Originally Posted by enderland
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.