I'm a confessed total beginner to this world of high audio definition and as a natural consequence also new to this forum. Great site, congratulations.
So far my listening experience is mostly ipod + sennheiser hd 595. With time and ear training I will probably improve this gear but it's not crucial for me so far. What I want to definitely improve now is my loudspeakers setup. As a matter of fact I don't own now loudspeakers... I hope you could guide me in finding the right setting for me.
So since a few days ago little I knew about dacs or amps my first idea was just to buy some relative, for me, good loudspeakers system like the 'harman kardon soundsticks III' and connect them to my laptop. Now after knowing more I doubt this is a good idea. I believe this system doesn't have any dac, only an amp, which would mean that it would use the crappy soundboard of my laptop. Soon I expect to buy a new mac book pro but I wonder whether it's better buying an (inexpensive) external dac & amp and then some bookshelf speakers + subwoofer.
So with a budget of 300-400 $ which setting would you recommend me? I prefer investing now more in the dac & amp (I prefer them together but I don't know how this affects the overall quality), and the subwoofer is not vital if it makes it too difficult for my budget. I must say my ultimate ideal solution would be something like the gadget jude presented in the head-fi tv ep 03 cypher labs algorhythm solo + amp, meaning, a dac& system that could work both as a desktop (with 2.1 channels) and portable system (headphones) but I don't know whether this is even possible right now. In any case I'm preferably looking for small devices including small loudspeakers.
Also, since I was before used to buy always a bundled 2.1 system for a pc, now that I see that for dac/receivers the customary thing is to buy separately the loudspeakers and the subwoofer, how does go one in choosing a good match of these and the proper receiver?
Is by the way the same a receiver and a dac??
What do you think of the Audioengine A2 Speakers? I may get them for a very good deal. Would be even necessary buying a sub or even dac with these? I'm reading this super positive review now: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-9946736-47.html Although USB entrance wouldn't harm.
Many questions... so many thanks... :)
Edited by jmcejuela - 5/5/11 at 1:27pm