So I am looking to upgrade from on board sound in my PC to something better. At the same time I'm also looking for a new set of speakers. My total budget is about $250. I am in India so a lot of products might not be available here or would be priced quite higher than the US price.
What I can do is delay buying the speakers and just focus my budget on upgrading from on board sound.
Now the big problem is what the hell do I buy?! Some people say a USB soundcard but some swear by DAC's and some suggest adding an AMP to the mix. Now let me tell you beforehand I don't know squat about DACs and AMPs or how to operate them. But I am not a noob, I'm quite good at all things computers, so the learning curve won't be much for me.
So if somebody would explain me the purpose and usage of DACs and AMPs and how they are better than USB soundcards or add to them, I would really appreciate it.
In case of USB soundcards I had looked at:
Creative SB X-Fi HD USB
M-Audio Fast Track USB
and for speakers M-Audio AV 40. Both combined come under my budget in Indian Rupee terms.
So please suggest a USB soundcard/DAC/AMP or a combination of, with explanation. My budget is either about $100 or $200-250.
I am currently using Shure SRH440 headphones and will definitely buy speakers now or later.
Thanks in advance.