What's a good brand of 24-bit sound cards(non-creative)

I don’t know where to look for a good 24-bit sound card that doesn’t cost 500 bucks. I don’t want a Creative one, because I’ve heard they arn’t as good as they used to be.

The Turtle Beach Catalina
It’s a very good sound card for a cheap price, I own one. I’m using it with Kinyo Surround Sound headphones, and the audio is top-quality. Be warned, it won’t work with Linux, and it has no DSP, so it takes up a small part of the CPU. But don’t worry, it’s very small, and the audio is GREAT. It doens’t degrade gaming performance at all (well not noticeably). I think Turtle Beach also released a new sound card, the Montego, but I don’t know anything about it.

If you want more detailed specs, go here: http://www.turtlebeach.com/site/products/soundcards/catalina/
I bought it OEM from Tigerdirect, but for 5 bucks more you can get the retail at the egg.

Hope this helps.

random question for those that care to respond

how are any new sound cards better than what’s integrated into my motherboard or has been available for like 8 years [original sound blasters work just as good?]… other than the addition of more outputs [I only have 2 speakers I don’t need fancy stereo] what reason is there for me to get a new sound card?

Soundcards are just big waste of money. I use the internal soundcard on the motherboard nowadays.

Dang it! I use Linux, cause Gimp doesn’t work on Windows 98 very well, and it plays videos really well.

And with the onboard sound, I would just like a 24-bit sound card, cause I do some sound stuff from a bit and I was also curious on how the midi sounded. I just would like to have a toy.

actually i am ovf the opinion that the onboard sound card is all “any consumer” would ever need.

onboard sound cards are minimum of 5.1 channels, now often 7.1 channels.

the onboard card will do 16, 32, 96 bit sound (if it can’t handle it, my onboard one just downsamples it to its range, and it has no errors in doing so)

my “onboard” soundcard has these plugs. (you need no more)

Mic in
Line in
headphones out/ front speakers out
rear speakers out
sub/ mid speaker out

SPDIF in/out Coaxial
SPDIF in/out Optical
Midi in/out (joystick)

that is an onboard sound chip, i have a 5.1 channel sound system and it sounds great.

the expensive cards offer nothing for the general public, they potentially offer a bit to music professionals.

only thing is my onboard sound chip is only seen as a 2 channel card by Linux


So, should I get speakers instead?

yeah that would be a good start.

5.1 channel speakers are prety cheap now.


Okay okay, time to mention a few things. True, most on-board sound cards are pretty good. If it has 5.1 support then most people won’t miss much.

Even from a non-music profession standpoint, you can tell a difference between sound cards when you turn the volume up. Hear that hiss? Hear the feedback you sometimes get from your computer? That’s from a cheap soundcard. 24-bit means squat if you have a bad signal to noise ratio.

I used to use my nForce2’s internal soundcard for a while until I got an Audigy 2 ZS Platinum (meaning it’s an Audigy 2 with a front bay with tons of ports), and I noticed that I didn’t get nearly as much of a hiss. Same with recording, which was a HUGE improvement. The card had a very good signal to noise ratio and the DC bias was a lot better compared to the internal. The point is, there was a noticable difference in the audio quality, and a huge difference in recording, even from a consumer standpoint.

Now, from the professional standpoint, I couldn’t live without this card :). “Offer a bit to music professionals” is putting it midly. Try, “offers a lot to even a hobbiest.” Professionals use real hardware, but this card would fair well in a studio.

Heh, for most people that is true, but in my case I had really need a card with the proper inputs. Currently I have a headset, dynamic mic, MIDI in and MIDI out to the MIDI controller (threw away my MIDI to USB adapter), and composite line-in from synthesizer plugged into the soundcard (MUCH better quality than the stereo line-in, even on this card).

I’m not saying that you should get a $300 soundcard. If you are just going to play video games then I wouldn’t recommend it. I’m just letting some people know that there is a bigger difference than people think. So much so that in my situation I won’t use an internal.

Oh, by the way, Creative is more supported. Otherwise it’s like going with ATI instead of Nvidia because it’s cheaper :).

try this link:


I heard theres no point in getting a 24bit sound card, from what i heard it was a waist of money cause the human ear cant distinguish anything more than what your onboard 5.1 card can do.

This could be slightly wrong.

But its just like there’s no point on having colour resloution higher than 24-bit cause the eyes cant distinguish anymore colours. If I’m right its about 16million diffrent colours the human eye can distinguish.

Best thing to get is better speakers.

I want to get that Creative X-Fi but Newegg doesn’t have it yet. :frowning: It looks quite nice.

I’ll just get some surround speakers. Then, if my sound card doesn’t work well with it, I’ll just get a $30 sound card at ye ol’ Wal-Mart(it’s 24-bit, that’s why I asked if it sounded better).

i bought my soundcard because it came with 5 pretty good games and was only 100$ with a 50$ Rebate it was a Creative Audigy Z2 Gamer

Showing more than 24 bits on the screen probably doesn’t make sense but having more in computer’s internal calculations can make a lot of sense. HDRI, for example.

I have to agree with you.
10 years ago, you could tell the difference in souncard quality, especially the MIDI.

Today, any soundcard on the market appears to be good, they all seem to have 5.1 or better. As a matter of fact the integrated sound cards on most motherboards are good enough.

My only point, is MIDI interface. Since I play the keyboard on accasion, the MIDI is awsome on a KORG keyboard.

i have to point out that, in my experiences, the internal sound does have some serious drawbacks. My ac 97 internal caused chopping video in games, later i found out that it caused the problem.

Watch your processor. If you are getting very high loads, try buying a dirt cheap card to use. I am using a 2 channel soundblaster 16. Yes, that came out in, like, 1998, but it works well enough to take the load off my otherwise fast enough proc.

just my 2 cents.

wow, a person with a worse sound card than me! :smiley: When I upgrade my system, I do not plan on getting a sound card, as the motherboard audio is very nice, and as I am just going to invest in some nice headphones with a mic, as I wouldn’tbe allowed to turn up a 5.1 system anyways and it is easier to take to lan’s

Personally, I think the Echo Mia/Layla is a great 24-bit sound card. It’s cheap(for what it can do) around $250.00.

You can connect 1/4" high fidelity studio monitors for composing music, or you can use the spdif if you want surround sound.

You also get a built-in 8-channel mixer and you can allocate a specific channel of sound to a specific speaker in your surround set-up.

Of course, the main reason I bought it was so I could compose with high-end softsynths, so I suppose the Audigy would work just as well for you.

I had a lovely Creative Live 5.1 with SP/DIF out which only cost £15 ($30) about three years ago. Then I upgraded to a new motherboard with onboard and sold the card.

Now I can’t get a Creative with SP/DIF for less than £50 (too much for me to spend at the moment) and wish I had my old card. I run my sound through my hifi and the difference in quality is noticably worse, even having used SP/DIF on both.

If you use any speaker package then the failings of the speakers will always be greater than that of the card. If not it makes a big difference.