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best active speaker setup under $1K USD street price

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by iridium7777, Nov 15, 2018.
  1. iridium7777
    looking to transition beyond headphones and share my music enthusiasm with the family. looking for a setup for a small listening room, about 20x20, with the couch being positioned about 10ft away from the speakers.

    my requirements that it should ideally have DNLA/wifi streaming capabilities, but otherwise i plan on using my KANN as a middle-man music server so the speakers at minimum would have to have at least a USB audio-in or good ol' 3.5mm input.

    looking for active speakers, not interested in piecing together a separate pre-amp/amp/speaker combo.

    so far, things that i'm considering:
    • Naim Mu-So -- great looking little package that has everything i need above, i can stream from Audiorvana to it directly or plug in my KANN on the side. the only negative that i can think of is reading the reviews people state that it's not as good as a true stereo setup, but i love everything else about this.
    • Audioengine HD6 -- these pretty much look like a great setup, have all the inputs that i would ever need and the price is ridiculously reasonable. people seem to compare these to KEF's that cost 2x-4x more, albeit not as good, obviously
    • KEF LSX -- smaller(?) version of the LS50W, which if i had the money i would get right away. my concern is that this setup may be too small to fill the room but i'll gladly get your inputs.
    anyone have any experience with the 3 speakers above or would like to suggest something else? input much appreciated.
  2. alpha421
    Don't have any of those speakers, but have and recommend the Klipsch The Sixes speakers.
    legion1capone likes this.
  3. iridium7777
    have you tried anything else prior to getting the the Sixes? do you use any other dac/amp or use them as-is? i read that most of the speakers, outside of the Naim are very sensitive to placements and have to have space off the wall -- is that your experience?

  4. Oublie
    If you can find a pair Behringer Truth B3031A are very good for the price you would have to buy them second hand though they got great reviews in the audiophile community. I have 3 in my home cinema as left centre and right. The rest are Truth B2031A 275 Watts each dual amps with phono and xlr input flat 50hz to 22k these are available new you could easily add a dac with Bluetooth and volume control. BTW the speakers have settings for auto on and different bass and high frequency settings depending on placement There are probably more expensive options but for the money I think they are pretty decent.
  5. legion1capone
    Swan m200mkIII sound amazing! Though I have never heard them in a larger room. I use them at my PC.
  6. alpha421
    Nope. I read up on them for about 6 months before purchasing them. I have mine placed on my fireplace hearth about 5ft apart. The opening of the wood fireplace, which I never use is covered with a decorated half-inch-thick painted plywood. I did noticed a drop (not drastic) in bass impact and quantity when I had the board removed, but these Klipschs like other Klipsch speakers (non-powered) models I've owned does make it's low end known. I never felt the need for a subwoofer. This speaker sits in the formal living and piano room. I use its built in DAC and either connect my phone or tablet via BT. Sometimes, I'll connect the tablet via USB for the highest output quality with my hires albums. It fulfills the duties of providing an easy method of getting very musical and dynamic sound presentation with attractive aesthetics that is approved by my significant other.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
  7. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Monoprice 5" studio monitors, $150
    Or get the Monoprice 8" studio monitors, $170

    add the Monoprice 10" sub-woofer, $220

    Hifimediy optical DAC, $60

    Wireless receiver, with optical output. $30-$50

    Assorted cables, $30?

    So around $490 to $530 for a 2.1 setup.

    You would also have the option of connecting the KANN (using it's DAC feature) directly to the Monoprice 2.1 setup, bypassing the wireless receiver and Hifimediy DAC
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2018
  8. PaganDL
    Hi @iridium7777,

    I suggest you look at something like the Genelec pro range 8000 series or if you want streaming style, their SAM series is good too.
    For good deals, visit any pro audio place, they should be able to help you out.
    For keeping things organised & simple, I also suggest something like a monitor controller, eg Drawmer MC2.1 or even more simple & basic, Presonus HP 4.

    Hope you have a great day !
  9. iridium7777
    thank you all for replying:

    for my "long" term aspirational solution i'm going to keep saving my pennies and buy the KEF LS50W, it seems like it's a perfect all-in-one solution with incredible sound quality.

    for the short term, i re purposed an old receiver that i already have and ended up buying Pioneer BS22 (which also have received amazing reviews) and i'm sourcing the whole thing with my KANN streaming either from audirvana directly or with the KANN having access to my full library of music. the only inconvenience is having to get up off the couch and turn the volume knob by hand, but considering the 2100$ different between this and the KEFs i think i can hold out for year :wink:
  10. lesanderson
    Dynaudio Xeo4 or x14a with a dac/preamp like the smaller Nuforce or Emotiva Stealth. You get 95%+ what the ls50w delivers.
  11. iridium7777
    hmm, costs more than the KEF options, looks much less elegant and has 0 amazon reviews... why would i pay a *premium* to get only 95%?

  12. lesanderson
    Try looking at world wide stereo. Also check their listings on eBay where open box stuff gets additional discounts.

    Might have to shop around a little and or stretch but these speakers offer incredible performance.
  13. Wpssant
    I have a similar question on this too - im going to move in to a new place and am considering the KEF LSX - the reviews look great but I wanted to know if there are other viable competitors out there I haven't considered in 1 package.
  14. PurpleAngel Contributor
    Great bang for the buck
    Monoprice 5" studio monitors, $150
    Or get the Monoprice 8" studio monitors, $170

    add the Monoprice 10" sub-woofer, $220
  15. jaxtrauma
    Hey iridium, I've had the HD6 about a month now, after trying the A5+ Wireless first. I find the HD6 to be a complete analog/digital hi-fi system. Rated at a conservative 50W RMS, they indeed fill any size room. Many owners choose not to use a subwoofer if they listen to classical or jazz mostly. I got a 10" sub to go with mine and the sound from my system is complete for < $1000 usd. Amazing imaging and noticeably wide soundstage. Try to audition a pair and I'm sure you'll agree.

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