EVGA

Sound card for astro a40s

Author
zqa20
New Member
  • Total Posts : 79
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2014/05/29 06:18:29
  • Status: offline
  • Ribbons : 0
2017/09/11 16:56:02 (permalink)
Hey guys I'm currently using the astro headsets WITH the 2013 mix amp. My motherboard is the z77 extreme 6 and the on board audio is realtek alc898.

Now the issue i have is that the on board sound "realtek alc898" doesn't support DDL so I think my mix amp while plugged in via opt cable tries to recreate 5.1 surround. I understand from reading online there's a hack to unlock DDL but I'm not really interested in doing this so i'm planning on buying a sound card instead. 

Can you guys please recommend a sound card that has DDL (I live in the UK)


Another question.
Is there any point in me getting a sound card such as the creative labs sound blaster z if i'm going to be using my mix amp to connect to it via the opt cable? I've read that it's only worth buying a sound card of this quality if i plan to plug my headphones directly into the sound card.

Last question (sorry if this is hard to understand lol)
If again i was to buy the creative labs sound blaster z and plugged it into my mix amp would my mix amp override the sound quality that the sound card provides? For example let’s say the sound card outputs 10/10 quality sound if plugged into my mix amp via opt cable would my mixamp (assuming my mix amp outputs 8/10 sound quality) then go and "do it's magic" and evidently downgrading the sound to 8/10. This is why I'm considering just buying a sound card that just has DDL included. 

Here's some advice i found online related to a similar concern of my own
https://gyazo.com/1b47ed20f3eb211ac90e43324020413d

Thanks in advance guys  
post edited by zqa20 - 2017/09/11 19:46:15
#1

7 Replies Related Threads

    somethingc00l
    EGC Admin
    • Total Posts : 597
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2009/03/14 13:44:57
    • Status: offline
    • Ribbons : 5
    Re: Sound card for astro a40s 2017/09/13 16:37:26 (permalink)
    SPDIF sound is digital, so the MixAmp is doing the decoding and is the only DAC; thus you want the cheapest sound card that does DDL, as that's the only thing the sound card is doing (encoding the DDL). So quality is not affected by the sound card at all, just the MixAmp. Your link is correct, only way to do surround on a old MixAmp on PC is via DDL.
     
    Personally I'd just use the hacked realtek drivers (and I did for years when I had A30/mixamp setup). If you must get a sound card, I'd say go with this Creative external USB as you can use it for other purposes if needed and it's cheaper than a lot of their internal cards: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16886112001
     
    Otherwise I'd look on ebay and get a Sound Blaster Z for ~$40-$60 USD. No need for accessories, just the card alone will do. They are double the price new and plenty used on ebay.
     
    Other brands I would hesitate to recommend as surround sound support in Win10 has been all messed up and Creative seems to have the best DDL support.
    #2
    zqa20
    New Member
    • Total Posts : 79
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2014/05/29 06:18:29
    • Status: offline
    • Ribbons : 0
    Re: Sound card for astro a40s 2017/09/13 18:00:43 (permalink)
    Cheers :). Picked up sound blaster Z
    #3
    zqa20
    New Member
    • Total Posts : 79
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2014/05/29 06:18:29
    • Status: offline
    • Ribbons : 0
    Re: Sound card for astro a40s 2017/09/13 18:01:47 (permalink)
    somethingc00l
    SPDIF sound is digital, so the MixAmp is doing the decoding and is the only DAC; thus you want the cheapest sound card that does DDL, as that's the only thing the sound card is doing (encoding the DDL). So quality is not affected by the sound card at all, just the MixAmp. Your link is correct, only way to do surround on a old MixAmp on PC is via DDL.
     
    Personally I'd just use the hacked realtek drivers (and I did for years when I had A30/mixamp setup). If you must get a sound card, I'd say go with this Creative external USB as you can use it for other purposes if needed and it's cheaper than a lot of their internal cards: https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16886112001
     
    Otherwise I'd look on ebay and get a Sound Blaster Z for ~$40-$60 USD. No need for accessories, just the card alone will do. They are double the price new and plenty used on ebay.
     
    Other brands I would hesitate to recommend as surround sound support in Win10 has been all messed up and Creative seems to have the best DDL support.




    When installing i won't need a power cable right? I just slot it in my mobo and install the drivers?
    #4
    somethingc00l
    EGC Admin
    • Total Posts : 597
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2009/03/14 13:44:57
    • Status: offline
    • Ribbons : 5
    Re: Sound card for astro a40s 2017/09/13 18:34:44 (permalink)
    Yup that should be it. The driver setup is a bit weird in that you have to set up DDL in the driver software then change your Windows output setting to use the speakers, NOT the SPDIF device (even though the sound is indeed going out the SPDIF). Explained here in a video that's way too long (couldn't find a good article): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8djKvPl6jro
     
    Creative uses an internal hardware loopback on the card I believe, part of the reason they don't have as many Win10 surround driver problems as other manufacturers who are trying to do it all via software, but it results in this non-intuitive setup.
    #5
    zqa20
    New Member
    • Total Posts : 79
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2014/05/29 06:18:29
    • Status: offline
    • Ribbons : 0
    Re: Sound card for astro a40s 2017/09/13 18:58:41 (permalink)
    somethingc00l
    Yup that should be it. The driver setup is a bit weird in that you have to set up DDL in the driver software then change your Windows output setting to use the speakers, NOT the SPDIF device (even though the sound is indeed going out the SPDIF). Explained here in a video that's way too long (couldn't find a good article): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8djKvPl6jro
     
    Creative uses an internal hardware loopback on the card I believe, part of the reason they don't have as many Win10 surround driver problems as other manufacturers who are trying to do it all via software, but it results in this non-intuitive setup.


    Thanks :)
     
    Also, was I right in saying that I'm currently not getting true surround sound out of my on board sound? If so, this new sound card that supports DDL will give me a noticeable boost in sound quality right? 
    #6
    somethingc00l
    EGC Admin
    • Total Posts : 597
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2009/03/14 13:44:57
    • Status: offline
    • Ribbons : 5
    Re: Sound card for astro a40s 2017/09/13 20:44:32 (permalink)
    You would only get surround currently from some source that is already encoded as surround (movies, tv shows in 5.1). In that case the already encoded Dolby Digital gets passed to the MixAmp and decoded into headphone surround. Dolby Digital Live is so that game sounds get encoded with positional audio into a Dolby Digital stream and sent to the MixAmp to decode. So games no, movies yes.
     
    So you can test with stuff already DD encoded, try out the 5.1 Surround Test File here: http://www.lynnemusic.com/surround.html
     
    You should get positional audio from that currently if you are hooked up via optical SPDIF.
    #7
    Nozler
    FTW Member
    • Total Posts : 1404
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2009/10/28 10:51:49
    • Location: Ottertail county,Minnesota,USA
    • Status: online
    • Ribbons : 1
    Re: Sound card for astro a40s 2017/10/02 08:46:37 (permalink)
    Same headphones and sound card, when I game I leave both equilzer settings flat to hear the sound as intended by the game developer. But hey thats just my preference.  
    #8
    Jump to:
  • Back to Mobile