Can I connect a DAC to powered studio monitors to increase the sound quality? Will I start a fire if I try to connect the two? Am I better off getting a soundcard? So many questions and I've had trouble getting any straight, informative, answers. Please help.
A DAC provides a line-out signal. Powered speakers take a line-in signal. They should be compatible, but you could post the make and model of both and we could take a look.
The speakers are alesis 5 elevate active studio monitors. Also, after reading up a bit more I decided I'd go for an external sound card (sound blasterx G5) because it seems to be a better option for me. It seems to be, fundamentally, the same thing as a DAC, but this one is geared more towards gaming audio. What do you think?
whether you want a soundcard or dac depends on your needs and preferences honestly.
Well, I'm trying as good audio out of my pc as, oddly enough, my xbox 360 has. It sounds as good as my pc looks, especially with the speakers i'm using. I'm just trying to get the same audio quality/depth out of my pc, so I was looking into external sound cards (soundblasterx G5 to be exact). I just haven't been too clear on how these devices work, especially in the realm of gaming audio, so thanks for the info.
any mid level soundcard should be about equivalent to the xbox in terms of audio quality i would believe. i know the xonar dx or creative z internals would be great. i dont know a whole heck of alot about the g5 as i think its a newer model but some of the externals from creative or asus are decent.
a dedicated dac is going to sound better than a soundcard but its also more limited (to stereo only output, no inputs) which is why i said it depends on what you want in a product. honestly given that you said you have powered speakers and did not list any other devices for input i'd say a dedicated dac only like the modi might be your best choice if quality is important. be aware that dac lack amps so if you ever wanted to use headphones with it you would need an amp. my second choice would be the xonar dx internal as it has the same dac as the $200+ stx but lacks the powerful amplifier.
Thank you so much for the info. I've ended up going with the G5 because I found it for a serious discount, plus I'd like to have the option to go 7.1 at some point, which the G5 accommodates (through headphones)