We have seen how the importance of sound cards has diminished over time. Motherboards integrate sound cards, so the dedicated ones have remained a residual in the market. Unfortunately, those integrated into motherboards have been losing quality and that means that dedicated ones are once again in demand.
Dedicated sound card, that great forgotten
Sound is a very niche segment and one that matter to very few users. Although there is a good supply of products, few are interested in these products. The sound cards integrated into the motherboard they are already worth it for the users.
Throughout the year there is hardly any information or releases of new dedicated graphics cards. They are products that, if you want a good quality solutionquietly they can cost more than 100 euro. Not many people want to spend that much money for great sound quality, especially if they want to play more eSports titles.
We are talking about a sector so niche and so unattractive that a sound chip can be ten years on the market. To give us an idea, 10 years ago, Intel just launched the Core Haswell processors that had a maximum of 4 cores and 8 threads for the high end, something that is now the entry range.
In case you wonder, we are going to explain whether you need a dedicated sound card or not in 2022.
The first thing you should know is that, surely, you don’t need to buy a dedicated sound card at all. If you want to play CS:GO, Fortnite and the like, with the sound card built into the motherboard, you’re going to kill yourself. Realtek’s ALC chips built into motherboards are sufficient for most users. offer HD 7.1 sound and the sound quality is more than acceptable.
If you are going to dedicate yourself to audio or video editingare musicianmaybe you have a podcast or you are going to launch to do a streaming, you need a good dedicated sound card. But these types of users are less than 1% of all PC users.
What is interesting in the market?
We have been looking and the truth is that there are few good quality internal dedicated sound cards. The offer has been greatly reduced and in many cases, it has gone to external sound cards. We have only been able to rescue three interesting solutions.
ASUS Xonar AE
We all know ASUS for its graphics cards, motherboards, laptops and other similar products. Among others, it offers sound cards, although with a much smaller catalog compared to a few years ago. This is characterized by offering an audio resolution of 192 kHz with a 24-bit rate and a sound of up to 7.1 channels.
makes use of DAC ESS 9023P, which offers excellent sound quality without fluctuations. Offers a great 110 dB signal-to-audio ratio, which offers 12 times higher sound quality than integrated chips. It has an amplifier for 150 ohm headphones high quality, with surround and detailed sound.
Creative Sound Blaster Z SE
It is possibly the most recognized brand in the sound card segment in the world. For years they have made a name for themselves and practically, if we talk about sound cards, we talk about Creative. Last year the company updated its mythical sound card, to offer users the best possible quality.
This sound card offers us a 192 kHz 24-bit resolution with a system of discrete 5.1 sound and virtual 7.1 sound. It offers us an audio power ratio of 116dB SNR. It has SBX EQ profiles with sound optimized to offer the best sound quality in games. In addition, it offers connection for gaming headphones with up to 600 Ohms and thus obtain the best possible sound quality.
Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 Plus
If you want the best possible sound, this sound card specially designed for gaming is the best on the market. Creative’s sound card offers us a SABER32 DAC amplifier which gives us a resolution of 384 kHz and 32-bit with 122 dB SNR. It offers us the reduction to the minimum the distortion and extremely low fluctuations.
In addition, it has a system of bi-amplifier for Xamp headphones. This enables individual sound amplification for a new level of lossless, unaltered audio performance for each earphone regardless of its demand. As it is a sound card dedicated to gaming, it has a good dose of RGB lighting.