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Best USB Soundcard + 2.1 Speakers

post #1 of 11
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I do most my work on my Macbook Air, however when I am at home I have a stand for it and then hook it up to my 24" Samsung and run dual monitors. I want a nice soundcard that can plug into my USB 3.0 hub and then attach my speakers to. I have Bose Companion 2.0's right now, but am looking to upgrade to a nice 2.1 system.

Currently I am thinking of the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 THX since I can get them for a good price and I have heard them and love them.
Otherwise I was looking at the M-Audio AV40's as well.

Any other suggestions? Looking for something ~$150 (although buying used is also an option)

Also then I think getting a USB sound card would improve the quality of sound too. What do you guys recommend? I am clueless on this part, so I don't know a price range but I don't need perfection.

I mostly listen to electronic (EDM) music, hip-hop, and some random rock and classical on Pandora when I am studying. As far as gaming goes, I haven't had much time for it lately with school but I will pick it back up this summer.
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post #2 of 11
Schiit modi and the Klipsch speakers.
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post #3 of 11
The Klipschs are great speakers, and can be found readily on ebay for $100. You honestly don't really need a soundcard for them, I've own them in the past and I've ran them off a xonar dg and my mobo sound and there is no difference in sound.

And I would have to disagree with you tjj226, theres not reason to spend $100 on a DAC when your speakers are only worth that much.
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post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by bavman View Post

The Klipschs are great speakers, and can be found readily on ebay for $100. You honestly don't really need a soundcard for them, I've own them in the past and I've ran them off a xonar dg and my mobo sound and there is no difference in sound.

And I would have to disagree with you tjj226, theres not reason to spend $100 on a DAC when your speakers are only worth that much.

That is because you are using a 40 dollar sound card and comparing it with a pretty decent motherboard. Try something a bit more high end.
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post #5 of 11
Well I ended up buying the magni/modi for my current headphones and while there is a nice difference they make, I still feel like the majority of a budget should go towards headphones/speakers because they make the biggest difference.
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post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by bavman View Post

Well I ended up buying the magni/modi for my current headphones and while there is a nice difference they make, I still feel like the majority of a budget should go towards headphones/speakers because they make the biggest difference.

Mmmmm true, but in this case the OP doesn't have any gear at all.

While I agree that the speaker aren't the best, they are at least a good starting platform. I also agree that the modi is overkill. However, I think of it this way. The klipsch speakers have a amp on the sub woofer. It is small and tiny, but it is an amp. That makes an amp on a sound card, or a dedicated amp rather useless (unless you want to talk about preamps, but I don't think that should apply in this conversation). All a sound card is is a amp and dac. It is just fancy and comes with software and control panels.

As you mentioned, the Xonar DG wasn't all that great. Which for the most part is true. There is maybe a 10% difference over on board, and it really depends on what mobo you are using too. But keep in mind that was a 40 dollar sound card. Would a 60 or 70 dollar sound card sound any better? Yes it would, but you are paying for what is now a useless amp.

I find it much more practical to get the best of what you actually can use. Since he can use a dac, why not get a good one? That may sound like a bit of an asinine statement, but if nothing else, I am going to make the assumption that he OP will upgrade in the future. It is almost inevitable. Instead of getting lower end stuff now, and then having to buy new stuff, why not get enough good stuff to make things work now, and then add to it in the future.

If the OP wants headphones, all he has to do is get the magni. If the OP wants better speakers and needs a preamp, get the magni, if the op wants powered monitors, well then he already has the modi.

So you can think of it as over kill now (which is not a bad thing in of itself) and then be prepared for the future.
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Yin&Yang
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300b PP monoblocks Snell J3 NZXT Hue 
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post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey guys I appreciate all the answers so far. I'm not dead set on the Klipsch speakers. If you guys have a better recommendation I'm all ears. Also would it just be better to skip the sound card and put it towards speakers instead? I just figured my MacBook Air doesn't have that great of a sound card
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Macbook Air
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post #8 of 11
If it's a Macbook Air it probably has significantly better sound than most computers' onboard, about on par with relatively cheap USB sound cards (~$30 level).

Spend the money on the actual speakers, if not passives + amp.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Honestly after reading lots about the Klipsch and the M-Audio and a couple others. I think the Klipsch are the ones for me. They will take up less space on my desk and I've heard them before and love em. So thanks for the advice, ill use the money I was going to use on a sound card on some other cool accessories or something.
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Macbook Air
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post #10 of 11
I have the Promedias, and can vouch for their excellence.
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