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What is the best external sound card+studio headphones?

by Astro-Xana / February 11, 2009 7:39 AM PST

I have an HP Windows Vista Home Premium desktop computer with an AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 5200+ 2.60 Ghz, 2 GB RAM, 363 GB Hard Drive, and a Realtek High Definition audio onboard sound card (which is a very poor sound card), and I have some questions I would like to ask regarding what would be the best external sound card and studio headphones to buy for my desktop:

1.) I wish to monitor (hear sound as clearly and accurate as possible). Many headphones "enhance" sound (in bass, etc.) which makes things sound better, but doesn't provide accurate sound (a "flat" signal response). Studio monitor speakers, however, provide you with the best clear, accurate sound. But they can cost $400 on up. Therefore, what would be the best studio monitor headphones to buy instead that provide the best clear, accurate sound (anywhere between $30-$100)?

2.) What is the best external sound card for clear and accurate sound to buy for my desktop computer (anywhere between $60-$200)? I do not want an internal sound card.

3.) Would this be the best external sound card to buy for my budget (for the best clear and accurate sound): http://www.headphone.com/products/headphone-amps/the-mobile-line/headroom-total-bithead.php

4.) I think I'm planning on buying these headphones: http://www.thomann.de/gb/the_tbone_hd880.htm Therefore, would these headphones even work well with the sound card/headphone amplifier listed in question 3?

5.) Would the external sound card/headphone amplifier listed in question 3 even work well with my desktop computer? (I gave my computer info at the very top).

6.) Can I make high quality recordings (using a software such as Audacity--a free audio editor/recorder) with this external sound/headphone amplifier listed in question 3?

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Just links.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 11, 2009 8:33 AM PST
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Which M-Audio sound card?
by Astro-Xana / February 11, 2009 9:05 AM PST
In reply to: Just links.

So which M-Audio external sound card do you think would be best (given all my questions above and my system specs)?

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Compare specs. Look for the 100 db or lower noise figures.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 11, 2009 9:36 AM PST
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Which M-Audio Sound Card
by Astro-Xana / February 15, 2009 12:57 AM PST

Now I only wish to use this external sound card to create high quality pieces of music (by using Audacity or other music making software). I do not wish to use anything else (like a mic, instruments to hook up, etc.)--just the software itself. And I wish for this music I create to sound the same on other computers as well as other systems.

I wish to go for the best possible external sound card (by M-Audio) that my desktop can handle. (between $60 and $200, $200 being the maximum). But could someone give me the link to which one I should buy (I now know what headphones I should get now).

Finally, here's some information about my HP desktop:

Model #: a6248x
Product #: GN707AA-ABA
Serial #: MXX73805KG
Software Build #: 74NAv3PrA1
Service ID #: 122-507
PCBRAND: Pavilion

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If we pull back just a little. A common solution was..
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 15, 2009 2:19 AM PST
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