I've been noticing that my current setup (laptop and JVC HA-NC100s) are not quite up to snuff and aren't very satisfying when I want to listen to music. While I do not have hundreds of dollars to throw away on headphones at the moment, I do have some questions that, hopefully, someone more knowledgeable will be able to answer for me given my specific monetary constraints.
A little about my equipment at the moment.
I am currently building my first computer in over a decade. My new build does not include a sound card, and the motherboard will either have the Realtek ALC892 or 898. I also came into a Sony STR-DE697 Receiver and a set of speakers (not sure about the brand but they aren't particularly good). I also purchased a Pioneer SW-8 Subwoofer recently. I am also looking to purchase a pair each of the Superlux HD 681 Dynamic Semi-Open Headphones and Panasonic RP-HTF600-S Stereo Headphones.
Now given my current equipment listing, I'm wondering,
a) Should I purchase a dedicated sound card, like the ASUS Xonar DG/DGX/DS? If so, can you explain to me which one and why?
b) If I do not need a dedicated sound card, why do I not need one?
c) In the next 6 months or so, I'll be buying new speakers (not sure what spec, but looking to spend around $200). Keeping that in mind, what is the best way to route my computer audio to my receiver? (no HDMI on receiver)
d) The reason I'm looking for 2 sets of headphones is that I'll be listening to Indian classical music (vocal intense) and some rock/heavy metal etc. I've heard that an pair of open headphones will be better for vocal based music, and closed for the latter. Is that true? Will I be better served by buying just one of the above headphones? Or should I abandon both (around $56) and consider buying 1 that will satisfy both needs?
e) This one is purely for informational purposes only, but what level of sound quality difference will I see if I plug one of those headphones into my receiver vs the Xonar? I apologize if this question is redundant based on answers to the above questions.
Thank you everyone, for taking the time to read my verbose and painfully long post, and a very grateful thank you in advance to everyone that tries to point me in the right direction.