the one built in is more than enough. its one of the best even for external ones. Just make sure you use foobar2000 or similiar software and flac recordings, as the card is revealing for bad sources of music. No, mp3 dont cut it. asus software has 3 settings for headphones, I use the highest for my sennheiser, and I use a low sound setting as the sound truly is high if pushing it. The soundcard is one of my best buys ever.