Computer Audio System Upgrade

I am building an office and new computer and was hoping to get some information/recommendations on pulling together a sound system to go along with it.I am currently running with a set of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones and may be getting a pair of speakers (I have a friend recommending the Audioengine A2+ but am open to other ideas in that price range) as a birthday gift to go along with my build. I am basically looking to maximize the use of this equipment and ensure that I am getting all the audio quality I can out of them without having to sell a kidney to do so.

As I understand it, for music and movies played from a computer most people recommend outputting digital audio signals to an external receiver/amplifier or regular "stereo" system rather than using a more computer-specific system. On the other hand, a lot of my use will be geared towards gaming with coms where i will be switching between speakers in solo play and headphones/mic in group content or when the wife needs me to be quiet.

I guess my question boils down to whether i should (a) use some sort of sound-card within the computer, (b) get a computer based external DAC/amplifier that can be used for both headphones and speakers, or (c) use a more traditional home stereo receiver/amplifier/speakers. Also, if anyone has any recommendations on specific equipment (DAC/Amplifiers) I would greatly appreciate whatever direction you can offer.
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  1. MERGED QUESTION
    Question from donimic : "Audio System Upgrade"

    donimic said:
    I am building an office and new computer and was hoping to get some information/recommendations on pulling together a sound system to go along with it.I am currently running with a set of Audio-Technica ATH-M50x headphones and may be getting a pair of speakers (I have a friend recommending the Audioengine A2+ but am open to other ideas in that price range) as a birthday gift to go along with my build. I am basically looking to maximize the use of this equipment and ensure that I am getting all the audio quality I can out of them without having to sell a kidney to do so.

    As I understand it, for music and movies played from a computer most people recommend outputting digital audio signals to an external receiver/amplifier or regular "stereo" system rather than using a more computer-specific system. On the other hand, a lot of my use will be geared towards gaming with coms where i will be switching between speakers in solo play and headphones/mic in group content or when the wife needs me to be quiet.

    I guess my question boils down to whether i should (a) use some sort of sound-card within the computer, (b) get a computer based external DAC/amplifier that can be used for both headphones and speakers, or (c) use a more traditional home stereo receiver/amplifier/speakers. Also, if anyone has any recommendations on specific equipment (DAC/Amplifiers) I would greatly appreciate whatever direction you can offer.
  2. Your $250 budget is not going to allow you the different options you mention unless you go with used gear.
    Start with the best powered speakers in your range and add the DAC later would be my suggestion.
    You might consider these speakers
    https://www.edifier.com/us/en/speakers/bookshelf
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