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Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap: Please help me deciding on a cheap solution.

Korvei

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Hi everybody.
I'm trying to decide what's the most sensible decision for someone with very little money to spare these last years.
Jump to the end if you value your time. Excuse me for my verbosity.

I have a computer with WIndows 10 and a Gigabyte X570 Aorus Pro motherboard, which means a Realtek ALC1220-VB chip.
I have a pair of headphones I'm happy with, Beyerdynamic DT-770 PRO 250 Ohm.
Then I have a MIDI Keyboard.
I make music, just for my personal enjoyment, using just software synths & samplers.

This is how I've been playing and/or listening to music for some time now.

I know it doesn't sounds superb... but it sounds nice enough to me. I don't push headphone volume too high now and this motherboard drives my headphones surprisingly well, so I'm mostly happy with it.

Now, I've got a pair of Presonus Eris E5 (not XT) quite cheap, 150 euros both. I know they aren't the best speakers/monitors on earth but I can't afford anything moe expensive than that.
Bad news is... connected to my PC from 3.5mm stereo jack line output to speakers' RCA unbalanced input, they hum and hiss and crack and pop and therefore drive me and my tinnitus slightly mad. Is not self-noise. Disconnected from PC they make no audible noise unless you use them as headphones.

So... here comes the balanced inputs problem. Tried a cheap Behringer MICROHD HD400 DI Box, it kills the hum but also kills the music. I'm exaggerating it just for effect, but it does affect sound.

Now, as I don't record external instruments, latency doesn't worry me so I don't really need ASIO drivers.
I looked for a cheap DAC with balanced outputs and found none. None cheap enough to me, I mean... but I did found an audio interface for 50 euros, Presonus AudioBox GO. Balanced outputs, no hiss, no hum, no noise, and also higher headphone volume, etc.
For some reason I can't install ASIO drivers so it will work as a DAC. Looks like a good option for th price, I guess.

On the other hand, I could also connect my PC unbalanced output to speakers' balanced TRS inputs instead of RCA... what surprisingly results in no PC noise. I don't know if I should, though.




So, in short, given these two options to feed the Presonus Eris E5:
  • Presonus AudioBox GO because it provides proper balanced output though it costs me 50 €
  • Motherboard's ALC1220 and connecting unbalanced output to balanced inputs because there's no hum/hiss that way
What do you think would be the more reasonable approach?
If unbalanced-to-balanced is not a problem, does the Presonus sounds better than the ALC1220 so for 50€ still is a good deal or not so much?
 

DVDdoug

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On the other hand, I could also connect my PC unbalanced output to speakers' balanced TRS inputs instead of RCA... what surprisingly results in no PC noise. I don't know if I should, though.
Yes, that's fine!
 
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Korvei

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Yes, that's fine!

Thanks for answering! So no problem from electronics point of view - except not having the advantage of a balanced connection, obviously.


What about this Presonus audio interface vs my PC motherboard ? Any improvement going with the Presonus?
 
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