Desktops forum

General discussion

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):

4.) I think I'm planning on buying these headphones: 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?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: What is the best external sound card+studio headphones?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: What is the best external sound card+studio headphones?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Just links.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 11, 2009 8:33 AM PST
Collapse -
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)?

Collapse -
Compare specs. Look for the 100 db or lower noise figures.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 11, 2009 9:36 AM PST
Collapse -
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

Collapse -
If we pull back just a little. A common solution was..
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 15, 2009 2:19 AM PST
Collapse -
avoid mbox external sound cards, and avid products
by truth247 / July 6, 2015 12:07 PM PDT

Avoid AVID Mbox products!

The Mbox 2 has/had a purchase price of nearly $400, much more expensive than many other external sound card manufacturers, and it has become obsolete (unusable) withing it's lifetime. Most of it's functions still work, and AVID doesn't provide updated drivers for the latest OS X and other operating systems at this point (OS X 10.10). It is a waste of money to purchase the latest Mbox as it be obsolete and unusable during it's lifetime.

I've told AVID that making a legacy product obsolete won't make users buy the newest one, it will make them avoid their products. I've asked them if they have the resources to update the driver, and if not then provide the Mbox 2 community with the driver source code so we can at least make this device work.

There are many other options out there for sound cards, and at a much cheaper price. Don't spend more money for a product that will quickly become unusable. Unfortunately I have multiple Mbox devices and now non of them are work with my computers. I would roll back these devices, but the latest OS is needed for other programs that are work/education related.

Wishing I knew how to write an updated driver.


Popular Forums
Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions

Does BMW or Volvo do it best?

Pint-size luxury and funky style

Shopping for a new car this weekend? See how the BMW X2 stacks up against the Volvo XC40 in our side-by-side comparison.