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What are the best satellite speakers I can get for $400 a pair or less ?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
I'm interested in getting some small satellite speakers, but only if I can get sound significantly better than my Energy satellites. I have heard the Monitor Audio R90HD speakers, which are pretty amazing for their size, but I can't remember if the sound quality was that much better than the Energy's.

Is there anything out there that's really amazing for $200 per speaker ?
post #2 of 30
Which energys do you have?
post #3 of 30
post #4 of 30
IMO, none of the speakers listed I would consider "amazing" with a tiny cabinet and 4" driver roughly, but I guess it all depends on what you mean by "small". Or how big your willing to go with a pair of monitors?

A pair of these I consider for their price are solid sounding monitors....but they might be a bit big for you?: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...70/cbm170.html
post #5 of 30
post #6 of 30
Is there anything out there that's really amazing for $200 per speaker ?[/quote]

Yes; the PSB Image B4.
post #7 of 30
What about the new M-1's from B&W? How do they compare at >$500?
post #8 of 30
Amazing = loud as hell?
post #9 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

IMO, none of the speakers listed I would consider "amazing" with a tiny cabinet and 4" driver roughly, but I guess it all depends on what you mean by "small". Or how big your willing to go with a pair of monitors?

Well, they're all quality suggestions, just with limited output before they begin to sound "thin," so it depends on what you mean by "amazing." I suppose that a small speaker that can get rather loud would be amazing, that is true, but it depends on what the OP is looking for.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ntrain96 View Post

A pair of these I consider for their price are solid sounding monitors....but they might be a bit big for you?: http://www.ascendacoustics.com/pages...70/cbm170.html

The CBM-170 SE would make for a really big "satellite" speaker, but the Ascend Acoustics HTM-200 SE sounds a lot like it while being significantly smaller--less than half the total volume, with a footprint of only 6.5" x 6.375". The latter makes it my current favorite for small satellite replacement speakers when size still matters. Its efficiency is decent, its power handling is very good, and it can get loud cleanly for its size. While it can't quite keep up with larger speakers when loud and its midwoofers are only 4", the HTM-200 SE has two of them in a compact package, which does make its capabilities pretty amazing for its size, in my opinion. The main caveat is that it doesn't dig real deep in terms of bass extension (by design), but it works well when crossed over to a subwoofer even as low as 80 Hz.
post #10 of 30
The 1.4 CF from Source Loudspeakers might work.
post #11 of 30
The Boston E40, will play louder than many people care to listen!
And, they can/will take more power than one may think.
post #12 of 30
How big is your room?

Of some of those mentioned in this thread, I've owned:
Ascend HTM-200SE
Energy RC-Mini/V-Mini
Energy RC-Mini-Center
NHT Super Zero 2.0
NHT Absolute Zero
PSB Image B4

My personal favorite from that list is the NHT Absolute Zero - most balanced sound to my ears, and nice resolution with a nice midrange... also images nicely. Downside is that it isn't a very sensitive speaker, so it's not a great pick if you want to go loud in something bigger than a medium sized room - in which case the woofer (in it's tiny enclosure) can't keep up, and the upper midrange and treble can sound a little harsh.

2nd favorite would be the PSB Image B4 - a little easier to drive than the Absolute Zero, but not quite as balanced - a little laid back in upper midrange, so they sound less detailed - and less bass extension than the Absolute Zero.

The Ascend HTM-200SE is nice, but just sounded a little forward to me. I know it supposedly measures flat (the CMB-170SE and CMT-340SE do measure very flat)... but I still find the Absolute Zero, a speaker that also measures pretty darn flat (see HTMag/Sound Vision Mag measurements), sounds more tonally balanced.

While I think the V-Mini is nice for what it is, I think the V-Mini's tweeter is just a little too edgy. I don't remember that being the case when I had the RC-Mini, so either I just got pickier about the high end, or the V-Mini's treble region is a little hotter than the RC-Mini. Great looking and compact, but no bass to speak of. They really need a 120Hz xover or higher. Sensitivity is pretty high, so they can get loud relatively easily. I do wonder, if Energy could've squeezed more bass out of those little woofers by sacrificing just a little sensitivity.

The NHT SuperZero 2.0 is also nice for the money, but hasabsolutely no bass...and unless they're near a rear wall, I'd say you'd want a 150Hz xover.


I haven't heard them, but the Boston E40 intrigues me...
post #13 of 30
I think we're still waiting for the OP to tell us how large these "satellite" speakers can be and which Energy speakers he owns.
post #14 of 30
^^^^
For the fun of it - I will guess something like the Energy Take 2.2
post #15 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrogt View Post

I think we're still waiting for the OP to tell us how large these "satellite" speakers can be and which Energy speakers he owns.

Yeah... just figured I'd post my thoughts on some of the speakers mentioned so far, since I've owned many of them.
post #16 of 30
Another option not yet mentioned... Mirage OMD-5
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it..._c=site_search

I like what the OMD-5 can do with movies - nice spacious sound due to the omnipolar design.

For music though, I like the Absolute Zero better... and maybe the Image B4 (although I think the OMD-5 has a bit better resolution than the B4).
post #17 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

^^^^
For the fun of it - I will guess something like the Energy Take 2.2

Yeah, that's what I have right now.


Also, in regards to what I'm looking for. I'm not looking for the speakers to play very loud. I'm more interested in clarity, crispness, tightness. Basically, the speakers will be used in a bedroom for a setup where I'm only using the two speakers. I don't plan on having a subwoofer in there, either. I just want some clean 2 channel sound. As accurate and crisp and clean as I can get. Of course, if it can handle some bass and midrange etc, etc, that would be great too.
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

Yeah, that's what I have right now.
Also, in regards to what I'm looking for. I'm not looking for the speakers to play very loud. I'm more interested in clarity, crispness, tightness. Basically, the speakers will be used in a bedroom for a setup where I'm only using the two speakers. I don't plan on having a subwoofer in there, either. I just want some clean 2 channel sound. As accurate and crisp and clean as I can get. Of course, if it can handle some bass and midrange etc, etc, that would be great too.

I like the sound of the Radius series - however, I prefer the E40 over
the Radius, NHT, PSB, Definitive and Mirage speakers.
post #19 of 30
If you want bass you really need a bookshelf speaker, not a satellite speaker.
post #20 of 30
B&W M1's are impressive for a 4" driver in a small package. Go and listen to them somewhere. Its def worth 500 for a pair. Also if you can go bigger check out the polk tsi200
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

The Boston E40, will play louder than many people care to listen!
And, they can/will take more power than one may think.

+1 for the Boston E series. Very, very good speakers for the closeout price. They do handle a ton of power and play cleanly!
post #22 of 30
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by drewTT View Post

+1 for the Boston E series. Very, very good speakers for the closeout price. They do handle a ton of power and play cleanly!

Boston.... really? I mean, I have Energy 2.2's, will I really notice that big an improvement? I did a search on Boston E40's, but they seem to be out of stock/discontinued everywhere. Any idea where I could still find some brand new ones?


Quote:
Originally Posted by derekrorabaugh View Post

B&W M1's are impressive for a 4" driver in a small package. Go and listen to them somewhere. Its def worth 500 for a pair. Also if you can go bigger check out the polk tsi200

Dang.... $500 for a pair? That's harsh, lol. I'd rather put that kind of money into a better subwoofer for my main theater room. I will try to check them out though. Last time I demoed some B & W's, I was really, really impressed. Sound was great, but the looks was even better, heh..
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

Boston.... really? I mean, I have Energy 2.2's, will I really notice that big an improvement? I did a search on Boston E40's, but they seem to be out of stock/discontinued everywhere. Any idea where I could still find some brand new ones?

No - however the E60 are brand new on Amazon, and will give you
some good treble, midrange and bass > and high resolution, with
real good detail, definition and depth.

Boston does know how, to make higher-end speakers.
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

Boston.... really? I mean, I have Energy 2.2's, will I really notice that big an improvement? I did a search on Boston E40's, but they seem to be out of stock/discontinued everywhere. Any idea where I could still find some brand new ones?

Yeap, Boston. That was my first reaction as well. But the E series line is legit!

There are a couple E60s on amazon for $245 each. They retailed for $600 each! I think they are worth even the $600.

http://www.amazon.com/Boston-Acousti...6790236&sr=8-1

I have the bigger E60s. I upgraded from Energy RC50s. I gained a lot more detail and better midrange and highs. Definitely noticeable upgrade. I did need to get a sub though to help with the low end. Crossed over at 80hz, they have no problems handling my 300 watt/ch amp and put out over 108db peaks...
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

Dang.... $500 for a pair? That's harsh, lol. I'd rather put that kind of money into a better subwoofer for my main theater room. I will try to check them out though. Last time I demoed some B & W's, I was really, really impressed. Sound was great, but the looks was even better, heh..

If you're going to consider $500/pr, it's worth looking at the Paradigm MilleniaOne as well - it's gotten excellent reviews, and measures very well.
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by drewTT View Post

I have the bigger E60s. I upgraded from Energy RC50s. I gained a lot more detail and better midrange and highs. Definitely noticeable upgrade.

The main difference between the E40 and E60 - is more bass, and
they will throw a bigger soundstage > and will handle more power.

I am confident that the E40 and 60, have a chance against the Energy Take 2.2
The E60's listening-window response measures +1.25/–0.97 dB from 200 Hz to 10 kHz.
The –3-dB point is at 65 Hz, and the –6-dB point is at 53 Hz.

And I will take them any day, over the Monitor Audio Silver RX series.
post #27 of 30
Humour, it can be fun
Remember, you need 1 pair, not 1ea for the left and right channels
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JH9DW0Ccfo

Click play on the video screen
http://www.audioholics.com/reviews/s...e-series-video
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony1 View Post

Yeah, that's what I have right now.


Also, in regards to what I'm looking for. I'm not looking for the speakers to play very loud. I'm more interested in clarity, crispness, tightness. Basically, the speakers will be used in a bedroom for a setup where I'm only using the two speakers. I don't plan on having a subwoofer in there, either. I just want some clean 2 channel sound. As accurate and crisp and clean as I can get. Of course, if it can handle some bass and midrange etc, etc, that would be great too.

Energy Takes are terrible without a subwoofer. I've owned or heard all of them. Original Takes, Take 2.2 and Take Classic.

The E40 would kill the Takes.
http://www.accessories4less.com/make...a-Black/1.html

Also look at the Cambridge s30
http://www.audioadvisor.com/prodinfo.asp?number=CAS30

And Energy RC-10 or Veritas 5.1
http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it..._c=site_search

http://www.vanns.com/shop/servlet/it...y-v5-1-monitor
post #29 of 30
post #30 of 30
Like others said, the Ascend CBM-170 seems perfect for those who are looking for ultra accuracy in sound reproduction. It will also play quite loud due to the efficiency. Check out the dimensions and see if they are suitable for your application.
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