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Need sound card for headphones

I recently received the Miles Davis Tribute Headphones and have really enjoyed listening to them, but hope to get better sound out of them by getting a sound card for my PC. I have no budget range and basically just want the best sound card for headphones on the market. What should I get?

I also have a 2.0 speaker set up (M-Audio AV-40) on my desk, so if I could plug those in to the sound card as well as the headphones, that would be great.
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  1. It would also be nice if the sound card had a built in amp for the headphones.
  2. Asus Xonar D2X
  3. Best answer
    ^Not to be rude, but that's a bad choice for this scenario. Why would you get the D2X, which is based around 7.1 surround, when you could have a dedicated headphone (2.0 stereo) card, the Xonar Essence STX, for the exact same price?

    Here's what I've found to be basically the best you can get - I put +Amp after cards that have a dedicated headphone amplifier. Hope it's easy to understand:
    $50: Asus Xonar DS
    $90: Asus Xonar D1(x)
    $150: (surround): Auzen X-Meridian
    $150: (headphone): Auzen X-Fi Forte +Amp
    $190: (surround): Xonar D2(x)
    $190: (headphone): Xonar Essence STX +Amp [Better if you don't plan on using a surround setup]
    $240: HT Omega Claro Halo XT +Amp [Better if you want both headphone and surround support]
  4. Is the HT Omega Claro Halo the same as the HT Omega Claro Halo XT, or is the a different card?
  5. Oh, wow, I just realized I didn't include the "XT" on my list up there. I'll clarify that some...

    They're the same card. The Claro Halo XT comes with an extension board made for people running surround sound systems, since the actual sound card doesn't have all the outputs you'd need if you wanted to run an analogue 7.1 setup. Basically, it just gives you more outputs.
  6. Best answer selected by cangle.
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