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help finding some active speakers with S/PDIF input

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#1
I'm not sure the following is even possible due to how high-frequency sound is perceived in off-axis listening configurations.
In any case, here are the 'concept parameters':
  1. hardware/audio
    1. optical or coax digital input
    2. single speaker configuration available (maybe something like a sonos play 1,3, etc? but with digital input)
    3. ideally < $300 per speaker
    4. something that measures ok in the 8-9khz range (I'm experimenting with home-brew DSP implementations on a raspberry pi)
  2. room/listening configuration
    1. 100-200 ft^2
    2. I will mostly be standing while listening
    3. these rooms have no acoustic treatments
 

Dialectic

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#2
It's the optical or coax digital input spec that's tricky. I don't know of many monitors in that price range that include such an input. If you are able to jettison that requirement (possibly by buying an inexpensive but audibly transparent DAC), there are some very good pro-oriented monitors in that price range and lower.

It would be possible come in at under $600 for pair of good monitors and a transparent DAC.

But I realize that you may not want another box in your setup.
 
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#3
Don't think you will find active speakers with digital input in that price range. I would look into a DAC like Topping 30 and solid cinch cables for connecting the dac with the speakers.
 
OP
M
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Thread Starter #4
If you are able to jettison that requirement (possibly by buying an inexpensive but audibly transparent DAC)
Thanks, @Dialectic. It would be great to hear your suggestions for analog.
I just need to replace the hifiberry digi+ on the rpi4 with a HAT that includes a dac module and I'm good to go.

I was kind of tempted to go the analog route and just splurge on a sonos five, but wanted digital as previously stated and figured someone here might even suggest better fit for my needs, even if its just analog.
 

Dialectic

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#5
I don't have much first-hand experience with the current crop of small inexpensive monitors, but many folks here are partial to the JBL 3 series monitors (LSR305, 306, and 308) because of their superb spin measurements and good subjective performance. The Achilles heel of those monitors is hiss, which may or may not be an issue depending on listening distance, ambient noise in your room, and your high frequency hearing.

The Kali Audio monitors also have a following and, to my knowledge, perform similarly to the 3 series JBLs.

There have been threads on hiss and on measurements of individual JBL and Kali monitors. There is an overwhelming amount of information on this topic at ASR if you run a few searches. I think the key will just be figuring out your priorities and which aspects of measured performance are most important.
 
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Thread Starter #6
There have been threads on hiss and on measurements of individual JBL and Kali monitors. There is an overwhelming amount of information on this topic at ASR if you run a few searches. I think the key will just be figuring out your priorities and which aspects of measured performance are most important.
Thanks, I had a look at some measurement reviews of the 3 series and found various comments about the Kali IN-8, in all cases a hiss was reported regardless of what filter configuration was tried at the jumpers.

In the process I came across the Behringer B2031A (in both near and mid-field positioning) and that hiss (which seems to plague budget active tweeter implementations) was not reported as often.

Unless anyone here states a serious flaw in these units, I'll probably have a go at the B2031A's when they are back in stock at Sweetwater which feature the 8" woofer similar to the 308 mkII at roughly 70% the price, and no hiss!

Only remaining task is to source a dac for the rpi4 with xlr balanced outputs...
 
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OP
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Thread Starter #9
I'm thinking the Motu M2, if you can find one. Performance is staggering for the price. It has TRS balanced out, which can easily be wired to XLR with an adapter.
Wow, nice. The fact that it's an unbeatable value for reproduction almost makes it like a free recording interface :D
 

BDWoody

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#11
Wow, nice. The fact that it's an unbeatable value for reproduction almost makes it like a free recording interface :D
I'll second the Motu. I have the very similar M4, and it's a great little box.

I got some of these to keep it cleaner for connections, but there are adapters as mentioned as well.

0523210945_copy_600x600.jpg
 

andymok

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#13
There are speakers that do AES/EBU (aka AES3),

protocol-wise AES3 is basically the same to S/PDIF, just different hardware interface
otherwise you can always find converters for them
 

ZööZ

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#14
Thanks, I had a look at some measurement reviews of the 3 series and found various comments about the Kali IN-8, in all cases a hiss was reported regardless of what filter configuration was tried at the jumpers.

In the process I came across the Behringer B2031A (in both near and mid-field positioning) and that hiss (which seems to plague budget active tweeter implementations) was not reported as often.

Unless anyone here states a serious flaw in these units, I'll probably have a go at the B2031A's when they are back in stock at Sweetwater which feature the 8" woofer similar to the 308 mkII at roughly 70% the price, and no hiss!

Only remaining task is to source a dac for the rpi4 with xlr balanced outputs...
they do hiss though, but it is pretty much inaudible 6feet away (my mlp) with the lowest input gain setting.
 

Dialectic

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#15
Wow, nice. The fact that it's an unbeatable value for reproduction almost makes it like a free recording interface :D
If you happen to find a Motu M2, I would be very grateful for a pointer to where you found it. I have a musician friend who is seeking one but is unable to find one anywhere.
 
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#17
Wow, nice. The fact that it's an unbeatable value for reproduction almost makes it like a free recording interface :D
The MOTU M2 is a great little device! Apart from audio to my active monitors I use it as a head phone amplifier, and during video calls I connect my microphone to it. A nice little feature is that there is separate volume knobs for line out and the headphone, so no need to plug/unplug headphone to silence the monitors: Just turn down the volume.
 
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#20
There is Kanto, but I don't know what you mean by a single-speaker configuration, those are standard stereo speakers. Some of their smaller speakers are under $300, have optical DACs, and are quite transparent and pleasant sounding. Kanto also sells clever little stands you could use to tilt it upwards for your preferred standing position.
 
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