Originally Posted by guytheflyguy
Good Morning fellow Head-Fier's,
As you can see my name is guytheflyguy because my name is Guy and I am pretty fly. Anyways, I recently bought my first pair of "real" headphones, after I lost my of so comfortable Bose OE v1, which are the Audio Technica ATH-M50. While they are no worse than my bose, well technically much less comfortable, I fell I am not using them to full extent. I listen to mainly Justin Bieber and One direction.... Just kidding I listen to some rap, some hip pop and anything with a great beat. I am also soon moving so I decided to also upgrade my speakers which are pioneer satellites from '99 that are connected to a Sony micro "hi-fi" component system. Therefore I want what I buy to improve the sound of the headphones and loudspeakers. I have indefinitely decided to purchase Pioneer Pioneer SP-BS22-LR and will use the LP-2020A+ Lepai Tripath Class-T Hi-Fi Audio Mini Amplifier, which I will connect to probably a usb DAC(?). The point being is there any good cheap DAC's under lets say $100 or should I wait and save up for something better? Is there any parts of the audio chain that I should look into or forgot? Also I can stretch my budget slightly if there is a t-amp/dac combination which has a mini jack output. Thanks for reading, All comment s are appreciated.
There are several ways to go here. *If* you believe this will not grow beyond just wanting to play stereo music from your computer through either speakers or headphones, then your basic plan will work. Connect a USB dac to your PC, then go into a headphone amp that has both a lineout and headphone jacks. Having a switch to go between headphones or lineout would be preferred. Hook a T-Amp to the lineout and you are good to go. A device like the Fiio E10 and a T-Amp are all that you would need.
HOWEVER - TMRaven is right. As soon as you go past the basic scenario of playing music from your PC, then the above setup is going to be inadequate. Let's say you want to watch a movie on your PC and you want surround sound from a 5.1 speaker system. Or, you want to be able to switch between a DirecTV box, a PS4 and your PC without needing to unplug a bunch of wires. Or, you want to stream an HD movie from your PC to a flatscreen TV, but you want the sound to go to your headphone amp and headphones. All of this can be done easily with the right AV receiver, but is a pain in the arse without an AV receiver. It's not so much the sound quality - it's all the connections and flexibility the receiver will provide to you. If you don't think you will want to do any of these things in the near future - then sure - get a Fiio E10 and a T-amp.