Building a 2.1 desktop system

I’m looking for a new 2.1 system that I used on my computer desk. I’m looking to replace my Bose Companion 5. I tried the Edifier S350DB, but it had a hardware issue where it would have high-pitched whine coming from the speakers all the time. The Swan M50W is impossible to find. I’m thinking at this time, I’ll just be better off building a 2.1 system rather than using an all-in-one solution.

I’m looking at going with either a passive, or active solution. The passive solution would be something like this:

Micca RB42 + SMSL AD18 or SA300 + Some powered sub

The active solution would look like:

Swan D100 + miniDSP nanoDIGI + DAC + Some powered sub


  1. Utilize either USB audio or fiber optic source (toslink/spdif), as the only other source on my computer I have is the on-board sound card on my computer, and I’d prefer not to utilize that DAC. I don’t have a coaxial port on my computer.

  2. Control the low-pass crossover between the two without relying on the in-built crossover in the sub woofer. As demonstrated in Zeos’ video on Kanto Sub6/Sub8 this feature is not reliable, thus I’ve included the miniDSP in the mix to handle that and better control where the crossover point is and tune it better with the speakers. One of the questions I have for these amps is if the subwoofer pre-out is low-pass or full range (expecting the sub to filter). If that’s the case I’d like to get a miniDSP to crossover instead in between the amp, and the sub (will volume control still work?).

  3. Volume control, with a remote or knob. The passive solution allows for an amp which can have a knob, and also a remote control. Just a remote control is OK. Honestly the IR remote from the Edifier was pretty nice to have compared to the wired remote that the Swan, and Bose have.

I think the passive solution has more pros since each component can be replaced with a different component, whereas the active solution the amp can’t be replaced. What do you guys think? I’m a bit burnt out on all of this equipment research over the last few days. I’m hoping someone might be able to provide a little guidance.

Topping E30/D10 SMSL SA300 NEUMI CS5 x 2 10in sub.

I decided to go with the passive approach because of the ability to swap components. This is what I’ve got:

Speakers: Micca RB42
Amp: Fosi Audio DA-2120C
Cable: Monoprice 100ft 12AWG Enhanced Loud Oxygen-Free Copper Speaker Wire Cable
Plugs: Monoprice 121821 24k Gold Plated Speaker Banana Plugs, Closed Screw Type

I went with this set up because of the stellar words about the Micca RB42, which so far are spot on. I chose the Fosi Audio because of the input options, the sub out, digital display features, power output, remote, and knob on front. The speaker cables, and plugs are Monoprice, and I’m not well versed in what is good or bad in these so I went with the lowest price that wasn’t too good to be true, from a reputable company, as well as some level of confidence that the cable is not copper clad aluminum (CCA). I don’t really know how to judge cable/connector quality but these seem to work fine for my setup.

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How you like the fosi amp ? Had my eye on it, looks lot like the aiyima amp for lower price.

Yeah, looking at the pictures of the DAC Amplifier - AIYIMA D05, it looks the same. Since the Fosi Audio is a lower price, I’d bet that the Aiyima is a re-badge. I think even the Fosi Audio is a re-brand of Dilvpoetry, or maybe that’s also a re-badge? Zeos has a review of the Dilvpoetry DA-2120C from 2019 (though the title of the video says DA-2021C).

Anyway, I like it over all. It’s not feature rich, with primarily just bass/treble/EQ adjustments. I like the display which shows the important info at a glance. It shows a “volume bar” along the bottom which changes depending on the volume selected. The bar is a little redundant since the volume number is also visible at the same time but it’s still neat to see. It shows the current sample rate as well which is neat to confirm the expected rate. I’ve only used the digital input at this point and it seems to work pretty well without any hiccups so far.

As others have mentioned, the EQ seems a bit weird, where the default is very flat and feels low in volume and “lifeless.” They don’t provide diagrams for the EQ settings so who knows what you get when one of them is selected. All of the EQ settings seem to boost the volume to some degree. There is no harm in selecting an EQ setting that fits the music you’re listening to. I’ve gotten a similar effect by EQing the source, and using flat at the amplifier. If I stick with this method I’ll have to adjust the source volume up to compensate for flat’s lack of volume. With the Micca RB42s sometimes the bass on some of the EQs is a little bit much.

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Good to hear, thanks for the zeos review missed that ep. might pick up a unit. the aiyima model price increase to near $190.

Would be awesome if these dac/amps with sub-out came with a hi-pass filter and DSP, would be happy with just a high pass feature. Basically a reinvented intagrated taking into account form factor.