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Needing a little help finding a new sound card

Apparently, recent sound card recommendations are a little hard to find these days, so I figured I'd start a new thread and ask it here. I'm in the market for a new sound card. Here's some back-story:

I've been a Creative Sound Blaster guy since the ol' Sound Blaster 16 came out. Ever since then, loved them. However, this last card that I picked up from them (Sound Blaster Z) has shaken that faith in their driver support (especially for Win8/8.1). Short version, I either get pops and static when I'm running my Geforce GTX 670s in SLI, or I'll randomly have my speaker channels switched for no reason other than "lol, drivers" (sounds that are meant to be coming from the right speaker will switch to either the left speaker or the sub or to a speaker that doesn't exist, for example). After spending a couple of days reconfiguring every setting I could with the hardware I have (I don't have another PCIE sound card to toss in my computer), I've basically given up on Creative actually releasing decent Win8/8.1 drivers...which brings me here.

Outside of Creative's Sound Blaster line, I don't have much experience with sound cards. I have heard mixed things about the ASUS offerings as an alternative...but that's been about it. I don't do a whole lot of audio processing or anything. I do listen to a wide range of music, watch blu-ray movies, and extensively game (which is kind of why I'm looking for a decent-to-high quality card since I rely on positional audio cues in most of the games I play to really be competitive).

So, with all that in mind...any suggestions?

| Origin/R*SC/Steam: Ein7919 | Battle.net: Erlkonig#1448 | XBL: Lexicanum |

Posts

  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    My Xonar DX is great.

    HT | Omega gear is meant to be pretty nice too, but I have no personal experience with any of their models.

  • ErlkönigErlkönig Registered User regular
    Thanks, I'll probably scoop up either that or the Xonar Essence. Hopefully ASUS has worked on their Win8.1 drivers even a smidge harder than Creative has been working on the Sound Blaster's drivers...

    | Origin/R*SC/Steam: Ein7919 | Battle.net: Erlkonig#1448 | XBL: Lexicanum |
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Creative has had a long-lived reputation for being bad at drivers. Like, since the early '90s.

  • ErlkönigErlkönig Registered User regular
    A question regarding the ASUS Xonar cards:

    How is the Windows 8.1 driver support? I ask mostly because I'm doing my due diligence in making informed purchasing decisions and noticed a LOT of people are having issues with either the official Xonar drivers not working in Win8.1 or are unhappy with the overall sound quality in the unified drivers (especially when compared to the official drivers). Does the DX suffer from those kinds of driver issues?

    | Origin/R*SC/Steam: Ein7919 | Battle.net: Erlkonig#1448 | XBL: Lexicanum |
  • chrishallett83chrishallett83 Hi! Registered User regular
    Mine works fine in 8.1 and sounds the same as it ever did.

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