Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: Will getting a Sound Card improve my audio experience?

16 Mar 2015   #1
rammstein420

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 
Will getting a Sound Card improve my audio experience?

I have RealTek HD Audio. I am just wondering if getting a soundcard will make listening to Youtube and blu-rays better.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
16 Mar 2015   #2
society misfit

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

Your system specs states you have a Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro? And may I ask, what is it you wish to improve upon?

Upgrading to a better sound card or an external source can improve your audio experience however everything within the audio chain must also be able to benefit from the change. This includes the media being played all the way to the speakers used. If your amplification is poor, or have poor speakers, then you may not see any improvements with changing your sound card. Same goes with the media. Highly compressed lossy media will not show much of an improvement in comparison to lossless media. Youtube, as great as it is for watching video’s, is not what I would call the highest of fidelity. However, blu-ray can benefit from better sounding equipment. Same can be said about lossy compressed MP3’s compared to uncompressed WAV and or lossless FLAC files.


Also within your system spec you mention a GeForce GTX 780 along with a Receiver (assuming it is an Audio/Video receiver). If your AV Receiver has HDMI, you could use the GTX video card to send PCM digital signal to the AV receiver via HDMI thus essentially turning your AV receiver into a sound card! No soundcard and or chip within the computer is needed – just a quality HDMI cable (and it does not have to be expensive!)



Failing that, you could also use the Toslink optical out (otherwise known as SPDIF) from your motherboard to your receiver. Again this will send raw PCM digital signal to your receiver thus allowing your receiver to do the processing. However, you will need the Realtek drivers for this config.


Let me know the rest of your audio system and I might be able to throw a few other idea’s your way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2015   #3
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Because there are so many parameters that determine what your listening experience will be—personal tastes, your hearing ability, the quality of your sound source, the acoustic where you will be listening, the quality of your speakers, the quality of your onboard sound, etc.—there is no way to accurately predict whether a sound card will benefit you. About the only way to reliably determine whether a sound card will benefit you are not is to actually try one to see how it sounds with your system. Try to get one from a vendor that has a generous return policy. I bought my sound card from a local vendor, even though it cost more, so I would have a bit more time to try out the card. I did get an improvement in sound quality in my system that was enough to justify the expense but not by much.

Onboard sound has improved quite a bit the last few years, to the point that there are less than a handful of internal sound cards that will give as significant improvement in sound quality. Even then, you have to have a pretty good sound system to take advantage of that increased quality. Also, if your sound source (CD, vinyl, etc.) is lacking, no amount of system improvement is going to sound better. Personal taste also enters into the equation; what sounds good to someone else may not sound good to you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

16 Mar 2015   #4
rammstein420

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit.
 
 
I don't see any other connections.

My receiver is built into the back of the subwoofer that came with the surround sound system. It has no HDMI connection or any other connections that I am not presently using that I can see.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by society misfit View Post
Your system specs states you have a Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer Fatal1ty Pro? And may I ask, what is it you wish to improve upon?

Upgrading to a better sound card or an external source can improve your audio experience however everything within the audio chain must also be able to benefit from the change. This includes the media being played all the way to the speakers used. If your amplification is poor, or have poor speakers, then you may not see any improvements with changing your sound card. Same goes with the media. Highly compressed lossy media will not show much of an improvement in comparison to lossless media. Youtube, as great as it is for watching video’s, is not what I would call the highest of fidelity. However, blu-ray can benefit from better sounding equipment. Same can be said about lossy compressed MP3’s compared to uncompressed WAV and or lossless FLAC files.


Also within your system spec you mention a GeForce GTX 780 along with a Receiver (assuming it is an Audio/Video receiver). If your AV Receiver has HDMI, you could use the GTX video card to send PCM digital signal to the AV receiver via HDMI thus essentially turning your AV receiver into a sound card! No soundcard and or chip within the computer is needed – just a quality HDMI cable (and it does not have to be expensive!)



Failing that, you could also use the Toslink optical out (otherwise known as SPDIF) from your motherboard to your receiver. Again this will send raw PCM digital signal to your receiver thus allowing your receiver to do the processing. However, you will need the Realtek drivers for this config.


Let me know the rest of your audio system and I might be able to throw a few other idea’s your way.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2015   #5
society misfit

Windows 7 Professional
 
 

So is it safe to assume that you have your typical 5.1 computer speaker setup? If so you can disregard my answer to your other post about the best connection for I assumed you had an actual AV receiver. If you have your typical 5.1 computer speaker, I don’t think you will get any real benefit upgrading your sound card assuming you wish to continue to use your existing speakers.



Any interest in headphones? The personal audio market, ie headphones, is sprouting like a weed with many companies providing excellent quality headphones for reasonable prices. A quality headphone mated to a sound card such as the Asus Xonar Essence STX, with its built in headphone amplifier can offer an amazing audio experience. Of course this is 2 channel stereo only. But what you lose in surround sound effects (it gets mixed into 2 channel) you gain in detail and definition. But headphones are not for everyone so this is only a suggestion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Mar 2015   #6
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rammstein420 View Post
My receiver is built into the back of the subwoofer that came with the surround sound system. It has no HDMI connection or any other connections that I am not presently using that I can see...
Can you tell us the brand and model number of your speakers?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Will getting a Sound Card improve my audio experience?




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
No audio through external sound card on web only
I have a Acer with Windows 7 Ultimate x64 and my headphone jack is broken. When i want to listen to music or any audio on the web the sound plays through my laptop speakers. I have the vms2 audio midi device configured as my default player. All other audio including traktor plays audio through my...
Sound & Audio
Does Ready Boost improve your Windows Experience Index?
I've tried to use all kinds of flash drives to improve my system performance but it's no use. I only have 4Gigs of memory of which 3.25 is usable. Could it be that my hard disk is really fast? I have a "Maxtor 6v160eo ata" according to my device manager. ...
Performance & Maintenance
What ext video card takes SPDIF audio from ext sound card?
Presently I have to use onboard sound card to have audio through HDMI output from video card. The external sound card installed is Xonar DG and it comes with SPDIF output header to be interfaced with video card. But I do not see no such header on the video card. I wonder what video card has such an...
Graphic Cards
How to improve Windows Experience Index Number
My Windows Experience Index is 3.4 for Gaming Graphics and 4.1 for Graphics. My computer is a Toshiba Laptop A505-S6980 and I am running Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit for my operating system. What could I do to improve the ratings in these two categories to get the most out of my computer.
Performance & Maintenance
Improve Realtek HD Audio Sound Quality!
Hello guys! In the other forum that I do participate, I found a tutorial about the Realtek HD Audio (RHDA) chipsets. Making the long history short, all RHDA have a paid driver for the Gigabyte mobos that makes then emulate a X-Fi sound card. Of curse, it is not a quality of a real X-Fi, but I could...
Sound & Audio
Improve Web User Experience with IIS SEO Toolkit RTW an
More...
News


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

© Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 00:12.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App