Hey, I'm looking to buy some new headphones and probably a new sound card but Ive got very little in the way of what to actually buy. I listen to a lot of music from rock (linkin park, metallica etc) to techno (basshunter, dj hixxy) heck even Rod Stuart got a listen in today. But i also do a lot of gaming, CoD4 and WaW, Warcraft 3 Supreme commander , mainly FPS and RTS but there's a lot of games i play (Emulated Lemmings FTW!). Anyway currently I'm listening to in through some crappy amp that i scavenged off a friend hooked up to 4 quite old mission 761's (with it all originating from the onboard audio on an XFX 680i Lt Mobo). Its a good system and it sounds nice, plus it can go real loud when i people over or i just want to shut someone up.
Unfortunately next year I'm moving into university halls and wont quite be allowed to make as much noise as i can now, hence i think i need some new headphones. Now i don't want anything in-ear as that just annoys me for some reason and its got to have a microphone.
I was thinking along the lines of some Sennheiser PC350's and matching them with a Creative X-Fi XtremeGamer 7.1. Now will i need the sound card or is the onboard audio going to be powerful enough to drive them? Also I'm using windows XP 32bit right now but i was looking to upgrade to Vista 64bit in a month or two when i get another 4GB of ram (4GB right now, but only 2.7 detected , crappy mobo /grumble) But I've heard that the driver support for creative sound cards on vista 64 is useless, but all i need is a nice set of headphones that are comfortable to wear, give out a nice sound quality and have a microphone. I've looked at the Sennheiser PC151's and 166's but there design seems slightly flimsy and 'unpowerful'.
Anyway any suggestions on what i should get?
Extra - In case for some weird reason you wanted to know here's my system:
XFX 680i Lt mobo
Q6600 @ 3.2Ghz W/ Asus silent knight cooler.
Asus 8800GT 512mb (crap btw, get a better version)
WD 500GB HDD
Silverstone ST50F 500w PSU
All inside an Antec 900 case.
Got a Creative Xtremegamer Fatal1ty pro on Vista64 SP1, XP SP3 and Linux. Not a single problem, I use it for music and games (Fallout3, Warhead, Clear Sky, WC3, The Witcher, FEAR, NWN2, and many more). Absolute fab.
I recommend good headphones + a zalman clip on mic over a headset. Much better sound quality and the zalman mic has excellent recording/broadcasting quality and this way you won't have to deal with flimsy and weak headsets that have typically smaller drivers and are inferior in music.
Look at sennheiser HD 555 or ATH-A700 or ATH-AD700.
DO NOT GET A CREATIVE CARD WITH A NVIDIA MOTHERBOARD! I can't stress this point enough.
For whatever reason, Creative cards run into issues (crackly sound) more often on Nvidia motherboard then any other brand, and despite 4 years of complaints, the problem still exists on most every Creative card. Thats why I had to toss my Extremegamer on my 790i. (Officially, Creative blames NVIDIA, although other boards, such as Biostar boards and some gigabyte models, are also known to have issues).
For movie watching, I would recommend the ASUS Xonar D2/D2X (extra Dolby options). For gaming, I'd go with the Razer Barracuda AC-1. Furthermore, pariting the Razer Barracuda HC-1 headphones to the AC-1 soundcard gives you one of the best experiances you can have with a pair of headphones.