Feb 19, 2017

DAC/AMP and Speaker Question

New to the audio world here so please correct me if I am wrong. You can use most DAC/AMP combos for headphone and speakers. The AMP component of DAC/AMP does not apply to speaker. It uses RCA cables to connect to bookshelf speakers. If I choose to use a DAC/AMP combo with a speaker, those speaker would need a AMP built into them.
I have a few questions regarding applies to DAC/AMP in general.
1) Does RCA cable lower sound quality to speaker?
2) If you plug in headphone, does it automatically switch the audio output from RCA to headphone jack?
3) Is there a DAC/AMP that can take in two different wired digital source (1 from desktop and 1 from laptop) as well as Bluetooth and is able to freely switch between the 3 sources? If not, would using USB KVM switch work well?
4) How does ~$150-$200 speaker (like the Edifier R200DB) compared to the Sound Blaster X Katana?
I am interested in using a DAC/AMP combo to be used for speaker and headphones for my laptop and desktop. Recommendations for DAC/AMP and speakers combination set would be appreciated. Looking for ~$300 total and something that will not take up a lot of space on desk.

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Only use RCA to speaker is the speaker is active (ie, has an amp built into it). The preferred method for best sound quality is to use a quality Class A, Class A/B, or a HIGH END Class D speaker amp and connect to passive speakers using the traditional speaker wire method. If the DAC has more than one digital input it will allow you switch between them. Speakers in that price range are junk. Emotiva and Chane have some low-end speakers that are probably as good as you can get at that price range (beware though Emotiva amps are bad).

$300 will only buy you bad sound quality. It will certainly be better than a $40 Logitech speaker system, but such a system would be strictly lo-fi.
1) Nope

2) Depends on the particular unit

3) Switches will most probably produce pops and such unwanted sounds even if you assume they work all the time (which they don't)

4) Edifier's are ok

5) I highly recommend O2/ODAC rev B. as DAC and amp and JBL LSR305s for speakers
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