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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi folks,

I'm getting ready to buy a new set of speakers for use with my computer. I would appreciate any advice you have. I use my computer quite often as I work from a home office. I listen to music (classical, bluegrass, classic rock, and a little techno/trance while testing out new speakers) while working and my wife and I like watching movies on it as well, so I will want speakers that work well for both applications.

Currently, I have a macbook pro retina 15' docked to a couple of 27" Samsung 1080 monitors, and I am currently using Insignia computer speakers in 2.1 format. I have an amplified sub (Polk PSW505) which I may or may not use with the new speakers. I might keep it under the desk and flip it on while watching movies. The room is only approx 12x15 and currently offers pretty poor acoustics (basement is unfinished, but will be finished shortly).

I've been reading that the DAC in my MBPR is already quite good, and there isn't much of a reason to invest in an external DAC right away, so am not planning to do so.

I've been thinking about the following options:

1. Audioengine A5+, which seem to have great reviews and are expensive but look great and seem to have nice connectivity options (I can just run a 3.5mm from the MBPR to the A5+, which is convenient, but not a big deal really). They are nice and compact ( 10.75" x 7" x 7.75") but the reviews are very good. $400ish for the pair.

2. I've been looking at powered studio monitors such as the Mackie MR5mk3. They look just fine, are much less expensive than the A5+. They are also compact enough (but I wouldn't want to go much bigger than these at 11.3" x 7.8" x 10.9"). $240ish for 2. I'm not crazy about the fact that there is no volume knob on the front, but I'll get over it.

3. I've also looked at the Mackie CR4 Multimedia Monitors at $150 for the pair. I hate the green ring around them, it's just ugly. But the price is nice and they look compact, though I can't seem to find the dimensions.

I welcome your recommendations. I suppose if I get the studio monitors I have to buy another external device to split the 3.5mm output from my MBPR to the left and right. I'm not overly concerned about budget, but I don't want to spend unnecessarily. If I'm going to spend more, I want a tangible reason. Perhaps the A5+ are overpriced?

Other than that, I've kind of reached a point where I've been reading reviews, but could use some feedback from some enthusiasts like the folks on AVS. Thanks for any input you can offer!

Burns
 

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I don't like the idea of having 2 speakers that are constructed differently, like the Audioengine. I think, at least in my theory, it would be difficult to get the L + R to sound identically...plus if one goes bad or if you later on decide to use them as a basis for home theater, you cannot just buy one the same. No matter, most studio monitors are sold individually...you are the one who assigns L and R since they are identical. Look at Yamaha, JBL, Adam, etc.

As far as volume control on the front, do not expect the best sound to be within arm's reach. They need to be positioned properly in the room on good stands like any speaker where you can experiment with distance from the listener, distance the speakers are apart and listening height. Desks also resonate more than good stands. I use a DAC with a volume control as a preamp on my desk and have speakers on stands some distance away. Mine is a Benchmark DAC-1 which are easy to find used. If that is too much $$$, you can get USB audio interfaces at music stores (when you get the monitors) that are cheaper.
 

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I will echo what was said above. The a5's are good for what they are but if you are looking at monitors there is better for similar price out there. I use a pair of the mackie mr5mk2 on my computer and are very happy with them. They have plenty of power and have a bass bump that makes them thump but doesn't ruin the sound so I don't need a sub. If you can do it in your budget I would look at the jbl monitors or the adam ones as they are better, but the Adams will run you around 300 a speaker.

If you have the opportunity to go to guitar center I would as they have the mackie, jbl, adam, and other monitors on display to listen to I would.

As to the volume Control I use a Schiit SYS, http://schiit.com/products/sys, to control the volume, it is a 2 input 1 output preamp with switch for $50 and works great.

Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk
 
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