Hi there, I am setting up a pretty intense gaming rig, I need a good video card, I use a stereo setup, with headphones for gaming, I need to switch between the two, I heard from a friend that for the best quality music I need an Amp and Soundcard that supports SPDIF, but I can't find any amps does anyone know anything more about this? I was thinking of getting the ASUS ROG Xonar, but I have no exp. in this department. I also want to watch Bluray Movies in 7.1 from my PC (Streaming from Media Centre/Server) so it needs to support this too my headset is a Razer Taimat 7.1, I'm currently using the onboard audio of my Z77 Sabertooth it's ok, but I've heard it can be improved upon alot with an audio card
Just to clarify, you have a 7.1 headset AND a stereo speaker setup?
If so, your only option if a soundcard with both the standard 7.1 output jacks and a headphone amp, and connect the speakers to the headphone port. Not idea, but should work...
I'd recommend the ASUS Xonar Xense here, but the fact you can't get one stand alone makes that a not as attractive option. I've heard mixed reviews on the ASUS Phoebus, so I'm not willing to recommend that yet either. The Auzentech Home Theatre HD will do the job, but you pay extra for the HDMI In/Out you don't need.
Also, the Taimat, like all gaming headsets, will be the weak link in the audio chain.
If you want the best headphone and speaker combo I think the ASUS ROG Xonar is your best bet. You could also go for the older X-FI Fatility Pro. From what i've read, the new Recon3d from Creative is great for gaming but not sure about movies.