I'm hoping there's a silver lining to this, because I really like my audio. The laptop is an Asus G75VW, which is a gaming laptop, and my headphones are Shure SRH440's. The USB's on the laptop are all 3.0, if that makes any difference.
So here's my question: Should I just get a cheap, $15 USB-to-3.5mm adapter? There's one from Audio Technica (a trustworthy company, I think) that looks pretty good. OR, should I get a proper external sound card?
My budget is roughly 60 bucks, I don't want to go more expensive than that. As for my audio tastes, I play a lot of games on the laptop, and with just the stock soundcard, things have gone pretty smoothly so far. But I would like a bit more volume, and more punch if that's a possibility. However, I wouldn't want the quality of the music I listen to to suffer. Am I asking too much? At worst, I would like whatever I get to leave the quality of my sound unchanged; at best, I would like it to be at least a little improved, especially with gaming in mind, just not to the point that finer music (from Beethoven/Debussy/Pirates of the Caribbean FLAC songs to Eminem 320kb mp3's, etc) sounds like crap.
I've heard the HifimeDIY Sabre USB DAC is probably the best bang for your buck under 50 dollars, and that the Creative Soundblaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro is a piece of crap. What do you guys think? Should I just stick with the adapter, or should I upgrade the sound while I'm at it?
Edit: Sorry, I wrote this before checking my automated message, you may move it to the Help & Recommendations forum if needed.
Edited by omamder5 - 11/13/13 at 7:20pm