Firstly I'm not sure where this post is suppose to go so if its in the wrong place I apologize.
So I've begun to start my dive into better audio and I've chosen my first set of what I would consider "real" headphones. I've chosen to go with the AKG K701's. I've read many reviews and it seems that people either love or hate these headphones due to their ability to pick out extreme detail it seems, which is why I chose them (I'm a gamer first and foremost and these seem to be the way to go.) However, what I cannot decide on it the route to go as far has an amp, amp+dac, or a sound card. I just built a gaming rig and have been itching to throw a sound card in but if I don't need it for what I intend to use it for then why waste money. Since I'm going to be mostly gaming ,(if I want to listen to music I'd get a dedicated pair of headphones for it), I want to be able to pick apart every detail of the game from footsteps to the faintest pin drop. The reason for the sound card would be for the Dolby headphone option to enhance the audio. But before I continue to ramble here are the components:
Schiit Magni (if I just go with an amp and no DAC)
Schiit Lyr (basically made around the K701 and would be willing to spend more if I were to go amp+dac combo)
Schiit Bifrost (again only if I were to go amp+dac. If I'm going to do something I'm going to do it right the first time and not upgrade for a while)
Asus Xonar Essence STX (I've read some reviews saying it can handle the K701's and some say otherwise)
Now here is what I know based on my limited audio knowledge:
It seems pretty much everyone is in agreement that the K701's need an amp to get the most out of them. I really like the Schiit amps from what I've read and their price point etc.
What I don't know:
What would be the best option for gaming. Would the benefit of the sound card be better than just the on board audio out to an amp or an amp and DAC. Or would the sound card not be enough for the K701's and I would go from the sound card to the amp and no DAC (since the sound card has a DAC). If so then would I get the benefit of the sound card using RCA out to the amp since it only has RCA in or do I need to go out from the sound card using digital coaxial or optical to receive the sound card's benefits?
Lots of questions I know but as I stated I don't know much about audio period, I would just like to get the best out of what I want and what I intend to use it for. As I see it these options are possible:
On board audio>Amp (Magni)>K701
On board audio>DAC (Bifrost)>Amp (Lyr)>K701
Sound card>Amp (Magni)>K701
I wouldn't think I need to go sound card>DAC>Amp>K701 since the sound card acts as a DAC. Again, zero knowledge.
In conclusion, I need help. I know this is a long winded request for help with tons of questions but any help is good help. I like to do a lot of research before I buy a product and I like to know the in's and out's, pros and cons, and I'm looking forward to the responses.