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Any recommendations for a desktop speaker set


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Any recommendations for a desktop speaker set
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2020-06-26, 09:29

I'm looking to upgrade/replace my computer desk speaker set. Turns out I love listening to music while I'm working and most of my music is lossless. I'm not an audiophile, just appreciate the lack of noise in my music.

Anyway, I'm looking for a speaker set that I can use when docking my MBP or if I switch to a "desktop" system. For the MBP that I'm using now I have a CalDigit dock using the optical audio out. I also have a D/A converter so I can use either 3.5mm jack or LR channel analog connectors.

I would like a "detached" volume control since I can't use the keyboard to adjust the volume with optimal audio out.

Small is good, I'd rather not have huge speakers on my desk.

Any recommendations?

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PB PM
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2020-06-26, 10:16

Are you looking for an all in one type thing, like what Logitech makes, or passive speakers powered by an amp? If you are looking fir the later, Cambridge Audio makes a nice compact set of speakers, Minx Min series, and a sub for just such a setup.
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turtle
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Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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2020-06-26, 10:43

I guess I'm thinking more all in one type of thing. I have Sonos in my office so this is more for something I guess like Logitech. I just don't want bottom end and anything has got to be better than the Cyber Acoustics set I'm using now.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
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PB PM
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2020-06-26, 11:06

Cannot recommend anything modern on that side, I have a Logitech all in one system I purchased 10 years ago that is okay Z323 (Still available now). I find it rather tingy, and has poor vocal response compared to my passive speakers, which are not the ones I mentioned previously. Seems to be the case with all the plastic cased speakers. I really have to crank up the Logitech’s to make vocals hearable, and that’s in a small room. It’s okay for music, and not completely terrible for video/movie watching, but when I want to enjoy what I’m listening to, that’s not what I use. If you do go for a system like that, get something high end, all the sub $100 systems sound basically the same, with small improvements, but nothing worth $10-25 price difference between them.

Last edited by PB PM : 2020-06-26 at 11:18.
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Brad
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Zone of Pain
 
2020-06-26, 19:10

I have a 20-year-old 2.1 set of Monsoon MM-700 speakers on my main computer desk at home that I've been hesitant to replace because the audio quality has been so surprisingly good for the small form factor, but something strange has been happening in the woofer/amp over the last few years that sounds like a short or a solder joint progressively going bad. I've tried opening it up to see if I can fix it myself, but the thing is sealed shut like a bear trap. So, I've also started looking around for a modern comparable set.

The best-recommended 2.1 set I've found in the sub-$200 range so far is the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX® Certified Computer Speaker set. They're currently marked up more on Amazon ($180-220+) than direct from Klipsch ($150) for some reason. Maybe that's just because they're out of stock and back-ordered from the manufacturer right now. In any case, I haven't bought these yet, but they currently hold the top slot on my wish list, and I'm likely to jump on them before the summer is over.

I think I paid around $200 for my Monsoons back in 2000. So, at least for me, this fits within a comparable price range.

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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2020-07-01, 09:39

So if I'm going to spend something close to $250 what can I get that would give me great sound from two small speakers? What I'm thinking is something more like Sonos 1s or such. I'd rather not have a sub but great speakers that can provide good range. My D/A converter doesn't amplify at all so I guess I would need something to power the speakers.

The more I think about it the more I like the idea of a Cambridge Audio like set up...

Choices can be a pain some times ya know!

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
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PB PM
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2020-07-01, 21:58

I've never had a Sonos of any kind, nor know anyone who does so I cannot compare.
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Yontsey
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2020-07-02, 06:53

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
I've never had a Sonos of any kind, nor know anyone who does so I cannot compare.
I absolutely LOVE my Sonos setup. I have 4 One’s, 1 Five, and a couple of the amps hooked up to external speakers. I have one in my bathroom, bedroom, living room, kitchen, patio, and gym and they work flawlessly together. You can group them together on the fly or independently and you can use AirPlay2 with the. Which is nice for things like Overcast isn’t on Sonos. Super easy to use and setup and the sound quality is fantastic. A One would work great on a desktop.

Die young and save yourself....
@yontsey
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2020-07-02, 07:54

While I love my Sonos setup, for my computer desk I was specifically referring to the size of the speak I want for my desk, not the brand.

I think there would be noticeable lag if I tried to use AirPlay and Sonos as my computer audio. It is fine for music because it ensures they are synced. Not sure how I would like that for the desktop apps and such though.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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PB PM
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2020-07-02, 17:30

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yontsey View Post
I absolutely LOVE my Sonos setup. I have 4 One’s, 1 Five, and a couple of the amps hooked up to external speakers. I have one in my bathroom, bedroom, living room, kitchen, patio, and gym and they work flawlessly together. You can group them together on the fly or independently and you can use AirPlay2 with the. Which is nice for things like Overcast isn’t on Sonos. Super easy to use and setup and the sound quality is fantastic. A One would work great on a desktop.
I'm sure Sonos is okay, never really been impressed by these little Bluetooth/WIFI things sound wise, at least the ones I've listened to. I'm sure they are great for what they are, I guess I just like my "old school" Cambridge Audio tower speakers attached to my 5 channel receiver. The Sonos (based on specs) cannot tough my setup when it comes to sound reproduction, so I guess I'll just have to get by with having high quality sound in one room.

turtle, if you really want a good, just two speaker setup at low cost I've heard good things about Micca speakers attached to low cost amps (25-50W amp is enough for a computer setup IMO). For compact though, I like those Cambridge Minx Min speakers, but they don't seem to sell them in pairs, just as individual speakers, so the cost is higher.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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2020-07-04, 14:18

Any input on the low cost amp? That seems to be what I'm getting hung up on right now. I don't have to use the DAC that I have now. I wouldn't mind if the new amp had DAC built into it. Either works. Having the volume control be closer to the front of my desk would be a major plus.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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PB PM
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2020-07-04, 17:30

Most of the inexpensive amps would have standard speaker wire going out to the speakers, then RCA, optical or 3.5" input, so the DAC on your computer or your external unit will work. For integrated DACs and amps, you'll have to spend $100 or more.
As for what amp to get, that depends on how much you have left to spend from the budget after getting the speakers. There are amps that push 25-100W on Amazon and such places ranging from $25-$100. I'd have to do some digging, since what people recommend changes all the time in the low cost range (product update cycles appear to be short).

But some quick looking around I found things like this.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...d7315ef779aca9

Last edited by PB PM : 2020-07-04 at 17:46.
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turtle
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Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2020-07-07, 13:40

What about an AMP like this one? It would give me a headphone jack at the front of my desk and speaker controls too (since I'm going to mount it under my desk flush with the front edge near the lift controller). This particular one would also replace the DAC I have now simplifying my configuration a little.

I think I'm going to go with the Minx set like you initially mentioned in your first post. Do they connect with RCA? The pictures I've found seem to hide the actual connections.

Edit: looks like that one I linked to only serves as pre-AMP unless I'm misunderstanding.

Edit2: How about this one? Better control worth it?

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.

Last edited by turtle : 2020-07-07 at 13:56.
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PB PM
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2020-07-07, 15:09

The first one is a headphone amp, not exactly what you need to power passive speakers. The second one looks about right to me, very similar to the one I linked to.

The MinX connect to the amp with speaker wire, cheap and easy to get on Amazon. Looks like there is a link to amazon basic speaker wire on the amp page. From the amp you’ll likely need a RCA to 3.5” adapter, unless you are going to use your external DAC.
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avajohonson2395
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Join Date: Jul 2020
 
2020-07-27, 02:19

Are you seeking for an all in one type thing, like what Logitech makes, or passive speakers powered by an amp?
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2020-07-27, 08:13

Originally something more like the Bose Companion but then the more thought I've put into this I'm more looking to do passive speakers and amp. I have the speakers, speaker stands and amp in the cart ready for the first when I get my allowance.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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PB PM
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2020-07-27, 19:54

Quote:
Originally Posted by avajohonson2395 View Post
Are you seeking for an all in one type thing, like what Logitech makes, or passive speakers powered by an amp?
Delightful bot, just copy and paste with a slight tweak from the first response. Well done.
  quote
kscherer
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Join Date: Aug 2004
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2020-07-28, 10:42

Quote:
Originally Posted by PB PM View Post
Delightful bot, just copy and paste with a slight tweak from the first response. Well done.
Nice catch!

The hammer is drawn! But, until it breaks the law …

Edit: Never mind. I just found a couple moderated posts with crap spam links. It's gone!
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2020-08-05, 12:35

I just got my speakers and amp in. Let me just say, totally worth it. Thank you very much for the referral to Cambridge Audio PB PM! I'm still waiting on the stand for the speakers to get here but have the speakers, amp and got everything set up with my existing DAC.

The clarity is amazing! So much better than the cheap Cyber Acoustics I had before these. I cranked it to max and no distortion at all. The bass isn't chest thumping, but it is great given my compromise of wanting small speakers for the desk.

Having the controls on the amp within easy reach also negates the problem of not being able to control the volume with my keyboard like I've been used to.

Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2020-08-05, 13:20

I stands came in via a different carrier today too. I'm all set up. Loving it.
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PB PM
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2020-08-05, 14:48

Glad it has worked out, it can be hard to find good compact speakers. Audio is tricky like that, you don’t know what your missing till you take a step up. I worked as a sound tech for a while so my ears are spoiled.
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turtle
Lord of the Rant.
Formerly turtle2472
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Upstate South Carolina
 
2020-08-06, 09:09

Yeah, it really surprising the difference. I mean, I expected there to be something different, but wasn't expecting this. My music is actually more enjoyable now while I'm working.

Currently I have the speakers on my desk centered where I sit and my amp on my desk. I need to get a bracket made so I can strap my dock and amp under the desk at the front edge. I can have a gap between them and use plastic mirror clips like I did my optical drive before, just trying to make it a little cleaner. Then I can get all these cables and lights hidden under the desk.


Louis L'Amour, “To make democracy work, we must be a notion of participants, not simply observers. One who does not vote has no right to complain.”
MineCraft? mc.applenova.com | Visit us! | Maybe someday I'll proof read, until then deal with it.
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