I generally favor the X-Fi Titanium HD over most other sound cards on the market wherever gaming is concerned, due to feature set and excellent audio quality. Do note that I have a slight bias toward somewhat older titles, where most of the X-Fi gaming features beyond CMSS-3D Headphone are utilized.
The lack of a proper headphone amp IC is no drawback to me, as it wouldn't drive my Stax setup anyway, and my dynamic cans of choice are sensitive enough to work well out of anything.
Some 7.1 surround tracks are designed with two speakers as height tracks, but they're meant to be positioned only a few feet above the fronts, so... they don't add a strong sense of height. Of course even that is moot point because games still are only designed with the 2D ring configuration in mind. I'm just saying SOME 7.1 setups with SOME movies support SOME height effect. Dolby Pro Logic IIz, right? Anyway, doesn't amount to much.
I think the Ti HD would be on apav's list if it had E9-level amping. The STX basically does. I'm not sure about the Z-series, but it IS supposed to be more powahful. Mad insists that even the low-voltage-required 32 Ohm DT990 requires gobs of current to sound full of body, and apav was getting the 250 ohm version which requires plenty of current AND voltage. Do you know the numbers for the Ti HD's headphone amp section? It may not matter though, as I believe he bought an external amp anyway... so the Titanium HD should be considered.
Hey, let's set up a Super Bowl party! I'll order pizza, we can DVR the commercials, and... Oh. Right. Internet makes me forget geography sometimes XD
To my knowledge, Dolby Pro Logic IIz is actually 9.1, with two added height channels over 7.1. Signal-wise, the height channels are matrixed into two of the existing channels for a 7.1 setup. So far, I know of absolutely no games that utilize it.
I don't have any specs off the top of my head for the Titanium HD's headphone jack; amplifiers were never my strong suit anyway. I'm just concerned about the headphones being able to function at all.
Oh, and here's a heads-up for everyone: Stax SR-207 + SRM-252S! It won't sell cheaply at this rate, though. There's also an SRM-1/Mk2 Pro that I'd like to get my hands on, but I just can't afford it right now...not that I really even need it, but it would really cut down on all the clutter on my desk.