Good compact 2.0 setup (PC, music/some movies, occasional gaming)

B00nie

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You should be fine as the ESS9018Q2C is a decent chip. My dislike for onboard DAC is just a carryover from the old days where noise isolation was a pretty low priority but the newer high end mobo should be fine. I just prefer to take the digital signal and decode it outside the case but that's just a personal preference.
Many onboard sound implementations use galvanic isolation and well known chips in them, they're not the crap they used to be. The speakers are typically the weakest link. If someone is using some plastic soap cup size multimedia speakers, a dac is their least concern. Once you get to the level of, say, Genelec G three or G four, then you might begin to be built-in audio limited.
 

B00nie

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I was just responding to your post that thought I was using a $2000 DAC with cheap speakers. My original respond was recommending the AudioEngine which has a built-in 16/48 DAC to the OP as a slightly more expensive solution than the Monoprice. Of which your respond was "Heh, that's quite an overstatement. This is a nice entry level speaker but not even remotely 'one of the best'. The best ones cost 10-100 times as much as this." If only you remember that he was looking for 6" 2.0 setup.
My respond was to you claiming the Audioengine speakers were 'one of the best powered speakers'. Which is not factual. The Danley labs Studio 2 I posted graphs on is actually a traditional 'powered speaker' i.e. a speaker with a passive crossover and a built-in amp. It does have DSP also but used in a bit unconventinal way.
 

Wiz33

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My respond was to you claiming the Audioengine speakers were 'one of the best powered speakers'. Which is not factual. The Danley labs Studio 2 I posted graphs on is actually a traditional 'powered speaker' i.e. a speaker with a passive crossover and a built-in amp. It does have DSP also but used in a bit unconventinal way.

Unfortunately it does not fit what the OP was asking for while my respond was within context of his requirement. OK, a bit pushing it to trust web reviews but if you do a search for best PC speakers. The AudioEngine is pretty much always on the list:

https://www.ign.com/articles/the-best-desktop-pc-speakers

https://www.techradar.com/news/best-computer-speakers

https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-computer-speakers,review-6355.html

https://www.pcmag.com/picks/the-best-computer-speakers

https://www.soundguys.com/best-computer-speakers-8539/

Claiming that there are other better powered speakers when it has nothing to do with what the OP is asking for doesn't help anyone.
 
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criccio

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lopoetve what happened here lol. You would have been perfectly happy with the $70 speakers I linked as the first response.

Arguing over frequency response graphs? Some uber nerds need to learn to read the room.
 

Wiz33

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Many onboard sound implementations use galvanic isolation and well known chips in them, they're not the crap they used to be. The speakers are typically the weakest link. If someone is using some plastic soap cup size multimedia speakers, a dac is their least concern. Once you get to the level of, say, Genelec G three or G four, then you might begin to be built-in audio limited.

All depends on how old you meant when you say "Used to be". My last mobo was a LGA 1150 ASUS Z97 from 2015 with a Realtec ALC1150 and the audio quality was noticeably improved when I put a TEAC HA-P50 in between even when driving my XBA-A3 IEM or a set of Boston Acoustic MircoMedia speakers in my office at work. There's also a noticeable difference between the same mobo driving a set of Logitech Z680 5.1 system between using the analog out from the mobo vs using the optical/coax digital out from the mobo. Also, the mobo is not the only source of electronic noise in a PC case. You can get interference from the PSU, Cooling fan, any PCI card that you're using.

 
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lopoetve

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lopoetve what happened here lol. You would have been perfectly happy with the $70 speakers I linked as the first response.

Arguing over frequency response graphs? Some uber nerds need to learn to read the room.
That’s what I’m buying 🤣. Then I’ll fiddle with the second question I asked.
 

B00nie

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Unfortunately it does not fit what the OP was asking for while my respond was within context of his requirement. OK, a bit pushing it to trust web reviews but if you do a search for best PC speakers. The AudioEngine is pretty much always on the list:


Claiming that there are other better powered speakers when it has nothing to do with what the OP is asking for doesn't help anyone.
Did you just write that after bringing 2000 dollar DACs to this thread? ROFL!
 

B00nie

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All depends on how old you meant when you say "Used to be". My last mobo was a LGA 1150 ASUS Z97 from 2015 with a Realtec ALC1150 and the audio quality was noticeably improved when I put a TEAC HA-P50 in between even when driving my XBA-A3 IEM or a set of Boston Acoustic MircoMedia speakers in my office at work. There's also a noticeable difference between the same mobo driving a set of Logitech Z680 5.1 system between using the analog out from the mobo vs using the optical/coax digital out from the mobo. Also, the mobo is not the only source of electronic noise in a PC case. You can get interference from the PSU, Cooling fan, any PCI card that you're using.

Differences in gain are enough for most people to think there are perceivable differences but in double blind tests when gains are leveled, most people, audio reviewers included, struggle or fail to find differences between two working DACs (entry level vs high end). I highly doubt that you were able to hear a real improvement using craptastic speakers such as the MicroMedia lol. The differences between DACs are normally so small. Headset? Much more likely though. And it always cracks me when people rant about 120db vs 110db S/N when they listen to sources with around 65db dynamic range (or 90ish on modern cd's) at the average of 85db output volume.
 

Wiz33

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Differences in gain are enough for most people to think there are perceivable differences but in double blind tests when gains are leveled, most people, audio reviewers included, struggle or fail to find differences between two working DACs (entry level vs high end). I highly doubt that you were able to hear a real improvement using craptastic speakers such as the MicroMedia lol. The differences between DACs are normally so small. Headset? Much more likely though. And it always cracks me when people rant about 120db vs 110db S/N when they listen to sources with around 65db dynamic range (or 90ish on modern cd's) at the average of 85db output volume.

That's the point. The clarity, imaging all improved even on crap Micromedia speakers between using the analog 3.5mm out on the mobo vs using the optical out to a mid range standalone DAC and it's not only me as my co-workers notice the difference also. That's why I said noise isolation is not up to par on older mobo/PC and I meant electronic noise. There're also other interference sources within a PC case from the PSU to cooling fans to other cards in the case. Using the Logitech Z680 is another example or doing DAC onboard vs the DAC on the Logitech control box. Also used a cheap Fiio Q1 portable with the same results. So this is not comparing one DAC to another, just that moving the DAC function from the mobo to a standalone unit makes enough difference to be noticed even on crap speakers.
 
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Wiz33

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Did you just write that after bringing 2000 dollar DACs to this thread? ROFL!

Yes, since that reply was directed at you who suggested that good powered speakers need to be 10-100 times more expensive which was not within the context of the OP requested.
 
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