Desktop as endpoint

I have my Nuc connected to my receiver with HDMI for one zone, an Elac Discovery Z3 for the Kitchen zone and using my desktop for the Bedroom zone.

Looking for suggestions on best or maybe just a better way to get good sound from the PC. Currently have a decent set of Bose desktop speakers connected to the speaker output included with the ASUS P7P55D-E motherboard.

How about an Audioquest Dragonfly Red then plug your speakers in ?

Does 24/96 max but is likely to beat your PC sound card

There are several “USB stick” DACs , Cambridge Audio DAC magic , Audiolab m DAC mini etc

All run to a 3.5 mm out if that suits your speakers

Thanks Mike. So the Dragonfly plugs into the USB port on the PC then my Bose Companion 20 powered speaker plugs into it. Sounds simple enough.

Then Roon output, running on my PC, will see it and give me an option to select it vs the standard PC output?

I’ve read about the Dragonfly but it was usually in reference to Headphone.

When I plug my Dragonfly Red into my work PC (Windows 10), Windows switches the “standard PC output” to the Dragonfly automatically. This is the way I have seen most USB DACs work.

Thanks Steve, my desktop is Windows 7, I’m holding off on 10 until I replace the PC with a laptop. Hopefully it will work the same way.

Asus Xonar Essence STX or EVGA NU internal sound card. Both are better sounding than a Dragonfly. I have and use all three.

But, that won’t help if you move to a laptop. And, if so, then I’d suggest Schiit Modi Multibit or Topping D50s DACs

Which was $185 on Massdrop a couple of days ago (I ordered one).

I started out using a Dragonfly Cobalt plugged into my Dell XPS 15 laptop USB. It works great and sounds great. I’m now using the Dragonfly plugged into a Raspberry Pi 4 with RoPieeeXL I assembled for $74.

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Thanks for the replies and the information. I haven’t had any experience with external Dac’s so this is all new to me. The desktop will be retired in the near future so internal Dac’s would be a short term solution. I like the idea of the small portable Dragonfly Red/Cobalt to start with. Will probably start out with one of those.

If you start with a Dragonfly and decide you don’t want to use your computer, take a look at the Raspberry Pi running RoPieee for $74. It works great as a Roon endpoint.

I’ve got the Dragonfly Cobalt connected on the PC. Sounds just a wee bit better :wink: than it did with the PC internal dac.

Have a question on the device setup for MQA. The device is Renderer only and the device setup in Roon for MQA Capabilities was preset to Renderer Only. Is this the correct setting?. Not sure if that Roon setting is what Roon is doing or what the device should be doing.

I’m pleasantly surprised at the difference this tiny Dac makes with the same speakers on my PC. I thought it sounded ok before, with the internal MB dac, but it was flat, bass heavy, and tiring. This is like having a whole new sound system in the bedroom zone. Signal Path indicator changed from a solid circle to a bright star.

We have 2 similar desktop setups with identical speakers, but my wife’s PC doesn’t have the DAC yet. I can literally do side by side comparisons.