Ifi Zen Dac with Wharfedale DS-2. Looking to upgrade speakers for desktop use


Well-known member
Jan 9, 2021
Recently got the Ifi Zen Dac and using it with a pair of Hifiman Sundara's and Sennheiser HD 25, which all sound great.

For desktop speakers I'm using the Wharfedale DS-2, which I've had since before getting the Ifi Zen Dac. These look really great on my desk, minimal design, good sound for all I know (however, I did not use anything superior), especially now with the DAC, but they're probably a bit entry level. They only have an AUX input on the powered (right) speaker, which is not ideal when connecting to the DAC: I've had to use a cheap adapter to make that work with the DAC's RCA cables. So, thinking maybe I should get new speakers, not only to resolve the missing RCA input situation, but hoping to upgrade the sound quality as well.

What I'm looking for:
  • relatively small (limited desk space)
  • active speakers (not passive: small room, desk usage, don't want an amp and the extra wires)
  • improved sound quality from the current Wharfedale DS-2
What I've been considering (max. budget around 5-600 Eur, but as seen from the options below, I'm looking at a wide price range):
  • Edifier R1280dB (probably the smallest and best overall option, I like them, but not sure this would be a major improvement from the DS-2's, however I did see good reviews, and they do have RCA inputs)
  • Edifier Studio R2000DB (bigger, tilted, good reviews, but don't seem so popular for some reason)
  • Klipsch R-41PM (the R-51's could be a bit too much for desk use, but both have good reviews)
  • Presonus Eris E5 or E8 (great reviews on german websites, but fall more into the 'studio monitors' category)
  • Audioengine A5+ (my very first option, but not sure any more)
  • Kanto YU4 or YU6, Vanatoo T1 or T0 (kind of difficult to get these in Europe, too much hassle ordering from the US)
Also looked at the:
  • Edifier S3000, S2000 (these seem very, very solid options, and probably a long-term buy, but I think maybe too large for my desk at the moment, a bit at the higher end of budget)
  • Elac models (a bit lost, too many models available, Navis seems to be the only powered option and outside my price range)
  • Wharfedale D320 (looks super cool, but passive unfortunatelly), Diamond 12.1 (passive again, but great reviews)
I don't need major loudness, I'm mainly a soft volume listener, so the current DS-2's are loud enough for me. Listening to a lot from hip hop, trap, electronics to softer tunes, ambient, jazz, etc.

Any pointers?
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