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Thread: Do I need a sound card?

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    Do I need a sound card?

    I intend to get the Roccat Kave Solid 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset with Mic but from what I can tell, my Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 motherboard doesn't have the necessary ports. Am I right with my conclusion? It does say the following, however, and this confuses me:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gigabyte
    2/4/5.1/7.1-channel
    * To configure 7.1-channel audio, you have to use an HD front panel audio module and enable the multi-channel audio feature through the audio driver.
    It only gives special instructions regarding 7.1-channel audio, not 5.1-channel audio, but going by the aforementioned headset, I shouldn't even be able to use 5.1-channel audio, right?

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    DDY
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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    Your motherboard as it is now supports 5.1 audio out, but configured this way will leave you with no free port on the back of the motherboard for your headset's microphone.

    One way of getting around that issue is to install a soundcard. But, it may be possible to connect the mic to your computer's front audio jack with the 5.1 output connected to the three ports on the rear of your motherboard.

    You can try this now, find three things e.g. headphones or speakers to plug in to the three audio jacks on your motherboard (blue, green & red) and a mic to the front of your machine. Then dive in to the audio control panel and configure the ports to 5.1 sound, now check if the mic works at the same time as the 5.1 sound, I've not used your motherboard before but I'm 80% sure it will work.

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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    Your motherboard as it is now supports 5.1 audio out, but configured this way will leave you with no free port on the back of the motherboard for your headset's microphone.

    One way of getting around that issue is to install a soundcard. But, it may be possible to connect the mic to your computer's front audio jack with the 5.1 output connected to the three ports on the rear of your motherboard.

    You can try this now, find three things e.g. headphones or speakers to plug in to the three audio jacks on your motherboard (blue, green & red) and a mic to the front of your machine. Then dive in to the audio control panel and configure the ports to 5.1 sound, now check if the mic works at the same time as the 5.1 sound, I've not used your motherboard before but I'm 80% sure it will work.
    I have also thought of that, but don't actually have enough items to fill out my audio ports! The thing is, I will need all those ports for one item, namely the headset in question, so my worry is that the cable simply won't be long enough. Like with most items that require multiple connections, there's one cable leading from the item that eventually splits up into all the required connections and I don't think I'll be able to get it that far.

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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    I don't think the mic cable is long enough, reference this review;

    http://www.overclock 3d.net/reviews/audio/roccat_kave_5_1_headset_review/2

    You can grab a 3.5mm extension from the poundshop though.

    EDIT: I don't know what Hexus has against "Overclock 3D" but typing it without the space gets it caught in the word filter, e.g. ***********. You'll have to copy, paste and get rid of the space on that address!
    Last edited by DDY; 22-01-2013 at 11:16 PM.

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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    I'd suggest an external DAC.

    Generally the FiiO E7 and onwards are considered a solid buy.

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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    Quote Originally Posted by mekeirc View Post

    Generally the FiiO E7 and onwards are considered a solid buy.
    No good, it only has two channels (Zeven needs six) and no mic input.

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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    I think a sound card would be the best option, a extension cable round to the might work but it's going to be a bit messy and might not work as the outputs can be linked.

    An Asus xoner would be the cheap sound card option http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-...adphone-sockek

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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    So I do need a sound card, hm? Makes getting a headset ever more costly. Are you sure I need that one, Pob255? I know Asus is a known and trusted brand, but what about this other one from Asus and this one from Genius? Heck, the two Asus ones are so close in price, someone will need to clearly explain what the difference is between those two!

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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeven View Post
    So I do need a sound card, hm? Makes getting a headset ever more costly. Are you sure I need that one, Pob255? I know Asus is a known and trusted brand, but what about this other one from Asus and this one from Genius? Heck, the two Asus ones are so close in price, someone will need to clearly explain what the difference is between those two!
    The two ASUS cards, the DG and DGX are practically the same but one is PCI and the other is PCIe, respectively. If I had to choose between the two I'd go for the more future proofed PCIe card, the DGX.

    The Genius card isn't anything special if not worse in terms of sound quality and capability than your motherboard's onboard sound, if you're buying a soundcard you may as well go for somthing with redeeming features like either of the ASUS cards.

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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    So I bought the recommended sound card and it is working famously with my speakers. I love it! Nevertheless, the ROCCAT Kave Solid 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset i.e. the very reason I bought a sound card, has constant static noise coming from the headset and it is driving me nuts. I have contacted ROCCAT support and they responded in 11 minutes (I was impressed) with a thorough email which unfortunately didn't help much. I sent them another email but would now like to consult the HEXUS community as well as I would really like to use my headset. Thanks in advance, guys!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeven
    Operating System: Windows 7 Home Premium Service Pack 1 64-bit
    Product: ROCCAT Solid 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset
    Driver: "Please note: The ROCCAT™ Kave, including the Remote Control, is designed to work with your operating system without additional drivers."
    Country: United Kingdom

    -----------------------------

    Hello,

    I bought the ROCCAT Solid 5.1 Surround Sound Gaming Headset just yesterday along with the Asus Xonar DGX 5.1 PCI-e Sound Card. I love the headset's design and what not, but the constant static noise is beyond annoying. I have tried every available PCI-e slot in my Gigabyte GA-Z68AP-D3 motherboard but the static noise simply won't go away. Playing with the dials on the desktop remote doesn't help either. The static does increase or decrease when I shift the headset's cable around but never fully goes away and I don't see why I constantly need to play around with the cables on a 65£ headset when I didn't need to on my previous 40£ headset. I have tested the sound card using my speakers and it works just fine so kindly advise on how to get rid of the static noise in my headset. Thank you.

    Kind regards,
    *****
    Quote Originally Posted by ROCCAT Support
    Hello *****,



    Thanks for choosing the ROCCAT Kave.



    This phenomenon can happen with surround headsets that are not only connected to the PC via USB, but also via an analog input (jack plug). This sound is in fact caused by an electromagnetic pulse that occurs when an electrical current runs through metal. These unwanted audio signals can occur if the components in your computer – such as your sound card, fan, graphic card, etc. – are close together.



    Some sound cards have an option that can counteract this problem called "PC Beep". Please have a look at your audio settings, which you can find in the system management or in your sound card’s driver.



    Here’s an example of the option you need, which you can find with a simple online search:



    http://farm1.static.flickr.com/139/3...9b0393.jpg?v=0

    http://ipggi.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/pc_beep.jpg



    You could also try using a different USB port.

    Another possible source of the problem: If there’s a cordless telephone or base station near the Kave (i.e. on your desk), the radio signal might be creating interference. If this is the case, please pick a more distant position for it.



    You can also have a look at your “Control Panel” under “Sounds” (or at your sound card’s driver). If there’s a flag entitled “Digital E/A”, make sure it's turned off.



    Feel free to write to me again if anything is unclear or if you need further assistance.



    Viele Grüße / Kind regards,



    Andi Wulff

    Technical Support
    Quote Originally Posted by Zeven
    Hi,

    Thank you for the hasty response and explanation.

    I have spent the last two or so hours looking for the "PC Beep" option in Windows 7 but to no avail. I looked in my sound card's driver as well as system management but simply couldn't find it. An online search for the option didn't result in anything either. I did try using different USB ports already but again no luck. Finding the "Digital E/A" option was impossible as well. Please advise.

    Kind regards,
    *****

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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    Can you still hear static if you disconnect the mic from the back of your soundcard?

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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    Can you still hear static if you disconnect the mic from the back of your soundcard?
    I can, yes. On a side note, I am now using the PCI-e slot that is furthest away from all the other components and the problem remains.

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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    Can you hear this noise from your speakers when they're plugged directly in to the soundcard? Also the headset without the speakers attached.

    What does the 'static' sound like? Is it a buzz, whine, hiss etc?

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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    Can you hear this noise from your speakers when they're plugged directly in to the soundcard? Also the headset without the speakers attached.

    What does the 'static' sound like? Is it a buzz, whine, hiss etc?
    My 2.1 speakers sound just fine when plugged into the sound card. I have also tried the headset without a microphone and the nightmare continues. The static sounds like buzzing, distorted beeping, and so on. I can increase the distorted beeping when I move my mouse around but even if I don't, it's still there. I shall try plugging my headset into my housemates' computers soon to see if it's the headset itself.

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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    It sounds like the Roccat is picking up electromagnetic interference (EMI) from your computer, evidenced by the distorted beeping which reacts to mouse movement. Other electronic devices including your monitor can also cause EMI so your computer might not be the only culprit.

    Try:
    - Muting or disabling sound inputs on your machine
    - Disconnecting the front panel audio cable (picks up EMI easily)
    - Fitting ferrite beads to your speaker cable(s)
    - Turning the volume on your computer's audio control panel to 100% and solely using your speakers/headsets volume control
    - Turning off or moving nearby electronics equipment (e.g. monitor, phones)
    - Using a different power supply (yours could have bad EM filtering)

    The problem you have is actually quite common, I've had it myself on many occasions and one or a combination of the above have sometimes worked. But bear in mind the above list is not exhaustive and there's likely to be more than one causal factor.

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    Re: Do I need a sound card?

    Quote Originally Posted by DDY View Post
    It sounds like the Roccat is picking up electromagnetic interference (EMI) from your computer, evidenced by the distorted beeping which reacts to mouse movement. Other electronic devices including your monitor can also cause EMI so your computer might not be the only culprit.

    Try:
    - Muting or disabling sound inputs on your machine
    - Disconnecting the front panel audio cable (picks up EMI easily)
    - Fitting ferrite beads to your speaker cable(s)
    - Turning the volume on your computer's audio control panel to 100% and solely using your speakers/headsets volume control
    - Turning off or moving nearby electronics equipment (e.g. monitor, phones)
    - Using a different power supply (yours could have bad EM filtering)

    The problem you have is actually quite common, I've had it myself on many occasions and one or a combination of the above have sometimes worked. But bear in mind the above list is not exhaustive and there's likely to be more than one causal factor.
    As I continuously plug the headset in and out to try new, potential solutions (such as shifting the sound card around), I once plugged them in the wrong away so that I could only get stereo out of them and not surround and the buzzing was no longer there. I thought the problem was gone, but then I realised my mistake. Just thought I would add that if it helps.

    I have already muted the sound inputs that come with my motherboard and I initially didn't even have my front panel audio cable connected. I am new to the whole PC building scene and thus still had it plugged into my disabled motherboard inputs.

    Those ferrite beads looking really interesting. I have always wondered what those things are, so thanks for the education! The DVI and power cables for my monitor have those! Already found some to buy on Amazon as well. Does attaching more than one to a single cable make a difference? The DVI cable for my monitor has one on each end, hence the question. Also, the cable for my headset has a desktop remote and also splits into four 3.5mm jack plugs towards one end. Does it matter where I place the ferrite bead i.e. closer to the headset, closer to the desktop remote, closer to the part where the cable splits? I am really excited about this now as this could be the solution I have been hoping for!

    That power supply cost me 80£ if I remember correctly so I won't be getting a different one for hopefully quite a while! It's my first power supply as well since I am new to the PC building scene and thus I don't have a spare one lying around.

    I think I will give the ferrite bead solution a go as it seems like the most promising and cheapest solution that I have not yet tried. Thank you very much, DDY. I sincerely hope it works!

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