I've been looking to replace a pair of horrendous Altec Lansing desktop speakers I've been using (as little as possible) for the past two years. I went ahead and did some research and found the Audioengine A2+'s and bought them a couple days ago off of Amazon. I had seen a lot of comments on their bass and so went ahead and tested them using "Oi-1" by Biosphere and they, for lack of a better word, fluttered. So, I don't know if my pair are defective or if all A2+s have this issue but they're going back and I'm going to take my dad's advice and go for passive bookshelf speakers. Also, as I noticed in reviews the A2+s tended to be a little heavy on the bass and overpowered the lyrics on "Take it Easy" by the Eagles (side note, I know I didn't give these speakers much of a chance to break in having only had them for 4 days but the flutter on the low end is horrible and I just can't imagine it will magically go away). Also, my dad pointed out to me that I might as well go with some larger bookshelf speakers since I have room on my desk.
Anyway, I already have an amp I'm planning to use. It's an old Harmon/Kardon 330c which only has RCA phono inputs and I think has a maximum output of 50 watts. I'm looking to hook it up to my computer either using a 3.5 mm to RCA converter straight from the mobo line out or possibly through a USB DAC if there's a decent one out there that isn't going to cost me too much. I plan to use the setup to listen to music, watch movies, and play the occasional videogame. I listen to a really wide variety of music, including classical, pop, country, R&B, metal, and classic rock. I'm looking to spend around $300.00 for the speakers and, if possible, under $100 for a DAC if I need one.
So far I've been looking at the following speakers:
-- Tannoy Reveal 601P Studio Monitor - $220.00/pair on Amazon
-- Audioengine P4s - $250.00 on Amazon
-- JBL Control 1 - $164.00 on Amazon (I like the small size but wonder if the sound quality will suffer)
-- Klipsch RB-41 II - $299.00 on Amazon
-- Mica MBX42 - $79.99 (I've seen them suggested multiple times on the threads around here)
I'm somewhat leaning towards the Klipsch as I've had several of their in-ear headphones and been satisfied with them (and have no experience with any of the other brands excepting Audioengine) but saw a post here on head-fi that indicated they may not be good nearfield speakers. As far as DACs go I've looked at the Behringer UCA202, the Audioengine D1, and the Hifimediy saber DAC (through I'd prefer RCA outputs). I'm a little wary of Audioengine right now thanks to my experience with the A2+ s but am willing to consider them.