Heres my problem:
I'm currently using a cheap sennheiser mic + K240 combo into my alc889A onboard soundcard.
The problem is my Mic-in. The sound-card creates a crazy amount of background noise. Not just white noise, there are also lots of spikes in there.
In short, i want to upgrade my audio interface. Due to the reason that i only use headphones, i looked into the xonar essence stx. But apparently it's crap. And does precisely the same my on-board card does: lots of noise on the mic/line in channel. Maybe they fixed that on the STXII. But i was unable to verify that yet.
Should i switch to something external? Basically buy a sound-card with 1xdigital-in + 1xdigital-out. And hook it up to an external headphoneamp/mic amplifier? I don't want to spend a fortune on this, but it should be a good and long lasting solution (which would favor the external solution) plus, the external volume knobs would be a nice feature too.