Newbie needs help - desk gear for powered monitors + headphones


So I’m very much new to this and I’m looking for some assistance.

When I’m chilling I spend almost all my time at home at my computer desk, not so much in the living room or anywhere else and I’m looking into a setup for listening to music, playing neat games with alot of sound (i.e. speakers), playing with friends where headphones and microphone is needed so.

I currently have a pair of creative gigaworks t20 (, a FiiO Q1 MK2 and a pair of sennheiser hd 599 but I’m looking to get a Edifier T5 subwoofer and a pair of decent powered monitors.

I’ve been looking at the topping mx3 cuz that seems to tick my boxes, it’s a good enough headphone amp and you can also send signal to speakers and subwoofer but does it work for powered monitors and an active subwoofer? I run my current speakers either through the headphone out or line out on the FiiO so headphone out works for powered monitors it seems but that wouldn’t work if you add on an active subwoofer would it?

As I play guitar and piano and trying to get better at singing as well I’ve been looking at a mackie big knob as well but would that work with an active woofer? Can you like piggyback it onto the LR RCA channels.

I’m completely lost but I think I’ve explained what I’m after, what kind of gear do I need? Should I get multiple items and give up on the topping mx3 single unit does everything solution or should I give up on powered monitors or a subwoofer or what the heck should I be looking at.

The only thing I know I want is a single digital audio device on my computer and the ability to easily switch between a powered 2.1 solution like the edifier s350db and headphones.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

So, what type of music are you listening to and what type of games do you play? Also what would be your budget for each item?

I’d like to start off modestly in the very budget section but have some room to grow.

I listen to most things from classical to black metal to baroque black metal triphop grindcore (Igorrr, look them up :smiley: ) to classic rock to hip-hop to EDM to symphonic metal to soundtracks. Everything that isn’t mass-produced top 20 nonsense.

I play everything from RTS, MOBAs, FPS, bombastic action games a la uncharted, platformers and everything in between.

Everything in audio gear that isn’t speakers confuse me tho.

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You could get an interface like a mackie big knob or something a bit less like a focusrite scarlett solo, that would work just fine. For the speakers, perhaps some used jbl 305p mk2 perhaps (and add a sub down the line).

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So, hypothetically, with the scarlett solo how would you go about adding an active subwoofer to that as it only has L and R line out?

I have been looking at all kinds of powered speakers but those JBLs look kinda neat and cheap.

Was also planning on getting some Sennheiser HD600 or HD660, those wouldn’t be too hard to drive with the scarlett solo?

So what I would do is that you would split the pre out of the interface since you are already using that for volume control to the sub and then to the speakers.

The jbl are very solid for the price, hard to go wrong with them imo. Neutral, accurate and enjoyable

Hmmm, well that might complicate things, then imo the big knob would make more sense or perhaps an audient id4

Here’s kinda where you lose me. Split the pre out? So on line out L plug in a Male RCA that terminates into 2 female RCA and same for right channel?

Yes, you will be controlling the volume if your speakers in this way, so the sub can connect the same

So I could possibly do:
Computer -> Mackie Big Knob -> Line out L to JBL 305P left + subwoofer left and Line out R to JBL 305P right + subwoofer right, headphones plugged into headphone out?

Could also replace the big knob with something more basic/not a recording interface like the micca origen g2 or SMSL M3 and it would still be controllable and switchable, yes?

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You could get a g2 or something like that (or just use your q1mk2), the fiio k5 pro is also a solid pick for this too

And go from 3.5 mm line out to 2x RCA and from each RCA go to 2 RCA for speaker + subwoofer. (so in total 1 3.5mm -> 2x RCA -> 4x RCA -> speaker left, woofer left, speaker right, woofer right)


That sounds correct to me. For the jbl you will want to grab some 1/4 inch to rca adapters to use it with the cables

Here is what you would need for the q1mk2

You would then need 3 pairs of rca cables, one for each speaker and one for the sub.

Then for the speakers you would want these

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You’re god damn fantastic. Thank you so much for the help, you’ve made this much easier to understand.

This isn’t the most simple setup to run them like this, but it should work just fine

Last question then, what in your mind would be a simple setup for this (with the JBL 305Ps [with subwoofer coming at a later date if needed/desired] and headphones) that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg?

Most likely the big knob imo, you would just need the big knob, a pair of 1/4 inch splitters like these

And then a pair of these for the monitors

And then a pair of these cables for the sub

Plan made, get some cables and a pair of JBL 305P first, run them with cable tree thru the q1 mk2. When budget allows get a big knob then when budget allows get sub, then get hd600s. :+1:

They do have a jbl matching sub that wouldn’t require as much messing with as you wouldn’t need to split