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Best Sound Card?

By cdematteis
Feb 13, 2008
  1. I have a Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS sound card and the crackling and popping is driving me crazy. I have been unable to resolve the issue and after hours of frustration have decided to simply buy a new card. I am using it to drive a 5.1 speaker system. Can anyone reccomend a decent option that doesn't snap, crackle, and pop?
     
  2. Ph30nIX

    Ph30nIX TS Rookie Posts: 243

    They are a good card, I have one. Perhaps you have IRQ problems, or a faulty card. Creative cards are quite decent if your just wanting to drive a 5.1 speaker set, and now have been replaced by newer better models.
     
  3. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 710

  4. cdematteis

    cdematteis TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I run XP and have updated the drivers, but the crackling persists. I've read through several forums and have found that this is a widespread and all together unresolvable issue. It seems that everyone just went out and bought a new sound card and it fixed the problem.

    If anyone can recommend a good alternative I'd appreciate it.
     
  5. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 710

  6. Frostmonkey

    Frostmonkey TS Rookie Posts: 25

  7. Acclamator

    Acclamator TS Rookie Posts: 261

    I'd say Realtek Integrated HD sound is the best.

    1. It's free with most new boards.
    2. It's High Definition
    3. 8 Channel Speaker.
     
  8. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 710

  9. M0R0NI

    M0R0NI TS Rookie Posts: 86

  10. cdematteis

    cdematteis TS Rookie Topic Starter

    5.1 vs 7.1 sound cards

    What is the main difference between a 5.1 and 7.1 sound card?

    I've had a 5.1 card for Logitech 5.1 speaker system and have hooked up the audio out from my cable box to the mic in jack on the back of the card. The Logitech speakers are actually much better than my old stereo speakes, so I use them as my main home theater speakers in the living room. I'm not a gamer so I only use the sytem to listen to music and watch movies/tv.

    I have a set of cheap computer speakers hooked up to the computer as well but have been using the headphone jack for them. (The computer is in a different room than the speaker system).

    So what would I need the additional 2 channels for on a 7.1 card? Are they mainly used for gaming headsets? Could I hook up my cheap computer speakers to them? Is it worth spending the extra dough on the 7.1 card considering my application?
     
  11. M0R0NI

    M0R0NI TS Rookie Posts: 86

    5.1 is 5 speakers usually center, front r/l, and rear r/l, and 1 sub. 7.1 is exactly what you would think 7 spearkers and one sub. More speakers the more they can seperate the sounds thus giving a more rich surround sound. If you want to get the most out of the speakers you need a digital or hdmi input so doing what you are doing you will not notice any difference from a 5.1 to 7.1
     
  12. Mekaonija

    Mekaonija TS Enthusiast Posts: 114

    Seeing how you've said that you have cheap speakers that might be the culprit to the crackling noises. As said above 5.1 is for 5 speakers and 1 sub woofer, and 7.1 is for 7 speakers and 1 sub woofer. Not sure but maybe plugging speakers into the headphone jack might be one of the problems as well. Speakers usually go into the green jack on the back of the computer into the sound card or motherboard.
     
  13. kpo6969

    kpo6969 TS Maniac Posts: 710

  14. Ruben

    Ruben TS Rookie Posts: 100

    With latest Vista drivers there is no snaps or pops with X-Fi.
    This is the card I can recommend to you for Vista.

    Keep in mind every manufacturer claims vista compatibility
    but few sold enough products for this to be verified. X-Fi is one of few cards that are (finally) good in Vista.

    btw MS dropped ball on audio in Vista big time:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jan/31/microsoft.technology
     
  15. cdematteis

    cdematteis TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Solution to Crackling - Audigy 2ZS

    Well, I am happy to say that I have found a solution to the crackling problem. I installed the card over 2 years ago, and when I removed it last night to install the new card I just bought, I noticed a significant amount of dust on the card. I dusted it off and wouldn't you know it - perfect, crisp clear sound! Who'd have thought it could be that simple? My guess is that the crackling and popping was caused by interference from static electricity in the dust. Hope this helps some other people!
     
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