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Active Speakers & Smaller Rooms - Advice & Does Woofer Size Matter?


Forum Donor
Dec 1, 2019
Hi all, I'm on a roll today with two posts in about six months - thanks in advance for everyone's help! :)

I will be moving cities for work for about a year, and I don't want to drag my system across the country (Kef R700 towers, Cambridge dac/streamer, Crown amp) so I'm looking at an inexpensive replacement. The apartment I will be renting will be MUCH smaller than what I currently have my system in - living room about 16x 9 feet x 8 feet compared to my current listening area of about 26x19x14 feet. Consequently the listening distance I'm imagining would be about 6 feet or less compared to 9.5 currently.

I'm looking at a simplified active system, something along these lines for around $2500 US:

Streamer - Raspberry Pi4 - Ropiee XL solves Roon and Airplay needs
Dac - Could go inexpensive but would like to try an MQA capable dac (since I stream tidal MQA) - Topping D70s/90
Speakers - Many well reviewed here (JBL 306/308p Mk2, Genelec 8030c, Neumann KH 80 or 120, maybe the PreSonus S8 or Mackie hr824/624 mk 2. LS50 Wireless 2 would work as it eliminates dac/streamer). Open to a sub but I guess it depends on the range of the speakers and if I have room in the space.

My question is whether or not speakers with 5-6.5 inch woofers and their equivalent amplification are enough for a room that size - or conversely if an 8 inch would be too much for it. I typically don't listen too loud (75 ish db) but sometimes push to high 80's. I don't have any real experience with actives or smaller spaces ;)

Any advice as to speaker selection / woofer size? And any comments on the upstream dac/streamer would be welcome too.

Cheers, Gerry
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