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Old 05-06-2012, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
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About a year ago, I was looking for powered desktop speakers but ultimately decided against them since I had easy access to my main home theater setup.

Now, I'm away from that for the summer and about 24 hours of only having my macbook pro speakers has persuaded me to it is worth buying a good set of active desktop speakers.

Specifically, powered desktop speakers, price is fairly flexible but less than $500 for sure. Suggestions would be appreciated
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:33 PM
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Swan, Emotiva Airmotivs, and Audioengine are the brands regularly recommended. NHT also has released a powered version of their SuperZero speakers.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I can't believe I'm saying this but man, oh man, are most of the active desktop speakers ugly.

Is Swan the only brand that makes more aesthetically appealing speakers?
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:01 PM
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Focal is a well known for home audio and car audio. I don't know anything about these powered speakers, but they look pretty Macish in design.

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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Old 05-06-2012, 06:37 PM
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Hard to go wrong with the Swan M200mkiii's.
Aesthetically pleasing, sound great too.
Decent bass, really good midrange and highs.
Be prepared, they are quite large for a desktop pc speaker and pretty heavy too.
I have mine paired with a Rythmik F12 and it's plenty for a bedroom or computer room.
The Swans by themselves would be enough, I just wanted to fill in the bottom octaves.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Focal is a well known for home audio and car audio. I don't know anything about these powered speakers, but they look pretty Macish in design.

How did you know I have a mac? lol.

I like those but they look a bit too much like an external harddrive for my tastes.




Quote:
Originally Posted by silvrbill View Post

Hard to go wrong with the Swan M200mkiii's.
Aesthetically pleasing, sound great too.
Decent bass, really good midrange and highs.
Be prepared, they are quite large for a desktop pc speaker and pretty heavy too.
I have mine paired with a Rythmik F12 and it's plenty for a bedroom or computer room.
The Swans by themselves would be enough, I just wanted to fill in the bottom octaves.

I'm thinking these are going to be what I end up with. They are quite nice looking and some of the only speakers which seem to have an emphasis on "look nice." Might be a little large for my current desk but I think I could make things work.

Do they sound good at quiet volumes?
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Old 05-06-2012, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enderland View Post

About a year ago, I was looking for powered desktop speakers but ultimately decided against them since I had easy access to my main home theater setup.

Now, I'm away from that for the summer and about 24 hours of only having my macbook pro speakers has persuaded me to it is worth buying a good set of active desktop speakers.

Specifically, powered desktop speakers, price is fairly flexible but less than $500 for sure. Suggestions would be appreciated

Visit local Guitar Center. They have many active speakers in your price range.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enderland View Post

How did you know I have a mac? lol.

You mentioned it in you first post

Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

Focal is a well known for home audio and car audio. I don't know anything about these powered speakers, but they look pretty Macish in design.

They should sound pretty good their home line is outstanding but expensive.
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Old 05-06-2012, 09:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enderland View Post

I'm thinking these are going to be what I end up with. They are quite nice looking and some of the only speakers which seem to have an emphasis on "look nice." Might be a little large for my current desk but I think I could make things work.

Do they sound good at quiet volumes?

Personally I think they sound great soft or loud.
6moons has a pretty in depth review of them.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:04 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

You mentioned it in you first post

doh!

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Old 05-08-2012, 04:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

Visit local Guitar Center. They have many active speakers in your price range.

I went to Guitar Center last night and was not overly impressed by most of the speakers (either looks or sound). They had a bunch of KRK brand which were not overly aesthetically pleasing but also I didn't really like any of them in terms of sound quality. The only set I really liked from a sound quality perspective was a JBL LSR2325 set.

It's hard there too though because the listening environment isn't exactly ideal...
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Old 05-08-2012, 05:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enderland View Post

I went to Guitar Center last night and was not overly impressed by most of the speakers (either looks or sound). They had a bunch of KRK brand which were not overly aesthetically pleasing but also I didn't really like any of them in terms of sound quality. The only set I really liked from a sound quality perspective was a JBL LSR2325 set.

It's hard there too though because the listening environment isn't exactly ideal...

I despair at the idea of auditioning and buying speakers in retail stores. I stopped doing that over a decade ago.

A little anecdote - based on a lot of recommendations I decided to buy a pair of NHT 2.5is. I went to the local NHT dealer who treated me and them like trash, and gave a horrible demo. I literally walked out the store at one point and the salesman came out into the parking lot and apologized, but still gave a horrible demo and told scare stories about the 2.5is and the equipment I planned to use them with. I cut a deal, and walked out of the store never to return.

The speakers were great!

The room and system setup are very important components of every speaker system. Few stores do it right in their store for their store, and if they do it at all then they probably only do it for a few speakers of the many they sell, and then you still know not much about what will happen when you get the speakers home.

Guitar Center is convenient if they have what you need on the shelf, but most of their staff seems to be long on extroversion and short on solid technology. It is possible to have sales staff who know too much to pump sales, but GC avoids that pretty well!

That all said, I have a little experience with LSR2325, and they may be the best speakers you heard that day.

For the same kind of money you could pick up a pair of Behringer 2031a, which will probably have better low end and better dynamic range with comparable overall accuracy, but may be too physically large for your situation.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnyk View Post

I despair at the idea of auditioning and buying speakers in retail stores. I stopped doing that over a decade ago.

A little anecdote - based on a lot of recommendations I decided to buy a pair of NHT 2.5is. I went to the local NHT dealer who treated me and them like trash, and gave a horrible demo. I literally walked out the store at one point and the salesman came out into the parking lot and apologized, but still gave a horrible demo and told scare stories about the 2.5is and the equipment I planned to use them with. I cut a deal, and walked out of the store never to return.

The speakers were great!

The room and system setup are very important components of every speaker system. Few stores do it right in their store for their store, and if they do it at all then they probably only do it for a few speakers of the many they sell, and then you still know not much about what will happen when you get the speakers home.

Guitar Center is convenient if they have what you need on the shelf, but most of their staff seems to be long on extroversion and short on solid technology. It is possible to have sales staff who know too much to pump sales, but GC avoids that pretty well!

That all said, I have a little experience with LSR2325, and they may be the best speakers you heard that day.

For the same kind of money you could pick up a pair of Behringer 2031a, which will probably have better low end and better dynamic range with comparable overall accuracy, but may be too physically large for your situation.

I have mixed feelings about GC. Yet, they really are not set up to cater 'audiophiles' for lack of a better word. They clearly cater to aspiring musicians. The people that staff each department have an interest in that specific aspect of music. Mostly they are college aged young adults.
I bought my sole KRK speaker from GC. The sale person asked me the appropriate questions about it's intended use. He had some knowledge and experience with the 'studio' equipment he sold, but certainly not an exhaustive knowledge of speakers or home audio. I'm certain that if I wanted to buy equipment to 'play a coffee shop' he would give me reasonably good advice. I doubt he would be helpful at setting up a HT, great 2 channel audio, or even a truly professional, high end studio as they all all far removed from his experience or average customer.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enderland View Post


I went to Guitar Center last night and was not overly impressed by most of the speakers (either looks or sound). They had a bunch of KRK brand which were not overly aesthetically pleasing but also I didn't really like any of them in terms of sound quality. The only set I really liked from a sound quality perspective was a JBL LSR2325 set.

It's hard there too though because the listening environment isn't exactly ideal...

JBLs are good. I also recommend to try Adam monitors. These two brands are probably best speakers available in GC.
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Old 05-08-2012, 06:53 AM
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enderland:
I'm using AudioEngine 5s (and their sub) with an AduioEngine Dac 1 for my wife's office - near field set-up. In the past, she has always turned the music off when she is working on something. Now however, I hear music playing ALL the time. Try a pair of them and you will not be disappointed. They are available in white and bamboo in addition to black.

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Old 05-08-2012, 07:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

JBLs are good. I also recommend to try Adam monitors. These two brands are probably best speakers available in GC.

Adams would be hard to do for $500 / pr.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mnilan View Post

enderland:
I'm using AudioEngine 5s (and their sub) with an AduioEngine Dac 1 for my wife's office - near field set-up. In the past, she has always turned the music off when she is working on something. Now however, I hear music playing ALL the time. Try a pair of them and you will not be disappointed. They are available in white and bamboo in addition to black.

I'm thinking of buying the AudioEngine speakers and sub to replace my Logitech speakers. I'd imagine these would be good for music and gaming?
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Old 05-08-2012, 11:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swampfox View Post

Adams would be hard to do for $500 / pr.

A3X are close to it.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
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A3X are close to it.

I'm looking for new speakers too. The best price I could find for new A3x is $329 each or $650 / pair.
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:13 PM
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This thread in the speaker forum has almost the same content:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1408877
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Old 05-08-2012, 12:59 PM
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Old 05-08-2012, 03:30 PM
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I have no problem with the sound I get from my Bose computer speakers. They were right in that price range too.
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Old 05-08-2012, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ap1 View Post

JBLs are good. I also recommend to try Adam monitors. These two brands are probably best speakers available in GC.

I don't recall having seen any Adam monitors there. I'd agree though the JBL's sounded best

Quote:
Originally Posted by mnilan View Post

enderland:
I'm using AudioEngine 5s (and their sub) with an AduioEngine Dac 1 for my wife's office - near field set-up. In the past, she has always turned the music off when she is working on something. Now however, I hear music playing ALL the time. Try a pair of them and you will not be disappointed. They are available in white and bamboo in addition to black.

I really want to get them but I just do not find them aesthetically appealing I might just have to admit I'm not going to find good looking speakers outside the swan speakers

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Originally Posted by Tweaked05 View Post

You could consider these.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Bowers+a...ins&cp=3&lp=10

I'm more or less morally opposed to Best Buy - any thoughts on why these?

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I have no problem with the sound I get from my Bose computer speakers. They were right in that price range too.

Ugh I have a pair of Companion II speakers (I think? they aren't here with me atm) which I realize sound like absolute crap whenever I play music through them now after having a decent home theater type setup lol. I once thought they were great!
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Old 05-09-2012, 06:42 AM
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Yeah I understand what you mean. My music that's played through my computer doesn't sound anything compared to the system I have on my home theater. However I am okay with that. If I want to listen to music I just play my home theater instead. That's what its for.
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enderland View Post


I'm more or less morally opposed to Best Buy - any thoughts on why these?

Where you get them isn't very important. I recommended those speakers because they are Bowers and Wilkins. I have never heard a B&W product that I wasn't thoroughly impressed with. You can get those at any authorized B&W dealer, Best Buy is just the most convenient for most people.

An alternative would the B&W Zeplin which has an aux in which you could run your PC stereo out to. However you would get more stereo separation from the first set I linked.
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Old 05-09-2012, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweaked05 View Post

Where you get them isn't very important. I recommended those speakers because they are Bowers and Wilkins. I have never heard a B&W product that I wasn't thoroughly impressed with. You can get those at any authorized B&W dealer, Best Buy is just the most convenient for most people.

An alternative would the B&W Zeplin which has an aux in which you could run your PC stereo out to. However you would get more stereo separation from the first set I linked.

$500 for a 3.5" speaker without a sub seems a bit steep to me.
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Old 05-09-2012, 07:54 PM
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http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...WKETKQ28EMH2AR

I have had these for About a year. I think they look good,
and they sound great! Sub-output, Digital inputs, separate bass & treble with A 'bass extender' (i dont use that feature)
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Man I forgot how much you can overanalyze all this stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by finfan1966 View Post

Yeah I understand what you mean. My music that's played through my computer doesn't sound anything compared to the system I have on my home theater. However I am okay with that. If I want to listen to music I just play my home theater instead. That's what its for.


Yah, unfortunately, I've got the "bug" - my headphones are pretty nice at the moment as is my home theater. Desktop speakers are the weak link (even the ones I've got at home!).
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Old 05-10-2012, 10:15 PM
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As a current owner of the Swan M200mkIII, and previous owner of a number of othe powered monitors (jbl, krk, wharfedale, and behringer), i couldnt recommend them more. Quite natural and smooth sounding. All good monitors will take a bit of desk space for certain, so you wont get away from that.

I still use the behringer truth as well, but the Swans really shine with music for me.

TV's ain't theaters buddy.

My junk collection.

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