If you still wish to use the surroud in your exsisting Soundblaster, you can get an external amplifier only and use the DAC built in the Soundblaster. That will help safe cost too!
Hope it helps
No need, most older receivers and pre-amps did exactly that, the headphone out was the speaker output but with resistors which is why the AKGs sing with most of them.
First, I can't decide between the Philips Fidelio X2 and the AKG K712. The general consensus that I've found is that the K712 has more detail and better sound stage then the X2, but the X2 has better bass and is considered a better all round headphone. My biggest concern is the apparent difference in sound stage and detail. Can anyone who has tried gaming with both of these provide some input on this?
Second, What would be the best amp/dac combo within a $400-$500 budget for either of these headphones? Since I will be using the headphones exclusively for gaming, surround would seem like a given thing to have, but I've read mixed reviews on stereo vs surround, so I'm still on the fence whether it's worth having or not. Some of the options I'm considering are: Schiit magni, modi, or asgrad 2 with the modi(since the modi has optical input to plug into a sound card). Audio GD 11.32, Sound blaster X7, and the CEntrance DACmini(currently on massdrop for $400).
Gaming is more immersive with X1's vs. Q701's, but the 701 is a bit more of a detail whore so it has the advantage there in the end. The bass goes down deeper and cleaner and tighter on the 701's compared to the X1's. I think they both are pretty versatile - the warmth and dullness of the X1's can be too veiled, and the Q701's can be a tad unmusical on some recordings. The X2 vs K712 are probably the same exact story.
I'd get the Massdrop K7XX and an Audio-GD NFB-15 - a killer gaming setup that's one of the best values on the market with a bit more musicality than my NFB-28/Q701 combo. You could add a soundcard like the Xonar DGX for Dolby -> optical out-> NFB-15 -> K7XX.