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Sound cards/speakers....any recommendations for DCS?


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I would imagine since most people play DCS with headphones or some sort of VR headset that sound is not a huge deal. But what if I'm planning on;

 

1) a lot of single player/training time?

2) use the PC for streaming TV, etc.?

3) playing music while I do other stuff?

Any recommendations? It's been awhile since I've looked at this stuff, a lot has changed. Last time I put a sound card in anything it was a Sound Blaster Audigy, and I had the usual desk speakers. 


Edited by Allentc2
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Eh, having seen with and without... tbh my opinion is, unless your motherboard is a really cheap one lacking decent onboard, you don't really need a soundcard these days. Audio isn't like graphics, it doesn't really change, and the onboard audio on a good motherboard is pretty much as good as any dedicated sound unit.

 

 The speakers are where you'll get most your benefit. Cheap tinny speakers won't sound as good as better quality ones. That said, it also depends on your personal preferences. I used to have a 5.1 surround system, and it was cool and all, but a pain in the ass to set up with wires everywhere etc etc. I ended up buying a decent sound bar with dedicated subwoofer for like $200 and it's vastly easier to setup and sounds good enough for me.

 

  Basically, unless you're a freakishly obsessive audiophile, this isn't a big deal, you can skip the soundcard outright and just buy a sound system you feel is appropriate and forget about it.

 

  Last point, regarding surround sound and the main box you have... those things are ridiculously overpriced and extremely dated in their whole design philosophy. There's no reason whatsoever to have 90% of the crap they have on it, and definitely no reason to be so big. But smaller ones are inversely MORE expensive because they're ''special''. Bah. That whole experience was enough to put me off the stuff altogether.

 

  Most audio systems are a lot like the incandescent bulbs that are still in use over 120 years later : they're crap, grossly inefficient, and there are infinite better options, but they continue to be used out of laziness and lack of impetus to change. The incandescent light bulb is finally being replaced, and hopefully the junk audio ''system'' in use the last few decades will soon join it on the trash bin of history @@


Edited by Mars Exulte
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I wouldn't go the sound card route. I get good sound from running a line out from the PC into an integrated DAC/Amp, which powers bookshelf speakers and has a line out to a subwoofer under the desk. This will give you good quality music/TV. These DAC/Amps also have headphone jacks so you can use headphones or earphones when you prefer.

 

4/7 EDIT: Here's the DAC/Amp I use as an example:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/TEAC-AI-101DA-Integrated-DAC-Amp-for-Speakers-Headphones-Bluetooth-w-aptX/114753113402?hash=item1ab7d18d3a:g:F9AAAOSw7olgWueW


Edited by Patersonski
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Unless you're into music editing, there is no point getting a sound card, the quality of the integrated sound cards on actual motherboards is far enough to provide you with good experience in gaming.

 

I fully agree with Patersonski there, a good sound system with a boomer, small and medium speakers will be a lot more efficient and you will save the money...

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I agree to all above. This is one of the few corners that you can cut and save money, wires and hassle.

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Yep after building this Z390 system I said goodbye to sound cards.

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On 4/3/2021 at 10:15 AM, Allentc2 said:

Any recommendations? 

 

The built in sound circuit of modern motherboards is more than enough for almost any application, that's why sound cards are almost extinct. Invest 100% of the budget on the best speakers you can afford .. on the long rung they turn out to be quite economical as thay can last a long time. Mine are from 2005 and still sound perfect to my ears, will replace them only if they ever fail:

 

https://www.cnet.com/reviews/logitech-z-5500-review/

 

🙂


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With average headphones you probably won't notice any difference.  

 

However, with a nice set of cans (I use Kingston HyperX Cloud) there's a huge improvement using the Sound Blaster Z over integrated motherboard sound.  Especially if you combine with the Buttkicker.   ;)

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On 4/8/2021 at 8:11 PM, Mango said:

With average headphones you probably won't notice any difference.  

 

However, with a nice set of cans (I use Kingston HyperX Cloud) there's a huge improvement using the Sound Blaster Z over integrated motherboard sound.  Especially if you combine with the Buttkicker.  😉

 

Sure, that is true as well. With my intermediate MSI M9 Z170 board I had a premium onboard sound solution and it sounded better, but for DCS or any other engine & bitching Betty sound based game it really doesn't matter much.

 

It's a very personal thing too, which changes as times goes by. I used to have a 10k+ HiFi with Pre-Amp, double Power Amps for Hi+Mids and Bass..and these days I use a 10€ BT Mono Speaker on the table when we play cards, with the same guys that I sat together and listened to my old HighEnd Stereo, actually we talked about it and all said..what a waste of money that was, but we were young, testosterone driven etc...  Pick you place on this time line and don't go overboard with the expense...LoL...if testosterone doesn't carry you away.

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28 minutes ago, Allentc2 said:

Well....using VR, I'm kinda stuck with the speakers in the HMD, right?

 

I removed the ear pieces of my Oculus Rift and use it with a better quality headphone placed over it.

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I use headphones for DCS's cockpit audio (warning sounds, voice from ATC, wingmen communications etc) and Voice Chat in multiplayer, and my normal 5.1 speaker setup (logitech Z5500 which is almost 20 years old by now) for the other sounds (engine etc).
For DCS I agree onboard sound is good enough. For other games however (and music obviously), there still is a huge difference between onboard sound and a proper dedicated soundcard, especially in the range of the human voice. Some onboard sound chips come with decent enough software that rivals the software that comes with dedicated sound cards, which mitigates a part of the difference.

Perhaps I'm weird, but to my ears the difference in audio quality is VERY obvious.

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On 4/11/2021 at 8:35 PM, Allentc2 said:

Well....using VR, I'm kinda stuck with the speakers in the HMD, right?

  Nope, first thing that happened after I got the Oculus software running was disabling the crap onboard speakers. I have a wireless Steelseries headset I use for that 😃 Much better

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