Jump to content
IGNORED

Passive vs active Office


Recommended Posts

Hi Guys

 

I'm curious as to what the general consensus is on which type of speaker is best suited for an office environment. I'm currently in the process of upgrading my sound set up and I can't decide which route to take. Do i go with a DAC and a decent pair of actives or DAC > amp > passives ?

 

I'm really taken with the Kef LS50's but I'm just not sure if they're the correct choice for my office space. Ideally I need them on the desk or up on a shelf above the PC and from what I gather the LS50's need space and to be stand mounted for the best results.

 

I'm currently leaning towards the idea of having passive's as I'm in favour of the idea of each component being separate to tackle it's specific job. So I'd need some convincing that actives are the correct choice.

 

How would a decent pair stack up against the LS50's?

 

Help!

Link to comment

I would consider passive if you have enough deskspace to accommodate all the equipment. I have a passive desktop system and its been a challenge to put an imac, speakers, dac/headphone amp, amp, work stuff. I am considering buying a studio type desk to accommodate. So if you have a big desk it should not be a problem. However if you are tight on space, there are some great active speakers at all prices from Emotiva, Audio Engine, Vanatoo, Dyanaudio, Focal, Adam Audio, Genelec, etc. Even KEF has the x300 system that you can buy refurbished for only 500 with a USB 24/96 included, looks like a great deal. accessories4less have them really cheap.

I don't have dedicated room for audio, but i am really happy with my desktop set up.

Link to comment

I’d also go passive and would look for dedicated shelf-speakers optimized for placement on bookshelves, sideboards and/or directly in front of a wall. On my desktop personally I use Heco Music Colors 100 with the bass reflex port located at the front. Of course they are not in the same league as the Kef LS50… but the Kef’s bass reflex port is located on the back side so I would assume the may sound boomy when placed directly in front of a wall or on a bookshelf.

 

As far as space goes … there is the very compact Pro-Ject S-Line.

http://www.box-designs.com/main.php?info=s-line&cat=s-line&lang=en

I us an Pro-Ject Stereo Box on my desktop.

Box Design by Pro-Ject Audio Systems

Dimensions are only 103 x 36 x 122 millimeters!

This image gives you an idea how compact it is:

pro-ject-little-boxes.jpg

Link to comment

I would go (and have gone) active - passive crossovers suck and external active XO + bi amp is a little bit overkill on a desktop.

 

In any case - active or passive - you need speakers optimized for near field operation!!!

Home: Apple Macbook Pro 17" --Mini-Toslink--> Cambridge Audio DacMagic --XLR--> 2x Genelec 8020B

Work: Apple Macbook Pro 15" --USB--> Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 --1/4\"--> Superlux HD668B / 2x Genelec 6010A

Link to comment
Hi Guys

 

I'm curious as to what the general consensus is on which type of speaker is best suited for an office environment. I'm currently in the process of upgrading my sound set up and I can't decide which route to take. Do i go with a DAC and a decent pair of actives or DAC > amp > passives ?

 

I'm really taken with the Kef LS50's but I'm just not sure if they're the correct choice for my office space. Ideally I need them on the desk or up on a shelf above the PC and from what I gather the LS50's need space and to be stand mounted for the best results.

 

I'm currently leaning towards the idea of having passive's as I'm in favour of the idea of each component being separate to tackle it's specific job. So I'd need some convincing that actives are the correct choice.

 

How would a decent pair stack up against the LS50's?

 

Help!

 

I'll go with actives. Less cables, less space, less issues. And probably less money too. You probably love tinkering with those separates but arent you supposed to work at the office? :)

Huge selection of speakers but lets say Neumann KH120. Small and very good. Or Event Opal if you want bigger and more bass. Not exactly an office speaker though. More like a party speaker. But yours will surely be the best sounding office parties :)

Link to comment

I'm going through the same thing. My conclusion is that there are studio monitors made for near-field use that are probably the way to go for a desktop. Dynaudio and Genelec is where I am looking. I have also noticed that you generally get more for your money in the pro-studio market than in the audiophile market.

 

The case for actives goes beyond just simplicity, rather than each component being specialized for its own function -as you say- the entire system is optimized from the get-go. Studio actives are made for the nearfield environment, the crossover and amplifiers are all made to work specifically with each driver, and a lot of them have varying degrees of EQ built-in for tweaking in the nearfield environment. They can also handle the DA conversion if you pick the right ones.

 

I had been looking about 6 months ago but then let it go. I just noticed one of my top choices, the Dynaudio BM Compact III, is now $800/pair now with a cool stand at Sweetwater. That is less than half the retail price, a smoking deal!

 

Another choice is the Vanatoo which some posters on this forum swear by. They can plug straight into your computer via USB for an all-in-one system.

Roon ->UltraRendu + CI Audio 7v LPS-> Kii Control -> Kii Three

Roon->BMC UltraDAC->Mr Speakers Aeon Flow Open

Link to comment

Thanks for all the feedback guys. I have to admit Actives do seem the logical choice for an office/desktop environment but there's something telling me to go the passive route. If they don't quite work out in my office then I'll just move them into the living room as I plan on doing both rooms this year. I think I've decided on the Kef ls50's and now need to decide what to pair with them.

 

My only source is going to be from my NAS so I don't really need a pre-amp but I would like volume control and a headphone jack on the DAC. Any suggestions on what to look at for a dac/preamp > amp combo for the kef's? Budget is around the £1000 mark.

 

Thanks.

Link to comment
Thanks for all the feedback guys. I have to admit Actives do seem the logical choice for an office/desktop environment but there's something telling me to go the passive route. If they don't quite work out in my office then I'll just move them into the living room as I plan on doing both rooms this year. I think I've decided on the Kef ls50's and now need to decide what to pair with them.

 

My only source is going to be from my NAS so I don't really need a pre-amp but I would like volume control and a headphone jack on the DAC. Any suggestions on what to look at for a dac/preamp > amp combo for the kef's? Budget is around the £1000 mark.

 

Thanks.

 

Ok Jumbo.......simply put, the comparison active vs passive is simply far to much of simplification and not really a valid comparison.....Apples to Oranges kind of thing.

 

There are both good and bad active crossovers.....same can be said for passives. It's the design as a whole that matters most.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...
Thanks for all the feedback guys. I have to admit Actives do seem the logical choice for an office/desktop environment but there's something telling me to go the passive route. If they don't quite work out in my office then I'll just move them into the living room as I plan on doing both rooms this year. I think I've decided on the Kef ls50's and now need to decide what to pair with them.

 

My only source is going to be from my NAS so I don't really need a pre-amp but I would like volume control and a headphone jack on the DAC. Any suggestions on what to look at for a dac/preamp > amp combo for the kef's? Budget is around the £1000 mark.

 

Thanks.

You could try Naim UnitiQute. An ex-demo UnitiQute 2 should be in that ballpark or for a little more a new Qute2b (they recently added Bluetooth input).

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment
Ok Jumbo.......simply put, the comparison active vs passive is simply far to much of simplification and not really a valid comparison.....Apples to Oranges kind of thing.

 

There are both good and bad active crossovers.....same can be said for passives. It's the design as a whole that matters most.

+1

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Jumbo,

 

Obviously everyone has their own view on what sounds good based on their experience and hopefully you are not getting confused.

 

In any case I've had the Benchmark DAC/PRE AMP (USA) & ADAM A7 active monitors (German) system as shown in my signature for about 4 years now and have absolutely loved it. It was my main listening system. You could pick up the whole system 2nd hand for about US$2,000 total, however, all components have since been upgraded for apparently even better sound.

 

Seriously simple set up and space saving and good gear IMO ... check out their range at the web sites below and see if you can't get an audition. Good luck.

 

Benchmark Media Systems, Inc.

 

Homepage | ADAM Audio GmbH

LOUNGE: Mac Mini - Audirvana - Devialet 200 - ATOHM GT1 Speakers

OFFICE : Mac Mini - Audirvana - Benchmark DAC1HDR - ADAM A7 Active Monitors

TRAVEL : MacBook Air - Dragonfly V1.2 DAC - Sennheiser HD 650

BEACH : iPhone 6 - HRT iStreamer DAC - Akimate Micro + powered speakers

Link to comment

I bought KEF LS50s for my office, my girlfriend bought Genelec 8030s for hers. Both setups cost about the same. The Genelecs are better for listening at the computer and they sound great at every volume level. Sitting back a couple of metres and they both sounds good, just different. I like the KEFs for their midrange, and I like the Genelecs for their clarity.

Link to comment

I've started to lean towards some actives now for the office and the Genelec range has me intrigued. But as they're targeted towards professional studio work etc, are they really suitable for general home audio use? The ones that I've been looking at are the 8320a and 8330a's with the SAM technology, they do look great. Regarding some of the other models though such as the 8330b and 8340b, what exactly is the usage difference between the two and which is more suited for general home audio listening. Or am I looking in the completely wrong area and should be focusing on something like their G series?

Link to comment

I’m surprised people are favouring passive set ups. Firstly there is noright or wrong answer and you get great and lousy passive and active set ups. Howeverall things being equal the active version of the same passive speaker is almostalways better, from a technical point of view it is a better design and PeterThomas of PMC backs this view as would most professionals.

The main advantage of active speakers is in the cross over because it isdone before the amp stage, passive cross overs are a weakness. The other advantageis each driver in an active speaker has its own amp specifically designed forthat frequency range and deigned with the speaker in mind. Studios usually useactive speakers for a reason and actually you get many more functional monitorstyle speakers which often represent better value for money and spend less onwood veneers etc.

I’ve had some lovely passive set ups in the past but now I’ve goneactive I can’t see myself going back .

Link to comment
I’m surprised people are favouring passive set ups. Firstly there is noright or wrong answer and you get great and lousy passive and active set ups. Howeverall things being equal the active version of the same passive speaker is almostalways better, from a technical point of view it is a better design and PeterThomas of PMC backs this view as would most professionals.

 

The main advantage of active speakers is in the cross over because it isdone before the amp stage, passive cross overs are a weakness. The other advantageis each driver in an active speaker has its own amp specifically designed forthat frequency range and deigned with the speaker in mind. Studios usually useactive speakers for a reason and actually you get many more functional monitorstyle speakers which often represent better value for money and spend less onwood veneers etc.

 

I’ve had some lovely passive set ups in the past but now I’ve goneactive I can’t see myself going back .

 

 

I'm yet to hear a studio monitor for myself but what concerns me with these "pro" near field monitors is just whether or not they would be suited for home listening. I mean if they're designed to show all the detail and pick up any slight errors as would be needed in the studio, is this really ideal for home listening?

 

I guess I won't know until I hear for myself but I'm thinking the likes of the G series from Genelec for example may be more suited than the 8000 series for what I listen to at home.

Link to comment

Having the room correction built into the speakers and individually optimizing each driver seems like a big deal to me, rather than having software running on a PC to do the room correction, trying to optimize the speaker as a whole, which essentially means it has to fight against the passive crossover.

Link to comment

I’ve always thought a bit too much was made of that, so long as you’vegot decent source material I wouldn’t worry too much about ‘warts and all’. Ifanything in my old passive set up I found the most distracting thing was the congestedsound during complex passages of music.

I had a brief spell with some budget(ish) KRK Rokit 10-3 which are threeway actives with a large 10” driver and they were a lot of fun, I have sinceupgraded to Event Opals which are quite a big step up and whilst detailed theyare very open and natural sounding with no fatigue. I also heard a small pairof Genelecs at a friends recently and they were very composed little speakerswhich I’d highly recommend, also check out the Adam Audio range.

Link to comment
I’m surprised people are favouring passive set ups. Firstly there is noright or wrong answer and you get great and lousy passive and active set ups. Howeverall things being equal the active version of the same passive speaker is almostalways better, from a technical point of view it is a better design and PeterThomas of PMC backs this view as would most professionals.

Careful quoting Peter Thomas on this matter as only the top end of PMC's (professional) line are active design. Lower down the range the so called "Activated" versions of the DB1 and TB1 are just the passive model with a power amp bolted to the back.

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment

Very I am aware of that, always thought that was an odd decision by PMC, lazy even but probably dictated by a lack of resources but they have recently expanded production capability and the newer twotwo equivalents are fully active I believe.

 

Besides Peter Thomas is very well respected and the principle remains, active equivalents are a better design, passive suits the hobby and consumer aspect.

Link to comment
Besides Peter Thomas is very well respected and the principle remains, active equivalents are a better design, passive suits the hobby and consumer aspect.

My point was (and I think I am remembering Peter Thomas's comments rightly) is that he believes that where the resources are available active is a better option, but when you are budget limited you can do better with a single amplifier and a passive crossover.

 

You mention the twotwo range but they are hardly "budget" options.

 

In other words ... "active is better; except when it's not!"

Eloise

---

...in my opinion / experience...

While I agree "Everything may matter" working out what actually affects the sound is a trickier thing.

And I agree "Trust your ears" but equally don't allow them to fool you - trust them with a bit of skepticism.

keep your mind open... But mind your brain doesn't fall out.

Link to comment

Oh yes I agree, it really depends on budget and what is availableof course in practical terms. There tends to be more choose of passive speakersat the budget end although it is worth pointing out many traditional Hi-Fishops won’t stock active gear with a studio heritage and studio gear tends torepresent better value.

It really depends, on a very tight budget I’d probably lookat something like the Q-Acoustics 2010i and a Cambridge Audio with enough juicebut the entry level Adam Audio and Genelecs aren’t too deer and make for a veryneat system with some sort of attenuation.

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now


×
×
  • Create New...