I don't know what your budget is or what sort of sound you are looking for or how many sources but if you are just looking for small maybe a tamp could work. Parts express has a few some up to 50 watts/channel. They have limited inputs though usually one rca in an 1/8 inch in for ipod or some have a usb in for computer audio.they also have inexpensive speakers and subs it is conceivable you could do the whole setup for under $400.
Take a look at the Wyred4sound mINT. This little integrated is too new to find used, but it sounds perfect for you. I am interested in it too, but I am going back and forth between the nova and this. Let me know what you think.
I'm not sure you should give up on powered speakers run off your computer. Definitely good bang for buck, in a small space. I've had swans in my office for some time, and they sound pretty decent, and a friend enjoys his Audioengines. Set up couldn't be simpler, and could easily be done for less than 400.
I stand by my previous powered monitors suggestion, but I did come very close to buying the below, which looks an intriguing desktop amp option. Nuforce also sells bundles with speakers.
If I was starting over today in a small dorm room, I would look at the Jolida fx-10 tube amp along with a pair of less expensive Zu speakers. THis combo might be had for reasonable cost, at least on the audiophile scale especially if the Zus are used or on special and would likely provide quite excellent performance!
Rega Brio R. There's a couple on Agon right now. Or, find a used NAD. Can't go wrong with either. I wouldn't consider a T Amp personally. Remember, you're going to graduate one day.
NAD is always a solid choice.
But the Jolida/Zu combo offers some real eye candy to spice up a dorm room. Unfortunately, the guys will be more impressed than the ladies most likely, but you never know....
Just keep the door locked no matter if you have nice gear in a dorm room.
THose were the days (I am 52 years old with a son heading to college shortly, I hope)....
Linn Classik with the tuner. Great little int amp with cd player also. I have one with some Tukans in my bedroom and it sounds great.
A pair of AudioEngine A-5 powered speakers and an HRT Music Streamer USB DAC would be a mighty fine sounding dorm room system. Use a computer as your source, and you'll be very happy without spending a ton of cash. Happy Listening.
Well, for $200, the little jawbone Jambox is unreal for its size. You just need an iPod - it can connect with a cord or Bluetooth. For a dorm room, it might be perfect.
Get a pair of used Quad 9Ls and run them directly off of your Iphone/Ipod/Ipad/laptop or better yet a used half-decent cd player. Surprisingly good sound for little money. I have them on my computer.
I set up a Roth MC-4 Music Cocoon for my wife. Its a small tube ipod dock. It also has inputs on the back, so you could add to it. It's 15 WPC. I've ran it with some small matching Roth speakers, some small PSB's too. At the moment, it's hooked to a mid size pair of Roth towers. It actually sounds pretty good. It's only 7.5 inches wide, by about 6 inches deep.
I also set one of her friends up with a Fatman Carbon II. Pretty similar. The Fatmam is 25 WPC, and a little bigger unit. She has hers on the kitchen counter.
I don't see many pop up used, but, I usually have some as B stock. Depending what you want, you can get something as cheap as $250. Might fit the bill.
My budget is around 300. I'll probably hunt some bargain on ebay.
I wouldn't minde tube/hybrid but it probably is not as reliable and safe and small.
Powered I was looking at: Yamaha HS50, Adam a3x or audioengine
As for amps theres a few:
Audiolab 8000 series
Rega brio 3, mira
Pro-Ject Stereo Box S (?)
What is out there from Chinese brands? I came across the Maverick Audio A1 but it seems more headphone oriented
As for passive speakers i don't know. Back home i have an old Kenwood KA-52 with Monitor Audio Silver S1 speakers. I was also wondering if i should bring them to my dorm but sometimes i go there.
btw i already have an external audio interface/dac
Audioengine 2 or 5. I use the 2 on my desktop. It's good for streaming services such as MOG. I had worse when I was a student.
you can get an emotiva xda dac-with volume control for $199 + (per yyz) some powered audioengine 2s for around $200 or less--should be a nice set up within your budget.
Matttcone I just received the mINT on Tuesday. I am using it with my new Minny Magneplanars and the sound is wonderful. I also have a Schiit Bifrost DAC that I can use with the mINT as well, not sure what I like better.
REGA Brio amp, Rega R1 speakers and choice of source (e.g either Rega DAC or PLANET cdp )
The Rega R1 Loudspeaker - A New Budget Reference
check it out