Sound card - worth it if only use headphones?

  Sheepish 22:30 25 Sep 2004

95% of the time when I'm on my PC there's someone else in the room watching the TV, listening to the radio etc. So, if I'm gaming, listening to music or whatever it's almost always on headphones rather than speakers. Is there any benefit to getting a dedicated sound card rather than just on board sound? Are there headphones better for specifically sound card 5.1 or 7.1 output?

  OU812 00:27 26 Sep 2004

A good soundcard such as an Audigy 2 will give you the benefit of better sound effects which in particular will enhance sound - and the sense of realism - in games.

You'll benefit from this weather your using headphones or listening via speakers.

With respect to movies and music there are also benefits to be had with respect to better sound quality due to the higher signal to noise ratio that you find on quality sound cards.

Additionally you may find that surround sound effects designed specifically for use when wearing headphones are better than those provided by on-board sound. These help to take the sound which usually feels likes its emanating inside your head when wearing headphones and project it virtually around you. It can be surprising effective with both movies (particularly when using Dolby headphone), music and games.

  wee eddie 01:44 26 Sep 2004

The Audio response from most PC Speaker Systems is abysmal.

Worse than a cheap Stereo.

This may, of course, be due to the compression system that most PC's use.

A decent set of headphones out-performs speakers of up to about three times the price.

  Xzrox 03:38 26 Sep 2004

If you're getting a good soundcard, you really must equally invest in a good pair of headphones in order to benefit from the improved quality of sound output. To take an example, some really can not take the bass too well.

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