LGA 1151 Z170 with "better" audio recommendation needed

Aug 18, 2015
tl;dr: Need recommendations for a LGA1151 Z170 Board with better than average onboard audio for up to 220€

Hey everyone,

I am currently looking for new components for my next PC and since I just got my Beyerdinamic DT 880 600
Edition I also wanted to get a Motherboard that could make good use of those. I am currently using a Asus M4A87TD EVO and already loving those over my old AKG k520 with my current setup.

If I understood the Onboard vs. Soundcard threads right I will be fine with a decent Motherboard unless I want to pay alot for a dedicated Soundcard.

Thats why I am going to start to filter the reviews on this site to find a Motherboard that maybe delivers a bit more than the rest.

While I am filtering review after review I would love to hear recommendations for boards up to 220€.

Besides "better" audio I would prefer a Motherboard with USB3.1 and M2. Also planning on OC'ing the 6700k I will get. I will probably stick with one GPU only so SLI/Crossfire isnt that important.
Well after a few hours of comparing I found a few Boards in the price range that should be able to drive my Headphones just fine. In the end they all use the realtek alc1150 with different dac and amp depending which manufacturer you look at.

With that said, please consider this thread as closed
600 ohm DT880s, onboard sound.


There is no such thing as onboard (or hell an internal soundcard) that can properly drive high impedance headphones. (And yes, I've heard the soundcards with built in "headphone amps.")

I REALLY recommend that once you build your system you pick up a dac/amp.

You have a number of decent starter options: the SMSL M3 goes for like $80, or a Micca Origen for $90. Hell, if you don't want to spend $80 and your onboard has optical out you could pick up an SMSL SD793ii for $65.

Of course you can always spend more (I sure as fuck have) with audio, but compared to historical pricing we've gotten to the point that the diminishing returns curve starts rounding off to silly, irrelevant due to biology, reasons at some damn cheap prices. Just look for clean and flat in both the dac and amp. If you want color, you can get it in the speakers or headphones.
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Onboard audio still sucks, just not quite as much as it used to.

You're going to want a USB DAC and amp for those headphones. I have a Schiit Modi and Magni that I use with my DT990s.
Thanks for the Input. Is there any special reason you only recommend USB DAC's?
I will do some research on those USB DAC's for now. 80€ seems fair to me, as that is more ore less the price I would have to pay extra for a Mobo with an inbuilt AMP
Some USB DACs support higher bitrates than you can get over optical or coaxial digital.

But some of audiophiles will talk about galvanic isolation and recommend optical, which I get. I have a cheap DAC that if I power from a usb port on my PC gets noisy. However, most decent DACs cost more than the $30 I spent on that one and include better power filtering.

Really though, on the music consumption side, if you have quality 24bit/96kHz you're FINE. Higher bitrates only come into play when you are doing music production and layering effects.