While the visual aspect of PC games is certainly important, the sound is not to be dismissed either. An immersive gaming experience requires quality sound. A lot of people are happy with the sound of their regular PC or gaming rig, but if you really want the best sound quality, check out the best PC sound cards you can buy in 2017.
We have some amazing sound cards to show you and I’m sure you will find the perfect one for you, even if you’re on a tight budget.
You can get the Asus Xonar DSX PCIe 7.1 sound card at a decent price and this particular sound card works well for both games and multimedia. It comes with swappable components, support for 7.1 surround sound but also support for its swapped OP-AMP which delivers a powerful output signal.
The Xonar GX 2.5 audio engine creates a realistic depth of sound and the DTS Connect support optimizes the overall sound quality. You can get the Asus Xonar DSX PCIe 7.1 from Amazon for the low price of $54 – we recommend this sound card as the best overall choice.
If you’re a gamer, this $95 sound card is a perfect choice. It has a set of gaming focused audio features designed to provide a more immersive gaming experience. Five 3.5mm headphone hacks, a 600ohm headphone amplifier for high impedance headphones and an 116dB signal-to-noise ratio are features that shouldn’t be ignored.
The Creative Sound Blaster Z bundles two types of applications, specifically Alchemy and the Z-Series control panel. Alchemy makes it possible to add EAX support on older games, and you can control the sound card in every aspect via the Z-Series control panel. Settings include the “Scout Mode” designed to optimize the middle and high frequencies.
Going back to the budget-friendly range of sound cards, this particular model comes with three gaming options – VOIP, exciter gaming and pro-gaming.
You can experience realistic 3D audio effects thanks to the GX2.5 engine which would certainly be even more noticeable if your rig also includes a superior graphics card.
The switch from back to front is automatically performed by the jack-sending front panel when the headphones are connected. It also tweaks the sound before or during your gaming sessions saving you the trouble of doing it manually. To top it off, audio depth and accuracy is also included thanks to the Dolby Headphone 5.1 HD sound.
So you’re not on a tight budget and you’re looking to buy an amazing sound card? In that case, we recommend the HT Omega Claro II. It comes with two-pin digital input and output, surround sound quality, gold plated connectors and front panel audio support.
It’s also worth mentioning the CMI8788 audio processor delivers exceptional quality output and I’m sure you will appreciate the 192KHz audio support at 24 bits that provides a deep bass, clean mids, and crystal clear highs.
Even if you think it’s not worth shelling out too much money on a sound card, there’s still an option for you. The Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FX priced at the modest amount of $39 provides an excellent 5.1 surround sound, and advanced audio processing via the SBX Pro Studio.
The best part is you can still get excellent sound even without a top of of the line set of headphones thanks to the 600ohm headphone amp. Furthermore, the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FX provides a 106dB signal-to-noise ratio and 192KHz/240bit stereo fidelity.
Assuming you’re a smart consumer and you always like to get the most bang for your buck, the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy PCIe RX is our favorite sound card that provides an excellent price/quality ratio.
This particular sound card includes the EAX engine for delivering optimized audio and besides the 7.1 multi-channel audio you also get a 600ohm headphone amp. You can control the sound card’s settings via the Audigy RX control panel and there’s also a dual-microphone input perfect for recording and singing at the same time.
Compared to the default audio hardware that’s bundled with most PCs, the Assus Essence STX II can deliver up to 64 times better performance thanks to its state-of-the-art 124dB signal-to-noise ratio.
The sound card comes with high-quality surround sound powered by Dolby Home Theater, swappable op-amp sockets, a headphone amplifier and extra gain control options for high-sensitivity IEM headphones.
The Assus Essence STX II is on the pricey side of sound cards but an amazing choice for audiophiles and those working in music production.