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Do Audio Technica ATH-M50s need a sound card for laptop?


New member
Jan 26, 2009
Hey one and all,

I just bought a pair of Audio Technica M50s for my laptop (K|N Nagamaki based off of the OCZ W840DI Chassis), and they sounded amazing for their price in-store, but that was through a dedicated studio-quality playback stereo with a 1/4" input. So my question is, in order to achieve the full potential of these babies, will I need a sound card to replace my integrated one (I read it as Realtek ALC269, but you can see the full specs of the audio card on the laptop's order page at killernotebooks.com/nagamaki/nagamaki_order_page. html)

I've been reccomended the Fiio E5 mini-amp to drive up the bass response and tonal quality, and It's mighty cheap, but it still uses only 1/8" inch inputs. While there be quality loss of any kind without anything put in? These will be used for everyday listening of pretty much everything from gaming, to thrash metal to fusion and audio production.

Thanks a bunch in advance for any help!

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