I have a home theater setup (2 devices: HTPC and Blu-ray player) and I want to use active speakers (with XLR, TRS, or RCA inputs) in a stereo configuration (and maybe a sub). I'm wondering what people recommend for a DAC with pre-amp.
Must have requirements are:
- At least 1 TOSLINK (optical) input
- At least 1 USB input
- Inputs directly selectable via remote control (without having to loop though all the inputs to get to the one you want). This is often referred to as a "discrete IR code." The unit has to support this even if the remote that comes with the unit doesn't support it. This is important so a universal remote control can be programmed for "watch movie" and the correct audio input gets selected and is never out of sync.
- Volume control via remote control
- Decent sounding (no power supply hum, static noise, etc)
- Quite small (to fit on my fireplace mantel)
I also would like it to be under $600 if possible.
So far most DACs don't come with a remote and the ones that do don't have discrete IR codes for selecting the input (AFAICT).
The one device that nearly meets my requirements is the Emotiva XDA-1 ($250) but after reading through reviews there are a lot of complaints about the audio quality and reliability of the product. Aside from that the XDA-1 is likely too large for me (and oddly half of the space inside the enclosure is empty).
The Matrix Mini-i looks appealing but the remote doesn't have separate input selector buttons. I don't know if any has figured out if the unit itself supports discrete IR codes to change the input. If someone has a Mini-i I could help you to try to figure this out.
Does anyone have any recommendations? How do people use actives speakers in a home theater type setup?