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Best Gaming Sound Card 2016

Updated on November 18, 2015

Many PC gamers have a great graphics card and speakers, but they use the built-in sound card on their motherboards. This delivers OK sound, which is acceptable for most gamers. Paying for a decent sound card will however greatly improve the audio and with it the overall experience.

I have selected 3 of the best-selling new sound cards and shortly reviewed them in best gaming sound card 2016. These cards have different price tags and different features. Matching their features with your needs will give you the best results.

A good sound card takes over work that would otherwise be done by your motherboard and CPU, thereby speeding up your games.

Top rated gaming sound card 2016
Top rated gaming sound card 2016

Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD Internal Sound Card with THX SB1270

Opening up the parcel it is comforting that the Sound Blaster Titanium HD supports a wide range of I/O connectivity featuring ports for mics, headphones, home studio speakers, I/Pods, AV receivers and game consoles like Xbox & Playstation 3. One notices from the sound card design that headphone performance is optimized through 115 dB and 24 bit/96 kHz output support ensuring high definition playback. For musos using their PC’s for audio recordings, mic recordings are also impressive with latency reducing ASIO technology. Installing this card is particularly easy.

The Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium HD internal sound card has been constructed with top-grade components helping minimize distortion and augment audio playback. Featuring customizable op-amps, preferences can now be tailored for every user. The signal-to-noise ratio is outstanding allowing for first-rate music, movie and game audio playback. In fact, the EAX 5.0 technology makes game play so realistic that enemies are heard before they are seen. Audio buffs have been completely satisfied as the Creative X-Fi that’s optimized for Microsoft Windows 7 and Vista systems.

The THX TruStudio PC effects takes you on a journey to another place with true High-Definition (HD) multimedia. The Titanium HD features THX's TruStudio Pro technology helps with the preservation of the original balance timbre of film audio. Card components pays attention to the pitch details of audio high and mid tones, while lows are defined and tight. Dolby Digital and DTS decoding formats allow your new system multi channel and 5.1 surround sound capabilities. Enhancing your gaming experience, the Titanium HD functions as a dedicated sound unit freeing up resources that’s tied up in audio processes and your PC then diverts it to more crucial tasks like graphical and AL processing.

Users have tested the audio properties with Westone 3 headphones mentioning the bass along with the soundstage is incredible. It has also been tested with Sennheizer HD800 with 21.8 feet of total cord connected to the Titanium X-Fi HD having no problem to drive the HD800’s 300 ohm nominal impedance. The top-end DAC (Digital to Analog converter) is high grade and its DAC (Burr-Brown PCM1794) parallels other expensive high end CD players (for instance Cary Audio Design CD 306 and Halcro EC800).

Best budget gaming sound card of 2016
Best budget gaming sound card of 2016

Creative Labs SB0880 PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Sound Card

The X-Fi Titanium uses a powerful audio-processing engine outperforming other motherboard audio options. The Creative PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium sound card allows your PC to perform its audio tasks at optimum levels. How does 3-D positional audio sound? You can locate opponents by hearing, using surround sound speakers or stereo headphones. Imagine hearing crackling gunfire and earth-shattering explosions delivered by the EAX 5.0. Hardware audio acceleration boosts the performance of your favorite games. DVD’s are experienced through cinematic surround sound delivered through DTS and Dolby Digital-EX decoding delivered by PowerDVD’s software.

The card also features a TOSLINK input at the back which helps with sound functionality discarding static squeak/turn under high processor load. According to users the music quality is excellent and gaming audio experiences incredible. The only drawback seems that while ‘Entertainment Mode’ allows for an impeccable audio experience it seems to deactivate some gaming features. On the other side of the coin, ‘Gaming Mode’ reactivates all the great audio features but the music experience is sacrificed. So, it becomes a bit of a schlep to constantly switch between the two. Omitting all the hiccups users still rate Creative has the best product on the market.

Creative Labs SB0886 PCI Express Sound Blaster X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Professional Series Sound Card

Rumored to be the ultimate choice for professional gamers such as Johnathan "Fatal1ty" Wendel, this sound card permits the definitive PC gaming experience. It generates accelerated performance on your hard drive having games function with hardware accelerated audio, trumping the audio your motherboard provides.

Notwithstanding the notable, accurate, 3D positional audio (X-Fi CMSS-3D technology allows 9 virtual speakers to appear, helping you locate opponents for an advantage affording you the difference between a win and a loss) the X-RAM boosts performance of popular and endeared games like Quake 4, Battlefield 2, Prey, Unreal Tournament 3 and others that embrace the technology. The X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty gives support for EAX ADVANCED HD technology allowing gamers to be immersed into the experience by hearing bullets whizzing by your head and feeling earth tremors from explosions.

Other great features include high quality voice chat ensured by the X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty where the difference is recognizable to all players on the network. You can even recover lost audio detail with the latest X-Fi Crystalizer technology restoring audio detail lost in compressed audio files so vibrancy and clarity is retained.

Not forgetting movie experiences the X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty delivers THX-certified surround sound supporting DTS and Dolby Digital-EX decoding for unmatched movie experiences through Cyberlink PowerDVD software (freely downloadable). DTS encoding allows you to also connect to your home theatre system for unbelievable 5.1 surround sound.

User experience testifies to awesome speaker level output, having been tested with a Pioneer 7.1 channel receiver, 5 Sony speakers and a Yamaha sub-woofer it trumps on-board sound quality. It uses a PCI-Express slot and is shielded from EMF interference. Creative Labs allows for Sound Font editing through free software. All in all the X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty is an incredible piece of hardware to add to your gaming PC arsenal.

I hope you found best gaming sound card 2016 useful. You might also enjoy reading best gaming mouse 2016 and best gaming headset 2016.


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