I'm looking to buy some speakers that will be used for Music/Movies/Gaming at about 80/15/5. I've done a lot of looking and so far I think my top two options are JBL LSR305 and Behringer B3030a, with the latter representing the upper end of my price range.
My first question is simply connectivity. What would the best way to connect my laptop to the speakers? The are both active and receive balanced input.
The behringer website recommends running usb through a behringer uca222, but I don't just want to jump on that because to me, that just looks like they're trying to upsell however, if it is a good path to follow, or if there's another similar produt with better value, I'd like to hear about it. 1 big reason I bought this laptop is because of the great onboard sound, so I'm not necessarily looking for a DAC. On another note, I'd like the ability to plug in my (or somebody else's) phone into the speakers. The vast majority of the time they will be plugged into the laptop, so this is a feature I can live without, but it would be a bonus.
So yeah, I'm wondering about what the best way to set these up would be. Also, what would happen in the following scenarios
1) Run a stereo->mono cable from a headphone jack into the speakers a) without a DI box , and b) with a DI box
2) Use unbalanced cables to plug into the speakers' balanced inputs.
These speakers will be used mostly in medium sized rooms with carpetting - not in a studio.
They will be my only standalone speakers. The only other devices I could listen through are headphones (AKG K240s, Hifiman RE-400s) and the laptop's onboard speakers.
I will probably be listening at a distance of 4-8 feet.