I promised a DAC discussion, but first I just wanted to re-cap loudspeakers, after all they are the single largest contributory factor to the sound quality you hear in your room.
Passive or Active, passives allow you to swap components in and out to 'upgrade'!
Active designs especially the contemporary active designs ( Kii,Dutch&Dutch,Sigberg Audio, Genelec) have definite advantages in terms of pure sound quality, they are going to be more transparent and because of their design, (constant directivity, cardioid response adjustable bass output etc) they are going to sound better in every room.
Price doesn't automatically correlate with performance, their are many 'tuned by ear' designs around some designers actually make a point of stating that their designs have never been acoustically measured.
If you can learn what loudspeaker measurements mean and how they correlate to the sound of a particular loudspeaker you save a lot of audition time.
There are many old wives tales circulating pertaining to loudspeakers, how they have to be allowed to 'breathe' why you shouldn't use a large loudspeaker in a small room, if your new loudspeaker excites a standing wave you must instantly sell it and replace it with something smaller, 'slow' and 'fast' subwoofers, metal tweeters sounding 'metallic', just complete rubbish.
A comprehensive set of measurements such as those produced by the Klippel NFS completely characterises the loudspeakers sound, my advice would be spend some time and learn exactly what measurements mean and how they affect the sound.
Above the CEA 'Spin' of Dutch&Dutch's superb 8C monitor probably the finest measuring loudspeaker available at the moment bar none.
Plot courtesy once again of Erin's Audio Corner, who is one of the very few reviewers I trust.