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Help on Computer Speakers...


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I already have a computer-based audio system in play (MBP and CI Audio DAC/PRE/PSU/Monos). What I'm seeking help for is in my home office, where I spend quite a bit of time in front of my 5k iMac. I want to add speakers to it - don't need sky's the limit units - but don't want to go the Logitech route, either.

 

Im interested in a set of solid powered speakers or ones that are a little cheaper and I could add a DAC to. But it's been slim pickings online searching. The best I have come up with are either the KEF X300A's or the AudioEngine A5+'s and adding a Schiit Modi2/SYS to it. Both come out to around the same price where I live.

 

Are there any other options i'm not seeing, and if not, can any of you recommend one over the other? I'm using the computer for work, and listening to music in the background, or sometimes watching movies on it while waiting for an email/call. So I'm not in need of the world's best audio sound or THX certification. Just a solid set of powered speakers, because it would be way overboard for me to be investing in amps and other gear for this. I already have a home theatre set-up and an audio system.

 

Thoughts, ideas?

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I already have a computer-based audio system in play (MBP and CI Audio DAC/PRE/PSU/Monos). What I'm seeking help for is in my home office, where I spend quite a bit of time in front of my 5k iMac. I want to add speakers to it - don't need sky's the limit units - but don't want to go the Logitech route, either.

 

Im interested in a set of solid powered speakers or ones that are a little cheaper and I could add a DAC to. But it's been slim pickings online searching. The best I have come up with are either the KEF X300A's or the AudioEngine A5+'s and adding a Schiit Modi2/SYS to it. Both come out to around the same price where I live.

 

Are there any other options i'm not seeing, and if not, can any of you recommend one over the other? I'm using the computer for work, and listening to music in the background, or sometimes watching movies on it while waiting for an email/call. So I'm not in need of the world's best audio sound or THX certification. Just a solid set of powered speakers, because it would be way overboard for me to be investing in amps and other gear for this. I already have a home theatre set-up and an audio system.

 

Thoughts, ideas?

 

You obviously know a bit about this subject already. IMO, the Audioengine A5 is a bit large for a near-field computer setup. They are more like bookshelf speakers. Consider the Audioengine A2+ for desktop use. They have a built-in 16/48 DAC, plenty of power, and a volume knob. They have RCA inputs as well, if you still want to use a better outboard DAC.

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I use Emotiva Airmotiv 4s as my computer near-filed monitors: https://emotiva.com/products/powered-monitors/speakers/airmotiv-4s

Not too big, great sound and very good price with the the current sale.

 

I have them attached to the wall behind my LCD monitor with the ASM Brackets: https://emotiva.com/products/accessories/asm-bracket.

 

And I adjust the volume with the Control Freak: https://emotiva.com/products/electronics/control-freak.

Software: HQPlayer | JRiver | Fidelizer Pro | Roon | Qobuz

Music Server: i7 6700K (Windows 10) | DAC: T+A DAC8 DSD, Marantz SA 14S-1, Schitt Yggdrasil | Preamp: DIY AMB alpha24 Fully-differential line amp | Amp: DIY M3 Balanced or DIY Tube Amp (2A3-300B) | Headphone: Shure SRH-1840, Audeze LCD-X, AKG K-501, Sennheiser HD600, HD800 | Speakers: Klipsch Heresey III

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JBL LSR305 or LSR308 as another alternative matched with the Schiit Modi (or one of the alternatives).

 

Though I like the KEF X300A too.

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.

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I already have a computer-based audio system in play (MBP and CI Audio DAC/PRE/PSU/Monos). What I'm seeking help for is in my home office, where I spend quite a bit of time in front of my 5k iMac. I want to add speakers to it - don't need sky's the limit units - but don't want to go the Logitech route, either.

 

Im interested in a set of solid powered speakers or ones that are a little cheaper and I could add a DAC to. But it's been slim pickings online searching. The best I have come up with are either the KEF X300A's or the AudioEngine A5+'s and adding a Schiit Modi2/SYS to it. Both come out to around the same price where I live.

 

Are there any other options i'm not seeing, and if not, can any of you recommend one over the other? I'm using the computer for work, and listening to music in the background, or sometimes watching movies on it while waiting for an email/call. So I'm not in need of the world's best audio sound or THX certification. Just a solid set of powered speakers, because it would be way overboard for me to be investing in amps and other gear for this. I already have a home theatre set-up and an audio system.

 

Thoughts, ideas?

 

I use KEF X300As in my office to good effect. Depending on the size of your desk, they might be a bit large. For that same KEF Uni-Q sound using less real estate, try the new KEF Egg active speakers. (Disclaimer: I'm an authorized KEF dealer.)

 

Jeff

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I am in the process of upgrading my desktop system at work. I'm going with Dynaudio Emit M10's and an Elac S10 subwoofer. I already have a spare power amp so I didn't need to go the powered speaker route. I have some of the AudioEngine speaker stands to get the tweeters aimed at my ears.

 

OP, if you want to go with passive speakers, Emotiva has the Mini-X amp on sale for $149, then you might consider the Elac B5's which have really been getting a lot of positive press as of late.

 

Otherwise, I like Audio_Elf's suggestion of the JBL LSR305.

Home: Melco N1A/2 | EtherRegen+Farad | UltraRendu+Farad | Denafrips Gaia | Denafrips Terminator Plus | Jeff Rowland Coherence II Series 2 pre | Blue Circle Audio BC-202 amp | Raidho XT-1 | 2 Revel Performa3 B112 subwoofers  | PS Audio DS Power Plant 12 

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Office:  Holo Audio Spring 3 KTE w/preamp module | Blue Circle Audio BC-28 amp | Raidho X-1 | REL T/5x sub

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Pioneer SP-BS22, $99 free shipping. ELAC sub if you want. ELAC B5 or B6 speakers if you want to spend a little more.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

The fairest thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. - Einstein

Computer, Audirvana -> optical to EtherREGEN -> microRendu -> ISO Regen -> Pro-Ject Pre Box S2 DAC -> Spectral DMC-12 & DMA-150 -> Vandersteen 3A Signature.

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I'm using the new Audioengine HD6 with Schiit Audio Bifrost (multibit version) and it sounds really good.

 

The Yamaha NX-N500 are good.

 

If you have the space, Magnepan has some really cool desktop options.

 

The Eclipse TD-M1 are nice as well.

Founder of Audiophile Style

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At the really low-end budget check out Swans speakers, very musical, especially Swans M200MKII and Swans M200MKIII.

 

Audioengine is also a good option. Genelec, higher up the chain, but also for the time when you want to lean back for some critical listening.

 

I have a thing for KEF, so the X300A series obviously.

 

I also have the Sonos Play 5, but it's a bit pricey so you can consider the Play 1 and Play 3. They were definitely an upgrade over my Logitech Bluetooth speakers, and quite good for streaming music, just not serious stereo though. I probably wouldn't spend on the Sonos now, much better options for the same price especially with the addition of Chromecast Audio. However, they are extremely easy to place and move around, and the wireless streaming is definitely a huge plus.

Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world - Martin Luther

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I looked around and tested but nothing came close to a pair of active pro monitors from Genelec.

These are not toys and they will last you a lifetime.

5 years of warranty against everything but use in hand to hand combat.

Precise, room compensation through DIP, sturdy and indestructible.

 

Two Genelec 8010 and a Dragonfly DAC 1.2 makes a great desktop or travel setup at 3 kg.

 

I would probably go with a Schiit Fulla or one of the other Schiit DACs today.

 

 

8010.jpeg

 

 

Do they sound better with a SUB - you bet ya.

Genelec 8040 fits the bill for stereo, Genelec 7050 for 5.1 surround

 

Places to buy:

EU: Thomann

US: Vintageking

ALAC/FLAC 16/44 - 24/192 stereo/surround on Promise Pegasus2 R6 12TB -> Thunderbolt ->
MacBook Pro -> Firewire -> Weiss AFI-1 DDC -> AES/EBU ->
Genelec 5 x 8260A + 7271A sub

iPhone SE 2 -> Philips Fidelio X2 or Sennheiser PXC 550 on BT
Blog: “Confessions of a DigiPhile” at http://www.computeraudiophile.com/blogs/digipete

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  • 2 weeks later...

I owned the AudioEngine A5's and A5+'s. They're not as good as the KEF X300's but would be more appealing if bass is important. They're easy to add a subwoofer to. The KEF's aren't. Personally, I'd get the KEF's in that range. You get better soundstage and clarity. Plus they come with a built in DAC. The only thing the A5's do better are bass and the ability to easily add on.

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I owned the AudioEngine A5's and A5+'s. They're not as good as the KEF X300's but would be more appealing if bass is important. They're easy to add a subwoofer to. The KEF's aren't. Personally, I'd get the KEF's in that range. You get better soundstage and clarity. Plus they come with a built in DAC. The only thing the A5's do better are bass and the ability to easily add on.

 

Another option in the KEF line is the new Egg active speakers. They retail at $500, have an onboard 24/96 capable DAC, connect via USB, optical, aptX bluetooth, or an auxiliary in, and they have a sub out if you want more bass. (Disclaimer: I'm an authorized KEF dealer.)

 

Jeff

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+1 on KEF X300A. I used to drive a pair with a PC and a Cambridge Audio DacMagic+, with good results, but recently I moved the X300A into a bedroom and used an Aries Mini to drive it with fantastic results.

 

X300A takes both analog and USB inputs, with priority given to USB I believe, so two sources can be hooked up: PC over USB, and a DAC or DAC-integrated streamer over analog. The PC when in use will play to X300A, and when shut down or in sleep, then the DAC can play. I have used Aries Mini/X300A for playing local content (from NAS), internet radio and AirPlay with great results. TIDAL should be next for me to try. Sound quality wise, the X300A driven by Aries Mini trumps all my PCs over USB.

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I looked around and tested but nothing came close to a pair of active pro monitors from Genelec.

These are not toys and they will last you a lifetime.

5 years of warranty against everything but use in hand to hand combat.

Precise, room compensation through DIP, sturdy and indestructible.

 

Two Genelec 8010 and a Dragonfly DAC 1.2 makes a great desktop or travel setup at 3 kg.

 

I would probably go with a Schiit Fulla or one of the other Schiit DACs today.

 

 

[ATTACH=CONFIG]22665[/ATTACH]

 

 

Do they sound better with a SUB - you bet ya.

Genelec 8040 fits the bill for stereo, Genelec 7050 for 5.1 surround

 

Places to buy:

EU: Thomann

US: Vintageking

 

Genelecs are definitely good. I have two 8020As. As a travel setup, though? Not unless you have a butler with you. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...
I owned the AudioEngine A5's and A5+'s. They're not as good as the KEF X300's but would be more appealing if bass is important. They're easy to add a subwoofer to. The KEF's aren't. Personally, I'd get the KEF's in that range. You get better soundstage and clarity. Plus they come with a built in DAC. The only thing the A5's do better are bass and the ability to easily add on.

There is a modded version with subwoofer outputs available of the KEF X300's.

 

EAC -> FLAC -> Oyen Digital miniPro 2TB -> USB -> Lenovo ThinkPad X200 WIN XP -> Dirac Live Room Correction Suite -> AlbumPlayer -> Audioquest USB cable -> Hegel H100 DAC & amplifier -> 2.5mm copper -> AVI Trio loudspeakers

 

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