I have a pair of M-Audio AV-40's that, albeit not great, do the job fine for the moment. I also have a pair of AKG K550's that I'm pleased with, however I'll be picking up a few other pairs to compare in the future, none of which will be hard to drive, I hope. I'll probably upgrade the M-Audio's later on this year, ideally to more powered speakers to keep things simple.
I'm looking for a small, but not necessarily portable, desktop DAC and headphone amplifier that can also run a line-out and 'buffer' the sound of the speakers so that I can bypass my computer's hardware and software altogether and simply use it as a media player. I also would like a 'mute' function where, upon plugging in the headphones, the speakers are bypassed.
Budget: £300/€350/$400 (willing to increase if necessary)
Tube or SS: No preference
Sound: Immersion, depth, detail, fun
USB or wall power: Would prefer wall
Any suggestions or questions?