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Moving From Headphones onto Speakers (Computer Audio Advice Needed!)

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

With all the headphone gears I've accumulated over the past years, I've always ended up just using my little JBL Spyros and neglecting my headphones. I never thought about upgrading because I didn't have desk space for proper speakers, but I'm moving soon and I'm looking forward to upgrade my speaker setup and making it my primary audio output. 


I have a Maverick D1 headphone amp/dac, but I'm not sure if I should try and sell it and get a different amp/dac for speakers; however I'm ready to part with it since I barely use them for the purpose of headphones powering.

As for speakers, I've been hearing conflicting things about getting active and passive speakers. I heard actives are great for computers for the desk room and fewer equipment parts, but passive speakers end up having better sound quality.


I was thinking about getting the Audioengine A2s (so about $100-200 for the speakers) and doing whatever I need to get my dac/amp setup well alongside, or maybe the infamous Daytona (or some other passive) /Lepai combo since desk space might not be a very big issue. If it's any help to narrowing choices, I love my treble and that's why the only headphones I'm planning to keep are my grados. Any recommendations on what setups are great bang for the buck?

post #2 of 6

I ended up getting the A2 and not any other speakers, such as passive because i don't want extra components and it cost more in my area (A2s was on sale too). Also, the A2 allows you to add a subwoofer if you want; i ended up buying a sub later on (not the S8). However, imo the A2s are not worth it for full price.

Edited by imeem - 5/6/13 at 1:19pm
post #3 of 6

I will let someone else help you with the DAC part, but regarding the active vs. passive question the reason you are getting conflicting reports is neither is truly better (and of course audio just being a subjective thing). The for case for active speakers (at this price point) really boils down to just not needing to buying separate amp. Which is what makes them a popular choice for computer speakers sense having an amp on your desk is not always possible or appealing. The case for passive is that you easily upgrade either to speakers of the amp down the road. Within your budget range passive may also offer more bang for your buck. 


I have had the Audioengine A2 for five months now and more or less agree with what the previous poster said. The A2's biggest pro is also their biggest con: their size. For there size they sound pretty good. But a 2.75 inch driver can only produce so much bass. And the A2 tries to produce too much sometimes. Which is why you may read conflicting reports with some saying they lack bass and others saying they have too much bass. They are tuned to have a midbass hump to make up for the fact the bass starts dropping off sharply around a 100 Hz. So no deep lows and sometimes boosted midbass can get a little muddy (a lot of that has to due with placement). So my take on the A2 is they do a really good job for their size. However if you have room a larger speaker is probably going to have better sound quality--which is why the passives are probably better bang for your buck at this price. There are other actives under $200 though. Swan makes a few. M-Audio has some studio monitors. Monoprice has some new monitors as well but I have yet to see many reviews. Also if you do think the A2 would be a good fit for you consider looking at Audioengines refurbs as they are $159 with the warranty as new ones. Massdrop also has them new around this price sometimes.

post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 

I'll probably end up getting a passive setup with a t-amp and a schiit modi and make upgrades as I go. Reading up, I probably should drop as much money as I am willing on the speakers itself. 

just checking, how's this t-amp?



I got some points I want to use up, and that seems like a good thing to pickup

post #5 of 6
I've had good experience with the Lepai LP-2020A+ (via Amazon). Looks like that's probably it. Parts Express carries it, too.
post #6 of 6

Ya my PC Audio set up is coming to 2 years with a Lepai TA2020 and some out of production Polk bookies : 24/7 heavy use the amp stays cool and never any issue beerchug.gif Best SQ/$$ purchase i've made for a while

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