NU Audio Card Review

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2019/02/05 21:43:36 (permalink)
I first ventured into PC audio solutions when I ran into issues with onboard audio (not EVGA) and I wasn't happy with the quality of sound I was getting off the motherboard.  I first tried an internal sound card from a competitor (rhymes with Foundblaster) and wasn't happy with it.  Their software was just trying to do too much and all I wanted was nice clean sound.  I then opted for an external solution with a Schiit stack (Magni 2 Uber Amp, Modi 2 Uber DAC), and that was my setup before getting my NU card.  My daily PC headphones are some DT 770 Pro 250 Ohm.  I love their sound, but they're hard to drive with the higher impedance.  The Schiit stack was able to drive them and it was working for me.  What always bugged me about the stack was that it was external.  Just more clutter on my desktop.  But there weren't any internal options that I liked that would drive my headphones.  That is until the EVGA NU Audio Card came out.  After hearing about the release I was instantly excited.  With the EVGA Elite discount (and some EVGA Bucks), it was an easy purchase to make on the release date. 
I got the card the next day and installed it (and kept the Schitt stack plugged in). Using the Audio Switcher app and swapping my headphones, I was able to A/B the NU Card and the Schiit stack.  I listened to some FLAC files in foobar and compared the sound.  First impressions I didn't notice a huge difference in the sound (which surprised me as I didn't expect the internal solution to perform similarly).  But what I did notice was that the NU card was able to really drive the 250 Ohm headphones.  I could push the volume higher than I'd ever need it to be (and still clear).  This was the primary reason for me to keep the card.  A high quality internal audio card equivalent to an external solution.  I have, of course, enjoyed the clear, clean sound, but the keeping it internal was awesome.  I also love the 1/4" jack on the back of the card. 
I don't have any suggestions for improvements on the hardware side.  I primarily think the software can be improved.  I would like to see the RGB integrated into LED Sync.  But would I would really like to see is a hotkey option in the software to switch between the audio outputs (SPDIF, headphone jack, RCA).
Overall I like the EVGA NU Card.  It presents a great internal solution for awesome sound!  The Schitt stack is unplugged and set to go on eBay!

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