Speakers, etc, for computer based audio


New member
Jan 10, 2015
I need help on setting up a computer based audio system. This is for my office, and the source will be solely my PC, with a physicial link between the PC and the speakers (or DAC/Amp). No wireless connections, TVs, etc. I listen to all kinds of music , from jazz to alternate, nearly all in FLAC. I would say that I average five to six hours (sometimes substantially more) a day with music playing while I work. The volume will always be at a low level.

The wall against which the speakers will be placed is 163cm wide, whereas the distance from the wall to where I sit is 190cm - could extend to 210cm by moving the desk, but would prefer not to. I do not have a particular budget in mind, but was thinking of around £1,500 - £2,000 (excluding PC ). Would of course be very happy to spend less. I do not have the luxury of trying out the equipment, though I would not consider myself to be overly fussy.

My biggest issue is the speakers, since the listening distance is limited. Which also has me confused whether I should go for passive or active speakers. Above all, quality of the sound is what matters most (at low volumes). This is what I had in mind:

SPEAKERS (passive) - PMC twenty 21, Focal Aria 906, KEF LS50, Spendor SA1 (second hand). I need help due to the limited listineng distance, in the sense that I need suggestions as to suitability (passive seem to be less fussy re placement). Obviously any alternate recommendations would be most welcome. Would also cosider buying used equipment.

SPEAKERS (active) - Genelec M040, Epoz Aktimate Blue. Would need a good DAC to partner the Genelecs.

AMPLIFIER - If I were to decide to go for passive speakers, it will obviously depend on the speakers that I will choose. Again, please suggest combos with speakers.

DAC - again depends on what I go for. Would not mind having a headphone amp/DAC combo, as I do use headphones (elsewhere (Audio Technica ATH M50).



Well-known member
Apr 30, 2012
well then, I would go for actives tbh. Ofc there's good options if you wanna go for passives, and imo an amp with an integrated DAC should be enough, especially if you only need 1 input - the one coming from your PC/laptop. Your budget is quite enough for an awesome system, and the active studio monitor route will give you better value.

1. actives setup: my prefered speakers would be Yamaha HS5 or Adam A5X (the Adams are a bit more detailed, but some might find them just a tad bright - but they're still neutral and awesome; the yammies are a bit fattier sounding, but still neutral and great). To these, you need to add an audio interface or DAC with variable volume pre out - Behringer UCA202 seems to be very well regarded, and considered a bit of a bargain - but if you feel the need to spend more and think you might wanna add more sources, like a turntable etc, then something like the Maverick Audio Tube Magic D1 (with the valve and opamp upgrades) could be worth looking into. All this setup will still be much lower then your budget, and trust me, the Yamaha or Adam are really really awesome sounding speakers.

2. passive setup: you could check out a Quad Vena with Focal Aria 906 or XTZ 93.23 mkII speakers.