hi i have audio technica a700 headphone and i love surround sound very much...
my question is can the asus xonar essence stx sound card produce virtual surround sound by software in my audio technica a700 headphone?
if cannot, would you recommend me an external sound card that can change stereo into virtual surround? my budget is limitless
No, you misunderstood; the card natively supports Dolby Headphone for ANY headphone; its enabled via the soundcards driver panel.
That's fair enough, but my original point still stands, this card was designed to give exceptional stereo sound, and adding process detracts from that. If you want a surround card, buy a gaming card rather than a hifi card.
Typically, you need headphones with at least 5-6 speakers/drivers combined between both ear pieces to effectively mimic surround sound. You can find a decent pair of headphones around the $100 range that will actually have multiple speakers.
Where you will run into problems with buying a high end sound card is, you are paying for extra sound processing to be done directly on the card which takes the load of the cpu. When you have USB headphones they emulate the sound virtually using software and putting a heavy load on the cpu. If you then get a high end sound card, it will not have USB ports because the very nature of a USB device "Universal" is it needs software drivers to run it. So you will not be using your sound card to create the sound or it will be working in a reduced capacity because of the lengthy data path.
If you get a high end sound card and you want to be able to use a headset with it you need to get a gaming analog headset like the Razer Tiamat linked below. Analog headsets will have multiple analog audio plug-ins that plug directly into the sound card in place of the speakers (Some high end sound cards have a dongle that allows for analog headsets to be plugged in addition to the external speakers). The Tiamat also needs 1 USB, which it only uses to provide power to the 10 drivers/speakers 5 in each ear piece. Headsets plugged directly into the card is the only real way to produce the true surround sound produced in your sound card. Also if you are really wanting true surround sound you should look at a sound card with on-board EAX, otherwise even the high end sound card is still emulating EAX surround sound through software.
Yes it can. The green analog jack is stereo. The other channels are for your positional speakers. If you only plug your headset into the green audio port you will have stereo. If you want a headset that produces surround sound via the sound card, you need a headset with multiple connectors which would give you the true surround sound.
It also can emulate surround sound through your audio technica a700 headset with only the stereo analog jack, but this is done through software not hardware, and sometimes sounds a little off. Many may think it fine, but if you are a big audiophile, you would not be happy with it because it is not true surround sound.