We are going to discuss about Best Audiophile USB Card. When designing a Computer, soundcards are frequently disregarded, but for audiophiles, they are an essential component. For gaming, a motherboard’s integrated audio is more than adequate. But, those who enjoy listening to music would take it a step further and buy the greatest audiophile PC soundcard for their computer.
You can drive your audio equipment with the help of an audiophile sound card. You can use your listening equipment to its full extent later. However, graphics cards are easier to locate than soundcards, and it would be costly to get the wrong one. Fortunately, we have collected a list of the best audiophile usb card available.
What is a soundcard?
Let’s define it precisely before moving on to the list of best audiophile usb card. Your choice of soundcard will determine this. Your computer contains a part called a PC soundcard. Either the PCIe expansion slot or the USB ports are used to connect to it. A soundcard will enhance your PC’s overall sound quality and improve audio output. Only headphones and speakers with high-fidelity audio can hear it, though.
Last update on 2023-12-03 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Soundcard, Creative Sound Blaster AE-9
The Creative Sound Blaster AE-9 is the top-end model from Creative – an established company regarding audio peripherals and sound cards. The company’s top model, the AE-9, has a 129 dB DNR and 32-bit/384 kHz playback. It is accomplished using the Xamp discrete headphone bi-amplifier and the high-res ESS SABRE-class reference DAC. Also, the Sound Blaster audio processing technology ensures you only receive the highest quality audio output.
Moreover, the Sound Blaster AE-9 supports PCM and DSD64 playback and boasts a Total Harmonic Distortion of -120 dB, or 0.0001% THD. That audio technology is astounding. If you have high-fidelity headphones, the AE-9 won’t have any issues driving it. This soundcard supports 600 ohms. You can use any headphones you have access to without experiencing any issues. Furthermore, Creative has added CleanLine Technology, which seeks to filter and minimize noise while delivering crystal-clear spoken audio. With its PCIe slot, this soundcard connects to a computer. The 480-gramme Audio Control Module (ACM) is ideal for any desk configuration. Although the main card weighs 230 grammes, you also require additional 6-pin power; thus, consider that before purchasing this card.
Asus Essence STX II Soundcard
A 7.1-channel internal PCIe soundcard with audiophile-grade technology is called the Asus Essence STX II. The mainboard and the daughterboard are the two parts of this soundcard. The mainboard handles the front, line-in, S/PDIF, and headphone-out. If you desire a full surround sound experience, the latter takes care of the RCA connections.
The Essence STX II requires an external power source like the Creative Sound Blaster AE-9. For additional power, use a 4-pin Molex connector. A second cable is required to power this sound card. Almost no one uses Molex connectors anymore. While using a modular power supply, you must bring along an extra cable.
To the features now. The PCM1792A DAC powers the onboard audio. The PCM1796 drives the surround system. Since this soundcard supports an impedance of 600 Ohms, high-quality headphones can be used without any issues. The price of the Asus Essence STX II is approximately $580. In light of the competition, the price is extremely high. It is mostly the reason why it is our second choice.
Creative Sound Blaster X AE-5 Soundcard
Audiophiles would adore playing games and listening to high-quality audio. The Creative Sound Blaster X AE-5 enters the picture at this point. Gaming is one of many uses for this integrated PCIe sound card. You might also acquire this if you enjoy clear audio. Here are a few arguments in favour of buying this soundcard.
The Sound Blaster ZxR has the most recent Sabre DACs and supports playback at 32-bit, 385-kHz. The business also created a brand-new amplification technique. The amplification is carried out via the headphone channels by Creative XAMP. Moreover, a variety of headphones from 12-600 Ohms are supported. Moreover, this soundcard includes an integrated RGB controller to complete its “gamer” appearance. Yet, the fact that it connects through Molex power is a drawback. The cost of the Sound Blaster X AE-5 is $150. This soundcard falls further down our list than the Asus STX II due to pricing.
Asus Strix Raid Pro Soundcard
A 7.1-channel surround sound system for an engaging listening experience costs about $150. Moreover, you get a volume control box that is gorgeous and straightforward to operate. Audiophiles put high importance on sound quality. Despite the low pricing, Asus could smuggle in an ESS Sabre9006A DAC for 24-bit 192-kHz playback. Moreover, it has an SNR of 116 dB, which is quite low but still adequate for daily use. This soundcard can power headphones with a resistance of up to 600 Ohms.
Similarly to the other sound cards, the Raid Pro requires more power. It draws it, fortunately, through the PCIe slot. If you are meticulous about your cable management, it is excellent that it doesn’t require additional cables. The Asus Strix Raid Pro is one cheap audiophile soundcard that may be used for gaming and extended listening sessions.
Creative Sound Blaster ZxR Soundcard
The Sound Blaster ZxR from Creative, which is on a roll in terms of producing audiophile-calibre soundcards, puts the icing on our soundcards list. Top-tier features like swappable OpAmps are found in the ZxR. The PCM1794 DAC handles the headphone-out and front-out, and the PCM1798 DAC handles the rear and C/sub. Nevertheless, the 7.1 surround sound is still not supported.
This sound card has a tonne of features as well. The impedance range for it is 32 to 600 ohms. That’s not all, either. There are additional functions to maintain the quality of your listening experience, such as the crystalized and smart volume. Retail prices for the Sound Blaster ZxR were around $250. Sadly, it has already been discontinued. But don’t worry; some retailers still have some inventory available. If not, a used item is still a fantastic deal.
You can afford to buy and install the greatest PC soundcard for audiophiles. Fortunately for you, the costs of the models indicated above range. Choose the features that best suit your needs, but aim higher to avoid having to upgrade in the future.