What is the best budget sound card for music?

  davidmball9 17:32 17 Feb 2013

I am looking to replace my ageing Dell PC with a new custom built model. I want to spec a sound card to improve on the on-board sound, as I want to digitise my LP collection and listen to music on my PC. My preferred vendor offers the ASUS Xonar DG/DGX/DS or the Creative Audigy SE or X-FI extreme. I have read some reviews, but they all seem slanted towards gamers, rather than music and I don't play games. Does anyone have any tips on the best card for music

I will be running Win7 64bit on the new PC.

I also have an old Soundblaster 16 external card. Is this likely to be any better than the modern built in sound (Realtek® ALC88)?

  Terry Brown 09:58 18 Feb 2013

A while ago my internal sound card failed (Dodgy Connection on socket), and I purchased a USB sound card, gives very good sound (with the right speakers) and true stereo.I think I paid about £18 for it.

Your 16 bit soundblaster is only fit for emergency use and for use in an old system.

This is very similar to the one I bought

USB Sound card


  davidmball9 13:31 18 Feb 2013

Thanks Terry. It is certainly worth investigating, although some users have had problems with Win 7. What operating system were you using?

  aquatarkus 19:08 18 Feb 2013

Hi there

are you going to be connecting the sound card to a hi fi amplifier and speakers or to an A/V receiver or just to computer speakers?

if you are going to connect to an amp then would suggest you look at some of the usb DAC's, depends on your budget though. http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/equipment/0412/usbdacshootout.htm http://www.asus.com/SoundCardsandDigitaltoAnalogConverters/XonarEssenceOne/ http://www.amazon.co.uk/TOPPING-D1-CS4398-decoder-External/dp/B00A2QLKSS/ref=sr144?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1361214292&sr=1-44 as you can see prices vary depending on the quality

If you are going to connect to A/V amp that has HDMI inputs then use one of the latest ATI Radeon or NVidia graphics cards that can bit stream audio to the receiver.

hope this is of some help

regards Aquatarkus

  davidmball9 19:58 18 Feb 2013

Aquatarkus, I have a hifi turntable and amp which I will use to digitise the LPs. I will listen through logitech 2.1 speakers and headphones. I will check out your links.

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