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fatalsushi

Need advice about external sound card

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I think I've only got on-board sound since in device manger it only lists "nvidia high definition audio," "nvidia virtual audio device," and "realtek high definition audio." So two questions:

 

1. Is this on-board sound junk and am I missing out on Squad's sound effects?

 

2. I don't have any more slots in my tiny mobo so would an external sound card be a good choice? Any recommendations? Willing to dish out $100 if it's going to get me good sound.

 

Thanks guys.

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9 minutes ago, fatalsushi said:

1. Is this on-board sound junk and am I missing out on Squad's sound effects?

Since you ask this question here, and not in an audiophile forum:

I'd say on-board sound is good enough.

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52 minutes ago, beginna said:

Since you ask this question here, and not in an audiophile forum:

I'd say on-board sound is good enough.

Really? You're implying that people who don't post on audiophile forums won't distinguish the difference anyway? From what I read, there's quite a big difference between on-board and otherwise but I wanted to confirm that here.

Edited by fatalsushi

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Of course the on-board soundcard isn't going to be the greatest sound quality one could achieve, but I really can't tell how far the difference is with Squad.

Personally, I own an internal ASUS Essence STX with monitoring headphones from Beyerdynamic, but I rarely use them for stuff like gaming, mostly for music (and even that not very often).

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maybe worth mentioning:

On 30.3.2016 at 0:42 AM, childofthekorn said:

The audio card won't make much of a difference.   XAudio2 engine, which handles all the sounds for the game, shoves all the audio to the CPU's anyway.  It'll basically just use your sound card as a pass through.  There may be benefits if you require a headset amp or something, which would be provided by the sound card.   Otherwise none of the processing of audio occurs ont he sound card itself. [...]

 http://forums.joinsquad.com/topic/16908-which-type-of-audio-card-for-my-mobo/

 

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You won't notice the difference between the onboard and a sound card unless you've got a few hundred worth of speakers or headset. Onboard audio is actually quite decent now, way back in the day it was garbage but it's been very serviceable for over a decade now.

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They only reason I bought one (Asus Xonar STX Stereo) was because I was getting a ton of EM noise through my speakers through onboard and the shielding on the asus sound card stopped that. Other then that (and headphone amp), its fairly useless.

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You won't notice the difference between the onboard and a sound card unless you've got a few hundred worth of speakers or headset. Onboard audio is actually quite decent now, way back in the day it was garbage but it's been very serviceable for over a decade now.

I notice a diffrence between it with a 5.1 headset for ~50€. I was using a soundblaster soundcard(x-fi PCI) for years and now since i build a new PC and using onboard Sound i noticed the Bass and the cut off of channels are not that clear as it was with the dedicated soundcard. Also there is a little hum when i turn the Sound a bit louder than "normal".

To OP:

1st no you wont miss any sounds in Squad.

2nd i dont think a USB-Soundcard for 100€ worth it.

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3 hours ago, fatalsushi said:

Really? You're implying that people who don't post on audiophile forums won't distinguish the difference anyway? From what I read, there's quite a big difference between on-board and otherwise but I wanted to confirm that here.

There's not really any noticeable difference.  OP should invest in a quality set of headphones instead of a sound card.  IMHO  

 

Disclaimer:  I'm not an audiophile.  Just speaking from personal experience and what I've read.

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Thanks for all the advice. Much appreciated. I'll consider getting better headphones.

Edited by fatalsushi

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On 8/23/2016 at 4:31 PM, beginna said:

I'd say on-board sound is good enough.

I'd say default one is good enough to get lost in the forest because you will not be able to distinguish where sounds are coming from. Yes, there are very few good internal sound cards on the market. But you can still get a better one even for $20.

 

On 8/23/2016 at 5:22 PM, fatalsushi said:

Really?

No.

 

On 8/23/2016 at 5:22 PM, fatalsushi said:

From what I read, there's quite a big difference between on-board and otherwise but I wanted to confirm that here.

There is a big difference between onboard and proper external sound card. Just as big as between 60 Hz and 120 monitor, onboard and external graphics card etc.

 

 

On 8/23/2016 at 4:14 PM, fatalsushi said:

2. I don't have any more slots in my tiny mobo so would an external sound card be a good choice? Any recommendations? Willing to dish out $100 if it's going to get me good sound.

Spoiler

Price isn't a factor on this market. You can buy $30-50 card which will provide a better experience in games than a $100 card.

 

The thing is that most of the people on the gaming forums never even tried any external cards and the ones who tried never used it with proper gaming headset(true 5.1). And people who used it with proper 5.1 systems never configured it in the proper way. 

On the other hand people on audiophile forums don't really play video games. And you can't just buy audiophile soundcard for gaming.

 

When I was on your place, I asked people if I should buy external card, too. Most of them told me that I shouldn't buy external card and onboard is just 'fine. Most ot that people never even held any kind of external sound cards in their hands... Same happened to me when I asked people if I should buy true 5.1 headset for gaming...

 

As a user of multiple external sound cards and multiple gaming headsets I can tell you that it completely worth it. But you have to be kinda PC grease monkey to be able properly configure 5.1+ sound card and 4.0+ sound systems. Be ready to read all specifications of all hardware and all definitions of all technologies used if you want to properly configure it because there are tonns of things that can go wrong like turned on by default DS3D GX2.0 which you can't even turn off on default drivers, so you gonna have to go and download custom drivers made by community... And you gonna have to know what that shit means in the control panel of your sound card if you don't want to ruin your experience in all games...

 

I think that's the most important reason why 95% of people say that external soundcard + proper true 5.1 system isn't worth it. Because they just can't configure it properly. For example, in some games you have to play with your sub-woofer on and in some other games you have to play with sub-woofer off to get the best experience possible. In some games it's better to play with 7.1 system set in control panel, in other it's better to set 4.0 in the control panel etc.

 

And on default onboard sound card you just plug in your stereo system and play. You don't have to know anything about anything. But if you can setup your system properly, you'll hear and know a lot more than other players on the field.

 

Edited by KulaGGin

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On 8/23/2016 at 4:14 PM, fatalsushi said:

2. I don't have any more slots in my tiny mobo so would an external sound card be a good choice? Any recommendations? Willing to dish out $100 if it's going to get me good sound.

On 8/24/2016 at 1:41 AM, fatalsushi said:

Thanks for all the advice. Much appreciated. I'll consider getting better headphones.

I was able to get a good external sound card + good true 5.1 gaming headset and to properly configure it. I couldn't find a lot of information on the internet about how to configure it properly so I had to figure it out myself...

 

For example, you can't find any information on google that you have to turn sub-woofer and center channels off if you want to get best positional awereness in games. But in Squad you can't just set Quadraphonic system in control panel because Squad will be launched in Stereo mode and only 2 dynamics will work... You have to set 5.1 Surround and turn center and sub-woofer channels off:

FooDvo8.png

 

If you will play with center or sub-woofer channels turned on, it will ruin everything because of positioning of physical dynamics around your head and positioning of virtual dynamics in control panel... But I had to figure all that out by myself...

 

And also you have to do some other things which you will not find on the internet... And every game demands different settings. CS:GO, for example, demands it to be set to Quadraphonic and not 5.1 Surround to get best positional awereness possible.

 

As a user who was able to properly configure external 5.1+ sound card and true 5.1 system for gaming(and trust me, not many people did just that) I suggest you to get external sound card & true 5.1 headset(with 6-8 real physical dynamics inside) if you are willing to get high end experience in games. And you don't have to spend $500 on that. You can get both headset and sound card for less $150.

Edited by KulaGGin

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On 8/23/2016 at 9:02 PM, Iron said:

There's not really any noticeable difference.

I've heard that so many times... Some people say that you will not see any difference between 60 Hz and 120 Hz monitors for various reasons like human eye can't see more than 60 FPS per second and other mad bullshit. I can see difference even between 60 and 62 Hz and I can tell in which mode monitor is running at the moment without looking at properties...

 

Recently in 2016 I've even heard from some kid that there is no any reasons to switch from 120 Hz to a 270 Hz monitor because you will not notice any difference... Some people say there is no difference between 125 Hz and 1000 Hz mouses. Now when you can overclock your USB port up to 8000 Hz people started saying that there is no difference between 1000 Hz and 8000 Hz(kek).

 

And all people do that because of their arrogance. They either just don't have  the thing to test(like 270 Hz monitor), so they say there is no difference between or they just wasn't able to properly configure it(like 5.1 system), so they say there is no difference or even that their worse system(like stereo vs 5.1) is better.

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Epic is redesigning the whole audio system for UE4. Currently they are using an audio library from microsoft (XAudio2). In the past, if you had a good audio card for gaming like a creative x-fi, the difference ingame was very high. I remember in 2003 or 2004 when Battlefield Vietnam came out, in the first I played with onboard sound...then after some weeks I bought a Creative Audigy2 sound card. The difference was incredible. I've heard things I never heard before in this game. Everything so clear and a lot of "new" ambient sound.

 

In my understanding (maybe I'm wrong here - correct me if you know it better) the XAudio2 audio library uses the cpu for rendering the sound. On sound card only the DAC (digital analog converter) is used for audio output on your phones or speakers. This means: the difference can't be that enormous like with EAX supported games for e.g.

 

According to the UE roadmap, the audio system redesign shall be finished in October this year https://trello.com/b/gHooNW9I/ue4-roadmap . But this appointment was deffered several times before (so maybe it will be there in october, maybe not). But if then more features are supported by modern sound cards - I don't know.

 

But also if only the DAC is used of the sound cards - a gain of audio quality in general can be achieved. But for that you need to get a relatively good sound card with "big" capacitors for the DAC on it. The bigger the capacitors, the better the sound output is.

 

For e.g. look at the images (without cover) of this sound card here:

http://en.europe.creative.com/p/sound-blaster/sound-blaster-zxr

 

A lot of big capacitors for a more natural (realistic) sound output.

 

Then look at this sound card:

http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2013/02/11/creative-sound-blaster-z-review/2

 

Smaller capacitors. I don't want to say, that the sound blaster z is a bad card. But you can see the difference between the capacitors on both cards.

 

About external sound cards (or USB audio interfaces): you have to test it. I guess it also depends on your PC and how the power supply is shielded. A friend of mine bought a very good terratec USB audio interface for his Notebook (also a very good HP Notebook for about 2000 €), but he had disturbing noises on his speakers which came from the Notebook. We tried alot of things..shielded all cables -> still disturbing noises.

 

Try to find a good external USB audio card with the chance to exchange it if you have disturbing noises - thats my proposal for you.

Edited by El Duderino

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On 8/28/2016 at 5:53 AM, KulaGGin said:

I've heard that so many times... Some people say that you will not see any difference between 60 Hz and 120 Hz monitors for various reasons like human eye can't see more than 60 FPS per second and other mad bullshit. I can see difference even between 60 and 62 Hz and I can tell in which mode monitor is running at the moment without looking at properties...

 

Recently in 2016 I've even heard from some kid that there is no any reasons to switch from 120 Hz to a 270 Hz monitor because you will not notice any difference... Some people say there is no difference between 125 Hz and 1000 Hz mouses. Now when you can overclock your USB port up to 8000 Hz people started saying that there is no difference between 1000 Hz and 8000 Hz(kek).

 

And all people do that because of their arrogance. They either just don't have  the thing to test(like 270 Hz monitor), so they say there is no difference between or they just wasn't able to properly configure it(like 5.1 system), so they say there is no difference or even that their worse system(like stereo vs 5.1) is better.

Arrogance nor ignorance has anything to do with this.  You're also comparing apples and fricking oranges.  I most certainly can tell the difference between 60hz and 120hz and even 144hz while gaming.  But again not even a remotely close comparison.

 

And if you bothered to actually read what I wrote, I'm not an audiophile and I advised a quality set of headphones over a sound card because with a $40 set from Best Buy the OP will most assuredly NOT see a difference.

Edited by Iron

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On 8/28/2016 at 5:37 AM, KulaGGin said:

You have to set 5.1 Surround and turn center and sub-woofer channels off:

 

If you will play with center or sub-woofer channels turned on, it will ruin everything because of positioning of physical dynamics around your head and positioning of virtual dynamics in control panel... But I had to figure all that out by myself...

Why would sub-woofer matter? I have my center channel turned off but I don't see why turning off sub-woofer would help with positional audio.

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1 hour ago, ZachTheGunner said:

Why would sub-woofer matter? I have my center channel turned off but I don't see why turning off sub-woofer would help with positional audio.

 

Bass has no direction. Sergei's right about that.

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19 hours ago, ZachTheGunner said:

Why would sub-woofer matter? I have my center channel turned off but I don't see why turning off sub-woofer would help with positional audio.

Sounds still sound from both sub-woofer speakers of headset(left and right) no matter where sounds are coming from(from left, right, from the front of from behind of you).

 

And center channel speakers(center left and center right speakers on headset) is just destroyers of positional audio because it transfers all sounds to both left and right ears no matter where sounds are coming from in 45° area to the left and to the right from the center of your point of view:

surround-sound-7-1.jpg

 

Edited by KulaGGin

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And center channel speakers(center left and center right speakers on headset) is just destroyers of positional audio because it transfers all sounds to both left and right ears no matter where sounds are coming from in 45° area to the left and to the right from the center of your point of view.


I think this really depents on quality of soundcard and how good are the Sound of the game is. In the past with my creative x-fi and bf2/PR i was able to find directions of any vehicles just by the Sound with a +/- 5 degrees deviation.

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Just now, Jaghammer said:

I think this really depents on quality of soundcard and how good are the Sound of the game is. In the past with my creative x-fi and bf2/PR i was able to find directions of any vehicles just by the Sound with a +/- 5 degrees deviation.

 

With true 5.1 headset?

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4 hours ago, Jaghammer said:

Yesss,

with a cheap one. Speedlink Medusa 5.1

Anyway, here's why center&sub destroy positioning:

wTM304b.png

 

There are only one virtual center speaker and only one sub-woofer. It means applications can't send sounds to a 'left center speaker' or 'right center speaker'. And on usual 5.1 speaker systems there are also one sub and one center speaker.

 

In our situation with 5.1 headsets we have 2 sub-woofers(on left and right ear) and 2 center speakers(on left and right ear). But they work in a mono mode.

100% Common sound cards(as well as common applications including 100% of video games) don't even support this kind of crippled 6.2(that's what these true 5.1 headsets actually are: a crippled 6.2 surround sound systems, half of which is working in mono-sound mode) surround sound systems. And these 5.1 surround sound heasets don't even have enough jacks and wires to become true 6.2 systems(but they can if you have enough jacks and wires at your home and you know how to work with resolder).

 

The point is that center and sub speeakers is only make it worse because they are crippled both physically and programmatically. And if you want to have best positioning possible in video games you should turn center and sub channels off.

 

I think that's the reason why people say that true 5.1 headsets are worse than stereo: they play with sub & center challes on and they don't know how to configure it properly.

 

PS Judging by the tests I ran, 7.1 headsets with turned off center&sub channels should be perfect for Squad. Here's some example of 7.1 headset:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Razer-Tiamat-7-1-Analog-7-1-Surround-Sound-Gaming-Headset-/121923390069?hash=item1c63334a75:g:hsUAAOSwAuNW5Z8D

Edited by KulaGGin

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The picture you're showing is a good example, but in my case it Sounds more to me that the Front L/R and center speakers are inverse. This makes a better imersion of surround, i know it gonna be never that good like a true speakersystem. I cant tell you why but in my example above my old good soundcard and bf2/PR it feels really close to a real surround System.
And i can tell you im using onboard Sound since couple of weeks now and my soundcard which I cant Use anymore(because lack of pci port) was better in cut out each channel and better bandwith.

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On 9/3/2016 at 10:21 AM, Jaghammer said:

but in my case it Sounds more to me that the Front L/R and center speakers are inverse.

What sounds more to you than the Front L/R? And how do you mean center speakers are inverse?

 

On 9/3/2016 at 10:21 AM, Jaghammer said:

This makes a better imersion of surround, i know it gonna be never that good like a true speakersystem.

Oh, it can be better than 'big' surround sound system(in terms of positioning in video games) but you have to configure it properly(at least turn off center and sub).

 

Why 5.1/7.1 headsets can be better(and they are) than big 5.1/7.1 systems in terms of positioning? In real life your brain determine where sounds are coming from by how fast sounds get to one of your ears compared to the other one, by sound frequencies(in left and right ear) and by sound volume(power, measured in decibels).

 

So when people say that stereo can provide a proper positioning they could be right but they say it because of lack of understanding how things work. Common speakers(some high-end hi-fi just might would be able to do this) can't provide accurate proper timings to make it work as well as proper frequencies and volume. Commond speakers are very innacurate. Same with CPUs. Not to say that you would need about 50 people working on the in-game sound engine just to make this system work. And then it would take a lot of years to master it. But how would you explain all of that nerdy shit to average people? It's a lot easier to sell Titan X's for $1500 because you can benchmark it and benchmarks are obvious. More teraflops - good, less teraflops - bad. Not to mention they even have to write it in graphics itself that more is better because people don't understand even that much.

 

And games using just a crossfade algorithm. In video games you determine where sounds are coming from not because of sound frequency and how fast sounds get to your one ear compared to the another, but just by dumb sound volume(sound power).

Meaning if something explode 45° to your right, it will just play exact same sound in both left and right dynamics but with different volume: 75% in right dynamic and 25% in left dynamic, for example:

edcbc793_vbattach164521.gif

 

But real ratio and numbers will be different depending on the settings of your application. In CSGO, for example, you can change positions of your virtual speakers. You can set 90°, 45°, 30° or 0° if you wish for any of your speakers.

 

Too bad we don't know positions of the virtual speakers in Squad. It would be awesome if sound experts of Squad came here and told us his thoughts on the matter.

 

Edited by KulaGGin

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On 9/2/2016 at 0:38 PM, KulaGGin said:

Sounds still sound from both sub-woofer speakers of headset(left and right) no matter where sounds are coming from(from left, right, from the front of from behind of you).

 

And center channel speakers(center left and center right speakers on headset) is just destroyers of positional audio because it transfers all sounds to both left and right ears no matter where sounds are coming from in 45° area to the left and to the right from the center of your point of view:

 

Oh you mean for headsets. I use an actual surround sound setup not headphones. So my subwoofer is under my desk in front of me and I like it because it makes explosions sound good and adds a bit of haptic feedback.

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