I'm getting the AudioTecnica ATH-A900X Headphones with the Creative Sound Blaster Z soundcard.
I was recommended this soundcard since I honestly don't know much about them. I'v posted enormous essay sized threads about my very specific needs for a gaming headset and finally decided on the A900X's and to just get a seperate mic. Now they are just basic stereo as far as I know but I need very precise surround sound for gaming. I'm specifically looking for 7.1 surround sound for gaming but i'v heard the Creative Sound Blaster Z soundcard only outputs in 5.1. Now are there really any good soundcards out there that can put out real sounding 7.1 surround sound for my A900X's? Is it possible or should I just get a Sound Blaster Z? My price range is $100 and below for a soundcard. I could go higher if needed though.
You are labouring under some false assumptions straight off the bat. 7.1, 5.1 and 2.1 are by definition physical speaker setups, and as such are misleading in terms of gaming headphones. Preferably you would use the term virtual surround. With a good headphone or headset, (preferably open) the surround DSP from your soundcard will give you the sensation of being in a 3D space: 7.1 etc means they are trying to emulate a given number of physical speakers. If I said "19.1 setup" that would be as equally unhelpful. Nameless has a great thread on here where this is discussed at length - anyways.... check out the image below: we know it's a fake, we know it's not tiny, yet our brains say it is what it is. (Sorry if this is a crap example folks).
Dolby Headphone, Creative's CMSS 3D and new SB Pro Studio all work extremely well in stereo - depending on the game and other factors including the quality of the headphones, soundcard etc. Any goon that tries to tell you that a true 7.1 headphone with a load of ittie bittie speakers stuffed into it are having you on. Yes they mimic spatiality very well in some cases, but all else suffers. Maybe one day they will give quality headphones a challenge though.
So yes... I would say you've made an extremely good choice in the AD700 and the Sound Blaster Z - they would complement eachother very well. I assume you've pored over MLE's front page? Myself, I'd probably tilt to the Senn PC360 for the pure utility of having a mic, plus they're not purple. Also they're too expensive for you oops sorry. Maybe wait for the new ATH gaming headset (based on the AD700) if you get the cash for Xmas??? (somebody please send MLE a set).
Further required reading is this post by Benbekr (somebody, somewhere stickie this for the love of gawd): http://www.overclock.net/t/1392877/a-couple-questions-about-cmss-3d-dolby-headphone-and-similar-technologies