I am in the process of upgrading my computer. I have an Asus Xonar Essence ST sound card. But unfortunately most new motherboards don't have standard PCI connections anymore. Everything is PCI Express. So I'll have to sell the ST and replace it.
Now I was thinking of replacing it with an STX but I am wondering if I have other good options? My main concern is audio quality.
I currently have a pair of Hifiman HE-400 headphones and a pair of bookshelf speakers that I plan to use probably equally with my computer as a source. The speakers aren't great quality but I plan on upgrading those in the near future.
Is there an internal or external DAC / Amp / Sound card that you recommend which will drive the headphones well but will also serve as a great source for speakers?
To get an Asus Xonar Essence STX, I would have to be spending $200 to $240. I could see myself spending more if it was worth it. Certainly no more than $400.
Basically, is there anything on the market that would serve my needs better than an Asus Xonar Essence STX within my price range?
Thanks for your help.