Originally Posted by Willanhanyard
I have been thinking about getting a Xonar STX for a while now, but I just found one for $199 shipping and tax included. Should I buy it? I will use these with my HD 555s right now, then I will buy some HD 650s in a few monthes. Do you think it's worth the money? I listen to lots of Big Band/Swing type music, some rap/hip hop, some jazz, some alternative, and then a bit of classical. Is there an amp + DAC that I can get for around that price range, that will be better? Thanks.
You clearly want to increase your audio experience and you're willing to drop a lot of money on a dedicated sound card that will only work on a single machine. And later you want to upgrade your headphones to some superior ones, like the 650's. My suggestion to you is that it's time to hit the breaks. You need to weigh your options. You probably should get a DAC/AMP and not a soundcard. This is especially true if you want to be able to listen from several sources, not just that one computer your soundcard is in. Also, think about resale should you outgrow your soundcard, by the time you want to sell it, there's newer options. DAC/AMPs hold more value longer as they're useful for anything, not just a computer. So as you grow your equipment, it's better to not put yourself in a niche with a soundcard if you want to go into more Hi Fi.
So to start, you should see reviews on DAC/AMPs that are in your price range that are going to drive headphones of many varieties.
Massive DAC/AMP Review
- Read this thing. Seriously. It will change everything you think you want if you plan on moving up to 650's.
My suggestion to you is a USB DAC/AMP. Especially one that is portable. This allows you to listen from any source essentially. Both at the computer, and on the go. See the review for which one would drive HD650's well.