What sound card should I get with my Sennheiser HD555?

I just ordered a set of Sennheiser HD555s and I am currently using onboard audio(Realtek ALC889) and was wondering what sound card to get with it. I don't want to spend a lot though. Or better yet, will my onboard audio still sound good with these headphones? Thanks!
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  1. With decent and above headphones, I'd recommend a sound card with a built-in headphone amp as it will sound better than onboard audio.

    Personally, I would recommend the Auzentech X-Fi Forte if you're going to be doing any gaming. Alternatively, if music is all you care about, I'd recommend either the Asus Xonar Essence STX or ST depending on if you want PCIe or PCI (ST is PCI). Alternatively, you could go with an Auztentech Bravura.
  2. That's a bit expensive, but if it's good, I guess I can just save up for it. There's no rush to get it. Will onboard audio still be fine until then? Or will it sound bad?
  3. Best answer
    Hard to say, to be honest. I've personally never been a fan of onboard audio and have always had a dedicated sound card in my PCs... some people will swear by onboard audio now, and say it's "good enough."

    Ultimately, since you don't have the sound card yet anyway, wait till you have the headphones and then see how your onboard sounds. If you can live with it, maybe you don't need to spend on a card. Otherwise, if it's not up to par for you, then once you can afford one, grab a sound card.
  4. Alright, thanks! Best answer for you :D
  5. Best answer selected by vchov.
  6. No problem, glad I could help. Enjoy the headphones!
  7. I got an AuzenTech Bravura along with some Logitech X540 5.1 speakers. I tried the speakers off the mobo first, and thought they sounded great. But, then I plugged them into the sound card and went "whoa!". To me, it's a big difference.

    Since it sounds like you don't want to spend a ton, something like the AuzenTech Bravura or Forte are very good cards with dedicated high quality amps for headphone output. I know my Bravura even has replaceable opamps, but in particular the headphone one is of even higher quality than the speaker ones. And it's made for "DJ Quality Headsets" so it's very high power and crystal clear.

    The Bravura is a great card for ~$100 to $130, the Forte is just slightly better
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