Originally Posted by Splonky
If you want to go cheaper, you can also get the Value Line. I think you can get a Sounblaster Live! Value for around $30 if you go to walmart or a local computer store. pretty much if you want a consumer card Sound Blaster is the way to go.
Im using a Soundblaster Live 24bit, it cost me £25, and i have to say for a budget card its pretty good, i had been using on-board sound(evil!!) up until my motherboard melted on me, then i had a prob with the on-board sound on the new motherboard, so i bought the above card.
It supports quite a few speakers (6 i think) has a brillant software package with it, which allows you to record multiple tracks (i.e. backings tracks playing on the comp, guitar playing though the line in etc), it also has a wave editor, media player, Equaliser, effects, noise gate
for recording records, not to mention the huge improvement in quality to imputs like mics (So you can be heard clearly if you play Battlefield 2
So if sound on a budget is needed, its a nice card, i can recommend it, im not saying more money won't get you something far better, but you could do alot worse then this.
As for speakers, i can't comment, im a headphones man