How to get decent sound from a laptop

I recently acquired a new Dell laptop and would like to be able to play music from my NAS and from Tidal through it while working in my ‘study’ which is about 12 x 12 foot. I don’t want to use headphones nor do I want to spend more than about £300-£400. I have received suggestions for various combinations of active speakers to be used either with and without a small DAC (like the Ifi Zen). The options are numerous so I thought I would see what advice I’d get from this forum.

I trust this is the right place for this thread? Perhaps it’s more about streaming so would fit better there?

Audioquest dragonfly black (usb dac) £89
Cambridge audio axa25 amp £219
Wharfedale diamond 9 speakers £59
If happy with 2nd hand then I’d look for a different amp for less £
Plenty of nad 3020 or arcam alpha 7 on eBay, for example.

Thanks for your interesting suggestions. I don’t really want to buy an amp, but the speakers are so cheap that it might work out ok overall. My first speakers were Wharfedale Dentons that I bought in the late 60s!

How about a pre-owned Muso-QB but then you would not need the laptop so I do not think I answered the question?

I just found something you could buy online that was in stock and “budget”. There are many many amps on eBay for £50 so this can be done super cheaply. The audioquest and speakers are so cheap you might as well buy new, though I think you could find the dragonfly black a bit cheaper 2nd hand.

Audioengine A2(+) combined with Audioengine W3 is something I can recommend from experience (I have the W3 and A2. Current model is A2+, same but with a built-in DAC).

The W3 can of course be used with any other active speaker that strikes your fancy.

I already own a Muso 2 in another room, but i seldom use it. I guess I could move it into my study, although more likely I will sell it.

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll take a look.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.