New motherboard just for audio?

So currently i have an Asrock H61M-VS and i was considering upgrading to a new motherboard because mine doesn't have fancy audio features like the more expensive ones do, is it worth it?

Headphones I'm using are the HyperX Cloud and a sennheiser HD429s.

what do you mean by fancy audio features? You could just get a sound card or something if you have a slot open and your audiophilia is giving you an itch.

My motherboard has one PCIe slot, occupied by my video card.

External Sound Cards

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Well what do you want to do?

I might just upgrade to a new motherboard to be honest, one PCIe is not gonna cut it, i was just wondering if upgrading is gonna achieve better audio quality

Unless your current audio is filled with static and hardly works I can't imagine it's going to be much better on just a higher end board.

And since that board is 1155, you might as well like spend the money on a DAC or something instead or save it for Kaby Lake/Zen to upgrade.

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Secondary audio devices, such as sound cards, DACs, etc will likely beat the on-board audio of most motherboards. That being said I do not advise purchasing a new motherboard unless their are additional features of functionality that you are looking for.


Agreed, don't get a new mobo just for sound. You're blowing a lot of money if you don't need all the features a new mobo will give you. Plus, you're probably going to need a new CPU while you're at it, if you do, since you're running Intel. They make you buy everything but the kitchen sink when you just want to upgrade a processor.

As @cooperman said, get an external sound card. All the audio enthusiasts and philes recommend an external card, to isolate it from the EMI from the rest of your components. You'll be one step ahead of the game, and there are affordable models too, last I checked. They will whoop the crap out of your onboard audio, and will probably last a long time. Soundcards don't become outdated as quickly as other components. Plus, if your external ever fails, your onboard is a backup, and you could move it to another computer easily. You could even hook it up to a laptop (though your speakers will be the weak link here). One of the things you will probably be able to do is play high sample music. What exactly do you want a new soundcard for, music, gaming?

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I mostly game, but also listen to music while browsing, I'm just worried I'm getting a degraded audio experience because my motherboard is pretty old and lackluster of features, and like you said upgrading the motherboard would mean getting a new processor which will cost quite a bit. I'm probably gonna go with what you guys suggested and get an external card, any suggestions?

Get a USB sound card. Don't upgrade your mobo just for better audio.

Sorry, I don't know much about externals. I have an Asus Xonar Essence STX, and it's a great card, but that's internal (before I knew about externals). >_< It's designed for music, but I find it is excellent for gaming too. I would recommend focusing on cards designed with music in mind over gaming. They do make externals too, maybe start with them? These range from affordable to ludicrously expensive, so you'll have to do some research.

You could look for a Z77 with good onboard audio if you could find.
But i´m not sure if its realy worth it.
It all depends on which cpu you currently use imo.
But i think it will also be hard to find a decent Z77 board for a reasonable price now days.

There are also other options like @Ethereal allready pointed out.