I am an audio newb getting ready to order some AKG Q701 headphones. I intend to use them for gaming and also for watching movies and TV all via the computer. I am trying to get my computer up to snuff so it can take advantage of them. I am interested in virtual surround sound particularly for games like black ops 2 and could really use some guidance.
I have read recommendations for Xonar and Xi-Fi but I don't know which is better for my situation. There are also versions that have built in headphone amps but I don't know if that is sufficient for the Q701's or if I would be better off getting a less expensive sound card and a headphone amp of some kind. My goal is to get out as inexpensively as possible without shooting myself in the foot. I did hear that some flavors of Xonar might not play well with mic's so I will need to be aware of that as I intend to use a mic for voice chat while playing.
I am having trouble quantifying what I actually need and how to determine where the line is between cheap and inexpensive. I don't need to start out at the top of the line, I am happy with acceptable inexpensive performance that can be upgraded later...I just don't want to end up with something not in the right ballpark. For example there is a Xonar DG card on newegg for $27 and a Xonar STX for $190, both support dolby headphone. The STX is obviously superior, but I still lack the info to pick out which features are actually important. That makes it harder to determine what I need to take advantage of the Q701's without getting more than I need. I would love to hear about sound card and amp combos that people are happy with for gaming, any advice is appreciated.