Sound Cards

Ok, I want to get a sound card, but I don't to spend a whole lot of money on one. Apparently the ASUS Xonar Essential STX is one of the best, but it's a bit (a lot) over budget for me, and I haven't heard much about anything else, other than the new Sound Blaster Z from Creative, but I got really mixed revies on that too. What do you guys reccomend/what have you heard good things about? I am trying to stay uner $100, but if going over a little is going to lead to a much better quality card, then I'd be willing to go over a little bit.

What speakers/headphones do you have? No point in getting a dedicated soundcard if you haven't got descent ones. What sound card to get also depends on what you want to use the card with. For normal consumer equipment something like an Asus Xonar DX is good enough.


I have a pair of Pioneer HPM-100 speakers. I plan on using the card just for listening to music, and when I watch movies and play games too. Nothing too fancy.