Sound card noob

Hi there I know absolutely nothing about sound cards, I have a desktop and like to listen to music mainly on that with Phillips shp-8500 headphones and was wondering whether a dedicated pci sound card would improve my experience, I'm not interested in 7.1 or any of that because the only speakers I ever connect are 2.1 as I have limited space.

I currently use the motherboard sound card: Gigabyte 880ga-ud3h

It's also my main gaming machine.

And a second question does anyone have any experience with the Enermax Dreambass, a usb soundcard for laptops.

When away from home I listen to most of my music on my laptop and was looking to know whether something like this would also improve my listening experience.

I don't claim to be an audiophile but when I go home and listen to cds on a dedicated cd player deck I can definitely tell the difference to pc/ipod/phone.

Budget: no more than $60 unless you can give me a good reason to go higher ;)

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  1. Best answer
    On your first point, the headphones look high quality enough to justify the purchase of a soundcard. My standard recommendation is the ASUS Xonar D1/DX [PCI/PCI-E] which goes for about $75. If you need to go cheaper, the next best option is the ASUS Xonar DS/DSX [PCI/PCI-E].

    On the second, spec wise, I'd imagine the onboard chipset offers higher quality on your laptop. I know desktop chipsets offer better specs then the Dreambass lists...Don't think its worth a purchase.
  2. Best answer selected by markholland.
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