I would like to make my PC system sound a bit better. I've been doing a little reading but I'm still a bit confused and hoping you guys can point me in the right direction. Media-wise, I use my PC for 95% Google Play Music streaming, with the occasional game here and there. I have all of my CD's ripped into iTunes lossless, but I don't listen to them much anymore, as everything I ever want is on Google Play. All of the music I've purchased the last few years has been thru Amazpn mp3.
Right now I just use the onboard audio out into some real crappy speakers. My planned upgrades:
Speakers: AudioEngine A2+ or A5+ (still investigating - just need near-field sound)
Headphones: maybe start with something like ATH-m50x and then HD600 (I think most people want both a closed and open ear version)
All I've really had before are some $30 headphone that I couldn't even tell you the model number.
From what I've read:
1. Xonar STX - good for gaming and theater, can hook both headphones and speakers up to this at the same time
2. Xonar D1 + external amp (Schiit or Little Dot) - good for music - the tube amps intrigue me and I think it'd be neat to have a little tube headphone amp sitting on my desk, but I don't want to make a silly purchase if it doesn't make sense for me.
Are these the choices that make the most sense for me? With option number 2 of the cheaper sound card and tube headphone amp, can I have both speakers and headphones hooked up at the same time? Is the Dolby and other modes in the sound cards these days good?
Thanks in advance for any other suggestions you may have.
Edited by heckofagator - 5/11/14 at 9:45am