Can an average listener tell the difference between an expensive sound card and a basic one? Where should you put your money into, sound cards or speakers? With these questions in mind, Puget set out to get answers.
For sound cards, we chose the Xonar DX, Xonar D2X, and Creative Elite Pro, which cost approximately one, two, and three hundred dollars respectively. We also tested the onboard audio of the computer we used, which was an EVGA 680i motherboard with a Realtek ALC885 codec.
For our high end speakers, we chose the Logitech Z-5500, a massive 5.1 surround-sound set. They're currently the biggest and best that Logitech offers on their website, and cost about $350 depending on where you look. We chose the Logitech X-230 set for the mid range. It's a good entry level set that consists of two desktop speakers and a small subwoofer, and retails for around $40. (The X-230 speakers have recently been replaced in Puget's product line by the X-240, which is a slightly larger set.) To represent the budget end of the spectrum, we also included a set of Creative SBS15 speakers that we had laying around the warehouse..