All DACs need power to run? I think you may be getting mixed up with the terminology. I'm guessing you mean going dac only as opposed to a dac/amp combo? DAC only means you need to plug in a separate amp for it to run speakers/headphones. As the A2s already have an amp in them its just a matter of plugging it in via RCA cables. Its just that if you want to power headphones, it won't work, and you would need a dac/amp combo like a soundcard or attach a separate amp to it. As for suggestions, what are you running it off? I'd probably stick with a soundcard at your budget if its only for PC use, as dacs in that price range wouldn't be better than internal sound cards at the same price (you need to pay for a case etc.) Its only when you go quite a bit higher in price that you will see better performance.