If you are looking for some of the best sound cards for gaming, this post will help you make the right choice.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Gaming Sound Cards of 2021
- Best Gaming Sound Cards: Detailed Reviews
- 1. ASUS Sound Card Essence STX II
- 2. HT OMEGA Claro Halo PCI Sound Card
- 3. Creative Sound Blaster ZxR PCIe Gaming Sound Card
- 4. Creative Sound Blaster Audigy PCIe RX 7.1: Best Budget Sound Card
- 5. Creative Sound Blaster Zx: Best Sound Card for Gaming
- 6. ASUS Xonar DSX PCIe 7.1 Sound Cards
- 7. Creative Sound Blaster Z PCIe Gaming Sound Card
- 8. Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 PCIe Gaming Sound Card
- 9. Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FX PCIe 5.1: Cheapest Sound Card
- 10. Creative Sound BlasterX G5 7.1: Headphone External Sound Card with Headphone Amplifier
- How to Buy a Sound Card?
- Signal to Noise Ratio – An Explanation
- Our Top Recommendation
- Final Words
Our expert team has spent exactly 23 days to prepare this detailed review for you.
While looking for the best sound card in the market, one can easily get confused due to so many different options. Then, there are some YouTubers as well who are self proclaimed experts and try to mess with your mind.
To suggest a sound card, onc needs to be an expert in assembling a PC an know how the PC configuration works.
Our team reviewed more than 27 sound cards for gaming from which only 10 sound cards could make to our list.
So whether you are playing Half Life, Final Fantasy or Mass Effect, these gaming sound cards will make your life easy and help you live the game.
Moreover, it has been nearly 30 years since sound cards were first introduced. Since then, technology has evolved so much. You can get the gist about it in this amazing video:
Before delving into detailed reviews, its time to check the top rated gaming sound cards that we have covered in this post:
10 Best Gaming Sound Cards of 2021
Best Gaming Sound Cards: Detailed Reviews
Sound plays an important role while gaming. There are various games like COD, NFS and first person shooter games which cannot be enjoyed if you do not have a good sound mechanism.
Our main motive of covering these gaming sound cards was to bring you the best sound cards in your budget. Thus, you will find gaming sound cards from super affordable to advanced premium collection.
Without boring you further, let’s begin with the detailed gaming sound card reviews.
Asus has a sturdy reputation in the market for all major electrical equipment. They deliver premium quality products to the customers.
Talking about sound cards, there are two major brands that come into mind, Asus and Creative. A wide majority of the population would go for either Asus or Creative.
It has been four years since the original STX debuted, and the STX II is a successor. With this sound card, Asus tries to deliver a great sound experience to even the most sophisticated listener.
Here, before checking the features, do watch this unboxing video of this gaming sound card to get a better understanding about it:
Now coming towards the features of the ASUS Sound Card Essence STX II:-
This sound card brand is not from a much-renowned brand. Still, it offers great quality for the price.
It definitely gives a tough competition to the Essence STX II and as it is fairly cheaper. The sound produced is clear and crisp with the help of this high performer.
Being a general buyer, you may not have heard about this brand so you might hesitate before buying this. Believe us, this is a great option if you want to buy a decent sound card which offers good quality other than ASUS or any other traditional brand.
Here are its features:
Creative is another brand that comes to our mind for sound entertainment-related products. It is most famous for creating Sound Blaster sound cards.
This brand has created numerous audio tech products for mainstream gamers. The Creative Sound Blaster ZxR provides crystal clear audio and is surely a flagship-grade device.
The Creative Sound Blaster ZxR is assuredly worth buying as it offers many features which are not offered by any other brand at this price.
The design also looks cool as it is a gaming sound card but we do know that the design does not matter as it will be placed inside the cabinet.
Check this video to get a better understanding about the sound card:
Knowing more about its features:
4. Creative Sound Blaster Audigy PCIe RX 7.1: Best Budget Sound Card
This is another high performer by Creative and is much cheaper than the previous one. This is an entry-level sound card in the market.
The specifications provided by this sound card are decent for the price bracket at which it is delivered, well at least on paper.
If we compare the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy with more budget oriented sound cards provided by a renowned brand like ASUS then it will surely be a tough competitor.
This sound card gives all the new hardware and such tech is not provided by any other brand at this price.
Talking about the features of the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy PCIe RX 7.1:
5. Creative Sound Blaster Zx: Best Sound Card for Gaming
This gaming sound card is a lower end variant of the Creative Sound Blaster ZxR. This is a mid-range sound card that offers great specifications at a decent price. The Creative Sound Blaster Zx also owns this price bracket as it gives an extraordinary performance with stupefying looks.
The Zx gaming sound card features glowing LED lights that add to the dazzling red colored body. If this sound card is bought for gaming purpose then this little effect matters the most.
This sound card comes with a desktop module which is a really useful accessory. It also has gold plated 3.5mm headphone jack, a gold-plated 3.5mm microphone jack, gold plated 3.5mm 5.1 channel connections.
Do check this official video to know more about this amazing gaming sound card:
Now coming towards the features of the Creative Sound Blaster Zx:
This is a more budget-friendly option by ASUS and it is clearly made to offer competition to the Creative Sound Blaster Zx. It is the successor of the award-winning Xonar Ds 7.1 sound card.
It has the Dolby Digital Connect System that brings home theatre experience to the desktop. This is one of the best sound cards which can be used for having surround sound.
The ASUS Xonar DSX PCIe 7.1 gaming sound card is not a mainstream gaming sound card but still assures paramount gaming experience. If compared to other sound cards offered by Creative, then there surely are some features that ASUS Xonar lacks yet it gives a balanced experience to the users.
Now let us throw some light on some of the important features of the ASUS Xonar DSX PCIe 7.1 Sound Card:-
The Creative Sound Blaster Z PCIe Gaming Sound Card is just like the Sound Blaster Zx. Internally, it has got the same specifications. The difference lies on the outside. The Sound Blaster Z has a different bundle of accessories that come with it.
This gaming sound card also is a mid-range contender in the competition of being the best. Just like the Sound Blaster Zx, this also has all gold plated connectors and audio jacks. It has the same LED lighting as well.
If we talk about its performance then it would not be much different from the other Creative sound cards, especially the Sound Blaster Zx.
The Sound Blaster Z’s only accessory is a standard microphone that comes with it for the uses who do not have a standalone microphone or a headset. Some other extra accessories come with Sound Blaster Zx for which you will have to pay a higher price.
Now coming towards the main features of the Sound Blaster Z PCIe Gaming Sound Card:-
The Creative Sound BlasterX AE-5 PCIe gaming sound card is one beast. It comprehensively looks so ravishing that it easily stand out of the competition if we are just talking about the looks.
This is the only sound card on the list with RGB lighting. It comes with an attractive set of RGB lights that enhance the elegance of this little box. There is also an included RGB LED strip.
This is the first sound card to come with Xamp. Xamp is a conventionally designed diverse headphone amplifier. Each audio channel is independently augmented through this great technology.
Let’s discuss its features:
9. Creative Sound Blaster Audigy FX PCIe 5.1: Cheapest Sound Card
This is another entry level sound card in the market right now. This one is the cheapest gaming sound card on the list but it does offer quite a few great features. The specifications provided by this sound card are fair for the price bracket at which it is catered.
This is a lower end variant of the sound card which goes by the same name, but the only major difference is that it has a 5.1 channel surround system.
The Creative Sound Blaster Audigy PCIe RX 5.1 is a little devil and is the ideal upgrade from the elementary motherboard audio. It is truly impossible to believe that such immersive audio experience is delivered at such a low price.
Now let us dig deeper into the features of the Creative Sound Blaster Audigy PCIe RX 5.1:-
10. Creative Sound BlasterX G5 7.1: Headphone External Sound Card with Headphone Amplifier
By now you all must have understood that who stands as the clear winner in the sound entertainment sector these days. Creative has made all kinds of products that will easily please audiophiles and has these products in different price segments.
This gaming sound card is different than any other sound card we have included in this list. This gaming sound card is actually an external sound card and is also supported by a wide variety of mediums such as Mac, PS4 and other consoles.
We can easily say that this is a true gaming sound card as it can be used with a PlayStation and Xbox too. It is also portable so you can carry it anywhere and use it on multiple PC’s.
If we focus on the performance then also it would not disappoint us as it has some great technical characteristics. This Digital Audio Converter (DAC) and headphone amplifier render the most quintessential audio experience.
Now let us focus on some of the most important features of the Creative Sound BlasterX G5:
How to Buy a Sound Card?
Now that you have checked various sound cards, you might still be left with confusion as to how to choose the best sound card among the lot.
Well, there are certain factors which you should look for while evaluating the selection of the sound card for yourself.
In the end, what matters the most is that you get a crisp sound with little to no distortion. For this, do check the signal to noise ration popularly known as SNR of the gaming sound card.
The best experience is when you get a surround sound experience.
Signal to Noise Ratio – An Explanation
SNR is one metric which would help you to segment the list of sound cards.
SNR effectively measures and states the quality of the audio in a sound card.
Basically, there are two parameters – signal and noise.
The signal is the actual sound that you would like to hear or want to hear. It could be sound of the instrument, dialogue, notes etc.
Noise is the sound of the background. Whenever there is an electric current passing through a medium, it results in generating some noise.
Overall, the higher the decibels of the signal as compared to the decibels of the noise, better will be the quality of the sound.
Our Top Recommendation
Creative Sound Blaster Zx PCIe Gaming Sound Card
There are only a few sound cards which have got more than 1000 positive reviews from the customers and the Creative Sound Blaster Zx is one of them.
This card hels you to experience a truly thrilling gaming session. You can enjoy cinematic movies, songs, games and what not.
Here is our quick review:
Creative Sound Blaster Zx Gaming Sound Card Review
Signal to Noise Ratio
Ease of Installation
We hope you must have gained some rightful insights about gaming sound cards. We tried our best to get you the most detailed info so that you can make a wise choice in deciding the best gaming sound card for your yourself.
Still, if you have any doubts or confusion regarding anything related to the above-listed gaming sound cards, do share it with us in the comments section below. We would be happy to help you!
Last update on 2021-02-28 at 18:27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API