hey, I always come to buy bad things to my PC and could use some good advise. I have $ 170.00 to buy a good sound card and some cool 5.1 headphones. I do not live in the U.S.. so I can not buy from "newegg" although I know it is very cheap there. I have Windows 7 Ultimate, and am very confused about what to buy because there's a lot of things to choose from.
my computer is amd / ati.
but I can buy from amazon.co.uk fortunately.
it would be great if I could be under $ 170.00. ; -]
If around £105, I would recommend an ASUS Xonar D1 for £49 and a pair of Sennheiser HD515 for £64 (a hair over budget but worth it).
This will give you a good sounding setup without breaking the bank.
If around £170, I would try and save up a bit more for an ASUS Xonar Essence (£140ish) and the best cans you can get to go with them.
If anything, you could afford the Essence now along with a Koss PortaPro (£22, great sound in a tiny package and very mod-able for better sound) while saving for a Better Set of Cans in the future.
The big thing about the ASUS Xonar Essence is that it has a high quality headphone amp onboard.
This will allow you to drive most every set of cans out there (and some of them can be very hard to drive).
It also has an excelent DAC (Digital Analog Converter) and interchangeable OPAMPS (I know, Greek right ).
Basically, it is one of the best sounding sound cards available.
All of the ASUS Xonar cards are able to encode 6 or 8 channel audio into a virtual 3d environment using Dolby Headphone in real time.
IMHO, this sounds much better, especially with a decent set of cans, than a hacked together '5.1 surround gaming headset'.
I am currently using a Xonar Essence STX, along with a pair of AKG K701's, for gaming, movies, music and everything else that the GF does not want to watch.
I honestly believe the positional audio effects sound just as good as my Logitech x540 5.1 surround setup.