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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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.

Strongly prefer (1) USB input so I can use dac inside speaker and not ext dac and (2) tone controls.


1. Vanatoo T1E $599 - has both USB and tone controls. Goes to 48 Hz and has sub out. The bookshelf woofers stop playing frequencies below 80 Hz if I add a sub, such that they play cleaner.

2. Kanto TUK $800. USB input and sub out. The sub out reduces low freqs played by the TUK woofers like I want. Expensive for a Kanto.

3. SVS prime wireless 2.0 system -- goes down to 52 Hz, actively biamped, no USB input but can use PlayFi app, although it is known to be awkward. The bookshelf woofers stop playing frequencies below 80 Hz if I add a sub, such that they play cleaner.

4. Micca PB42X. Needs ext dac

5. Kanto YU2+sub $500 or YU6 $400 - I think no tone controls. While it has a sub out, I think the bookshelf woofers continue to play full range even after connecting a sub.

6. Edifier S1000DB $300 - tone controls, goes to 48 Hz. NO sub out, no USB in.

7. Klipsch The Sixes - no tone controls. I'd like a treble control in case the treble is too low for my liking, e.g., on my Sonos, I always reduce bass by 3dB and it helps to boost treble

8. Audioengine HD6 - no tone controls, no USB input so I'll need a DAC and the speaker will then convert the analog signal back to digital with an ADC.

9. KEF LS50W $1700 - best sound, imaging of all speakers and goes to 40 Hz but apps are awkward, needs two apps, anecdotal reliability issues, may be too transparent/neutral for me. I need brighter sound.

10. Kali Audio IN-8, or LP-6. Not sure if I want brutally honest flat response. I appear to like a curve with mids enhanced like Sonos.

11. Neumann KH 80 DSP $1K pair. Needs ext dac.

12. Emotiva Stealth DC-1, Adam7. Needs ext dac

13. Edifier S3000Pro. Tone controls, USB in, and sub out. But wireless left speaker drops out and pops like the Xeo 10.
 

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@Russdawg1, they look great and will put them on my audition list, but lower becuase 1) pretty large, 2) I'd need an audio interface to control volume, right, unless I hook up Zorba's USB DAC to RCA to XLR cables? 3) Don't know how these will be 6' from the speakers. While I intend to listen near-field, from time to time, I may pull my chair back 5' from the desk. Let's see but thanks for the suggestion. 4) Hiss?

You can try the LP-6 instead which is much cheaper.

I was pretty sure they had RCA inputs on the back.

Hiss shouldn’t be a problem with any decently designed amp in the back of any speaker.
 

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Th Kanto Tuk also has bluetooth connectivity so its probably similar to the Xeo. the Tuk also has a second RCA input and optical-in making it pretty versital speaker without the need for an external amp or preamp.
 

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They appear to have USB input as well as sub output and Kanto makes a little sub that would be OK for a small home office like mine. Don't think I need a preamp since I don't do Vinyl. I did look at thsi earlier but dismissed thinkign that if I spend $800, might as well get the Dynaudio Xeo 2 for $800. I'll put this back on the list.
I know this guy's a little goofy but this video, especially starting around 14:30 is why I ruled out this sub.

 

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its pretty rare when speaker manufacturers also make great subs. Luckily the sub and speaker brands don't have to match. However, Z reviews should be taken with a grain of salt. Good entertainment value though. The S8 gets good reviews elsewhere but i would step the new Emotiva Airmotiv S8. The old BasX S8 got some very good recommendations and this one looks like its stepped up from the orgininal

https://hometheaterreview.com/kanto-yu6-sub8-powered-speaker-system-reviewed/?page=2


https://emotiva.com/products/airmotiv-s8
 

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Thanks. If I had to get a sub though, I'd likely get the speedwoofer 10s that's been recommended to me many times on AVS. I'll look t this Emotiva
I haven't seen any bad reviews for the Kanto Sub 8 especially for desktop music in small rooms.
The Airmotiv S8 is new so the jury is still out. I would still call it a safe choice because their old BasX subs were very well received. My recommendation was mostly a size and cost consideration relative to the Kanto subs. the Speedwoofer 10S would definitely be a considerable step up from the Kanto and like better than the Airmotiv S8.
 

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Ya, I'll definitely need a sub even for thsi small desktop computer setup I'm putting together. 80% of the time, I'm working and playing music soft for background. I can't hear midbass and bass at those soft volumes even though the Xeo 10 goes don to 40 Hz. The minute I raise volume, the midbass/bass kick in. I guess due to the human ear not hearing different freq at the same level at softer volumes. So, I'd like a small music sub at lower volumes to pick up the slack. Either that or tone controls, which my flat/nuetral Xeo 10 doesn't have.
There's a recent thread in the subwoofer forum about small subs...

https://www.avsforum.com/forum/113-subwoofers-bass-transducers/3122054-tiny-but-extended-subwoofer.html
 

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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.)
 

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Thanks.

Rearranged and revised list with your comments, thansk.

Just curious, I don't see how the sub crossover will transform powered TUK bookshelves into active. The crossover will be just between the bookshelves and the sub, right?

Thx for the genelec recommendation. I'm beginning to wonder, though, from my own experience with the Xeo 10 whether an honest nuetral speaker is what i need. My ears appear to prefer the Sonos freq response (smiley with boosted mids) at least for nearfield!
What is "smiley with boosted mids?" A "smiley" EQ is boosted lows and highs. If you boost the mids at the same time, you might as well not boost anything and just turn the volume up.
 

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I guess I' struggling to explain my liking for the Sonos frequency curve. Would anyone know what that curve does? The bass is tight and pounding, treble is bright, and yet vocals and guitar (mids) are clear and forward. It is definitely not neutral like my Xeo 10, which I also like very much now that I pointed the tweeters right at my ears. Sonos does not need to be pointed at my ears.
I don't know which Sonos speakers you have. Here is the Frequency response of the Sonos Play1 as measured by Brent Butterworth:


https://www.lifewire.com/sonos-play-1-measurements-4103874

The blue trace is the on-axis response. The green trace is the 30 degree listening window response. They are almost identical, which means the speaker will sound virtually the same no matter what angle it is listened to, up to 30 degrees. The overall response is quite flat with a rising bass response. I would describe these as neutral to warm sounding based on this response.

I could not find a measured response of the Xeo10, but here is the FR of the Xeo 3, it's predessor. Both use a 1.08" soft dome tweeter and a 5.5" woofer. The Xeo-3 uses dual 50 watt amps while the Xeo-10 uses dual 65 watt amps.



https://www.princeton.edu/3D3A/Directivity/Dynaudio Xeo 3/images/Plots/Vertical/Dynaudio Xeo 3 V Freq Resp Plot Q1.png

This shows a fairly flat response in the 0 degree trace, (on axis),but with a *significant* dip of about 12 dB around 4 kHz, +/- 5 kHz!!!. That 12 dB dip will make the lower treble sound almost non-existent! The off-axis response is much worse than the on-axis. Off-axis is flatter through the 4 KHz range but there are significant dips in the 1 to 2 kHz range and it shows severely rolled off treble response. These speakers are definitely NOT "neutral" and I doubt they will sound great when listened to on any axis, but on-axis will likely sound better than off-axis. Hopefully Dynaudio has improved these with more recent models.

Nonetheless, if the Xeo 10's measure and sound anything like the Xeo-3's, your listening impressions are not at all surprising, and it is certainly understandable why you prefer the Sonos. :)

Craig
 

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See! I knew it! Thank you so much. Was driving me crazy. It's not my mild hearing loss after all! I just couldn't hear lower treble and then high treble from the Xeo 10 until I pointed the damn things right at my ears 2' from me. So they're not flat/neutral unlike what CNET said. I knew it. The sound is great at a very narrow position sweet spot but the minute I move, it becomes dull. Thank you. I finally understand why. And also I finally understand why I like the Sonos One even though most on AVS will knock it. So the Sonos One measurement is not so bad at all!

And matching what AVS says (looking at you @Russdawg1 ), measurements do matter. I just thought they didn't because the Sonos (that I thought measure badly) sounds good to me and the Xeo 10 (that I thought measured well) doesn't sound good.

I bet my plan of trying two Sonos Play 5s in stereo will sound good. How sad it doesn't have voice control yet unlike the Sonos One.
If you're looking for flat on- and-off-axis response, I can suggest the JBL 308's. Their response curves can be found here:
https://speakerdata2034.blogspot.com/2019/03/spinorama-data-jbl-pro-studio.html


Craig
 
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See! I knew it! Thank you so much. Was driving me crazy. It's not my mild hearing loss after all! I just couldn't hear lower treble and then high treble from the Xeo 10 until I pointed the damn things right at my ears 2' from me. So they're not flat/neutral unlike what CNET said. I knew it. The sound is great at a very narrow position sweet spot but the minute I move, it becomes dull. Thank you. I finally understand why. And also I finally understand why I like the Sonos One even though most on AVS will knock it. So the Sonos One measurement is not so bad at all!



And matching what AVS says (looking at you @Russdawg1), measurements do matter. I just thought they didn't because the Sonos (that I thought measure badly) sounds good to me and the Xeo 10 (that I thought measured well) doesn't sound good.



I bet my plan of trying two Sonos Play 5s in stereo will sound good. How sad it doesn't have voice control yet unlike the Sonos One.

Not sure when I became AVS, but first hand experience found by yourself is much more valuable than read info by all of us :)

That’s where I got most of my info. Trying things out, going to hear things. Reading is nice too, but generally isn’t the greatest option unless it is 100% verified, like a scholarly article, or published book like Dr. Toole’s book (Definitely get one, it is a great read). Audioholics, HTR and Soundstage all take measurements of their speakers which are exceptionally useful.

And as @craig john has mentioned, that link includes a lot of measurements and links to where you can find others.
 

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I listened to the little kef's a couple weeks ago, very good but need a sub. There's 1 company that's been doing dsp longer than anybody not on your list, and while their products are too expensive to buy new AG has great prices on used gear all the time, hint check my sig.
 
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The Sonos 5 have quite excellent measured performance. If you like the way they sound, add the wireless Sonos sub. It’s fairly small and plays low enough for music around 30 Hz. You can expand this to whole home audio if you ever want to just by adding speakers.


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you forgot AirPulse Model 1 (A200) $999 USD
horn loaded ribbon tweeter
invisible 5" midrange
I have lived with them 2 years. Very nice for the money. MacBookPro>Audirvana+> Wyred4Sound Reclocker> SMSL SU8 DAC >JBL LSR 310S subwoofer> AirPulse Model 1. I am using a Furman PL8 for power conditioning.

I started with JBL LSR305 MkI. What I have done lately is flip the 305 pair upside down on top of the AirPulse. Livelier, stout soundstage. If I feel there are any phase or soundstage issues I move the speakers around a bit. Sounds great.
 

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Nope not me..lol.. i may have mentioned the kefls50 wireless. Which i happend to get a used pair at a great price. But have been unable to setup due to other obligations..


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