I've tried a few different setups, but I keep going back to my old-school 2.1 Altec Lansing ATP-3. They're on the fritz so I've tried a Logitech 2.1, the Altec Lansing Octane 7 (the successor to the ATP-3), and powered 2.0 Audioengine A2s.
Funny complaint but with all of the other 2.1 systems, I can't turn the bass down enough. Just really boomy and atonal, even at the lowest settings. The Audioengines were too "in-your-face"--I got listening fatigue right away. I don't think I like the midrange drivers pointing right at my face.
The ATP-3s sound very transparent. Could be too bright for some but I'm used to it.
Has anyone heard the Focal Bird 2.1 systems? I'd like to try it out but the price is steep.