are there good small speakers - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 18 Old 07-13-2013, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
danonkeys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I was looking for and got advice on speakers in another thread and thought I was all set, but then I ran into a snag.

It turns out that when my wife found out that the new sound system would include 3 speakers 14.75" x 8-1/4" x 11" (HWD) (plus an AVR W 17.1" x 6.57" x 12.95"), she was blown away by these sizes. She was anticipating bose-like speakers the size of your fist -- not speakers the size of a stack of 8 or so reams of paper. To be fair we have no sound system at all, so the AVR and speakers will be added to our existing (minimalist) setup -- and everything else is small or tiny (except the TV on the wall which is serving our audio needs for now).

We have a wide open minimalist floorplan and decorating style, and small speakers seem to be strongly preferable.

My question is: are there small speakers that don't suck? how small can I go? Does it help if I kick up my budget? how high would I have to go? (A related question probably for another forum is: are there small AVRs?)

There is still hope I'll be able to figure out a way to sell the idea of the stacks-of-reams-of-paper-sized speakers -- especially if I give it more time. It would help if I understood the options on the small side.

Thanks for any help!
danonkeys is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 Old 07-13-2013, 08:03 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Bill Fitzmaurice's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Hampshire
Posts: 9,950
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 1552
Quote:
Originally Posted by danonkeys View Post

My question is: are there small speakers that don't suck?
A speaker's capabilities are pretty much directly related to size, so if you want small speakers you will get small sound.

Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design

The Laws of Physics aren't swayed by opinion.
Bill Fitzmaurice is offline  
post #3 of 18 Old 07-13-2013, 08:22 PM
Senior Member
 
avfanatic1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked: 18
While larger speakers with many drivers are certainly ideal, you can certainly get quite an improvement and definitely a fairly filling sound (depending on the size of your room) with higher quality satellite speakers and a good subwoofer. If I'm remembering correctly, Jamo is the brand of fairly good quality satellite speakers for their size. You will have to step up your budget a bit to get larger sound from smaller speakers (since they need larger neodymium magnets for their size to increase output). As for small receivers, the Marantz 1504/1604 may be good compact receivers to look into.
avfanatic1 is offline  
post #4 of 18 Old 07-13-2013, 08:26 PM
Senior Member
 
avfanatic1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Liked: 18
Could something the size of the Energy 5.1 speakers work? (6 7/8 x 4 1/8 x 4 1/8)
avfanatic1 is offline  
post #5 of 18 Old 07-13-2013, 08:53 PM
AVS Special Member
 
JerryLove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 1,597
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 76
There's always going to be a compromise related to driver size (assuming you want any real volume).

Some other options include use of in-wall or in-ceiling speakers. Also: panel speakers are possible (though they have placement concerns so perhaps bad), as they are flat and can be hung on walls like art.

I would drop the center in favor of a phantom before I would shrink the LCR down too much in size. And (I presume since you have a center, you are looking at watching movies) don't forget the sub.

Another idea might be to mix the speakers into the decor. While something like (http://salksound.com/veracity%20st%20-%20home.htm) would be large, it is as much a piece of art as anything else in there and has a very small footprint.
JerryLove is offline  
post #6 of 18 Old 07-13-2013, 08:55 PM
Advanced Member
 
Mr.SoftDome's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 602
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 26
I am in a small condo. Of course I prefer much larger speakers with large drivers when possible. I needed small speakers to accommodate my rear needs. My Dynaudio Focus 110s were too big for rear and I moved them out for now.

I went with Focal Dome and while not cheap they are by far the best small speakers I have heard. I played with them in my front just to get an idea and of course they are not close to my C1s but I am very very impressed with these speakers and they look great as well.

There is a picture in my album in rear use. You may google some reviews and they are available at musicdirect.com.

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-4508-focal-dome-20-mini-speakers-pr.aspx

http://www.musicdirect.com/p-4010-focal-dome-stands-pr.aspx

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JpHIr9WmMoo


If you must use a smaller satellite speaker I highly suggest them. If you can go for a traditional speaker I suggest that route but all in all these are really nice speakers although fairly expensive. The stands that complete the look is at $300 or so.

Rick

Mr.SoftDome is online now  
post #7 of 18 Old 07-14-2013, 01:20 AM
AVS Special Member
 
sdg4vfx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 1,333
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked: 96
As mentioned by others ... with small/satellite speakers you'll always loose low freq. and even lower-mid freq. The sub will need to take over these freq. so you should probably plan on a mid-priced ($600-$700) sub, with good accuracy, detail, etc. (Most the "budget" subs are a bit sloppy and you want to avoid that with satellite speakers.)

Re general sq, I've heard some very nice sounding small speakers but they are (considerably) more expensive than their bookshelf equivalents. The Focal Dome's mentioned by Mr.SoftDome are a good example - small, great sq, pricey.

I can think of two satellite speakers in the $100 a piece range that get good mention ...
- The NHT Absolute Zero.
- The Cambridge Audio Minx - Min11 and Min21. (The larger Min21 is about the size of a Coke can.) There is an active owners thread here in the forum that should be helpful.

A wild card option ... the KEF KHT 3005 SE satellite system (w K2 sub) is on clearance at accessories4less for $900. The sub that comes with the system doesn't go particularly low (fine for music, just ok for HT) but it does cover the freq. zone between the sub-bass and the satellites very well. The system's current "clearance" price makes it one of the few "mid-priced", good sounding satellite systems out there.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make-a-store/item/KEFKHT3005BLKSEK2/KEF-Kht3005-se-5.1-Speaker-Package-with-Kube2-subwoofer-Black/1.html#!more

If you did go with the KEF you might consider upgrading the sub somewhere down the road.
sdg4vfx is offline  
post #8 of 18 Old 07-14-2013, 05:44 AM
Member
 
KnifeGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Chesterfield, Michigan
Posts: 66
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Salk Silks are a smaller and the finish is completely customizable. However they are expensive. I've heard these and they are astounding for a speaker of their size. They also play down to 42Hz so you may be able to eliminate a sub (although I would still run a sub for TV and movies if it were me).
A phantom center as JerryLove suggested will keep the cost down and eliminate one more thing in your room. You may notice some dialogue shift out of the sweet spot without a center though.
For the AVR and other electronics, you can hide them away in a closet. Get an IR repeater to send the signals from your remote to the AVR. Run the cables and speaker wires through the walls to their destinations and then the size of the AVR, cable box, amp etc is irrelevant. Just make sure you have good air flow into and out of the electronic closet.
Salk Silks and the elimination of a sub and all your electronics in a closet is about as minimalist as you can get while still providing high SQ.
KnifeGuy is offline  
post #9 of 18 Old 07-14-2013, 02:35 PM
AVS Special Member
 
sdg4vfx's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Southern CA
Posts: 1,333
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
Liked: 96
I had a chance to hear the Salk Silks and they sound fantastic. Cost is $3500 a pair. They aren't necessarily "small" speakers though, they are fairly average size bookshelf speakers ... 14 H x 8 W x 11 D.

If you can go that large the Ascend Sierra 1 is a popular option - it's the same size, goes down to 44hz and many folks use it without a sub. They go for $850 a pair.
sdg4vfx is offline  
post #10 of 18 Old 07-14-2013, 02:53 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Nethawk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 2,513
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 115
I own a pair of small bookshelf EMP Tek E41-B, the finest pair of small speakers I've heard. While they are discontinued the E41 are still being manufactured, the only difference is material makeup of the midrange. I've read there is little difference. At $300 per pair they're worth considering.

Nethawk is offline  
post #11 of 18 Old 07-14-2013, 06:13 PM
AVS Special Member
 
JerryLove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 1,597
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 76
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post

I had a chance to hear the Salk Silks and they sound fantastic. Cost is $3500 a pair. They aren't necessarily "small" speakers though, they are fairly average size bookshelf speakers ... 14 H x 8 W x 11 D.
I am suddenly reminded though of a pair of (IIRC Song Surrounds, which are much less expensive than the Silks) that Jim built on request that were tall and wide but very shallow. They were intended to be hung on walls.

If the issue is "I don't want to see the speakers", that doesn't help... but if the issue is space they take up: they are functionally quite discreet and can be made in any finish desired.

I'm not fully sure if the OP is truly only looking for "tiny" or is actually looking to solve a space+appearance issue.
JerryLove is offline  
post #12 of 18 Old 07-14-2013, 07:52 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Elihawk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Iowa City, Iowa
Posts: 2,509
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 69 Post(s)
Liked: 170
The Cambridge audio minx systems gets high reviews for a small speaker!

Set up #1: EMP e5ti, e5Ci, and SLS Q line Audio surrounds, EMP 10i10i sub
Set up #2: Def Tech SM450, CLR2002, SLS Qline surrounds and Klipsch 12wD sub
Set up #3: JBL130, JBL120C and Klipsch synergy sub
Elihawk is offline  
post #13 of 18 Old 07-14-2013, 08:03 PM
Advanced Member
 
newc33's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: lasalle-peru illinois
Posts: 973
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Liked: 58
What about ascend acoustic Htm 200s all around

Yamaha rxv373Ascend acoustics cbm 340se mainsAscend acoustics 340se centerAscend acoustics 170se rear SSRythmik lv12r
Dual rythmik fv15hps
Verticle Marty/UXL 18 powered with inuke 6kw DSP (and another Marty in the making)
newc33 is offline  
post #14 of 18 Old 07-25-2013, 10:52 AM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
danonkeys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thank you all so much for your ideas and help! I ended up not having to compromise quite so much on the size of the speakers by adding in a piece of furniture that helps minimize the visual impact of the KEF Q series (Q100, Q200, Q400) that are on their way. A major compromise for now will be that I have to lay the Q100 L/R on their side -- not idea I know, but I decided for that that is a better compromise than getting smaller speakers.

Any thoughts on which side to lay them on? I'm guessing drive units out.

Anyhow, more details over here as setup is my next step after the stuff gets here.
danonkeys is offline  
post #15 of 18 Old 07-25-2013, 11:33 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Ron Alcasid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 1,007
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by danonkeys View Post

Any thoughts on which side to lay them on? I'm guessing drive units out.

Shouldn't be an issue with concentric drivers.
Ron Alcasid is offline  
post #16 of 18 Old 07-25-2013, 11:36 AM
Member
 
accordn2ryan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 35
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by danonkeys View Post

Thank you all so much for your ideas and help! I ended up not having to compromise quite so much on the size of the speakers by adding in a piece of furniture that helps minimize the visual impact of the KEF Q series (Q100, Q200, Q400) that are on their way. A major compromise for now will be that I have to lay the Q100 L/R on their side -- not idea I know, but I decided for that that is a better compromise than getting smaller speakers.

Any thoughts on which side to lay them on? I'm guessing drive units out.

Anyhow, more details over here as setup is my next step after the stuff gets here.

How big is your living room? I'm in a similar situation, but I do share one wall with a neighbor and just worried about purchasing a sub that will be too loud.
accordn2ryan is offline  
post #17 of 18 Old 07-25-2013, 11:55 AM
Advanced Member
 
simp1yamazn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 637
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Liked: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by accordn2ryan View Post

How big is your living room? I'm in a similar situation, but I do share one wall with a neighbor and just worried about purchasing a sub that will be too loud.

I would suggest not dismissing a particular sub because of overall volume capability. A sub that is playing too loud can be turned down. A sub that can't create clean bass will often times sound even louder because of high levels of distortion. A sub that can play cleanly at higher volumes will sound better at moderate volumes than a cheap sub. Just my $0.02
simp1yamazn is offline  
post #18 of 18 Old 07-25-2013, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
danonkeys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 14
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by accordn2ryan View Post

How big is your living room? I'm in a similar situation, but I do share one wall with a neighbor and just worried about purchasing a sub that will be too loud.

Details are here, but the short answer is roughly 21x22 feet.
danonkeys is offline  
Reply Speakers

Tags
Marantz Nr1504 Slim Line 5 1 Network Receiver , Marantz Nr1604 Slim Line 7 1 Network Receiver , Energy Rc Micro 5 1 Surround Speaker System Black
Gear in this thread

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off