Help choosing a DAC for laptop
Currently I'm using my desktop PC as my main music source in my setup.
I have a Creative X-fi Titanium HD to Temple Audio Bantam Gold to Audioengine P4s
I'm happy with the sound I'm getting from this setup but would like to add an external DAC/soundcard so that I can connect my Bantam up to my Laptop too. Ideally I'd like an integrated headphone amp although this is certainly not a requirement as I only really use headphones for games.
I would like some recommendations as to what I should be looking at and what budget to get an equal or better sound from my Laptop. I looked at the Creative X-fi HD (USB) version it seems to have a fairly well respected DAC chip the AKM AK4396 albeit not supposedly as good as the one in the Titanium which uses a Burr-Brown PCM1794. I'm a bit unclear what I am getting for my money though the X-Fi HD (USB) comes in at around £85 whilst the Audioengine D1 I also looked at apparently uses the same AKM chip but comes in at nearly twice the price.
I have looked at kit from £85 to £300 plus and am getting more and more confused as to what I should be looking for. Toward the top end of my budget I saw the HRT Streamer II+ which as the big brother of the WhatHifi 5 star rated Streamer II I'm assuming should be pretty damn good has the same burr brown dac as my sound card and has a SNR of 120 yet despite being £300 this is still less than my sound card.
Maybe I'm getting too tied up in the specs and numbers rather than what these things sound like, some help and advice would be much appreciated.