Question Desktop/Nearfield Speaker recommendations!

greyhail

Member
Oct 1, 2021
5
0
20
Hey guys, am looking for some recommendations for desktop speakers
There are tons of posts and questions for budget speakers but I'm looking at something more "mid"-fi
Unfortunately the popular youtube speaker reviewers almost never touch on nearfield/desktop hifi

I am open to both passives and actives
My current set up for my desktop is: PC > Nuforce DDA-100 > EPOS M5s (hand me down from my dad)
The M5s are great but they do lack quite a bit of low end, might be due to the nuforce being very neutral as well
.
My budget is pretty flexible and im kind of lurking around till november to hopefully catch a pair of KEFs at a good price
But for simplicity's sake lets say my budget can stretch up to maybe USD 1500 but 1500 is a real stretch.
While i have the available budget, I would still rather get something more "bang for buck" hence "mid-fi"
.
After much research I'm kind of at a loss, but i have a list of speakers that I should be able to audition here in Singapore
These are in no order of preference at the moment

1. Audioengine HD or A5 series
2. Focal Shape 40
USD 1265 NEW vs USD 1041 USED
4. Triangle BOREA BR03/BR02
Used BR03 and NEW BR02 both around USD 380
5. Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition
USD 818 NEW
6. KEF Q-150 or LS50 metas (with much savings)
KEF Q150 NEW for USD 700
LS50 meta NEW for USD 1635
7. Adam A5x
USD 818 Used
8. Tannoy Gold 5 Powered
USD 450
9. Genelec 8010A
2 months old for USD 730
10. Amphion Argon 1
USD 1636

Am very open to other speakers that i may have missed out
Also will be happy if I can safely scratch some off the list to make the journey to audition them less painful
It is more for casual music listening with gaming on the side while i work at my desk

Thanks in advance
 

Tinman1952

Well-known member
May 19, 2021
704
383
770
Hey guys, am looking for some recommendations for desktop speakers
There are tons of posts and questions for budget speakers but I'm looking at something more "mid"-fi
Unfortunately the popular youtube speaker reviewers almost never touch on nearfield/desktop hifi

I am open to both passives and actives
My current set up for my desktop is: PC > Nuforce DDA-100 > EPOS M5s (hand me down from my dad)
The M5s are great but they do lack quite a bit of low end, might be due to the nuforce being very neutral as well
.
My budget is pretty flexible and im kind of lurking around till november to hopefully catch a pair of KEFs at a good price
But for simplicity's sake lets say my budget can stretch up to maybe USD 1500 but 1500 is a real stretch.
While i have the available budget, I would still rather get something more "bang for buck" hence "mid-fi"
.
After much research I'm kind of at a loss, but i have a list of speakers that I should be able to audition here in Singapore
These are in no order of preference at the moment

1. Audioengine HD or A5 series
2. Focal Shape 40
USD 1265 NEW vs USD 1041 USED
4. Triangle BOREA BR03/BR02
Used BR03 and NEW BR02 both around USD 380
5. Bowers & Wilkins 607 S2 Anniversary Edition
USD 818 NEW
6. KEF Q-150 or LS50 metas (with much savings)
KEF Q150 NEW for USD 700
LS50 meta NEW for USD 1635
7. Adam A5x
USD 818 Used
8. Tannoy Gold 5 Powered
USD 450
9. Genelec 8010A
2 months old for USD 730
10. Amphion Argon 1
USD 1636

Am very open to other speakers that i may have missed out
Also will be happy if I can safely scratch some off the list to make the journey to audition them less painful
It is more for casual music listening with gaming on the side while i work at my desk

Thanks in advance
Hello! So many options…. It’s a bit like asking “what shall I have for lunch today?” 😁 BUT if I were in the market for an active desktop speaker I would look at the Dynaudio LYD range. Three different models to choose from depending on budget. 👍
 
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Gray

Well-known member
...will be happy if I can safely scratch some off the list
I bet you would (y)
No doubt the manufacturers' sound descriptions would lead anyone to believe they'd sound a lot more similar than they do.
But the differences between that lot are likely to be very substantial.
Trouble is, any scratchoffs could well include your best sounding pair. Possibly a pair that you would have thought vastly better than the rest.......had you heard them.

To use Tinman's analogy, best not to ask others to rule out any of your lunch choices - just because they're not keen on the taste.
 

EricLeRouge

Well-known member
Jan 15, 2020
51
28
570
If you have the amp, Kef LS50 first gen, which can be found second hand much cheaper nowadays.
If you can extend your budget, the wireless version (1st gen) works wonders as a nearfield monitor, it has wall/desk settings that you can tweak, and it sounds crystal clear and dynamic at low (or very low) level. That version sounds best using the USB input, so all you need is a laptop and/or a bit-perfect source.
 
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greyhail

Member
Oct 1, 2021
5
0
20
If you have the amp, Kef LS50 first gen, which can be found second hand much cheaper nowadays.
If you can extend your budget, the wireless version (1st gen) works wonders as a nearfield monitor, it has wall/desk settings that you can tweak, and it sounds crystal clear and dynamic at low (or very low) level. That version sounds best using the USB input, so all you need is a laptop and/or a bit-perfect source.
Yeah the KEFs have always been on the back of my mind. I probably should go read up on LS 50 vs LS 50 metas. Should probably be able to audition them fairly easily too.

If i go for the wireless 1st gen without needing the wireless capabilities, will there be a substantial amount of diminishing returns?
 

EricLeRouge

Well-known member
Jan 15, 2020
51
28
570
Yeah the KEFs have always been on the back of my mind. I probably should go read up on LS 50 vs LS 50 metas. Should probably be able to audition them fairly easily too.

If i go for the wireless 1st gen without needing the wireless capabilities, will there be a substantial amount of diminishing returns?
Hi - I think the LS50 1st Gen are 95% of the Meta version at 70% of the price (or less, if you find a used pair).
I have the LS50W, and I can guarantee that using the USB input (with a reasonable quality USB cable such as Audioquest Pearl) is heads and shoulders above the wireless input of that system.
Even years later, I still don't think there is a system which can compete with that setup for the same price. The second generation has the improved Meta section, and some quality of life improvements (HDMI input) but I still don't know for sure if they sound better than the first gen model.
If you hunt for second hand bargains, you should be able to have a great deal on those.
 
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abacus

Well-known member
Sep 24, 2008
677
372
19,270
As you are looking for nearfield desktop speakers I would take a look at pro models rather than Hi Fi models as these are designed for such use. (Most are active and have adjustments to suit the requirements as well)

As always you need to listen to a selection to see which suits your ears, as what sounds the bees knees to one person can sound c**p to another.

Look to factor in a proper computer audio interface (Focusrite have a good selection but there are plenty of others with MOTU being top notch for the money) rather than a Hi Fi one as you will get much better sound for less money, also most come with software for your computer to fine tune things, as well as being ideal to remaster some of the awful mixes out there.

To finish off, budget for some isolation stands for your speakers as this will improve the base no end.

Have fun choosing

Bill
 

doifeellucky

Well-known member
Feb 3, 2016
64
35
10,570
Till I went back to the office I was looking to upgrade my home office setup. Two monitors that seem to be well regarded by audiophiles are the Hedd Type 7 Mk2, probably over budget for a pair unfortunately, but also the Kali IN-5 and IN-8 (second wave). These apparently measure very well if that is your thing. More recently I’ve seen two reviews that mentioned the LS50 Meta specifically for desktop use. Alternatively two reviewers mentioned LS3/5A as good for nearfield, probably second hand unless you go for one of the more affordable versions.
 

EricLeRouge

Well-known member
Jan 15, 2020
51
28
570
(...) More recently I’ve seen two reviews that mentioned the LS50 Meta specifically for desktop use. Alternatively two reviewers mentioned LS3/5A as good for nearfield, probably second hand unless you go for one of the more affordable versions.
I think the LS3/5A was mentioned for good reasonfor nearfield, as it was designed specifically as a nearfield monitor. Decades later, the LS50 was initially considered as an offspring of the LS3/5A (although much cheaper than the speakers bearing that famous name) and it acquired its own recognition as we all know. The LS50 is also a nearfield speaker, and could probably compete with many studio monitors. It does benefit from having isolation stands, even placed on a desk.
 

greyhail

Member
Oct 1, 2021
5
0
20
Thanks everyone for all your suggestions.
I ended up taking a leap of faith and got KEF KC62 (1188 USD) to match my DDA-100 and EPOS M5 speakers
This was from a suggestion of reddit by a guy who was familiar with my set-up

all i can say is life changing. when i got into this hobby i never realised i could just use a high level input from an amp without a sub out!!!

the M5s were never a bad speaker, i mean they got speaker of the year in 2016 and i'm glad i didnt have to go through the hassle of trying to replace them (including selling etc.)
 

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