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if i buy the JBL LSR305 for my laptop what do i need to buy more ?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by oopeteroo, Jun 13, 2015.
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  1. oopeteroo
    im planning to buy a pair of JBL LSR305.
    im totally noob in speaker. Does it comes with everything i need to connect it to my laptop ? or what else do i need ?
  2. Roseval
    Your laptop has analog stereo out
    The JBL has XLR balanced in
    One option is a cable 3.5 mm stereo to 2x XLR
    The other is a DAC USB in > XLR out: http://www.head-fi.org/t/700333/usb-dac-with-volume-control-and-xlr-out
  3. PurpleAngel Contributor
    You might consider getting a DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) to go between the laptop and the (wonderful) JBL LSR305s.
    Usually a decent external DAC comes with a better DAC chip then whatever DAC chip is in the laptop.
    Check out the Hifimediy USB DACs, the ones in the $29 to $57 range.
    A 3.5mm (1/8") TRS plug to dual 1/4" mono TS plugs cable ($3.79) will connect the (Hifimediy) USB DAC to the 1/4" jacks on the LSR305s
    The XLR input jack on the LSR305 is a balanced input, which means you would want to use a source (like a DAC) with a balanced output.
    But most home audio and computer audio is connected using an unbalanced connection, which should be fine for you.
  4. oopeteroo
    hmm so the 305 have 1 x XLR and 1 x TRS right ? whats the diff ? which one is preferable ?
    and also will it work if i buy a usb-xlr or usb-trs-cable and connect the usb side straigh to a usb hub ? or is there no such a cable ?
    also i have a unbuild bottlehead crack, if i buy a dac is solution  to use the dac for both bottlehead crack and the jbl 305 ?
  5. PurpleAngel Contributor
    The XLR and 1/4" jacks both provide a balanced input, I'm assuming they are about equal in that feature.
    (and the 1/4" jack also can be used as an unbalanced input)
    USB is digital, XLR is analog, so they can not communicate directly with each other.
    You could say USB is pre-DAC signal and the XLR is post-DAC signal.
    You can use just about any DAC with just about an headphone amplifier (Bottlehead?) or studio monitor (LSR305?) you like.
    You would have to keep swapping cables connections or get an analog switching box, for using the same DAC with both an amplifier and studio monitors.
  6. pigmode
    I may or may not get a dac, so are there any options for direct connection to notebook?
  7. Matte82
    A 1/8" TRS (typical headphone connector) to dual TS 1/4" jacks cable would get the job done. But you'll be using your laptops D/A converter, which may or may not be subpar. You're also using unbalanced connectors, which might allow noise to get into the system.

    A cheap USB audio interface with balanced outs would be a worthwhile investment IMO. Then you can use balanced cables, either TRS or XLR, and probably have a better DAC.

    Fwiw I have a lexicon alpha that I use as my portable interface. It's solid and about $50 on Amazon.
  8. Matte82
    Oh and search monoprice for item number 601045 for the cable I was talking about. I'd share the link but I'm on my phone and it takes you to the mobile site.
  9. oopeteroo
    so i want to connect jbl 305 to my laptop, and also use the bottlehead crack for my headphones for my laptop.
    The thing is i dont want to use the 3.5mm output on my laptop as its in the front.
    I know the bottlehead crack dont need a dac to sound good, but i really need a dac to connect it to my usb hub ?
    Anyone know a solution for me ? buy 2 dacs, one for bottlehad and one for jbl 305 ? is there any cheap dac with 2 outputs ?
    whats the cheapest solution ?
  10. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Hifimediy sells some USB DACs, you might go for one of the ones in the $29-$57 range.
    Or maybe find a used USB Schiit Modi DAC on eBay?
    And get something like this $10 audio switch box, to change between the Bottlehead and the JBLs.
    Monoprice will carry a lot of the cables you might need, for a decent price.
  11. RonaldDumsfeld
    A good rule of thumb is to spend ~20% of your budget on your Interface/DAC. So you are looking around $200 to add to your 305s, headphones and the tube amp you already have.
    That's actually a more than adequate budget. So you can get something decent with transparent conversion, flexible facilities and reliable software. Wide choice too.
    I'll use the Focusrite 2i4 as an example but other brands such as Native Instruments, MOTU and Roland are also excellent value.

    Connect your digital source via USB, connect the active monitors via the balanced outputs 1-2 and control the volume from the front panel, connect the headphone amp using the unbal outputs 3-4, these are fixed level outputs but your device has it's own volume control. You might not think you want the input ADC functionality right now but you will soon find a use for them (BT receiver dongle is very handy, lets you connect your phone or tablet without wires).
    The cool feature about this set up is that the two stereo output pairs (1-2 & 4-4) can be different! Headphone amp with separate control could also be useful either as a spare or for when you want clean, accurate output. Even if you don't use those features at first the unit isn't going to cost you more than hi-fi equivalents. Have fun.
  12. Tablix
    I concur with DR's above post completely,  you cant go wrong for the money IMO.
  13. oopeteroo
    so this is a dac ?:p
  14. RonaldDumsfeld
    Not only is it a DAC. It's a multichannel, balamced DAC. And a multichannel ADC. And a mixer, And a DI box. And a headphone amp. And a channel strip. And a mic pre. And a EQ/Effects. And more.....
    And it's costs little more than a simple stereo hi-fi grade DAC although it does the basic job just as well. If not better. Plus the software is kept up to date.
    If you own or plan to own a pair of active monitors you need one of these. Even if you don't realise it yet. They were designed and have evolved to work together.
  15. oopeteroo

    so can it do the things i want ?:p sorry im pretty new to these things.
    i want to use it to connect both the jbl 305 and bottlehead crack to my pc.
    Does it use as a dac for both bottlehead and jbl 305 ? at the same time or is it like a switch box ?
    and also is there any cheaper model with less functions but same quality ? maybe another brand ?
    im really sorry i should look around  myself but i dont really know what to look for to get the functions i need :p
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