So after using the B&W MM-1 PC speakers for a week, they are going back to BB.
I found the sound stage very small, mid-range frequencies were often "muddy", and instruments & voices lacked separation.
Not only do the MM-1s produce the "white noise" that other have heard and wrote about, I also noticed "electronic pitches" coming though the speakers, almost like an electronic keyboard was playing notes from low to high frequencies. This was always present when the MM-1s where powered on, regardless if they were playing music or not. But with no music being played, the "electronic pitches" were easier to hear when sitting 2 feet from the speakers.
Now comes the question about what speakers to use for replacements. At first I was thinking about going the route of separates with B&W 686/685/CM1 speakers and an integrated amp, but people say that's not a good idea since those speakers aren't near-field.
So far I've been recommended going with AudioEngine A5+ and the Airmotive 5, as both are around the same $399 sale price, or even the more expensive Adam A5X at $1000. One thing I don't like about these 3 speakers is the lack of a headphone out.
Since none of those are sold locally (South FL), I can't try them out first, and would have to buy on-line with trying them at home.
My sound card is a Creative Labs Audixy 2ZS Platinum that supports 24-bit/192Hz, so don't think I'd really need or benefit from an external USB DAC.
Has anyone tried and done comparisons between three speakers, or can recommend something else?