First things to consider
This is the second of my two part guide on suiting your new system out with the best quality and value audio equipment possible for your budget.
The first segment explained what's most important when hunting for a decent set of speakers. Now we shift our focus towards the source; a sound card. I will also cover surround standards as well as specific information regarding surround sound in gaming. Let's see what to keep an eye out for and what to stay well clear of. Enjoy!
On-board or PCI? - Does space matter? - Do you only require basic audio but still want surround sound? Perhaps consider on-board; most new motherboards come equipped with at least 5.1 channels of on-board sound. These days you're even more likely to receive support for the newer formats like 6.1 and 7.1.
With so many on-board sound solutions out there nowadays, it seems there is a diminishing market for add-on PCI sound cards. Certainly, space is a consideration also, with some users having multiple graphics cards fighting for precious case real estate.
However, not withstanding the divide between on-board and add-on cards, companies like ASUS, Auzentech and Creative continue to develop fantastic new products for the demanding user that are ready for the taking.
So, what is the card going to be used for? - Similar to choosing the right speaker system, you must consider first and foremost about what your new sound card will be up against.
Do you have special recording needs or require external inputs for mics? - Or perhaps you just need lots of inputs and outputs in general? - These questions should all be considered carefully.
As touched on in the speaker guide, companies are trying to push 6.1 and 7.1 really hard as a selling point right now, so the chances are your new card will feature it along with all of the other more basic and relevant modes including 2.1 and 5.1. Luckily it won't hit your wallet in the same way as purchasing a 6.1/7.1 channel speaker system.
Further Reading: Read and find more Audio, Sound & Speakers content at our Audio, Sound & Speakers reviews, guides and articles index page.
Do you get our RSS feed? Get It!
Latest News Posts
- Dropping phablet prices putting pressure on smaller-sized smartphones
- Secret Service plans to test drone flights in Washington, D.C
- Tim Cook: Apple Watch could replace car keys for newer vehicles
- RIP 'Star Trek' legend Leonard Nimoy
- Cyberattacks top threat to United States, intelligence agencies say
- HIS Multi-View x2 HDOCK1 USB 3.0 Dual Display Docking Station Review
- Cannot open CTRL + I Intel rapid storage menu
- Intel ME (Management Engine Components). Is it important?
- ASRock Fatal1ty 990FX Killer AM3+ Ultra Fast Boot Not Working?
- Setting up RAID 1 on FM2A88M Pro3+
- Fractal Design Announces Venturi Series Fans
- BitFenix Announces AEGIS Micro-ATX Chassis
- VisionTek Introduces DriveXpander 2.5-inch Drive Expansion Slot Adapter
- Charter Communications Says Net Neutrality Will Slow Broadband Growth and Mean Higher Fees
- MSI Announces the AP16 Flex All-in-one Desktop