Moving from Internal soundcard to External DAC need help choosing

I’m Replacing the Creative AE-9 Soundcard with External DAC. I will post a link to show what it has and does.

I need help with choosing the best External DAC to hook up to my pc to combat that soundcard for it’s price of $400 CAD I’ve been looking for 2 months and cant seem to figure out what will be a good option and something that wont have USB noise or any of those things that I seem to see people complain about on forums.

Can you guys help me with recommendations on some good External DACS for pc? I don’t use headphones as much but I don’t mind it having an headphone amp, I mainly use Presonus Eris E5 monitors.

Thanks for the help! <3

I mean the topping E30 is pretty feature rich and a good price if you want something cheap, good, and simple, what type of sound signature are you going for? Are you also looking for something that will take an xlr mic input or line in or just a dac?

In this case, if you are worried about usb noise and ground loops, I would consider spending a bit more and going for a schiit modius or enog 2 pro imo, as both are balanced and help with noise. The enog 2 pro would also be electrically isolated from the PC since you use optical out (although I wouldn’t recommend it if your PC does not have an optical out). The modius USB is pretty well done, and good at preventing issues with noise

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If OP keeps the PCIe card from the AE-9, he has an optical in and out.

I just saw the word replacing and assumed it was being sold or something

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Sound signature?

I love my audio to sound crystal clear with nice bass for my music and other media content, like movies anime shows the sort. I listen to a lot of trance, Japanese music, 80’s stuff and some movie scores.
I don’t do equalizer stuff. I tend to leave it off and listen to it naturally. The AE-9 has been really good for keeping my audio sounding really clear and sharp on my monitors.

I just want to make that external jump and not worry about shit drivers and stuff down the road.

I use RCA for inputs I don’t really bother with XLR Inputs.

How is this brand ? I been seeing this on searches

I been looking at this one but not sure if it’s a good replacement for the soundcard

I was wondering about if it really needs software to work.

Not when using optical in and out.

Also note the RCAs on the HP-A4 are output so you could hook speakers up.

Gotcha gotcha. Well in that case, I think something that would get the job done well would be the enog 2 pro (if your motherboard has optical), it’s pretty neutral and clean while being enjoyable to listen to, it’s optical so no issues with ground loops or drivers, and it’s also balanced so you could run via XLR to your presonus. Although it depends on how you plan on controlling volume since the enog has no volume control on it so you either have to adjust via the monitors or use digital volume (I would suggest staying away from digital volume if you don’t have to use it)

The modius is a good pick if you want something USB, as it’s driverless and tends to not have issues. The modius is slightly warmer and smoother leaning with more body, but it’s still relatively clean

Just to clarify, you don’t need a microphone input or anything correct?

Fostex makes some real nice headphones and speaker drivers, but imo their dacs and amps are a bit outdated

The HP-A4 is a nice combo unit for dac and amp, it would do what you want and act as a speaker pre out and power headphones, but imo it’s a bit older and overpriced compared to current offerings imo

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I don’t need a microphone option. I could care less tbh.

Just a nice DAC that can hook RCA to my RCA E5 monitors and give me that godly sound I’m looking for for 400 dollars CAD.

if my pc specs are needed here is what I’m gonna use the dac on

32gb ram
RTX 2080ti
Corsair AX860i PSU
Creative soundblaster AE-9
Motherboard is an Asus maximus xi hero wifi

It’s all the latest garbage before the 10th gen release of intel.

Anything without the warm audio? I don’t think I would enjoy that as much for my music.

Then in that case I would point you towards the enog 2 pro, it would really do exactly what you are looking for imo with the least amount of hassle

Gonna check it out, look up some reviews. interesting

Question, how is this one?
I seen Z review an older model I think the 789 model.

THX made a small ripple and has a fan base, but it is not “the new default” some claim it to be. Never heared it either, and have never seen it being praised anywhere but review sites that focus on measurements.

Note: it lacks a DAC, so you would be over budget by at least 100 bucks.

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Does this one do the job?

Or should I just stick to this that I was recommended

I’ve owned about 5 Schiit products and would stand by them. They make superb value products. You’d be hard-pressed to find the same value in that Monoprice THX you linked.

Been looking up more about this USB noise stuff, is it true that when it’s USB powered that you are more likely to get noise compared to non USB powered DACS that use there own power cord?

Personally I would just avoid thx imo. I think if you wanted to get a superior amp, you could grab the matching archel 2.5 pro or erish amp to go along with the enog 2 pro imo if you went with the enog 2 pro

So if you want to go with a usb dac and amp setup, I would actually say perhaps consider a jds labs element ii dac amp, it has a pretty nice dac in there, with a very solid headphone amp, and the dac will pre out to speakers and you can control volume with the knob, this is a pretty clean and clear dac amp setup

Sometimes, but generally if you have noise issues feeding the dac with a separate power supply is better to fix that

Interesting information. sweet so far I got some good options. gonna look them up with time and make an choice. but if you guys do have other options please post me some more to give me a wide choice of these good DACS, Thank you very much :slight_smile:

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