I only use headphones, HD 555's. And it's mainly for gaming or movie watching. Mostly gaming. I notice that certain games the sound isn't so high with my onboard sound. Would it make a big difference if only using headphones?
Should I be investing in a small upgrade maybe $20-50 on a sound card, or something better make a big difference? What sound cards would you recommend in situation?
I'm no Expert on sound but I used onboard sound until I decided to put my X-Fi Gamer Pro back in and OMG! It's like a Suzuki vs a Ferrari. My headphones are Sony from a few years back and I can easily tell where footsteps are coming from in games.
I'm not sure which card to recommend but one with a dedicated Headphone Amp is the way to go in your situation. Do you have a max budget?
I don't really know what my budget should be since I never bought a sound card before, and the fact that I only use headphones I don't know if I should have that high of a budget. I guess between $100-200 would be my highest. But I only would consider spending that much if It was a significant difference.
The onboard sound I have is decent. But I feel like I'm not getting the full experience I should be getting for the money I spent on my system.
You don't need a headphone amp with HD 555's. I purchased a Xonar DX under similar circumstances. I love the sound upgrade from onboard. I use ATH-AD700 for music and gaming. You don't need to got any more than ~$100. With a rebate from newegg, you can get it for about $68.