If you’re an audiophile you’ve probably already realized that the stock sound card that comes with many of today’s PCs is usually quite bad. The key to finding a top sound card worthy of an audiophile is actually knowing what features to look for, and more importantly what they mean. If you’re out to get an audiophile level sound card for your computer then read on, I’ll show you what to look for.
To find a great sound card for an audiophile you must consider the following stats and weigh them accordingly
- Db rating: Decibel rating, this is simply how loud a sound card can go, in decibels
- S/N ratio: Signal to noise ratio, which is how much of the sound you hear, is actually noise. The higher the number the better it is.
- THD: A measure of the total harmonic distortion, or in other words, how accurately the sound is output based on the input. The less distortion there is the more accurately you’ll hear what the artist intended you to hear.
- Frequency range: This is a measure of how high the high parts are, and how low the lows can go. Average human hearing is 20 to 20000 kHz. If you’re not average you’ll want better.
For an audiophile I think it’s safe to say that the most important stats to consider are S/N ratio, THD and Frequency range. The actual Db capability of the card probably doesn’t matter too much.
You should also keep in mind that the speakers or headphones will also play a part in this equation. If you have lousy speakers the sound will be lousy too.
When you’re ready to head out and get an audiophile sound card I suggest reading sound card reviews on sites like Consumer Reports, Consumer Search and Amazon. You’ll be able to read sound card reviews written by people just like yourself and should be able to help you find an audiophile sound card that fits your needs.
Filed Under: Computers and Electronics