Presonus Eris E8 studio monitors.to
JBL Nanopatch inline volume controlto
External DAC (HDMI passthrough on my monitor)to
AMD or Nvidia graphics card (currently AMD)'modded' via
Equalizer APO for calibrated room correction, using an omnidirectional mic and RoomEQ Wizard.
If you're going to go for rumbling bass over audio quality, then get yourself a huge 2.1, 5.1 or other satellites+sub option. If you actually want your sound to be accurate, then the method above is best. You don't need to do everything I've done, but the minimum and most budget-friendly requirement is a chain that looks like this:
- The largest active (powered) studio monitors your budget permits.
- An inline volume control if your monitors don't have them
- Equalizer APO (it's free) for the room correction - borrow a good quality mic for this if you don't have one.
The lowest set of monitors I would touch for a 2.0 setup is the M-Audio AV42, followed by the Presonus Eris 4.5 if you have a higher budget. Both of these have a pair of advantages; First of all, they're small enough that it doesn't really matter about whether they are rear-ported or front-ported, and second - they both include volume control and headphone pass-through on one of the cabinets.
If your computer is against a wall or worse, if it's in a corner, you need to be careful about what you buy if you have a larger budget. The KRK Rokit 5 and Presonus Eris E5 are front-ported which means they won't be creating resonance waves that bounce off the wall behind and interfere with the sound before it hits your ears. Each speaker has its own amp and although you can get a 3.5mm stereo jack to a pair of 1/4" TRS Y-cable to connect these direct to your motherboard audio, it would be sensible to find an external DAC and inline volume control for EMI noise reduction and convenience, respectively.