First of all I would like to say hi! I have been lurking this forum on and off for a couple of years, and have lurked it solid for this past week :)
I have recently built myself a fairly high spec PC. Primarily the PC will be used for gaming and I had initially put an Asus Xonar Phoebus Solo PCI-e card in it. However I was getting terrible interference problems that I simply could not fix (particularly on the mic input).
So it is boxed up and in the process of being returned and I am now looking for an external desktop solution.
My current headphones are Qpad QH-90's with detachable mic boom and some Sennheiser HD-555's. The issue I have found is that once outside of the garden variety of desktop interfaces (Creative, Asus etc) there seems to be no products that cater for 3.5mm TRS stereo mic input. All 3.5mm inputs appear to be for line level inputs. I have spent this last week searching high and low and the only product I found was the Audiotrak Prodigy Cube which is probably not worth having imported to the UK.
One of the most important uses for the setup will be for communicating in a program called Mumble as I play a team game that requires a lot of communication, hence why I am using the QH-90's. I don't have a massive budget though, and I am looking at around £200-£300 for the interface, mic and all necessary connecting accessories and cables.
After hitting a brick wall I decided I really didn't want use any of my PC's on-board sound and I fancy something a little better than your average sound blaster set up. So I set about looking for a desktop solution with separate desktop mic. Essentially I am after something that can use a mic, power headphones and also be used with monitors a bit further down the line when I can afford some (my current speakers are Creative i-trigue L3500 2.1 connected via a single 3.5mm plug which the MicroBook can support).
So the current set up I am considering is:
Motu MicroBook II USB interface
T-bone SC450 mic
T-bone table top mic stand
I was also considering a Scarlett 2i4 instead of the MicroBook, but I am using a Z87 motherboard and I have read there are issues between the two. If anyone can comment on this it would be helpful.
I would appreciate any input. It may be my chosen route/setup idea is not brilliant to I am open to suggestions.
Further down the line I want to invest in some desktop monitors, so whatever the main interface is, it needs to support output for monitors. Not sure if I should get passive or active yet as I still don't really understand how audio systems work. So again I am open to suggestions. As with the rest of the kit I probably wont have a massive budget for the monitors. I am guessing around £200 for the pair. I could maybe get a little more together if the difference in quality justified it, but having already spent near to £2.5k on the PC, I am trying to keep costs down.
I'm not sure if my PC specs are relevant but it is an i7 4770k on an Asus Z87 motherboard, 16GB RAM, R9 290GPU and a 256GB SSD running Windows 7 64 Bit.