[Edit] Dang I just realized this should have went to the amp subsection. My bad guys.
Hey guys, I know some of you may say that this has been discussed already, but there are a few finer points that I want to hammer out which I haven't found an answer to.
I have already decided on the Beyer DT880's (250), but the next biggest issue has to do with finding a cost effective driving solution that will still power these buckets. To be more precise, I am looking to have a Virtual Surround setup going as follows: computer > ??? > DT880. So far, virtual surround branches off into two categories, the Dolby Headphone and the CMSS-3D. I have read that there are issues with 6 o'clock sound perception (can't hear whats behind you) with the 880's and Dolby Headphone, so I'm hesitant to look into the STX series sound cards. If anyone has any info on this particular issue, any input would be appreciated.
On the other end of the spectrum we have the Sound Blaster X-Fi series of sound cards. These don't really come with any built-in amplification so the next logical step would be to get an external amp that enters the sequence like this: X-Fi > Amp > 880's. The big question here is, would this build: X-Fi > E17 Alpen > 880's be enough to drive the phones, or would you suggest X-Fi > Asgard > 880? The second issue with this setup is that I have heard people complaining that having an amp in between the sound card and the phones eliminated the virtual surround effect, and I'm wondering if anyone here knows if it is actually true.
TL;DR: Which virtual surround is better for DT880's, the Dolby Headphone or CMSS-3D? If one or the other, what combination of sound card + amp would be the best for under $350? Bonus points for the setup being mobile (ie, small and USB instead of PCIE).
Thanks in advance for the help guys
Edited by Zasteba - 9/22/12 at 6:32pm