New PC audio setup - looking for recommendations!

Hello everyone, audio newbie here!
I’m about to complete my next gaming PC build and this is gonna be the first time I dabble in a proper audio setup (coming from a simple HyperX Cloud Stinger and some 10 years old Creative pc speakers), so I’m looking for some recommendations from you guys.
I’ve done some research on reddit, watched some youtubers like Z Reviews and BadSeed Tech, browsed this forum, but the options and info seem daunting.
So, to start off, I mainly use my PC for gaming, music and movies. I play most genres, from competitive FPS (although not at a level where I’m gonna compete at any tournaments), open-world RPG’s, to turn-based and real time strategy. As far as music goes, my genres range from blues/blues-rock and country/americana to bass-heavy doom/sludge metal, mainly streaming Spotify (all guitar-heavy). If I had to rank these in terms of usage time, I’d go music and open-world expositional games first, strategy games second, competitive FPS third and movies last. I only explain these at length because from what I understood browsing this forum, usage matters when choosing headphones.
So, what I think I need is a pair of balanced all-rounders (feel free to correct me on that). I don’t see myself buying different headphones for different uses (for now), I’d like to have a single pair of headphones for all uses.
Now, as far as speakers are concerned, from what I understand, bookshelf speakers are far superior to any so-marketed “pc speakers” such as stuff from Logitech, Creative etc. I was looking at Logitech G560 before doing any research. Yeah, Lightsync is cool, but audio quality is what I’m really after and I can give up RGB for that :stuck_out_tongue:. I don’t know if a subwoofer is required to go with these, or if they provide enough bass themselves. I’d love some recommendations on that department, too.

I’d love it if you guys could provide a DAC (if necessary) and amp to go with your recommendations for speakers and headphones. Side note here, although not a priority right now, it’s possible I’ll bring my turntable from my living room to the gaming desk in the future, so I’d love for the setup to be able to support that, as well.

My budget for the whole setup plus ancillaries is about 1000€. While I’m looking for endgame stuff and could go above that (I’m not at all opposed to paying less, by any means), my endgame is not ultra-audiophile studio-quality, no-compromises sound, it’s daily driver stuff that gives me bang for the buck and doesn’t cross into the territory of diminishing returns on an imaginary graph of budget over sound quality.

Thanks for your time in advance and I’m looking forward to your responses! Feel free to ask me for any more info!


Spontaneously I would now throw the Sennheiser from Massdrop in space as headphones.
A Topping E30 with an Asgard 3 or Lake people G103 S, or the Jds Labs Atom.

Um there is but still what project debut, where is not wrong.also the possibility of connecting a turntable.
And from Ps Audio there is also something where your needs might be met.

As a shelf speakers I would still throw the Elac Debut 6.2 in space.

One thing I can still recommend you as you build the PC to use a seperate Pcie Express Usb card and then connect to the Dac.
To reduce the load on your computer and make a more direct connection.
Another feature would be to connect the Pc and the audio devices separately.
The Pc with a 3 er plug strip in socket A and the audio devices also over a strip to socket B connect to separate there interference and the load a bit.

@Deleeh Thanks for your replay and recommendations!


I’ll check these out, thanks!

Being a newbie, I’m not quite clear what you mean here. As far as the separate pcie card goes, you mean use a separate sound card and not the motherboard (onboard) one, right? If so, would you have any recommendations on what to get exactly?
I’d love a detailed guide on connections if it’s not too much trouble.

Oh yes, if you are using a sound card then a dac is almost not necessary, unless you want to listen to dsd format.
I thought you were using the onboard sound card.
Then it would make more sense to connect a headphone amplifier in case you already have a sound card.
Otherwise if you do go in via onboard then plug in a usb card via pcie and then connect the dac to it via usb.
@MazeFrame ad a link where the card was not bad.
I do not remember what it was called.

I don’t know exactly at Massdrop who is the better the Hd 6xx or the Jubile Hd58xx.
The differences should be minim as I have read.
I think it was the Jubile Hd58xx.
Because the somewhat more powerful in the bass range is.

I just remembered that Sproud would be the right one even if he had a Dac.
Because he can Dsd and you still had the desire to connect a turntable.
On the Ps Audio page I have seen that the Elac debut 6.2 even harmonize perfectly with each other.
Would definitely be the better option because you then have everything in one and would occupy only one outlet instead of 2-3 places.

I tried to follow this thread, but got very lost somewhere in here.


Is actually not difficult.:blush:
He has a new PC or is currently building one.
And now needs a headphone, headphone amplifier and a Dac.
As well as he would remotely connect a turntable and still needs shelf speakers.

I recommended him the Ps Audio Sproud with the Elac debut 6.2 because it would cover exactly the whole on his needs.
The Sennheiser headphones from Massdrop still.
But do not know the difference between the Hd 6 xx and Jubelee Hd58xx exactly.
Then gings still just about whether it would not be better to connect the Dac then via a Pcie card.
Because then but a lot hangs on it.
And has asked for a Pcie Usb card, I do not know which that was where you had suggested to me once.something with Silent?

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@MazeFrame Would love to hear your thoughts on the original post!

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Deleeh dosent speak English and translates his mother language using the Google translator so it’s hard to understand him. But i wanted to say @Sonovil i would highly recommend the Iloud Micro Monitors for ur pc speaker setup. Honestly those are perfect for fitting into a desk where u don’t have much space. Also in terms of sound quality they are addictive, very detailed, hard hitting, quick and super well rounded. There isn’t anything wrong with them I terms of sound and they aren’t crazy expensive as you can find them for 300 new and 220 or so used. Just super worth. For other speakers I feel like their sound is kinda lost when using on a table because of the lack of space in the sides and back but for the ilouds it’s fine. Also imaging on them is pretty impressive


There is one super long guide on gaming headphones on here. While I don’t agree with everything said there, it is the best guide I have seen so far.

Like you said, your use case is more “allrounder” than gaming focused. I would look at 150 to 300€ open back studio headphones, maybe ones that have a slight emphasis on bass to help give some “oompf” to explosions/thunder, etc. in games and movies.

Something like the AKG K-712 (Have these, like them a lot) or Sennheiser HD-560s (no experience with these), maybe Beyerdynamic MMX-300 (again, no experience with them).

Two ways to do this.
Option 1: Dedicated everything. Phono-preamp, switcher/mixer and headphone amp. That switcher would likely also have to act as volume control for your speakers.

Some devices that could be used to do this:

This would leave you with 400 for headphones and speakers, 600€ if you ditched the Preamp.

Option 2: Schiit Jotunheim with Phono-Preamp module. Basically like the PS Sprout 100 @Deleeh mentioned.
With both of these, there is the issue of import tax (IIRC 30% of the shipped value) unless you find them in the EU.

DAC wise, I use my Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 (2nd Gen) as a DAC for music. Not great, better than onboard.
There are a lot of Schiit Modius, Topping E30, etc. users here. I don’t have personal experience with those.
Better ask someone else on this front.

I only recently got myself a pair of non-shit-tier speakers. So take what I say here with a grain of salt.
There are some studio monitors that do great on a desk (that is what they are meant for :wink:) or as bookshelfs.
JBL 305P’s (~240€ the pair) or Yamaha HS 5’s (~300€ the pair)
If you wanted more bookshelf DALI Oberon-series are something to consider.
All the above are active, meaning you don’t need a speaker amp.

If you wanted to get an amplifier, Triangle LN01 or Emotiva Airmotiv B1+. I have the B1+'s fed from an Emotiva A-100 and like them for desk use.

I take you are EU based?

I would also not take a dive in the deep end that is Audiophile power supplies just yet :wink:


Yes, you are right.
When I try it myself ittakes a little bit longer to write.I could probably speak English better if I wasn’t currently still going to school for work or had more contact there.
I use deepl as a translation sometimes it lets me down.
I need to get mkr more used to reading the translated, you’re right.thank you för the hint👍


No problem man, learning languages is hard and time consuming but if you do it little by little it will be worth it


@MazeFrame This is exactly the kind of reply I was looking for, thanks a bunch for the detailed post and recommendations!

What would you say are the pros/cons of the two options you listed? Is interference something I should be worried about?

Yeah, I live in Greece, so the 30% on top of the base value of products that have to be shipped from overseas is pretty accurate.

Does a DAC make that much of a difference in sound quality compared to onboard audio? Do you think it’s something worth investing in? I don’t know if it matters or not, but the motherboard I’m gonna have is the MSI MAG X570 Tomahawk.

Thanks again for the valuable info!

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I just bought a setup with similar requirements as you. Since you are in the EU getting the Asgard 3 will be very difficult unless second hand. I personally went with the Lake People G103S.

As for a DAC I can definitely tell the difference between DAC and no DAC so I would recommend it. The E30 works pretty well with the G103S.

I went with the DT880s for headphones because they had the sound I was looking for.

Hope that helps


@Saltcreek I agree, I’d rather not pay a needless fee when I can get comparable items from the EU.

That’s very helpful, I’ll definitely go for a DAC then.

Did you go for the 32, 250 or 600 ohm version, and why?

@twinkboi While desk space is not really an issue, the small size is appreciated, if it’s accompanied by sound quality. From a limited amount of research I did, your recommendation seems very well-reviewed, thanks! Would you say these are well-suited for use with a separate subwoofer, or is it unnecessary?


Yes, so in principle the Dac does everything better than the onboard.
And the Topping E30 is from the basic functions and a cream piece what is feasible purely from the price.

Sure goes at the end raus hin always better with better power supply, better Matrialien, better circuit ect…

With the E30 you usually get a real good impression of what music is when the amplifier also harmonizes with it.

To count the possibilities again you would have just the Sprout.
Or you go and buy everything seperat.
So headphone amp, Dac, and a stereo amp from the second hand market.
The Denon pma 800ne new is also not wrong with the Elac speakers.


An alternative for speaker and combined phono-preamp would be looking into something like the Klipsch R41PM (I have these) or the R51PM.

You can feed them either optical, USB or BT. Then you have a sub-out, AUX-in and line-in / phono-in (flip switch for line vs phono).

They should be available around the 350-450 range and are quite often on sale. See if you can find them locally or on Amazon if you want to try them out. I’m quite pleased with them after having gone from a pair of XTZ Tune 4, which cost more and sounded worse.

They could be a good fit for your system if you feed them optical from your soundcard, then use the phono-preamp to your turntable.

EDIT: If I have to mention a drawback (or advantage depending on preference) is that they’re horn speakers. So they’re detail cannons and they benefit quite well from sitting on some form of desk stand. I have these stands from Stageek and I found them quite nice for the price Stageek Aluminum Desktop Speaker Stands

Another slight drawback is that they don’t go super deep in the base department. But there’s a nifty EQ setting on it that boosts the low end. So they’re quite pleasant to listen to.

Them being horn speakers does put more emphasis on good placement though, as their sound is a lot more directional and odd reflexes or back walls might cause issues. This is why I suggest a demo before purchase, or a store with good return policy to see if these would fit your setup.


I went with the 600 ohm version because the G103S could power them properly and therefore I should get a bit better sound quality. The only downside to the DT880s is they are a little lacking on the bass. It doesn’t bother mean because most of the music I listen to is not bass heavy and I also have read a pad replacement can improve it.

As for desk space I have found the headphones take up more space than the amp and DAC. They are surprisingly small.


@Ahobaka Thank you for the recommendation! Any speakers I get are gonna be sitting something like 1m in front of me max, so I don’t think good placement is gonna be an issue. However, the R-41PM go for 450 and the R-51PM go for 500 euros in my area, so that’s half my budget blown on speakers alone. So I’m wondering if I could get comparable sound from a cheaper set.

The versatility of that does make them attractive, though

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I’m wondering how the 250 ohms version compares to the 600 ohms one sound quality-wise, mainly because blacks are available only in the 250 ohms version (at least in my area) and I’m a sucker for looks :stuck_out_tongue:

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