Which of sound card for headset/headphone use?

I'm really leaning towards the Auzentech X-Fi Forte 7.1, as this is supposed to be the best audio you can get for gaming.
However on the other hand I hear too often how Developers aren't using EAX much anymore with Windows Vista/7. I know that EAX can still be used in OpenAL. On that note this has me leaning towards the ASUS Xonar Essence STX as I hear that the sound quality is simply unmatched.

Both of these cards have Headphone Amps. On the other hand, I've read that the HT Omega Striker is a good match with A40's

I do not own any speakers, if anything I just use the speakers in my HDTV which is serving as my monitor. I only like to use headphones/headset when gaming to get virtual 5.1.

I do own a pair of Astro A40's my OS is Windows 7 64bit.

EDIT: Spotted the typo in my title, oops..
8 answers Last reply
More about which sound card headset headphone
  1. If you don't have really nice headphones or speakers, you don't need a sound card.
  2. Apparently I do. I cannot get anything other than stereo out of my onboard. There is no DDL nor is there any DH with my onboard.

    So..unfortunately if I want 5.1 I'll need a sound card, unless you know of a way that could fix my problem? I spent a lot of time in my Realtek HD manager and sound on Win7 and couldn't get anything to work. My games sound hollow.

    I would appreciate it if you did have a solution as it would save me some money. I just want to be able to hear when someone is coming up behind me in Bad Company 2, and all of the other details. I want to hear the details in Crysis and The Witcher 2. Mass Effect 2 as well.

    The only cans I own are A40's I bought these about 2 years back when I couldn't afford a nice gaming rig and had a PS3.
  3. Well, the A40's use Optical if I'm not mistaken, so a powered 6.3mm (1/4") amp doesn't do you any good. When it comes to the optical out, most every card offers the same features: Dolby Encoding, DTS Encoding, and then its down to other features the card supports [EAX, other audio settings]

    The Striker is the highest I would go for using the optical out; with both Dolby and DTS encoding, theres no reason to spend more if you have no plans to use either analog or a powered amp port.
  4. AuzenTech Bravura 7.1 is probably one of the best for headsets. It has a super good OpAmp for the headphone output that can do up to 600ohms, which is waayyy more than other sound cards, even the Forte.
  5. gamerk, if I planed to use just the headset without the MixAmp, what would you say then?
  6. I forget what the connection of the actual headset to the mixamp is, so I can't comment right now; I believe its Optical to the Mixamp, but I forget what interface the headset connects to the mixamp with...
  7. 3.5mm jack, I believe...I'm pretty sure that I could bypass the mixamp and plug the headset if self directly into my PC's audio.

    I was actually thinking of upgrading to a pair of AD700's or something along those lines. I hear those are the best for gaming, but I also hear the HARX700's are great also.

    In that case I would either go Titanium HD or Xonar STX.

    What would your advice be between the two options. A40's with HT Omega or AD700's or (insert headphone here) and one of the two cards above?
  8. if there is an optical route somewhere along teh source and the headphone, i think a soundcard is pointless, since u only need it for analogue.

    however if you do want to upgrade it, then make sure it is a good headphone, if you want to pair it the creative titanium HD or the asus essence ST/X

    plugging the heaset directly into PC, and checking out the sound quality wont be a bad idea.
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