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Passive near-field speakers?

xhntf

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I'm new to all this, still trying to learn. Please be nice :D

I'm trying to put together a good setup to replace my old crappy PC speakers. My soft budget (speakers+amp) is 250 USD. I decided I should buy passive speakers with an amp, for a few reasons:

1. upgradeability
2. input options (I want to use my PC's optical output and few active speakers seem to have optical inputs)
3. I want to place the speakers further away but have the amp's volume knob within arm's reach

So I started looking at the recommendation thread, but just about all the speakers listed call themselves either loudspeakers or bookshelf speakers. There are no near-field speakers. AIUI, loudspeakers require some distance for the sound stage to converge, and if I place them 1 meter away, there won't be enough distance to get a good sound. Do I understand that right?

What speakers would you choose if you were me?
 

Robh3606

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I have used JBL L20T3 a six inch passive and 4208's also passives. Any decent small speaker will do but you really need a subwoofer unless you don't mind 50-60 hz bass max.

Rob :)
 

Joe Smith

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I have used many different ones for my desk setup, as I have enough width to have on short speaker stands on either side of the desk roughly at ear level, about 5' apart. Enough of a spread to get nice imaging/separation.

I like using my KEF Q 15.2 speakers for this, as the tweeter-in-woofer design works very well for nearfield. Also, they have a front bass port, which is better for my spacing than if they had a rear port that was directly firing at a room corner.

The new Fosi V3 would be a good amp choice, and you should be able to find some new small bookshelves (or secondhand concentric type speakers) for your budget level...
 

RosalieTheDog

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I'm new to all this, still trying to learn. Please be nice :D

I'm trying to put together a good setup to replace my old crappy PC speakers. My soft budget (speakers+amp) is 250 USD. I decided I should buy passive speakers with an amp, for a few reasons:

1. upgradeability
2. input options (I want to use my PC's optical output and few active speakers seem to have optical inputs)
3. I want to place the speakers further away but have the amp's volume knob within arm's reach

So I started looking at the recommendation thread, but just about all the speakers listed call themselves either loudspeakers or bookshelf speakers. There are no near-field speakers. AIUI, loudspeakers require some distance for the sound stage to converge, and if I place them 1 meter away, there won't be enough distance to get a good sound. Do I understand that right?

What speakers would you choose if you were me?
Something else to consider for 2 and 3: many DAC/headphone amps have a pre-out that can go to active speakers, should you reconsider.
 

ozzy9832001

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Feb 19, 2023
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I'm new to all this, still trying to learn. Please be nice :D

I'm trying to put together a good setup to replace my old crappy PC speakers. My soft budget (speakers+amp) is 250 USD. I decided I should buy passive speakers with an amp, for a few reasons:

1. upgradeability
2. input options (I want to use my PC's optical output and few active speakers seem to have optical inputs)
3. I want to place the speakers further away but have the amp's volume knob within arm's reach

So I started looking at the recommendation thread, but just about all the speakers listed call themselves either loudspeakers or bookshelf speakers. There are no near-field speakers. AIUI, loudspeakers require some distance for the sound stage to converge, and if I place them 1 meter away, there won't be enough distance to get a good sound. Do I understand that right?

What speakers would you choose if you were me?
I'd reconsider active options. You'd probably get better bang for your buck that way. Going digital or analog isn't going to matter much IMO and digital my actually limit your options if you plan on using any of the PCs enhancements for sound effects.

If your soundcard has a sub out connection you wouldn't even need one on the speakers.
 

d6jg

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I recently moved into a smaller office and now have an office desktop system comprising an Onkyo CD Receiver and a pair of Wharfedale Modus Cubes. The previous room was much larger and there I had a pair of Celestion F somethings. The Cubes have the perfect footprint for my use case but I very quickly realised that I had to add an under desk sub woofer.
IMG_6331.jpeg
 
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Chazz6

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Something else to consider for 2 and 3: many DAC/headphone amps have a pre-out that can go to active speakers, should you reconsider.
Good advice. The RME ADI-2 FS DAC, for example, will take optical as well as coax or USB input. Its RCA outputs will feed active speakers just fine. This DAC has great equalization controls, in case you want to correct problems you hear in the tonal spectrum from the speakers.
 

RosalieTheDog

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Good advice. The RME ADI-2 FS DAC, for example, will take optical as well as coax or USB input. Its RCA outputs will feed active speakers just fine. This DAC has great equalization controls, in case you want to correct problems you hear in the tonal spectrum from the speakers.
Yes, but we are losing sight here of the OPs budget: 250 USD speakers + amp.

I'd go for some DAC/Amp like the FOSI AUDIO DAC-Q4 DAC (50 USD ) + some active monitors with RCA-in like https://www.thomannmusic.com/ik_multimedia_iloud_micro_monitor.htm (other suggestions here https://www.audiosciencereview.com/...ht-max-under-200-pair-desktop-speakers.34299/)

17959-fosi-audio-q4-inpage2.jpg

Cheap integrated amplifiers from SMSL, Fosi, Arylic, Dayton, ... will set you back 100-150 (check if they have optical input! at this pricepoint many are analogue only), leaving 100 for a pair of passive speakers. That seems perhaps slightly too little to get something good.
 
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Digby

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Cheap integrated amplifiers from SMSL, Fosi, Arylic, Dayton, ... will set you back 100-150 (check if they have optical input! at this pricepoint many are analogue only), leaving 100 for a pair of passive speakers. That seems perhaps slightly too little to get something good.
Yes, i think with 250 usd, OP probably better spending all on a set of powered speakers (better value for money). You can use a remote control for volume.
 

Digby

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So I started looking at the recommendation thread, but just about all the speakers listed call themselves either loudspeakers or bookshelf speakers. There are no near-field speakers. AIUI, loudspeakers require some distance for the sound stage to converge, and if I place them 1 meter away, there won't be enough distance to get a good sound. Do I understand that right?
This just is what it is. Hard to get proper soundfield resolution at very short distances, it shouldn't be the end of the world though. This is the same for most speakers, save the very smallest.
 
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