First off, I'm a Dane, so many of the prices/links are converted or in Danish, sorry about that! I've tried to find english links where possible.
I am currently in the process of looking at a receiver and satellite / bookshelf speakers for my living room. I live in a 76 m2 3-room apartment and I want to put the system into my TV room. The TV room is less than 20 m2, I am guessing about 16 m2 only, so I don't have a lot of wiggle room, and the wall on which I plan to mount the TV can barely fit a 46" TV I expect.
I am mostly looking at satellites, but if bookshelf speakers makes more sense/has much better bang for the buck in a small enough package, I am open for that as well.
I am currently in the "what would it make sense to try out in shops" phase, so my suggestions so far are pretty diverse, and I would like input on whether I have missed obvious candidates.Budget and requirements
I am in principle not limited by a budget, only by common sense and "what do I need". I would like to pay as little as possible for something that plays really well, and does not take up a lot of space. Those are conflicting requirements, I know, so I am looking far and wide for options. Preferably the 5.1 speakers/sub are less than £1.700 and no more than £400 for the receiver.
For receivers I am looking at Onkyo TX NR414 (£230)/515 (£330) or Sony STR-DN1030 (£440) or Yamaha RX-V673 (approx. £360) - (suggestions welcome). I am looking for something "good" and which does the basics, it does not have to be top of the line or future "proof". 5.1 and Spotify/DLNA needs to be supported.
For speakers I am looking in two categories, the satellites and the bookshelfs.Satellites:
Monitor Audio MASS 5.1
- a set is £850 at TapeConnection: Tape Connection - Stereo, Surround, Højttalere, Hjemmebio
+ a MASS W200 sub
Only available in black. They are pretty petite and should play rather well considering their size: Monitor Audio MASS review from the experts at whathifi.comFocal Dome 5.1 -
They're neat/pretty/good, but they are more than £1400 at TapeConnection: Tape Connection - Stereo, Surround, Højttalere, Hjemmebio
I've found them at £900 also, but only in read
I want white if possible. They should have great sound, and I like the look: Focal Dôme 5.1 review from the experts at whathifi.com
B&W M1 5.1 -
price £1300 at HiFi Klubben: B&W M-1 5.1 hjttalersystem | Hi-Fi Klubben
. Not particularly pretty, but come in white, and should rival the MASS, and maybe even best them (they are pricier, so they should
): B&W MT-50 review from the experts at whathifi.comMonitor Audio Radius 90 HD
setup (£1200) - I found this review: Monitor Audio R90 HD10 review from the experts at whathifi.com
and I found a dealer with an almost identical set: Monitor Audio Radius 5.1 Surroundsæt 1, AV-Connection A/S
- it has 360HD instead of 370HD, but the price difference is £120, so it comes out to about £1200 after upgrading the sub.
I also looked at "KEF T305 5.1" priced at £1700 (KEF - T305 5.1 - KT Radio
). They look too big for my liking, even if the shallow depth is very appealing. However, the sound should be compromised due to their size, and the bass is slightly lacking: KEF T105 review from the experts at whathifi.com
Since the budget in *principle* has no limit, I was also looking at Monitor Audio Apex 5.1, priced at £2600: Monitor Audio Apex 5.1 surround system, AV-Connection A/S
. They are rated as awesome, having grat sound, and I really like the look. They should be able to last me a long time, and there are few drawbacks, besides the price
Bookshelf:System Audio Saxo 5.1 -
£1050 (Saxo 10 sub upgrade included) - They can be mixed and matched as you like but I am looking at the biggest set with bookshelf speakers, this one: System Audio Saxo 5.1 Surround system C - Til f.eks. Unnu eller frislev møbel, AV-Connection A/S
They look pretty, should have very good sound, and they are not pricey.
I also looked at Dali Zensor 5 priced at £940 + £450 for a Dali E-12F sub, so the total is £1400: DALI ZENSOR 5 hjttalersystem | Hi-Fi Klubben
The set is super well put together, and has great sound (DALI Zensor 5 5.1 review from the experts at whathifi.com
), but the stands and the center speaker are much bigger than I like. One thing that is a big pro is that it can be used when I later move into something bigger. I could swap the Zensor 5's for 1's for now, and later upgrade, if neede.Conclusion so far:
I am currently liking the MASS 5.1 the most. It's cheap and potentially really good. and should be more than enough for filling 20 m2 with great sound. When I later on move and need a bigger setup, it's only a £850 system I need to sell, and not something +£1000, and it's quite new (pro due to new/better tech?)
On a shared first place is the B&W MT-50 - all reviews indicates that they are super, and they are also pretty compact. The con is the price.
Second place goes to the SA Saxo set and MA Radius 90. Radius 90 is more compact (HxWxD: 198 x125x140 mm) than SA Saxo 10 (HxWxD: 380x130x200mm) - but I expect the Saxo to play better for it. Saxo is slightly cheaper than MA, about £150, once you upgrade both the subs.
I would really like input on whether I have missed anything in my search for speakers.
My next step is to go to shops and start listening to the speakers I mentioned.
Last comment: I don't expect to buy anything until mid-March, so if something new is about to come out (I can see Onkyo introduced their receivers in Feb 2012, so maybe something new will come out in a month?) I have time to wait.
I appreciate the input!