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New speakers - knowledgeable help required

Last response: in Home Audio
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February 3, 2012 11:50:08 AM

Hi, I'm looking for some advice around speaker choices, I'm definitely not an expert but I do have a musicians ear so I would like a set of speakers that have some quality to them.

What do I want: A set of speakers to fit on a smallish desk and fill a smallish room that produce a nice warm sound. Probably 2.0 or 2.1. I generally play music from my desktop PC without a dedicated soundcard.

What do I need these for: Mainly listening to Jazz, a bit of FPS gaming and using to play backing music for sax practice; so they need to be capable of being relatively loud.

What is the budget: up to £250

What have I already listened to:
- H&K SoundSticks II: I found these very clear but lacking a little in warmth. The volume range is good without distortion, useful for practicing with.
- Bose Companion 3/5: I listened to a couple of different sets and they seemed inconsistent (maybe because they were shop demo ones), the sound is good but I got the impression that price was being inflated by the name and not the quality....

I've heard good things about B&W MM-1's but I'm a bit at a loss as to other options.
Thoughts appreciated, like I said, I'm definitely no expert so all comments welcome.

Thanks
February 3, 2012 12:22:18 PM

The primary problem being that all PC speakers are garbage.
What you want is powered studio monitors, and these can plug straight into your line or headphone outputs.
You should be able to find some small powered studio monitors in that price category.
Check recording studio supply places.
February 3, 2012 1:07:39 PM

Thanks for the reply - any clues on brands to look for / avoid?
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February 5, 2012 1:03:34 AM

You mentioned B&W, they make good speakers. Brands to avoid are usually Bose and Polk.

You can try some new/used stereo shops. They will let you take them home to try out to see if you like them. Also, most will let you trade them in and get full credit for the speakers if you bought them used.
February 5, 2012 2:07:49 PM

Thanks for the info - I was thinking about some used ones.

I was wondering what was really good may 5 years or so ago and looking for those. Does that make sense? If so, what sort of thing should I be looking for?

I started having a hunt round sterophile.com which seemed like a good place to start but I haven't made many conclusions yet!
February 5, 2012 4:17:13 PM

Since you have the prices in "pounds" I don't know what's available in your area. But you really limit yourself in choices by looking at computer speakers or amplified speakers( as Soundguruman said some powered studio monitors). For the money that the MM1s cost you could get some decent used home stereo speakers that will sound much better. You would need to have an amp to drive them.

!