Originally Posted by vainkop
I don't have airport express but I'm thinking about using nettop as home media center & connect speakers to it.
Any more options? Because Emotiva Airmotiv 4 are actually monitors & as I understand if I don't record music I'd better buy some "home" high end speakers?
Also I'd like to get at least 3 recommendations to choose from
There are two options here.
1) Active speakers, which are typically classified as studio monitors.
2) Passive speakers, which will require some sort of amplification, either a receiver or amp of sorts.
Studio monitors are designed to be flat (accurate) and produce sound as it is intended. There is nothing wrong with listening to music on studio monitors, the music was produced on that kind of speaker. The difference between those active speakers and traditional passive speakers is the built in amplification.
Active speakers offer good value and the amplifier is designed to match the speakers very well, some of the better active speakers have dedicated amps for the tweeter and woofer as well. You would be very happy with the Emotivas, in my opinion they sound better than the M-Audio speakers your friend has.
Three options in your price range: Emotiva Airmotiv 4, Behringer Truth 2030A, KRK Rokit 5
If you would rather go with a passive speaker, you will need an amp. Since your room is small, you could get away with using a t-amp, this is a compact efficient amplifier designed for small rooms or nearfield use. If you like to turn up your music, I would look elsewhere.
You could go with a basic home theater receiver, this will allow for future upgrade, and give you bass management if/when you add a subwoofer. Something like this Denon AVR-1312
paired with the Cambridge Audio S30
would sound great. Going with a passive setup gives you the ability to upgrade the components separately as well, so you can get better speakers and keep the amp instead of having to replace everything (like with active speakers).