Originally Posted by nurmal
I'm almost deciding on Xonar Essence coz I don't care for EAX and old games. And I also listen to music and watch some movies on it.
I'm an Xonar fan and Essence STX owner.
But right now at J&R you can get the Creative Titanium HD for $99.
The Titanium HD has slightly better DAC and op-amps then the STX.
You can pair that with a Schiit Magni headphone amplifier, $99 (+shipping & tax).
The Schiit Magni amplifier has a lower impedance (>1-Ohm) then the Essence STX's (10-Ohm) amplifier, the low impedance is a benefit for using low Ohm headphones.
I would also assume they Magni is a least equal to the Essence STX for driving high impedance (600-Ohm) headphones.
The Magni is external, so less chance of electrical noise interfearence from inside the computer case.
Plus you can easily use the Magni any place that has an electrical outlet.