I play competitive Bf3 and I'm trying to get better positional audio. I have Audio Technica AD700s and currently an ASUS Xonar DS.
From what I've read before, Creative cards are generally better for gaming, correct?
My budget is realistically about $100-$130 (the cost of a Titanium HD) if I save up but I don't really want to spend that much if it has no benefit over a Sound Blaster Z ($89 or $109? - on that note is there a difference between these other than the looks and accessories? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Productcompare.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100006519%2050001137%2040000057&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&ActiveSearchResult=True&CompareItemList=57|29-102-048^29-102-048-TS%2C29-102-054^29-102-054-03%23%2C29-102-049^29-102-049-TS&percm=29-102-048%3A%24%24%24%2429%24%24%24%3B29-102-054%3A%24%24%24%2429%24%24%24%3B29-102-049%3A%24%24%24%2429%24%24%24%3B29-102-050%3A%24%24%24%2429%24%24%24)
I would also like to hear what your suggestion would be if I had $200 though. I might be able to get an open box/refurb Essence STX from Newegg for $150 if that would be better.
I know people usually say an amp isn't need for AD700s, but I'm having slight problems with volume, would an amp(amped sound card) fix this? There's no difference in volume from about 75% to 100%, and it's just barely loud enough for music at those volumes. And at high volumes, the volume level fluctuates, like sounds that are supposed to be louder aren't. This indicates to me that my sound card can't drive them properly, but I don't know much about it so maybe I'm wrong...
Somebody on another forum suggested a fiio e10 but didn't say why he suggests that over a PCI-e sound card, is there any validity to that?