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Thread Starter 
I've been looking to purchase a new sound card for some time.
  • It will be used for 80% gaming and 20% music.
  • All of the games I play are new - such as BF3, Dota 2, Skyrim, MMO's, etc. I doubt EAX will be necessary.
  • Price range is up to $200.
  • I have Sennhesier HD555's (no amp)

I was looking at the HT Omega Claro, the Asus Essence STX, and the Creative Titanium HD. I am upgrading from an X-Fi XtremeGamer which has had some problems with drivers and sound popping/crackling/distortion.

I understand that the X-Fi cards are considered the "best" for gaming due to CMSS3D (as well as EAX on older games). However, I'm willing to take a minor hit in sound positioning if I'll get better quality or slightly better soundstages/audio from the Claro or STX. I've always had issues with Creative cards in the past, but I'm of course willing to look past my own issues if they have been resolved with the HD.

What are everyone's thoughts?