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What are my options for good sound quailty with my laptop?

Discussion in 'Soundcards, Speakers HiFI & File formats' started by thecake90, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. thecake90

    thecake90 Ancient Guru

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    Right now I am using my onboard Audiocard with crappy headphones, I would like to upgrade but I dunno to what, should I get a USB headset? If so which? or would a normal headset with my onbaord audio work fine? or should I get an external USB soundcard like
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829102035

    And connect it to a headset?
    I want to experience games and movies with surround sound! Please recommend me something :(
     
  2. thecake90

    thecake90 Ancient Guru

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    I can get the Creative Sound Blaster Arena Surround USB Gaming Headset for less than 40 euros, would that be a good choice :(?

    Another option is the sound blaster tatic 3d Alpha
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2012
  3. suture

    suture Master Guru

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  4. nikavelli

    nikavelli Master Guru

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    Well how much money are you looking to spend?
     

  5. thecake90

    thecake90 Ancient Guru

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    100 Euros? maybe.. if there is something that is worth it, I am willing to spend.
     
  6. TruMutton_200Hz

    TruMutton_200Hz Ancient Guru

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    NuForce uDAC-2.

    EDIT: Best version of it is the SGE (asynchronous USB, gold plated). For optimum portability and good sound quality combined, you could pair it with for example Shure SE535 Sound Isolating Earphones. They block up to 37 dB of environmental noise. Not exactly cheap but anyway.
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2012
  7. nikavelli

    nikavelli Master Guru

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    In my opinion, it's not worth it. I would save more money and buy something higher quality. If you absolutely must buy something now, your best bet would be an all-in-one solution like a USB headset. With a USB headset, you would be replacing your onboard sound and crappy headphones. You can get some decent ones for under 100.
     
  8. Decane

    Decane Ancient Guru

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    What onboard do you have, exactly?
     
  9. jhelsas

    jhelsas Master Guru

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    ^+1

    I don't thrust this Corsair/Razer/alike sound cards.

    The best way to get a upgrade for your laptop sound is to get a good DAC/amp combo from Fiio(my case, an e7), nuforce(like the guy above, and better than the e7), ibasso or any of those companies. You can get something between US$ 80 and 150 and easly sound better than any of the above mentioned alternatives in my opinion.

    Together with it, get a good headphone, or even a analog headset(though the good ones are fairly expensive and hard to find) and you are good to go.

    http://www.amazon.fr/E7-FiiO-unité-...RC7Y/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1335020220&sr=8-3

    http://www.amazon.fr/Etymotic-movin...RFIQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1335020351&sr=8-1

    For about 120 euros you have a good dac/amp with line-out(the L7 is the line-out adapter) so you can conect it beautifuly to a speaker system using only the DAC, and a pretty decent headphone with good isolation, unfortunatly no headset at this price point.

    That would be my sugestion.

    edit 1:

    Also, checking this forum is allways a good sugestion:
    http://www.head-fi.org/

    edit 2:
    Just found this, it will certanly be helpfull to this discussion:
    http://lifehacker.com/5903575/unleash-your-headphones-full-potential-with-a-usb-dac-and-amplifier


    About the SE535: It's more a matter of taste than anything else, so don't get me wrong please. In sheer isolation, I prefer the Etymotic HF5, and in sound, for the SE535's price I would get the Westone 4. In-ear, like all headphones independant of the SQ, have their own sound signature and some like it and others don't, it was my case with the W4 vs SE535.

    Also both of them are (completly) outside the guy's budget. If he didn't have a budget, he could look at sooooo many other things....
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2012
  10. Tacoboy

    Tacoboy Master Guru

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    Asus & Samson

    Asus Xonar U3 USB sound card.
    Samson SR850 headphones.
    Should be around your budget.
     

  11. Meocene

    Meocene Master Guru

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    definitely a USB stereo DAC - you're only real option, imo.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2012

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