Originally Posted by Vikram Iyengar
Now that my Xeo 10 audition left a little to be desired, I'm back in the market for active speakers for my desktop. I'd like to exhaust my active possibilities before trying AVR+passive to avoid clutter in my smaller home office. I'd prefer active rather than just powered, such that each speaker has an active crossover and active biamping. The list below is in no order.
Vik, pretty astute preference there for actively amplified speakers rather than simply powered. Mainly due to principle of superposition of audio, actively amplified speakers are much more than the sum of their parts and have inherent performance advantages over speakers that are simply powered (one amp per channel with passive crossover).
Unfortunately, speaker manufacturers and the consumer audio press tend to use the terms interchangeably, so it can be difficult to tell an actively amplified speaker from one which is simply powered. Of your list above (as at today), the Kanto's, Audioengine and Klipsch are powered only and not
actively amplified, so you may wish to reconsider their position on the list.
Having said that, the Kanto TUK's appear fairly unique in that a (fixed?) DSP LPF/HPF can be invoked when a sub is connected. This is, in effect, active bi-amping and does accrue a large proportion of the benefit of an actively bi-amped speaker.
If you're interested in secondhand, keep an eye on the Gearslutz classifieds
for active studio monitors. If nothing else, it will give you an idea of what's out there in the marketplace. Many will have on-board EQ adjustability, however will only have analogue audio inputs (balanced/XLR), so you'll need some sort of DAC/audio interface upstream of them. (This pair of Genelec's caught my eye.