Originally Posted by Red Man
My goal is to run a 5.1 or 7.1 system through the analog on the sound card for music and movies and then use the optical for my headset when gaming or when I don't want to wake anyone, I thought the HT Omega Claro Plus+ would be my best option because of all the features. Along with that I need a sound card that would offer a form of speaker fill to push a stereo source like music from itunes through the 5.1/7.1 setup which my current on-board card cant do. Do you think I should be looking at a cheaper card Aznboy1993?
If that is your case then no. I do not recommend getting a cheaper sound card. However, if you are solely using your sound card to pass the signal to a decoder on a receiver or DAC then yes any sound card that can do DD Live or DTS Live will suffice. But, with analog the digital to analog conversion is done by the DAC on your sound card, so having a better one does make quite a difference. Also on a side note, I would not recommend listening to music in surround (be it 5.1 or 7.1). The artists recorded the songs intentionally to be listened in stereo. The virtualizers on a lot of receivers are lacking and make the music sound "unnatural" but that is just my opinion.