Okay so I've got a good idea that I'm probably going to buy the Audio Technica ATH-M50's, I want some of the best sound quality possible for gaming/music since that is all I ever do. I'm running a Rampage Extreme IV x79 board which has a build in high grade sound card, but if it's in my best interest for sound I will buy an external sound card/amplifier and the sorts to improve the sound quality as much as possible, I just need help on deciding what would be the best setup for the best quality sound, I have £200 I can push it up a little but I'd prefer to keep it under £200. If you have any questions of my idiocy has kept me from mentioning any other important details please let me know!
The best way to run your ATs would be through an outboard USB digital to analog converter headphone amplifier. Cambridge Audio just came out with the Dagmagic XS that should be in your price range Take a look here:
Thank you for you reply I thought everyone forgot about me, I was going to buy the AudioEngineD1 which would be better or worse?
the nice thing about the m50s is that they can be driven perfectly fine from your onboard sound card, mp3 players, phones and all manner of devices perfectly fine without an amp. with that said though adding an external amp would boost volume and bass by a little bit. personally i dont feel like its a requirement though.
i've owned a pair of m50s for a few years now and i use a asus rampage iii (earlier version of what you have) and have tested them with this and many other devices. typically i use them either amped (from the front of my receiver) or unamped on portable devices and honestly they sound great either way and unless i was comparing them directly i wouldnt be able to tell.
i say save your money and use them with your onboard soundcard (since its really pretty decent). i would only add a soundcard or DAC if you arent happy or if you get static/noise or if you have trouble powering them however i doubt any of that will be an issue!