I'm looking to upgrade my Audioengine A2s, which I've owned for the last three years. I actually really love these speakers; they've gotten quite a bit of backlash lately, but I do enjoy the midrange emphasis and warmth of them, even if it might not be considered hi-fi. But, I'm looking for an improvement on them, since I would like a bit less warmth and more clarity, although still with a fantastic midrange.
I know there are a lot of threads about roughly $500 speakers (including the one below), but I have some requests and didn't want to just steal another thread. My budget is $500 total (so either active speakers or passive plus a speaker amp). They'll mainly be used as near-field speakers on a desk in a smallish room and I mainly listen to music pretty quietly, so they don't need to put out a huge amount of sound, although having that option would be nice. I mainly listen to indie rock and do enjoy my vocalists, so being able to make out vocals is my chief concerns regarding sound signature. My final problem is that I would prefer the speaker to have multiple inputs so that I can plug in my turntable (Rega Planar 3) and my digital music (from a Musical Fidelity V-DAC II) and switch between them. That's one of the reasons I love the A2s: I don't need to fiddle with cables all the time and it automatically switches based on what's playing. I want a speaker that can play multiple inputs without me having to change cables all the time. A mixer/switcher (I think) should be a work around for this, since this request limits a lot of options, but I know nothing about them and would need a recommendation for that too if I go that route. My desk space is also not huge, so smaller would be better.
I was looking at the Audioengine A5+, which seems to have all the features I need, but that seems to be not the best quality speaker for the price. I also found the Aktimate Mini for a similar price, which might be an option if that's a better speaker (and it seems to be). Other options I've considered are the KRK Rokit 6, Yamaha HS80M, Emotiv Airmotiv 5, and Adam A3X (probably too high of a price for me). The Airmotiv 5 especially seems to have gotten very good reviews. However, none of them have multiple inputs can either switch or play together, so I would need a solution for that. I haven't really checked out any passive speakers, but they and the amp would need to be relatively small.
Sorry if that was a lot of reading and thanks for the help!
Edited by HeroicPenguin - 4/8/13 at 9:57pm