So I'm getting an HD598 and am thinking I need a soundcard or amplifier to get the most out of it (my motherboard is an Asus Maximum VI HERO). After some research, it seems like the three preferred methods for getting the most out of this headset are the Creative ZxR, Asus Xonar STX, and FiiO E10. As I've been using a very bad headset for very many years with no amplifier or soundcard to speak of, I feel like I don't qualify for making any real decision between the three choices. I intend to use the headphones mostly for gaming and music in equal parts, with some home theater thrown in. Knowing this, what would my best option be (not necessarily of the three if you have a better suggestion)?
As a side note, I'd like to use virtual surround for gaming sometimes, which makes me lean away from external devices like the FiiO E10. Also, I'd rather not spend more than $200, and less is better. I'll list the prices for my area below:
Creative ZxR: $185
Asus Xonar STX: $190
FiiO E10: $75
Edit: I also intend to use this on my MP3 player and mobile phone, so if a portable amp or something is necessary for that, let me know :). I've mostly read that it isn't necessary, but there's some mixed responses...
Edited by Ryan00 - 2/5/14 at 10:20pm