Need a very decent sound card that is affordable. Name that brand.
September 12, 2010 3:42 AM   Subscribe

Recommend a very decent sound card that's also affordable
posted by watercarrier to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
This is hard to answer without more information. What you are going to do with it (recording, music playback, video playback, gaming)? What kind of speaker setup do you have? Do you use an additional receiver / amp? What's your budget? What's your computer configuration (hardware and operating system)?

The standard Realtek HD chips on modern mainboards are pretty much enough for the regular home user, everything else really depends on what you are planning.
posted by starzero at 4:31 AM on September 12, 2010

PC sound isn't as big a deal as it was ten or so years ago. Most integrated audio will more than do the trick for watching movies, listening to music, and playing games. We also need to know your budget. "Affordable" to me would be around the AU$100 mark, so I'd likely go for one of the cheaper Asus Xonar cards. You'll also want a good speaker setup. For the modest wallet, allow me to recommend the phenomenal Creative Gigaworks T20.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:30 AM on September 12, 2010

Response by poster: Thinking about doing some recording. I know about the external cards out there and down the line would probably be going that route - but for now - just demos and not anything that will have me covering my ears. Price is iffy because I can usually get a good deal on the net and off. I'd say under under 100 bucks. I've got fairly nice headphones and speakers - the system is XP. I do have the RealTek MB - but it doesn't delivery in any way shape or form the clarity or pitch I'm looking for. Especially - not for recordings.
posted by watercarrier at 7:54 AM on September 12, 2010

Response by poster: *deliver.
posted by watercarrier at 7:55 AM on September 12, 2010

Twice your budget but you might consider the EMU 0404 USB if you're going to be recording. It has lots of connection options, a decent DAC, and a decent headphone amp (good enough to please many of the folks over at You can get them on eBay for about $200 USD.
posted by sockpup at 10:29 AM on September 12, 2010

I've been using the M-Audio Delta 1010LT for recording (mostly vocals and MIDI) for over a year and I love it. I have Windows XP also. I didn't install it myself, so I'm not sure how much of a pain that is. But I love being able to plug an XLR right into it, and I've never had any problems with it. It costs under $200.
posted by wondermouse at 1:43 PM on September 12, 2010

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