Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Audiophile upgrade

  1. #1


    Posts : 154
    Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit

    Audiophile upgrade


    Greetings everyone,

    Some background, I'm interested in quality of music and sound in general. Unfortunately I'm not as competent as I wish to be. So I'll entrust someone else who is knowledgeable in this subject. Currently I have the Astro A40 Audio System (take note that I purchased this before 2012; MixAmp is the old model). My experience with this setup is good; extremely comfortable piece of hardware, and great sound.

    Now to the point. I'm looking for a sound card, and some headphones that will improve my experience with audio over my current MixAmp and headphones; if possible or even reasonable. I'm only speculating right now. I don't think I'll upgrade but I want to see my options if I'm to upgrade.

      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  2. #2


    Headphone and speaker sound in general is very subjective. You will have to find what you like.

    As far as cans go, check out akg, audio-technica, Beyerdynamic, Grado labs, and denon.

    Have you considered a usb dac...Headphone amp combo?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Posts : 154
    Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
    Headphone and speaker sound in general is very subjective. You will have to find what you like.

    As far as cans go, check out akg, audio-technica, Beyerdynamic, Grado labs, and denon.

    Have you considered a usb dac...Headphone amp combo?
    I've had my eye on Audio-Technica, I've heard good things about ATH-AD700 but I wonder if it's better than my current headphones. I'm not familiar with USB DACs nor AMPs. Wouldn't a sound card be superior to an AMP anyway?

    One more thing, I remember installing my MixAmp and it also installed its own drivers (see attachment).
    Click image for larger version

    As you can see, I'm using something other than the MixAmp drivers because they're awful... seriously, I remember playing a game and the sound was rubbish. It did not feel "natural", like an image that has too many filters for effects.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  4. #4


    As noted audio can be very subjective and what one finds unacceptable someone else may think is great. I have a recording studio with studio grade headsets, but they are designed to have a flat response and probably not any good for someone that is listening to pre-recorded (or gaming) audio.

    The Bose and Beats headsets have been getting some good reviews.

    Look at the HT Omega line of sound cards. They have some nice (good fidelity) sound cards. HT Omega - The Next Generation in Audio.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  5. #5


    Posts : 154
    Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by fireberd View Post
    The Bose and Beats headsets have been getting some good reviews.
    One thing that I'm certain of is that I'll avoid headphones that change or amplify sound to make it "better". I don't want any of that, I want to hear sound as it is intended by the composers.

    Beats are overhyped and overpriced anyway.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  6. #6


    Beats exaggerate the low end. It's enjoyed by those who like hip hop and rap, but many of us prefer a flatter frequency response.

    I use a pair of Grado SR-125's on my desk at work, they are an open design, and they bleed sound...but since I am at work I am listening at low levels it is not an issue.

    At home, I have a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50s that my daughter (8) uses with her digital piano and I use them as my cans for home use. I really, really like these headphones. They were only $120 from Amazon and I would put them up against any $400-$600 Beats any day of the week.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    My question is: where are the wireless, NFC enabled wrap around ear buds that have great audio quality to them?!
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Posts : 154
    Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    My question is: where are the wireless, NFC enabled wrap around ear buds that have great audio quality to them?!
    I though wireless headphones suffered quality loss. I'm not sure though, probably wrong.

    I know that I want open-air over-the-ear headphones and I don't care about noise cancelling. I looked over the "ATH-AD700X Audiophile Open-air Headphones" and they sound very interesting. Now I'm wondering if the upgrade from the "Astro A40 Gaming Headset" is rational.

    Quote Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
    At home, I have a pair of Audio Technica ATH-M50s that my daughter (8) uses with her digital piano and I use them as my cans for home use. I really, really like these headphones. They were only $120 from Amazon and I would put them up against any $400-$600 Beats any day of the week.
    All the more reason why I'm looking towards Audio-Technica, they seem to consistently have good headphones.

    I'm also looking towards the "Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium" sound-card, it has $50 off promo code that is good until tomorrow. Good deal I think.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  9. #9


    The Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD is supposed to have a good quality output. However, if you want 5.1 or 7.1 analog outputs, it doesn't have them.

    I wonder how good its Win8 drivers are?
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 154
    Windows 8.1 Professional 64-bit


    Quote Originally Posted by bobkn View Post
    The Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD is supposed to have a good quality output. However, if you want 5.1 or 7.1 analog outputs, it doesn't have them.

    I wonder how good its Win8 drivers are?
    I see... its drivers are already updated for Windows 8. But if doesn't support 5.1 then I see no reason to get it. Finding a good sound card within a reasonable price is a lot of trouble...
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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