ASUS Xonar Essence STX Headphone Amp Soundcard
Buy Now and Price - Various prices on PriceGrabber
First up is a product from ASUS, known as the Xonar Essence STX. This is a dedicated 'audiophile' card designed to provide the most impressive sound possible from a pair of headphones on a computer system.
Seen above, the product is truly impressive in every way. It uses the finest capacitors and in-house design features to implement a sledge hammer blow to the sound card world.
Unfortunately, I think the only ones remaining are shop stock, or whatever retailers have in inventory. Although it would be a real shame if ASUS had stopped running these off.
Expect to pay around $300 AUS for one of the remaining Essence cards.
Razer Megalodon USB Gaming Headset
Buy Now and Price - $149.99
I recently took a look at one very impressive headset indeed. This one comes from Razor who specialize in gaming gear.
What really makes this headset so special is the way it has been put together and the materials used which are of the highest quality, right down to the packaging.
The performance is also very impressive when listening to just about anything through this headset. It's simply one of the best performers I've tested and combined with the build quality it allows it to be selected here as 'strongest in class'.
The price is not too bad at all for the performance and overall quality, coming in at $150 USD from Newegg.
Sharkoon X-Tatic Digital 5.1 Headset
Buy Now and Price - Unlisted
Continuing on with another headset now, I could not pass the Sharkoon 5.1's by without a mention.
This headset comes with an impressive eight speaker drivers in total, four in each side of the headset to provide gamers with one hell of a surround experience.
Build quality is also good enough for me to recommend this system to serious gamers who want dedicated 5.1 in a headset.
Buy now and the price is going to be an issue for some, coming in at around $250 AUD for the second revision of the product available through Amazon.
Let's look forward now to another year of great audio products!