I recently have taken my first step into the world of better audio by purchasing a pair of ATH-M50's. I absolutely love them but I have been told many things and have read many things from many different people regarding a sound card to go with them. I've been learning bits here and there about audio and I have mixed feelings towards buying a sound card as a result. Currently I'm using these headphones for gaming and listening to music on my home built PC. I'm using an ASUS P8Z77-V LK motherboard using a Realtek ALC892 chip set.
I've read a sound card isn't worth it, I've read it is worth it, and quite frankly I honestly don't know a enough to make a decision on my own about buying a card. So I was wondering if I could get some help? I've looked at cheap sound cards around 70$ and the praised expensive ones like the Asus Xonar Essence STX and from what I can tell it seems like the Xonar is a bit out of my league. So, in short, I guess what I'm asking is simply is it worth paying the price tag for the Xonar, should I be looking at something cheaper, or not at all?