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Bookshelf Speaker Recommendations

Aug 1, 2015
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I plan on purchasing some speakers and my budget is around £1,200 or so. I mainly listen to classical and popular music. I will be using the speakers with a Sonos Connect Amp. So far I'm considering the following:

SVS Ultra Bookshelf or

Sonus Faber Venere 1.5

Any thoughts?
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
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As you're using a Sonos amp, you'll be wanting to utilise the power it has as much as possible. Try and stick to efficient speakers (nearer to 90dB), and ideally a nominal 8ohm load, but this isn't a necessity.

The SVS speakers you mention are worth a try, but also look at the Revel Concerta M16, KEF R300, Ophidian Mojo, and Golden Ear Aon3. If you read up on these, you'll find they cover a range of sizes, depending on your needs. The Ophidians can fit in the smallest of spaces, and are a surprisingly capable speaker despite their diminutive size.

How well these speakers will sound on the end of the Sonos really boils down to how good the Sonos actually is, and what your music source is. If you're using the likes of Spotify or iTunes, you'll be needing to look out for speakers that compliment compressed music, and help to liven it up somewhat - some compressed music can sound a bit on the dull, flat side.

Most of all, audition and see what you like the sound of.
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
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For your taste in music I would recommend Harbeth P3ESR... absolutely sublime with Classical and great for Pop... may be a bit out of budget, but they do come up second hand, usually people stepping up the ladder to the next Harbeth.

As for playing Sonos, it's surprisingly good and in time you could always add a DAC.. The M DAC + has made a big difference to my system.

Keep us posted how you get on.

Mac

www.macsmusic.blogbubble.net
 

muljao

Well-known member
Jul 18, 2016
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Obviously the more budget you have for the the speakers, the better options but depending on your space etc you may not need to spend 1200 to get a great match.

I could see something like the MA bronze 2 with its 90db and 8ohms input being a nice fit here, though the sonos is certainly quite powerful at 55watts per channel
 
Feb 18, 2015
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I really don't think that the sonos amp was designed to drive speakers in the £1200 region....bookshelf or standmount speakers in this class tend to be very picky about power and the way it's supplied....so I recommend not spending so much at this time and maybe look at something from monitor audio,dali or b&w in the £500 range...these should be quite efficient and sufficient to deliver the goods without stretching the amplifier too much.If I was spending £1200 and in your position..I'd probably sell on the sonos and start from scratch if a spell of continuous upgrading was going to be the path chosen.....which looks like could be so in your particular case.Although I can sympathise that the sonos will probably be part of a larger multiroom system and you might be well informed to have a long look at what you want from a hi-fi system in the longer term and what you are prepared to spend on it.
 

thewinelake.

New member
Jan 22, 2016
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I agree with Mark - expensive speakers tend to expect expensive amplification, which the Sonos is not.

Is there not a Sonos Connect preamp that would work well with active speakers? I would tend to go for second hand AVI DM10 which would come within your budget (or DM5 depending on how big your bookshelf is!) but accept that the major issue here is a lack of auditioning options.

Edit - I see that you don't have to use the power amp part of your Sonos connect, so active would be my suggestion (other brands than AVI are available, of course, I was just recommending what I know)
 

tino

Well-known member
Sep 29, 2011
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Passive speaker: Sonus Faber Chameleon B circa £750 is worth a look

Active speaker: Dynaudio Xeo 2 circa £1000 gets good recommendations * check if the Connect AMP has analog or digital audio outputs to connect to an active speaker (the Sonos Connect does but not sure about the Connect AMP)
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
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Really depends how the speakers are mounted (dedicated stands, brackets or table...). If stands, and given a little breathing space, look for a s/hand pair of PMC DB1i or + versions. They are quite efficient (87db into 8 ohms), and you can pick up a good pair for between £500-600.
 

tino

Well-known member
Sep 29, 2011
135
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The OP might be happy with his Sonos and may not want to change it.

The Sonus Faber Chameleon is a forgiving bookshelf speaker that should work well with the Sonos and should also be good for a few system upgrades in the future.

The Dynaudio Xeo 2 can make use of the Sonos Connect digital output ... but it looks like the Sonos Connect AMP does not have analog or digital outputs so this may not be an option.
 

shadders

Well-known member
Nov 19, 2009
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Hi,

If you examine the Wilmslow Audio website, some small speakers have 90dB sensitivity. There are a range of prices. There are options, such as basic driver only kit, drivers and cabinet flat pack, to fully built.

I think DIY offers exceptional value.

Regards,

Shadders.
 
Aug 1, 2015
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Thanks guys - your feedback is really apprecaited? Do any of you have any experience with the speakers I mentioned above? I heard the Sonus ones and really liked them. Truth be told, I didn't ask to hear them with the Sonos Connect Amp which I will definitely do.
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
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Hearing any possible purchases with your Sonos amp is a must - it is how they sound together that really matters. With regards to a few mentioning the Connect's power output, that's not so much of an issue. I've used the Sonos amp to successfully drive speakers in the £800-1,000 region before. As I mentioned in my initial post, it's just a case of choosing a relatively efficient speaker to make the most of the power the Sonos has. It uses Class D amplification which is pretty efficient, and exerts a decent amount of control on speakers it is partnered with. The bigger issue is whether the Sonos is good enough from a quality point of view to make the most of the speakers you're looking at, and this will not only come down to the quality of themDAC in the Sonos, but also what source you're using. Are you using the streaming services available via the Sonos, or a NAS drive to source your music?
 
Aug 1, 2015
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I plan on using Apple Music through an Apple TV, etc. It's important to add that I still havent' bought the Sonos amp. I plan on buying things gradually as I will only move into the new apartment in a year's time. As I currently have a temporary, old amp I plan on buying the speakers now and using that until I move into my new flat in a year's time. It's only then that I plan on buying the Sonos so that I can add other speakers for rooms such as the spare room, etc.
 

kukulec

Well-known member
Jan 25, 2015
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10,545
Sonus Faber Venere 1.5: I heard it with Primare i32, and it was terrible. I cannot see, how you would enjoy it with pop music. It does not have bass. The midrange is so-so, and it is too laid back. I would suggest the Elac BS 403.
 

gasolin

Well-known member
Mar 17, 2013
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19,070
Even if they are not that expensive i would recommend if they are not to big Q acoustics 3020 or concept 20

You get alot for your money,musical speakers with an open and clear sound
 

drummerman

New member
Jan 18, 2008
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plastic penguin said:
Really depends how the speakers are mounted (dedicated stands, brackets or table...). If stands, and given a little breathing space, look for a s/hand pair of PMC DB1i or + versions. They are quite efficient (87db into 8 ohms), and you can pick up a good pair for between £500-600.
Are they?

I may be wrong but my guess is that they are at best about 84db/m/w sensitive despite what PMC are quoting. This would be more in line for what I'd expect of a speaker of this size. The previous quoted Harbeth is probably even less.

Still, I am not familiar with the Sonos amplifier but if high volume is not required (and why would you buy any of the above speakers if it was) this may not be a problem if the PMC or Harbeth are a relatively easy electrical load.

I'd happily (!) have the Harbeth and forgoe a little outright volume.
 

Macspur

Well-known member
May 3, 2010
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Keep an eye out on sites such as hifi wigwam classifides and Ebay, they do occasionally come up for sale.

this is taken from Harbeth website:

Impedance
6 ohms, easy to drive.
Sensitivity
83.5dB/1W/1m
Amplifier suggestion
Works with a wide range of amplifiers, suggested from 15W/channel.
Power handling
Mac

www.macsmusic.blogbubble.net
 

seemorebtts

Well-known member
Feb 2, 2013
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Gabriel Lessem said:
I plan on purchasing some speakers and my budget is around £1,200 or so. I mainly listen to classical and popular music. I will be using the speakers with a Sonos Connect Amp. So far I'm considering the following:

SVS Ultra Bookshelf or 

Sonus Faber Venere 1.5

Any thoughts? 
I think the speakers you have chosen are good but the amp you have is not good enough match.for this amp I would be looking at something like the q acoustics concept wharfedale jade 1 at audio affair £375. Remember some good stands too
 

Frank Harvey

Well-known member
Jun 27, 2008
567
0
18,890
Gabriel Lessem said:
I plan on using Apple Music through an Apple TV, etc. It's important to add that I still havent' bought the Sonos amp. I plan on buying things gradually as I will only move into the new apartment in a year's time. As I currently have a temporary, old amp I plan on buying the speakers now and using that until I move into my new flat in a year's time. It's only then that I plan on buying the Sonos so that I can add other speakers for rooms such as the spare room, etc.
Carefully selecting your system is one thing, but choosing the right source is another. I'm not sure why you'd need the Apple TV box if you're going for the Sonos? The Sonos has access to Apple Music, so unless you're using the Apple TV for something the Sonos can't do, it seems like an extra box for nothing.
 

plastic penguin

Well-known member
Apr 28, 2008
1,827
197
19,870
drummerman said:
plastic penguin said:
Really depends how the speakers are mounted (dedicated stands, brackets or table...). If stands, and given a little breathing space, look for a s/hand pair of PMC DB1i or + versions. They are quite efficient (87db into 8 ohms), and you can pick up a good pair for between £500-600.
Are they?

I may be wrong but my guess is that they are at best about 84db/m/w sensitive despite what PMC are quoting. This would be more in line for what I'd expect of a speaker of this size. The previous quoted Harbeth is probably even less.

Still, I am not familiar with the Sonos amplifier but if high volume is not required (and why would you buy any of the above speakers if it was) this may not be a problem if the PMC or Harbeth are a relatively easy electrical load.

I'd happily (!) have the Harbeth and forgoe a little outright volume.
Can't comment on PMC's claim, but I don't have any other figures to go by. What I can say is I had these little'uns on home dem with my old Arcam A65+ (40 watts per channel), and they sounded great for the amp price. No issues with driving them to reasonable levels.

If you want night club volumes you don't buy a Sonus or DB1is.
 

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