This is my first post to the forum, and of course I am asking for a recommendation :) I should acknowledge that I have been checking this forum for years and have found it very useful in general.
Anyway, here is the question. I do my music listening mostly through my desktop and laptops. I have a Sound Blaster Z sound card, which is equipped with a Maxim MAX97220A headphone amplifier (specs are here http://www.maximintegrated.com/datasheet/index.mvp/id/7138?ver=C&utm_expid=50713806-2) . Of course the circuit design and other variables come into play when it comes to headphone amps, but there is not much information on what the headphone output on this specific card can provide. I have been using this card with my Beyerdynamic DT-990 Pro - 250 Ohms for the last few months and I feel like it is doing a good job driving the DT 990. I also used the DT-990 with Xonar STX and a TASCAM US 2000 sound card, and to my ears none of these cards have difficulty driving these earphones.
So, the question is, will that card be able to drive AKG Q701s properly? I have read a lot that the AKG K/Q 7... series are power hungry headphones. If you think the Maxim amp on the soundcard won't cut the Q701s, can you recommend a budget desktop amp that could reveal the potential of the Q701? I am not interested in DACs because I want to keep the Sound Blaster Z for gaming and entertainment purposes and I don't want to deal with dual sound cards. A lot of music I am listening to is in the FLAC format, so the amp will be used with the Sound Blaster Z in chain.
Thanks in advance!