I really want to improve sound quality on my current 40 buck laptop audio setup (integrated sound card->headphone out->Logitech X230). As a first step I want to replace my speakers. I've already narrowed my choices on two active monitors that accept unbalanced input, either KRK RP6G3 or JBL LSR305. Owner's manual of the latter one states that it accepts unbalanced input on it's 1/4 jack too. As a total newbie I've already spent few days googling just to increase my headaches from all the information. At this point I know it is not good idea to feed pre-amped headphone output into active monitors. So what do you suggest if I have only this output? Could an external USB HD sound card solve my problems? Creative SOUND BLASTER X-Fi HD card looks like the best bang for the buck. It has line out jacks for active monitor input. Or maybe should I rather, if it even helps, use external DAC on headphone output?
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