Make the most of your favorite music or video games of the moment with one of the best PC sound cards!
Today we will talk about what is perhaps the component of the PC that enjoys the least consideration when deciding to assemble a new one. Yes, I’m talking about the audio card.
Although over the years, motherboard-integrated sound cards have made significant strides in terms of quality, resulting in more than enough for most users, audiophiles and gamers who want an immersive experience they must focus on a dedicated sound card.
We will see sound cards for both desktop PCs and portable devices, such as notebooks, but also tablets and smartphones, selected according to the Dacian e to the Amplifier inside them, without forgetting the available inputs and outputs, for connecting headphones or audio systems.
Creative Sound Blaster AE-9 is Creative’s niche product for PCI-e internal sound cards.
In addition to the actual sound card to be inserted inside the PC, the package also includes theAudio Control Module, to be placed on the desk, which allows you to quickly check the audio settings.
The beating heart of this card is the DAC ESS ES9038 SABRE (32 bit / 384kHz with 129 dB DNR / SNR) and a double Amplifier capable of driving headphones up to a maximum impedance of 600Ω.
Multiple inputs and outputs, suitable for the most varied uses. On the Audio Control Module we find:
On the board instead we have:
The cost is typical of a high-end product, justified by the excellent technical data sheet. In fact, we are talking about a recommended price of 340 €.
Creative Sound Blaster AE-9 – High-end sound card – DAC / PCIe
400,00 EUR Buy on Amazon
Another top of the range card, ASUS Essence STX II 7.1 it houses inside the DAC PCM1792A by Texas Instruments (24bit / 192kHz with 124 dB DNR / SNR) and an Amplifier that guarantees support for headphones with a maximum impedance of 600Ω.
On the connections side we have a 6.35mm headphone jack, RCA Stereo, a Coaxial / Optical output, and a 6.35mm Line-in / Mic-in combo jack.
Also in this case the price is from the top of the range proposal, oscillating between 250 and 300 €.
Asus Essence STX II 7.1 Sound Card, PCIe, Black
292,14 EUR Buy on Amazon
Asus Xonar AE is Asus’ proposal as regards the low end (price), but without sacrificing too much audio quality and performance.
The DAC is a ESS ES9023P (24bit/192KHz con 112dB DNR), mentre l’AMP it is certainly not among the most powerful around, being capable of driving headphones with a maximum impedance of 150Ω, making this card more appealing to gamers than audiophiles.
There are 7 connectors available: 2 outputs (3.5mm jack for headphones and SPDIF) and 5 inputs (Mic / Line In, Front, Rear, Center and Side).
At a price of circa 60 € the Xonar AE is suitable for those looking for something better than motherboard on-board audio but without breaking the bank.
ASUS Xonar AE Internal 7.1 channel PCI-E
72,57 EUR Buy on Amazon
Creative Sound BlasterX G6, heir to the previous G5 model, it houses a DSD 32-bit / 384 kHz and 130 dB DAC and an amplifier that allows you to use headphones from 16 to 600Ω impedance.
As with most of Creative’s recent line-up, this one too Creative Sound BlasterX G6 supports Super X-FI holographic audio technology, which promises to reproduce sounds as if you were surrounded by a set of surround speakers.
On the back, besides the door Micro-USB we find theoptical input (Optical In) is aoptical output (Optical Out), to take audio, for example, to an amplifier and a set of speakers.
In the front there is space for the volume control knob, the 3.5mm headphone jack for headphones and another 3.5mm jack for microphone input.
The price is very attractive: it is proposed in fact to 150 €, but it is often possible to find it in promotion at an even more attractive price.
(currently on offer)
HD 7.1 Gaming DAC and Sound BlasterX G6 External USB Sound Card with Xamp Headphone Amplifier for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC.
149,99 EUR −11% 133,98 EUR Buy on Amazon
Sennheiser GSX 1200 is an AMP + DAC combo that features a revolutionary 7.1 virtual surround algorithm, to ensure an immersive experience.
The AMP is capable of driving headphones with a maximum impedance of 150Ω, thus resulting more suited to gamers than to audiophiles.
In the back we find 2 output (1 3.5mm jack for headphones and 1 for speaker) e 4 input:
The price is around 230 €.
(currently on offer)
EPOS Sennheiser GSX 1200 Audioverst Pro Gaming Amplifier, Black / Red
230,87 EUR −9% 211,16 EUR Buy on Amazon
Creative Sound Blaster X3 is a DAC sound card and external USB amplifier 7.1, for PC and Mac but which can also be used with PS4, PS5 and Nintendo Switch.
This DAC + AMP is capable of guaranteeing high quality audio (32bit / 192kHz with 115dB DNR / SNR) and drive headphones with a maximum impedance of 600Ω.
Under the entry input we find a door USB-C, Optical Digital input and 3.5mm jack. As output we find a 3.5mm jack and line-out for connecting to a speaker system.
The average price is circa 145 €.
Creative Sound Blaster X3 Hi-Res 7.1 External DAC and Sound Card with Super X-Fi for PC and Mac
144,99 EUR Buy on Amazon
Audioengine D1 it is meant to be used on the move, especially with a laptop. In fact, it does not require an external power supply, just connect it to the PC via USB cable.
Inside we find theAKM AK4493 (24 Bit/96 kHz) e l’OPA2134, capable of driving headphones up to 600Ω impedance. The input available I’m only 2 (Digital Optical and USB), while as regards the outputs, al 3.5mm jack is accompanied by a stereo RCA output.
The average price is just under 200 €.
Audioengine D1 24-Bit DAC | High Quality Digital to Analog Desktop Converter and Headphone Amplifier with USB and Optical S / PDIF Input | 3 Years Warranty
199.00 EUR Buy on Amazon
FiiO K5PRO is a chip-based DAC + AMP AKM AK4493 (32bit / 768kHz), able to drive smoothly headphones with a maximum impedance of 300Ω.
With 4 entrances (USB, Digital Coaxial, Digital Optical, RCA Stereo) e one 6.35mm jack output, the K5PRO is sold for a price just over 200 €.
FiiO K5PRO DAC and Desktop Headphone Amplifier
209,90 EUR Buy on Amazon
The article Best sound cards for PC | March 2021 comes from TechGameWorld.com.
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