I know this will irk some people by my philistine approach, but bear with me
I currently have a Harmon Kardon 3480 and Celestion speakers for my main living room (apartment, not too big). Both were bought used and have given me good service, but the amount of wiring for what essentially amounts to me blasting a laptop or similar output (HDMI from television, or simply a phone playing low-bit MP3 files) is getting on my nerves. Simultaneously, the sound has "degraded". I'm not sure where to isolate it, but on the whole I'm just underwhelmed; it gets loud but remains muffled (they aren't blown, I don't think, just something's off).
So I'm taking the opportunity to rethink my rig. Should I to a "dream system" which would satisfy the following:
1. Small footprint - two powered speakers if possible - but speakers don't have to be right next to each others (what I have learned is called near field?)
2. Can power a medium sized party in a medium sized room (I can buy a sub if necessary) and from time to time go LOUD and blast some people away.
3. Super simple on/off. Think almost desktop speakers that can be used in a living room.
4. Around $500 or less (I know, I know).
5. Would be awesome to have a digital input since right now i run the Digital out from TV and have a converted, which is yet another effing power consumer. Integrated optical/digital in?
What do you folks recommend? From reading around the forums, I've seen recs for AudioEngine A5+ (these are appealing because of the tiny remote and the fact that only speaker has to be powered), Rokit 5, Airmotiv 5 (but for these I'd need a DAC which the A5+ do not require, correct?) and more. All of them look great. I just want small, unobtrusive, huge sound. Are all these impossible together?
Another alternative: a mini amp (emotiva?) + new bookshelfs like CBM-170 SE.
Alternative -- am I totally an idiot and should keep the HK amp and get new speakers and wires?
Sorry for all the riff-raff guys, but I just want to downsize my footprint :-)
Edited by swanhnster7 - 9/29/13 at 4:14pm