (i have a P8P67Pro) its not worth getting the Xonar DG at all.

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#58 Edited by Lach0121 (11402 posts) -

@horgen: Horgen, I wasn't implying that you turned on a DSP/EQ/other enhancements on purpose. I was actually stating that with a lot of those soundcards, even with many onboards, they come defaulted with some of that stuff turned on. It would not hurt to go through all the options and make sure none of that is turned on. Since you have not messed with the sound settings since you built your rig, this may still be the case.

One thing you all might actually be noticing is an impedance change. If you move to a card/amp with impedance that closer matches your HPs you could notice a bump in perceived quality! However, this is not to say that the sound quality of one card is better than the other (for this instance) it is more of efficient matching than anything.

For instance on my Eleven Rack I have what is called a True-Z input. I can actually select the impedance to match my guitar's pickups/output. (I have several guitars, all different kinds of pickups) Changing that Impedance setting can all definitely change the sound. I even have a setting that adjusts the impedance automatically depending on whatever Amp model I use in the signal chain.

BTW Eleven Rack is a guitar processor, however, it is also a fantastic external soundcard. All sound in my rig passes through it.

Avatar image for invizo
#59 Posted by invizo (54 posts) -

If you are buying $300+ 250 Ohm Headphones go ahead an buy a $120 Asus sound card, or else buy nothing and subpar headphones like 98% of the other PC gamers.

Avatar image for kraken2109
#60 Posted by kraken2109 (13271 posts) -

I've said it before and i'll say it again, external options are generally better than internal sound cards.

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#61 Posted by Horgen (120597 posts) -

@invizo said:

If you are buying $300+ 250 Ohm Headphones go ahead an buy a $120 Asus sound card, or else buy nothing and subpar headphones like 98% of the other PC gamers.

I got 32 Ohm version of headphones... Spending close 300$ is what I do on headphones... Well did, Haven't bought new ones in a few years since they seem to be working fine still.

@kraken2109 said:

I've said it before and i'll say it again, external options are generally better than internal sound cards.

They come at least in more reasonable price ranges.

@Lach0121 said:

@horgen: Horgen, I wasn't implying that you turned on a DSP/EQ/other enhancements on purpose. I was actually stating that with a lot of those soundcards, even with many onboards, they come defaulted with some of that stuff turned on. It would not hurt to go through all the options and make sure none of that is turned on. Since you have not messed with the sound settings since you built your rig, this may still be the case.

One thing you all might actually be noticing is an impedance change. If you move to a card/amp with impedance that closer matches your HPs you could notice a bump in perceived quality! However, this is not to say that the sound quality of one card is better than the other (for this instance) it is more of efficient matching than anything.

For instance on my Eleven Rack I have what is called a True-Z input. I can actually select the impedance to match my guitar's pickups/output. (I have several guitars, all different kinds of pickups) Changing that Impedance setting can all definitely change the sound. I even have a setting that adjusts the impedance automatically depending on whatever Amp model I use in the signal chain.

BTW Eleven Rack is a guitar processor, however, it is also a fantastic external soundcard. All sound in my rig passes through it.

Well I got something called realtek HD audio installed. Checking the settings there, it seems to be that nothing is enabled. Granted I didn't notice any difference before installing it either. On settings where I have to choose something, it is standard format... 24bits, 48 000Hz.

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#62 Edited by C_Rule (9816 posts) -

@BassMan said:

C'mon guys. Those examples are laughable. You want Bass? Check this...

https://youtu.be/cQHTcJYJRgQ

https://youtu.be/BcyXE5xPbDk

BassMan approved :)

Glad I wasn't the only one scratching my head at these supposedly bass heavy songs, mentioned earlier.

Those two are much better!

Avatar image for KHAndAnime
#63 Edited by KHAndAnime (17565 posts) -

@C_Rule said:

@BassMan said:

C'mon guys. Those examples are laughable. You want Bass? Check this...

https://youtu.be/cQHTcJYJRgQ

https://youtu.be/BcyXE5xPbDk

BassMan approved :)

Glad I wasn't the only one scratching my head at these supposedly bass heavy songs, mentioned earlier.

Those two are much better!

Tracks that are super bass-heavy aren't necessarily good for testing for bass - the idea is to test songs with more balanced bass, that way you have more of an idea if you have too much or too little at all. Ridiculously bassy tracks will make even bass-light headphones sound too bassy (like my Grado SR-225i's) - which doesn't really give you much of an idea if you are lacking in bass or not. In those tracks, on flat-EQ speakers, the bass overpowers everything else and then some. If my speakers weren't already flat, I'd EQ the low frequencies down a little for those tracks.

Avatar image for C_Rule
#64 Posted by C_Rule (9816 posts) -

Oh dear. I just listened to those two tracks (well, not the whole thing) with headphones, was not a particularly pleasant experience.

Maybe I just had my sub down too low for the Basstronics song, I usually leave it at 1/3, turning it up to 1/2 makes the bass a bit more prominent.

With sub at half volume, the bass in the latter two songs becomes very overwhelming.

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#65 Edited by BassMan (10377 posts) -

The tracks are not meant for balanced sound. They are meant to test the bass capabilities of your speaker/headphone setup. If you can play those tracks and maintain a clean bass without distortion and bottoming out, then you have a good setup.

Check these songs for regular songs with a bass emphasis:

https://youtu.be/Z6kmOyaONbA

https://youtu.be/e60C4WvvvCo

The following song is well mastered and is good for configuring an audio setup. It has a nice bass kick, sub bass (when it slows down), clean hi-hats, and good mids with the progressive synths. I listen to a lot of eurodance. :)

https://youtu.be/tfGkKSYJv_4