Searching for new soundcard. Would UR12 be better than current soundblaster.

Hello fellow musicians.

I’ve been thinking about for a long time to upgrade my old Soundblaster X-Fi Titanium HD to something better. My current Soundblaster has ASIO-support so I don’t have any latency issues and it has pretty nice sound quality, but one of the biggest reasons is that I cannot adjust the sound volume if I connect my monitor speakers directly to the soundcard. Also, I’ve noticed it takes lots of static interference for some reason from the computer (that buzz, whining noise)

So the question is:

Is UR12 worth the upgrage? How is the sound quality for example for music listening? Since I really don’t want to go backwards. This soundblaster cost me over 200 euros when i bought it and it is supposed to have very good “specs”.

I have BeyerDynamics DT880 250ohm headset, and I need audio interface with RCA outputs since my monitor cables are RCA-XLR. Can UR12 run those headphones? I think it should since even my Soundblaster can run them quite nicely.

Or should I rather get UR22 and switch to 6,3mm(1/4")-XLR cables for better sound quality? Does it have any benefit compared to RCA-XLR cable?

I also checked out some Focusrite Scarlett interfaces, I like the design better, but I was thinking about compability since I think UR-series support cubase better than other manufacturers.



Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Well… everyone will have an opinion… so here’s mine. :wink:

Your Soundblaster card came out nearly 10 years ago. So you probably got your monies worth out of it.

Newer audio interfaces (AIs) have come a long way since then and the ones from Steinberg seem fine (although I like the ones made by PreSonus as I have never had a problem with them). I can’t comment on the specs for the Steinberg AIs but I know that I would spend a bit more cash and get the one you want with the combo connectors for your monitors. The XLR connector should give you better sound quality. I believe the standard connections on the front of these AIs are all combo for inputs and 1/4" connectors for headphone outputs.

Have fun choosing. :slight_smile:

Regards :sunglasses:

Thanks for the answer! Yes, this Soundblaster has been worth the money. I also heard from others that I should get the XLR connectors instead of RCA. I just need to buy new cables but if it gives better sound quality and less noise from electronic interference - it’s worth the money.

Do you think all AI’s are combatible with Cubase? I was thinking of getting steinberg for better combability but I guess it really does not matter?

Regarding your cables. The difference is really balanced vs unbalanced cables. To get the reduce noise you need to use balanced cables between the sounds module (UR22, or whatever) and the Monitors. The output from the sound card needs to be a balanced output - which can either be “stereo” 1/4" jacks (which is what my Ur44 has, and probably the UR22 as well) or XLR. You will need the same on the monitors. So balanced connectors and balanced cables.

If you just a mono 1/4" jack in a balanced 1/4" output it will still work, but it will be an unbalanced signal and you don’t get the benefit.

Pretty much all AIs are compatible with Cubase. ASIO compatibility is best.

I’m pretty sure the AIs offered by Steinberg must have some special integration with Cubase but, I can’t comment on that because I don’t have one. Hopefully somebody else will offer up some info for you.

Regards. :sunglasses:

Hi, nice information. So the output signal (phone out and line out) of audio interface must be balanced signal? I dont find it in the manual. are they really balanced signal?

I need to run long cable which comes from phone out and line out. I will use DI Box if they were unbalanced :frowning:

Thanks. I use Steinberg CI2+ Soundcard. but the signal out must be the same as other soundcard.

In a word, yes. Steinberg pres are very nice sounding. But if you’re on a really tight budget you could get a four in four out channels in the form of a Behringer umc404hd for the same price. Not quite as nice sounding, but it’ll still better the soundblaster comfortably. If one mic pre will do you then the ur12 is nice. That said about budgets, the Behringer equivilent of the ur22 (umc202) is only thirty quid! The single channel um2 five quid cheaper still!

It if I had a 85 quid budget and didn’t need multiple channels I’d go with the ur12 as the mic pre is pretty darn good. A decent engineer could make a top ten hit with any of them.