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HTPC Sound Card advice needed

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by _DTM2000_, 9 Jan 2008.

  1. _DTM2000_

    _DTM2000_ New Member

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    Hi,

    I'd like to get a PCI sound card for my HTPC that will allow me to connect my PC to my 5.1 amp using an optical cable.
    I need the sound card to fully support Dolby Digital and DTS 5.1 output via a standard TOSLINK connection (I'd consider a mini TOSLINK).
    6.1 or 7.1 digital output is not required so I don't care either way if it has them or not. Also, I don't like Creative products very much so I'd prefer to steer clear of them.

    Sound quality and simplicity are the main things I'm looking for.

    I've looked at the Auzen X-Plosion 7.1 DTS Connect and like the sound of it. However, the features list drones on about all the encoding features (which I don't care about) and doesn't mention whether it can simply take 5.1 from a DVD or other source and output it via the TOSLINK output.

    The Sondigo Inferno sounds perfect but I can't find it for sale anywhere in the UK. Does anyone know of a website that stocks this?

    The ASUS Xonar sounds excellent but is a bit pricey and the same goes for the Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1 but I'm not sure if either of these have standard TOSLINK outputs and they've probably got more features than I need.

    Any suggestions are welcome.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Computer Gremlin

    Computer Gremlin New Member

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    The AuzenTech X-Meridian would be a great sound card for your situation but they stopped making them in June of last year. Fortunately the HT Omega Claro Plus+ took its place and supports the C-Media CMI8788 chip, 7.1 speakers, optical in/out and a lot of Dolby standards. Their expensive but have excellent sound quality without the bloated drivers.
     
  3. _DTM2000_

    _DTM2000_ New Member

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    Thanks, that sounds like a good option. Do you know where I could get one from in the UK as the HT OMEGA website has no UK suppliers listed?
     
  4. Computer Gremlin

    Computer Gremlin New Member

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    I cannot find a retailer in the UK either. Sorry about giving you bad advice and hopefully HT Omega will be more open-mined about selling directly from their website internationally. Sending them a quick email might help but they seem set on not selling their sound cards to Europe.
     
  5. _DTM2000_

    _DTM2000_ New Member

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    No problem, thanks anyway. :thumb:

    If I don't find anything better in the next week I think I'm going to go for the Auzen X-Plosion as based on the reviews I've read it seems to be the best compromise between quality, features, price and availability.

    If anyone has any other suggestions, please let me know.
     
  6. Computer Gremlin

    Computer Gremlin New Member

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    The bluegears b-Enspirer 7.1 uses the C-Media CMI8788, toslinks and Dolby standards. Performance-pcs.com has them in stock and ships them internationally. They will not ship to certain countries but they do not say which ones are excluded and ask to call for more information. This sound card is very similar to the HT Omega Claro and is designed for use in home theater computers.
     
  7. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    You can't get the HT Omega in the UK. I reviewed it last year on the premise that they might ship here eventually but no. The only other thing that uses the Cmedia Oxygen HD codec is the Asus Xonar with its own rebrand called AV200.

    Tbh I'm pretty sure a £50 Creative X-Fi Gamer will do it - it has optical out, you just need to buy a 3.5mm to toslink adapter (it's a dual-jack) cause Creative are too cheap to supply one.
     
  8. _DTM2000_

    _DTM2000_ New Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    In the end I decided to go for the Auzen X-Plosion as I couldn't find anything else that was easily available for around the same price. It should do everything I need and more, so I'm looking forward to try it.

    I'll try and remember to update this thread with a quick review once I've lived with it for a few days.

    Thanks again for the help.
     
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