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Impressions on these wireless speakers

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I've been searching vigorously for a pair of speakers that will be a perfect addition to my workspace. I've looked all over head fi and the internet at different types and brands of speakers i.e. passive, active, wireless, bluetooth. I pretty much came to the conclusion that I don't want a dedicated system that can only be hooked up to computer, but is more on the portable side. I haven't limited my search to just portability, but thats definitely a big plus. It seems like whenever I find a speaker that might end the search, it doesn't fulfill one of my requirements or lacks something. Basically I'm looking for an aesthetically appealing designed pair of speakers, that are minimal in both design and size, that also sound great, but have to be under 500. They would be used for near field listening mostly. 


These are the speakers I have been looking at, but haven't settled because they haven't met all the criteria.



Wireless speakers


Sonos play 1: They seem to get a lot of attention everywhere but head fi, so I'm just curious what people have to say about them. I'm kinda bummed that they can only be played if you have a wifi connection. Its 200 for each speaker, and I want a stereo setup, not a mono, therefore I would have to buy two.


Harman Kardon Nova: There is hardly any info about them online, but they look interesting in terms of the features and design.


Focal xs book wireless: There a little too big for something I want to place on my desk. 


Grace Digital Bluetooth speakers: Design is so so, and I can't find many reviews on them.


Ruark Mr1: Only sold in UK, and there isn't many customer reviews on them.



Computer Speakers


B&W mm1: Little expensive, cost may not be worth the price versus competitors, have to be hooked up to computer.


Focal xs 2.1: Costly as well, I would have rather had no sub and more refinement done in the speakers, also have to be hooked to the computer.


Audioengine a2+: Design is so so, have to be hooked to computer, unless you pay for the wireless system, which adds on another 150 to the $250.


Of all these speakers, I was most interested in the Ruark Mr1, but was bummed to find out that its impossible to purchase them if you live in the United States. I contacted them, and other retailers that carry the speakers, but no luck. Why is this? It seems that they sell to every other country but the U.S. 



Any insight would be awesome!

post #2 of 7
Some thoughts:

You have to pay more to get good sound via wireless than simply getting good powered speakers, and then you might not even get good wireless sound (depends on how good the electronics are). That's why the Focal XS Book without wireless are a good bit cheaper than with.

If you don't go wireless, you could spend part of your budget on an external DAC if you are using onboard computer audio sound; good way to get better SQ.

Small driver speakers like the Focal XS 2.1 have to have a subwoofer. It's hard (expensive) to create tiny driver speakers than can reproduce a full range of sound down into the lower midbass region. So subs with tiny driver speakers like the XS 2.1 are also supplying all of the midbass. They'll sound crappy without a sub.
Edited by cel4145 - 11/15/13 at 9:17pm
post #3 of 7
If you are an Apple person, you can get Apple Airport Express and hook it to any powered speakers you want.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

I didn't realize you could do that with the airport. Thanks for the recommendation. I'll very likely go that route. I just need to do some research on powered speakers that fit my criteria. I have already been looking at a2+, but i'm gonna do my research. Would it be more beneficial to buy a set of bookshelf speakers, and amp, and airport versus self powered speakers paired up with the airport.

post #5 of 7
If you have an Apple computer and iPhone and want wireless music capability, the Airport Express is a nice choice for being able to stream music from either of your devices. Not sure how it works for streaming other audio from a device (I'm not an Apple person).

I don't know which would be better for you regarding speakers and amp or powered speakers. You have some strict aesthetic requirements and speaker size requirements. For instance, I'd recommend looking at the Emotiva Airmotiv 4s. Or maybe ARX A1b speakers and a t-amp like the Topping TP21. But I suspect that those might not be what you are looking for.
post #6 of 7

I have the perfect speakers for you.Like you i was hunting the net for months and was going to pull the trigger on some Epoz aktimate mini speakers.I wanted the seperation and true hi fi sound that you would not get from a single unit like the zeppelin etc.I saw a pair of speakers in a closing down sale reduced to 160 pounds.They are the best things i have ever bought.I have also seen them on ebay for about 250 pounds.Read the reviews .http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2406420,00.asp

They have one connecting wire from speaker to speaker so are not wireless.They are so portable and can be moved easily.

Edited by keepitsimple - 11/16/13 at 7:57am
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replays, I looked up the Monster speakers, they are nice, but way to giant for my desk. I have been looking at Swans products a lot, they seem to get good reviews and they're pretty aesthetically pleasing. I was look a the m200 mkiii first, but its 15 inches tall, which is to tall. Then I began looking at the m100 and m50w. I like that the m100 has bluetooth connectivity, which means I don't necessarily need an airport. However, I like that the m50w satellite speakers are much smaller than their counterpart, which will look nicer on my desk. I was wondering if you loose quality when you stream via bluetooth, or stream wirelessly with the airport. Also, I'm not sure if It's a good idea to purchase a dac with these speakers.

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