PSB Image B5
PSB Image B6
Monitor Audio RX1
Monitor Audio RX1 sounded great, especially compared to PSB's.
Now, I know these speakers are above my stated budget... but can anyone give me a comparison between Kef R100 and Monitor Audio Silver RX1?
Since I work in acoustics I'll explain some of this. Speakers are typically measured 1 or 2 meters away from the speaker. One meter is typical but doesn't work for large speakers with their drivers farther apart, then you have to measure further away. So if two speakers measure the same they will sound the same. Now for near field vs far field. Sound level decreases over distance but it doesn't decrease equally at all frequencies. It has to do with the size of the wavelength but to keep it simple, high frequences decrease faster than low frequencies.
If we are talking about rooms in most homes where the listeing area is 10-20 feet away we will see the frequencies start to roll off around 6-8khz getting lower up to 20khz. So a speaker that measure flat at 1m is not going to be flat at further away. Now if we were comparing a theater or auditorium where seating is say 50 or more feet away we will see that high frequency roll off start about 1-2khz and be a bigger decrease in the higher frequencies. So some mid field speakers will often have boosted high frequencies to compensate for the high frequency loss. So listening to a mid field speaker in the near field may sound bright. In the far field you will see boosted mids as well. In fact many pro speakers have controls to boost or cut various frequency ranges for differing application just as your HS50M has some controls.
So while many people think of pro monitor speakers sitting on a mixing console or desk as being the near field. In reality the near field is pretty much any average room in most people's home. Whether they are pro or home speakers they are measrued the same and frequencies don't decrease differently between speakers. We can't change the physics of how sound works.
If you are looking for a pair of speakers that have good bass you need bigger drivers. A 1" tweeter can play a 30hz tone, just not very loud. Same thing with headphones they can play low bass but it is because the driver is next to or in our ear that we can hear it. You won't hear that bass in the room with those headphones as they will sound 'tinny' if you hear them just lying around.
For a system without a sub I'd look for at least a 6" midrange driver to have decent bass. If you are looking at speakers about the same price range spending a little more for the 8"version over the 6" version will go down a little lower and play louder, ie fill the room. So if you had the HS80M you would have more bass for instance.
I understand the convenience of the remote. You would need a pre-amp to use with active speakers and I honestly don't know many inexpensive pre-amps. The Parasound Z-Pre or if you only have one input you could use the Parasound Z-CD as it can function as a preamp but only has one input. Both are the same price and they are the only ones I can think of. You can easily find a less expensive small integrated amp or receiver as some suggested. Does your $800 budget include the pre-amp or integrated amp?
OK active systems using the Paradigm Z-Pre or Z-CD look at these speakers.
Behringer Truth 2031 or 3031
KRK Rokit 8
M-Audio BX8 D2
Passive Speakers - Can't find as many 8" models.
Behringer Truth 2031P
Proficient NFM8 being closed out for cheap. NFM 6 isn't bad either but I'd go for the 8" woofer over the 6" if you can find it.
Paradigm Mini Monitor
Epsiode Monitor 700.
Def Tech Studio Monitor 55
Triad In Room Silver Satellite
JBL Studio L830
Cerwin Vega CMX6
I love Genelec and as far as sound quality goes they are tough to beat, our company carries them. I also like that they are honest about their specs and give useful measurements of their speakers. Although the 6010 is a great speaker and my favorite small speaker it just isn't going to have the bass output of a larger speaker, for a 3" driver in a small enclosure it is impressive. I think somewhere higher up in the Genelec line would be great but would be over budget for the OP. In fact the new G1 (6010 with different features) and F1 sub would be a great fit and has a wireless remote but not near the OP budget. Also the new M series might be a good fit but I'm not sure when they will be available or pricing. It certainly doesn't hurt to go to a music store and listen to the various models of monitors they have.