Originally Posted by Crazy9000
There is absolutely no reason to buy a sound card, DAC, or reciever if you're using optical out. It's going to put out the exact same signal that your motherboard will over the optical. This is just like saying you need to buy a PCI SATA card instead of using your motherboards SATA ports.
Just get an optical cable from your retailer of choice, then plug straight from on board into the speakers. Nothing else will improve the sound quality.
Unless the speakers have an Optical in then a DAC or some sort is required. How else is the speaker going to get signal? You need something to make it work.
And to the guy who said that a 3.5mm to RCA is the same as a USB DAC, you could not be more wrong! That is on board audio, the exact thing we are trying to move away from, Yes, it will work but it won't sound great, anyone who say's otherwise is most certainly not an audiophile. Now, it is arguable (pending on your opinion) that DAC's, AMP's, proper cable's, ect, ect is snake oil (and lots do). However there are people who cannot stand the lower quality of on board audio.
As I grow even more experience with PC audio(sound cards, ect) I'm learning that External audio solutions are better than in-board(sound cards/on board) for those looking for a HiFi experience.
@OP give me a bit and I'll link some nice mid range DAC's that might do you well... Never heard those speaker's so I cannot recommend these products 100% but they are nice and worth the money.Edited by KhaoticKomputing - 3/15/13 at 6:25pm