New setup, DAC/AMP/Headphone/Speaker help please!

Hi there,

Currently I’m a student who’s been working on his room during lockdown, managed to redo my desk pick up a new PC, TV and a monitor to play games/watch movies. I’m up to the final stage which is audio and I have left this till last as I am not that confident in my abilities.

I have a budget of approx. 1.2k AUD (Approx 850 usd).

I was looking at putting together a system with the following.

2.1 bookshelf speakers (basshead) – primarily used for listening to music, secondary watching movies (approx. 90/10 ratio) – sub not a must but would be nice

Headphones I’m going to use for gaming, both on my PC and Xbox One (I have an external mic I will be using)

Unfortunately, my PC does not have optical out so the plan in my head is to use usb out and then input optical for my Xbox One on the same DAC.

I would like an amp; however this is the part where I get confused so any help would be appreciated. I think separate DAC amps look cool but not a must.

I was looking for a speaker amp with headphone output and sub connection however this is where all my audio knowledge is down the drain.

My plan was:

Edifier s350dbs or s360dbs (also considered SWAN M200MKIII & EDIFIER S2000pro)

With an MX3 DAC

Headphones no clue

Honestly really open to any suggestions powered or unpowered speakers, headphones I’m just really looking to throw together something nice I know my budget isn’t huge but I’m sure I could get more by asking for help or before I go and purchase something that doesn’t work or correctly fulfil my needs.
Have no clue if what I seek is even possible or feasible.

Please help me, much appreciated! Hope you’re all staying safe during this time!


Do think about to buy a older Stereosystem with good Speakers on the aftermarket,connect a Dac on it and enjoy.And so you have a bit more Money for a better Headphone.

Hey mate,

Thanks for your response!

Sounds like a possible option, unfortunately I believe I confuse myself a bit when it comes to that, not sure what kind of speakers to look for, DAC’s I believe I have my head around, but when it comes to amps I’m unsure what I’m looking for/ if I need one depending on DAC amp combos.

Do you have any headphone suggestions?

Sorry for the questions been watching days worth of Z’s videos these past few weeks so I’ve overwhelmed myself

Welcome to the forums!

If you plan on one of the powered speaker options you listed, the MX3 essentially just becomes a headphone amp, as it does not have a line out option. It does offer a lot of functionality for the price, though, and a sub out for a powered sub (no low pass filter, though, so try to find a sub that built in). I used the MX3 for over a year on my desk, and it worked really well for how I used it. If you’re wanting to use the powered speakers, though, something more like a Topping E30/L30 stack might work and allow switching between pre-amp and headphone modes.

For headphones, are you wanting open or closed? Gaming or music focused? What retailers are available for you (based on currency mentioned, I assume you’re in Australia?)