Hi all, I am having trouble deciding on what I wish to spend my money on. Basically, I want a set that I will be content with for a few years. I'm looking for a good value-for price. Budget: around 200 euros. But it's variable. I don't want to buy something I will regret later on. So again, it's variable. Also: I think bookshelf speakers make sense for my small room. My desk itself has plenty of space (very big desk). My floor doesn't. Current setup At the moment I have a pc with the MSI Z97S motherboard with Realtek audio. No additional sound card. It provides decent sound I'd say. https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/Z97S-SLI-Krait-Edition.html I also have a cheap sweex 7 channel USB sound card. I mainly use it to use the SPDIF output for my Sony DS6500 wireless headhpones http://www.sweex.com/computer/audio/sound-card-usb-71-550512283 I wish to have bookshelf speakers to be able to play music/watch movie without headhpones on. It is in a pretty small room. I'm not sure if it will be a good investement to buy an additional (quality) DAC. DAC / power amp? I have the option to buy a 2nd hand - Nuforce DIA (DAC+amp, inputs sound from a SPDIF cable, ) Outputs: Line Out (for Subwoofer) connection Speaker Output: Peak power: 30W x 2 (4 Ohm) Output power at 1% THD+N, A-weighted: 24W x 2 (4 Ohm), 18W x 2 (8 Ohm) Picture of the back: https://cnet4.cbsistatic.com/img/5-...c815d19-fdc8-11e2-8c7c-d4ae52e62bcc/Dia_5.jpg - Nuforce Icon HDP (DAC+pre-amp, inputs USB from pc, or SPDIF.) Backside: https://i.ebayimg.com/00/s/MjQ1WDcyNg==/z/xL8AAOSws0JafDPR/$_86.JPG - Nuforce Icon 2 Amplifier (2x24W) All three would cost me around 50 euros each, which would be a fair price I'd say. Idea is if I buy the DIA, i should be set for both the DAC as well as the amplification? I would need to use the sweex USB sound card to output an SPDIF cable to the DIA Questions: - Is 24Watt output enough to power bookshelf speakers? (They go up to 75W max i think usually?) - Would I suffer any notable quality loss if I plug my Sweex 7channel USB to my pc. Use that SPDIF output to plug into the Nuforce DIA. And then have a very nice DAC+integrated amp for only 50 euros? Even more, it has a sub out. Which I could hook up if I miss the base. Bookshelf speakers So basically. If I buy a DAC/Power amp, I would maybe not need powered amps? And perhaps could use them in the future if I ever plan to upgrade? Also with the Nuforce DIA I could hook on a sub if I miss lower tones. Or, if 24Watt is not enough, I would require powered bookshelf speakers but then I would have to make sure I can connect it to my DAC/Amp/PC I live in the Netherlands, so it could be that I can buy some recommended products for cheap, others for premium price. Sound preference I hate it when the bass is overly present, or interferes with other tones. I love being able to pick up individual instruments and details instead of it being mashed together. That said, I'm not an audiophile. I listen to piano music, classic, rock, metal, watch movies, play games.. Basically I'm looking for a balanced, clean sound. I have a VMODA Crossfade headphones (combined with Fiio x3) that i think is too bass heavy. I've had etymotic hf3 in-ears that I loved. Very nice highs. Not so much lows, but they were still there and accurate.