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Any idea how the m9XX compares to the Creative X7 (also on drop). To me it seems that you don't get quite as much for your money with the m9XX.
You're getting fewer features but higher pedigree (quality). Whether you'll hear the difference is up to the quality of your source, music quality and headphones.
If you're a gamer or want to directly power speakers as well, and don't mind all the software requirements, then the Creative X7 is probably for you. If music and top quality sound is your #1 goal then I'd say m9xx.
Is this not a good product for gaming? I will use it for my music mainly. i currently have the corsair sp1000 then plug in my headphones for gaming. Can the m9xx be used for gaming?
Umm, they'll work but they won't let you hear the enemy from spawn and the exact position from which the enemy is shooting from 1000 feet away.
If you're a serious gamer you could take advantage of Scout Mode. Creative has a long history in making top-notch gaming sound cards, this is no exception.
However this is a gaming & movie (5.1 surround sound) sound card with audiophiles in mind (high quality audio components) and also speaker amplifier oh and you can plug your phone into it's USB port to be an external DAC/Amp for that too... It's a Swiss Army Knife for $300 and $400. Compromises have to be made to pack all of these features in such a small and affordable piece of kit.
What headphones are you using? In the end unless you're an incredibly discerning music listener you probably won't hear an advantage with the m9xx.
Yeah they work for gaming just fine but as @TherapistGarfield stated, you lose some features like Scout Mode and additional surround sound capabilities. If music is your priority you're fine getting this and really, not many will be able to tell a difference in audio quality, though the Creative does have a lot of dependency on software that the m9xx does not have.
Right now I'm using the AKG K553 PRO just on my laptop, but I've thought of getting the Fostex Purplehearts.
This amp is probably a bit of overkill for those headphones but will work just fine.
The AKG are 32 Ohm, max input of 200 mW (99 dB SPL/mW).
The Fostex are 25 Ohm, max input of 1,800 mW (94 dB/mW).
As you can see the Fostex can handle MUCH more power than the AKGs and are less efficient so need a bit more power despite having lower impedance.
You can learn more about the principles of power here: http://nwavguy.blogspot.com/2011/09/more-power.html
Surround sound is bad I heard. I heard it from 2 idiots but they acted like they knew something.