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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys, does anyone owns some portable USB sound card? I'm thinking of buying one and thought of creative's sound blaster play 2 (for $20 not sure if they are worth it).

Apprettiate your comments

Zef
 

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What would be your main use, playback or recording?

For playback, would you need it to drive headphones? What model?

For recording, what and how would you record?

What is your budget?

I have no personal experience with that Sound blaster card, but based on recommendation on the head-fi forum I just purchased the Tiny DAC from HifiMeDIY but this is for playback only, and with audiophile ambitions - not for gaming or podcasting or whatever.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
What would be your main use, playback or recording?

For playback, would you need it to drive headphones? What model?

For recording, what and how would you record?

What is your budget?

I have no personal experience with that Sound blaster card, but based on recommendation on the head-fi forum I just purchased the Tiny DAC from HifiMeDIY but this is for playback only, and with audiophile ambitions - not for gaming or podcasting or whatever.
Thx dude. The main use will be playback, both 2-channel audio system and earphones budget límite is $30.
 

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I have an SB X-Fi Pro. I pulled it from my music server. It has driver bloat, uses too many system resources and automatically re-samples everything to 48K, although you can defeat that. I also have a Behringer UCA202/222 which (for the price: $30 @ Amazon) I recommend over the SB USB card. It has analog inputs and outputs along with optical out and variable headphone (analog volume adjustment) out. It's restriction is that it's limited to a maximum sampling rate/bit depth of 16/48.

BTW: I currently use an Emotiva XDA-2 to connect my music server PC to my system.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have an SB X-Fi Pro. I pulled it from my music server. It has driver bloat, uses too many system resources and automatically re-samples everything to 48K, although you can defeat that. I also have a Behringer UCA202/222 which (for the price: $30 @ Amazon) I recommend over the SB USB card. It has analog inputs and outputs along with optical out and variable headphone (analog volume adjustment) out. It's restriction is that it's limited to a maximum sampling rate/bit depth of 16/48.

BTW: I currently use an Emotiva XDA-2 to connect my music server PC to my system.
Thx Joe, I'll probably go for the UCA202/222, although I'd love to have 195KHz 24Bit, those are way out of budget right now. just want to improve music playback quality at home and on the go for now.
 

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I've been in this same dilemma as you for quite some time and have spent lots of time reading. A lot of people recommend the Xonar U3 as the best for that price range.

The Behringer has a lot of reports of one channel failing.

I've owned the Soundblaster X-Fi Go! Pro (Which is fairly similar to the Xonar) and didn't really notice a difference between onboard other than the introduction of hiss/static/bloatware.
Also have a Xonar DG and that has significant output compared to onboard because of a built-in amp, but I don't necessarily notice an increase in quality.

I've heard MULTIPLE DACS at HiFi stores and literally hear no difference between them and my laptop's onboard. A/B comparrison on multiple speakers, costing upwards of 8k with lossless files. I was getting down about the need for a DAC even though so many people swear by them.

One day, experimenting, I used my Alpine ida-x305s as a Pre and PXA-H100 as a processor (hooked up to a 12v psu to my Emotiva XDA-2) with burr-brown DAC, I notice a substantial increase in sound quality, night and day. Not something I have to strain and go "I think I hear it?" Only issue, I'm limited to my iPod for output and therefore cannot use lossless. Obviously, anecdotal.

So that being said, my goal is to find a cheap(er) USB Soundcard with a burr-brown DAC.

Also, in regards to your need for 192khz/24bit, do a google search for "192/24 bit music" and go to the first link. I would post it but HTS wont let me post hyperlinks.
 
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