Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Budget PC Audio Setup ($300-400) + Newbie Wiring
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Budget PC Audio Setup ($300-400) + Newbie Wiring

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

Hey everyone!

 

I recently bought a new pricey PC and wanted to put the cherry on top with a solid audio setup. Please note, I've never owned or used any sort of quality speakers, headphones, amps/DACs so $300-$400 will let me notice a massive boost in quality.

 

Firstly, the setup will be used for listening to a wide variety of music as well as playing games. I'd like to get into music production eventually too. I require a set of speakers, quality headphones, a DAC, headphone amp (combined with the DAC?), speaker amp as well as any cables/adapters I'll need to make this work.

 

Some notes on each of the parts: (prices approximate)

 

  • Speakers - aiming to spend about $70 here. Need to be able to sit on a desk top, my bedroom isn't massive so I don't need overwhelming sound. I'd also like the capability of plugging in my iPhone to them (wirelessly, if possible!). I've seen a few threads recommending Dayton B652s.
  • Headphones - approx $125 or so. Main points of importance are comfortability, durability and soundstage (games). I have a pretty big head - pardon the pun - if that changes anything! :P Since I will be using them for a range of purposes, I'd like great overall performance across the board; from heavy bass in EDM, explosions in video games to high pitched synths and sound effects etc. From my research, I think I'll go with the M50s or 700X/900X - if I can get them cheap!
  • DAC - could be combined with headphone amp I guess. Really struggling here - all the recommendation threads I see list ones for well over $1000, I'm aiming to spend like $100 or so haha. A little more if its combined with a hp amp. I have the option of connecting it either via USB or Optical to my motherboard (no coaxial available)
  • Speaker amp - ~$50, the LP 2020A+ seems perfect for me... except it looks very average. Something with a nicer design would be great, otherwise I'll go with the latter.

 

The main problem I'm having is picking parts that have appropriate ports to connect with each other. For example, the Fiio E17 seems like a great DAC/amp combo, but doesn't have RCA out for the LP2020A+. By the way, none of these parts are required to be portable. They'll be sitting on my desk for as long as I use them.

 

EDIT: The headphones will be the primary audio listening device. If I unplug them, I'd love for sound to just start coming through the speakers automatically. Is this possible?

 

So suppose I bought all the following:

 

- Dayton B652s

- M50s

- Fiio E17 DAC/Amp

- LP2020A+

 

Would it all work? Do I need to buy any cables/adapters to connect them? I feel so lost haha!

 

Any advice is appreciated.


Edited by brettymaccc - 7/20/13 at 7:36pm
post #2 of 21

Not sure about the speakers, but it might be worth investing into a O2+ODAC combo and then upgrading  your headphones. They cost $280 I think, but you can get them used. 

post #3 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lin0003 View Post

Not sure about the speakers, but it might be worth investing into a O2+ODAC combo and then upgrading  your headphones. They cost $280 I think, but you can get them used. 

Yeah, that DAC/amp combo came up in my research. Bit too expensive for my budget, though. :c

post #4 of 21

If not, then you are on the right track going with the E17 and the M50s. However, I found the M50s to be really uncomfortable so you might want to change the pads to velour to help that.

post #5 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lin0003 View Post

If not, then you are on the right track going with the E17 and the M50s. However, I found the M50s to be really uncomfortable so you might want to change the pads to velour to help that.

No worries. Hey, you're Aussie too... This .au website is selling 900X's for $139, reckon it's legit?

 

 http://www.eglobaldigitalcameras.com.au/audio-technica-ath-ad900x-open-air-dynamic-headphones.html

post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by brettymaccc View Post

No worries. Hey, you're Aussie too... This .au website is selling 900X's for $139, reckon it's legit?

 

 http://www.eglobaldigitalcameras.com.au/audio-technica-ath-ad900x-open-air-dynamic-headphones.html

They are grey market so it's real but not authorised. The shipping fees are usually atrocious from that website though. 

post #7 of 21
Thread Starter 

Haha alright I'll steer clear. Do I need any adapters or anything if I was to purchase what I posted in the OP?

post #8 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by brettymaccc View Post

Haha alright I'll steer clear. Do I need any adapters or anything if I was to purchase what I posted in the OP?

I think that the E17 comes with a cable to use that goes from the computer to it. Not sure what cables the speaker needs. 

post #9 of 21
Thread Starter 

Ok. Think I'm going to go with A900Xs (splurge a bit) from an E07k; L7 line out to L2020A+ and B652s.

post #10 of 21

God no

 
Please stop and give me a sec to put some things together for you before you buy anything. 

post #11 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

God no

 
Please stop and give me a sec to put some things together for you before you buy anything. 

You have my attention...

post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by brettymaccc View Post

Ok. Think I'm going to go with A900Xs (splurge a bit) from an E07k; L7 line out to L2020A+ and B652s.

As your into gaming, why not get the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z sound card,

comes with a headphone amplifier and CS4398 DAC chip, instead of getting the E07K.

 

The ATH-A900X are nice headphones, I paid $256 for mine.

post #13 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by PurpleAngel View Post

As your into gaming, why not get the Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z sound card,

comes with a headphone amplifier and CS4398 DAC chip, instead of getting the E07K.

I heard that internal sound cards picked up computer noise or something.

 

Also what's the benefits of that card vs the e07k, for example?

post #14 of 21

First off, I just want to respond to the comment above about the sound card thing, because it is somewhat a fair point. 

 

Sound cards would be better for gaming......to a point. I primarily post on overclock.net, and as a gamer and audiophile myself, I have this debate fairly frequently. The thing that puts sound cards a little bit ahead of a dac/amp is the software it comes bundled with. The idea is that this software creates a better sound field for positioning. To me it has never really worked out too well, and it is sort of gimicky. 

 

The consensus between me and several other members is that if you want great positioning, get open headphones that already have a large sound field through natural design rather than fancy software. The AD900x would be a great gaming headphone in this case, but it lack bass. For your music taste, I would recommend something like the DT990 or 880 (depending on price). 

 

(I do also want to not that I game with a jolida tube dac, and a custom tube amp and 2 channel stereo speakers. The more main stream consensus is that I have THE worst setup for gaming because one would think I do not have an big sound field. Unfortunately for that myth, I have an extremely large sound field, and I can kill all sorts of enemies just fine : ) ) 

 

I just saw that you were in australia too. Check and see if you can get the cambridge audio S20s. Those dayton audio speakers are just too harsh on the ears. It is like listening to straight tweeters. 

 

If you could also link a bunch of audio stores, that would be cool too. 


Edited by Tjj226 Angel - 7/20/13 at 9:08pm
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by brettymaccc View Post

I heard that internal sound cards picked up computer noise or something.

 

Also what's the benefits of that card vs the e07k, for example

 

It does pick up noise, and if I had posted a little sooner you would have known the answer to your second question before asking it. 

 

See above for answer. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Computer Audio
Head-Fi.org › Forums › Equipment Forums › Computer Audio › Budget PC Audio Setup ($300-400) + Newbie Wiring