OK so here's where I'm at. I'm considering 2 solutions:
1) HiFimeDIY Sabre USB DAC 2 (External PSU w/headphone amp) paired with powered 2.0 bookshelf speakers.
2) Topping TP30 USB DAC, t-amp & headphone amp combo paired with passive 2.0 bookshelf speakers.
The HiFimeDIY Sabre USB DAC 2 costs £42, leaving ~£110 for a set of powered 2.0 bookshelf speakers. (http://hifimediy.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=87)
The Topping TP30 costs £75, leaving ~£75 for a set of passive 2.0 bookshelf speakers. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Topping-Class-Digital-Amplifier-USB-DAC/dp/B00898T0MY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398514753&sr=8-1&keywords=topping+tp30)
I want to replace my current Logitech X-530 5.1 surround system on my computer with 2.0 bookshelf speakers, and a DAC/amp that can also be used to power ATH-m50 headphones. Could you please offer me some advice?
Budget: £100-150 (I really can't afford much more)
Design: Simple, clean aesthetics, similar to Audio Technical A5+ speakers
I've seen a few active speakers that can be used to play computer audio without a DAC/amp, would you recommend any of these?
M-Audio Av40 speakers, priced at £95 on Amazon. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/M-Audio-Studiophile-Av40-Monitor-Speakers/dp/B000RPT0UE/ref=sr_1_2?s=musical-instruments&ie=UTF8&qid=1398276092&sr=1-2&keywords=M-Audio+AV+40)
Audioengine 2 (A2?) speakers, priced at £165 on Amazon. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Audioengine-multimedia-speakers-Total-2-way/dp/B000VKEFN2)
M-Audio's BX5 D2, priced at £145 on Amazon. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/M-Audio-BX5-D2-Powered-Monitor/dp/B005F3H6Q8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398466822&sr=8-1&keywords=m-audio+bx5+d2)
Fostex PM0.3 speakers are also available for around £90 on eBay.
Would the headphone output of M-Audio Av40s provide higher volume playback on ATH-m50s compared to my computer?
I was dead-set on purchasing active speakers to bypass the need for a DAC/amp, however I could do with an amp to increase the playback volume of my ATH-m50 headphones. I would like the DAC/amp to be small and as basic as possible, i.e. speaker output and headphone output only.
Something like this Lepai TA2020+ DAC/AMP but with a headphone output would be absolutely perfect, then I could purchase a set of passive speaker monitors. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/TA2020-Tripath-Class-T-Amplifier-Supply/dp/B007VMA6OU/ref=sr_1_6?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1398469440&sr=1-6&keywords=desktop+amplifier)
This Schiit Audio 2 IS EXACTLY WHAT I NEED, unfortunately is way out of my price range. (http://schiit.com/products/asgard-2)
This Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi HD looks OK, but it's still a little too expensive. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Creative-Sound-Blaster-X-Fi-Card/dp/B003RRY3WE)
NuForce uDac 3, priced at £145 on Amazon. (http://www.amazon.co.uk/NuForce-NFUDAC3BLK-Nuforce-uDAC3-schwarz/dp/B00FG9MJ6I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1398472455&sr=8-1&keywords=NuForce+uDac+3)
Hopefully that's enough examples to give you an idea of what I'm after.
Thanks again :)
Edited by CraigR1990 - 4/26/14 at 5:20am