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Passive vs active near audio speakers setup under 250 Euro for everyday use

ERMI

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Hi everyone,
I am new here and I dont have enough tech knowledge.
I want to ask for your advices about the options I should be looking at to get an audio setup/speakers under 250 Euro as I am located in Austria.

My needs:
- I am using speakers for everyday use for music, film, game e.c..
- It would be ideal to get a speaker that sounds good within 30 degree, which would cover the whole space where I am experiencing the sound.
Speakers will be placed in the room of 20 m2. (5 meter long, 4 meter wide, 3,5 meter heigh)
- I dont have much space. Dimensions of presonus eris e3.5 are perfect (W x H x D: 5.6 x 8.3 x 6.4" / 14.2 x 21.1 x 16.3 cm)


What am I listening:
I like various genres but most often I listen to electro, pop, rock, industrial stiles.

What do I have
Right now, I dont have nothing!
I was using Presouns Eris E3.5 and it disappointed me! Not mentioning about mixing and mastering on them, listening music on them was not satisfying.
B.W. monitors just switched of and did not tun on ever since . never mind! fixing it costs more then the original price of it!

What am I considering:
-Passive or Active speakers
-Amplifier
What else do I need?

Additional details:
Bluetooth feature is good to have but not must. I know I can get it any time after.

Thank you in advance!
 
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twsecrest

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I just ordered two pairs of Presonus Eris 3.5 units, they are still in the Amazon box.

Alexis Elevate 5 MKII monitors is what I would check out.

Seem to offer good bang for the buck (per reviews).
 
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Chrispy

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Fairly skinny budget but if you don't already have an amp probably best to stick to powered/active speakers. How much would JBL LSR306p be where you are?
 

AnalogSteph

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I was using Presouns Eris E3.5 and it disappointed me! Not mentioning about mixing and mastering on them, listening music on them was not satisfying.
Can't say I'm surprised. They don't exactly have much bass, and the rest has its problems as well...

You want to fill a 20 m² room with sound using speakers the size of Eris E3.5s, and all that for a measly 250€ or less?
Not gonna happen, sorry.

Good small speakers are not cheap, and good cheap speakers are not small - you've got Hoffmann's Iron Law against you. The number of good 3" class monitors can be comfortably counted on the fingers of one hand. iLoud Micro Monitors and iLoud MTM, EVE SC203, Genelec 8010 / G One, I think that's about it.
The iLoud Micros almost fit the budget, can go very deep but will dial back bass quickly at higher levels which apparently doesn't sound too pretty. The EVEs and the Genelecs have a very similar bass tuning with a steep highpass below ~80 Hz and a bump around 150 Hz, they'll play loud for the size but are not exactly fullrange without judicious amounts of EQ. I'm using the EVEs at my office desk (if you want negligible hiss levels you can't be too picky) and have beaten them into submission with measurement and EQ so they're "fullrange enough" (useful from about 55-60 Hz up) at my very modest listening levels.

Presonus make the Eris E4.5 BT, but apparently that's not very good, mostly because of the very simple crossover. Some guy seems to have gotten good results with a crossover mod (the acoustic design is good otherwise), but that's something for those with the equipment and experience required.
This is supposedly the on-axis FR:
PreSonus_Eris4.5_SPL_vs_Freq.jpg

Some similarities with the E3.5 are undeniable.

The Edifier MR4 is a competent 4" monitor at 100€ the pair. Not much going on below 100 Hz though.

The Eris E5 seems to be near the minimum viable product. (209€ the pair at thomann.at, plus the cabling required to connect them, preferably without ground loops. What will the source(s) be?) Some issues with RF ingress but apparently decent sound if the official frequency chart is accurate. That could be used to generate a decent-enough EQ.
presonus-e5-frequency-chart.gif


JBL 306P MkII are 199€ a piece, and Kali LP6v2 are slightly over 200 even... that's probably way too much for the OP. For good bass response and the volume required for an entire room, a 6.5" class speaker would be good though.

I would probably give the Swissonic (Thomann house brand) A306 monitors at 139€ each a good look in this case... some hiss excepted (which would be less of an issue here), they seem to be good performers.
Yes, they're still breaking the budget (plus cables and all), but as they say, you only feel the pain once...

There's also the 5" A305 at 111€ each, but I kind of have my doubts about the low end (not a bad one otherwise). Then there's the T204 4" MTM tower but reports indicate that the bass rolls off relatively early.
 
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Phorize

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As above you’ll struggle to go beyond near field at that price. You may want to consider some of the KRK speakers. Prices vary geographically alot but some of them measure OK. Again though, these would be ok to 2-3 metres at a push but won’t give you the feeling of an earthquake I’m afraid.
 

ZolaIII

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Try to find this for less than 300€ pair.
They are on clearance as they are discontinued so hurry up.
So far in Au I didn't find them under 170€ each which still ain't a bad price but you try to dig a little bit deeper it accepts both TRS balanced and unbalanced inputs (10/20 K Ohms).
So it's possible to get there for just a little bit more money and even at mid to far field (2 to 4 m) distance with a deacent bass. You will need a deacent DAC with them of course and you can pass with a cheap unbalanced one including USB dongle alike one's as long as they can give 2V output it's going to be fine. Of course you should aim for what satisfies your needs including BT and/or preferably WiFi streaming.
 
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E

ERMI

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Fairly skinny budget but if you don't already have an amp probably best to stick to powered/active speakers. How much would JBL LSR306p be where you are?
I am a bit sceptical bout JBL budget speakers. they seem to be overpriced for low quality. I have seen some reviews about jbls under 400 and tehy have horrible data.
 
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ERMI

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Can't say I'm surprised. They don't exactly have much bass, and the rest has its problems as well...

You want to fill a 20 m² room with sound using speakers the size of Eris E3.5s, and all that for a measly 250€ or less?
Not gonna happen, sorry.

Good small speakers are not cheap, and good cheap speakers are not small - you've got Hoffmann's Iron Law against you. The number of good 3" class monitors can be comfortably counted on the fingers of one hand. iLoud Micro Monitors and iLoud MTM, EVE SC203, Genelec 8010 / G One, I think that's about it.
The iLoud Micros almost fit the budget, can go very deep but will dial back bass quickly at higher levels which apparently doesn't sound too pretty. The EVEs and the Genelecs have a very similar bass tuning with a steep highpass below ~80 Hz and a bump around 150 Hz, they'll play loud for the size but are not exactly fullrange without judicious amounts of EQ. I'm using the EVEs at my office desk (if you want negligible hiss levels you can't be too picky) and have beaten them into submission with measurement and EQ so they're "fullrange enough" (useful from about 55-60 Hz up) at my very modest listening levels.

Presonus make the Eris E4.5 BT, but apparently that's not very good, mostly because of the very simple crossover. Some guy seems to have gotten good results with a crossover mod (the acoustic design is good otherwise), but that's something for those with the equipment and experience required.
This is supposedly the on-axis FR:
View attachment 310700
Some similarities with the E3.5 are undeniable.

The Edifier MR4 is a competent 4" monitor at 100€ the pair. Not much going on below 100 Hz though.

The Eris E5 seems to be near the minimum viable product. (209€ the pair at thomann.at, plus the cabling required to connect them, preferably without ground loops. What will the source(s) be?) Some issues with RF ingress but apparently decent sound if the official frequency chart is accurate. That could be used to generate a decent-enough EQ.
View attachment 310701

JBL 306P MkII are 199€ a piece, and Kali LP6v2 are slightly over 200 even... that's probably way too much for the OP. For good bass response and the volume required for an entire room, a 6.5" class speaker would be good though.

I would probably give the Swissonic (Thomann house brand) A306 monitors at 139€ each a good look in this case... some hiss excepted (which would be less of an issue here), they seem to be good performers.
Yes, they're still breaking the budget (plus cables and all), but as they say, you only feel the pain once...

There's also the 5" A305 at 111€ each, but I kind of have my doubts about the low end (not a bad one otherwise). Then there's the T204 4" MTM tower but reports indicate that the bass rolls off relatively early.
Firstly, thanks man.
your suggestions are fantastic!!
I "spotted" a quote during an interesting review I was watching: Speakers " burn" after some time of playing. in result speakers are not delivering stable data. e.g. mids fall off e.c...
b.w. I was thinking about some old quality passive speaker + equalise it. however, i dont know the stuff i need for having passive speakers. I always had active once.
 

ZolaIII

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I am a bit sceptical bout JBL budget speakers. they seem to be overpriced for low quality. I have seen some reviews about jbls under 400 and tehy have horrible data.
I am a little sceptic how anything below 8" woofers would feel such room even remotely satisfying and with acceptable bass extension especially for music you like. If you had a budget of 1000~2000 € i would say go with Yamaha HS8 for reliability or deacent 6.5" pasive one's that can go very loud (96~100 dB SPL @1 m) with reliable amplifier and one or two subs and cetera but you don't so you have to gamble a little bit and put some effort even to find budget active one's that will do the job and still for a little more money.
Quite frankly that JBL line didn't do half bad regarding measurements hire and there whosent lot of complaints regarding reliability elsewhere. Sure they aren't best speakers ever but they aren't half bad either (tho with balanced inputs only so you would have to invest more in such DAC and sub's later on). I tried to give you a best proposition to my better knowledge (with BX8 D3) for minimal money that would do the job quet satisfactory (again with a lot effort from you). Have a nice time, welcome to ASR and make sure that you read a lot hire in order to learn.
 
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ERMI

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I am a little sceptic how anything below 8" woofers would feel such room even remotely satisfying and with acceptable bass extension especially for music you like. If you had a budget of 1000~2000 € i would say go with Yamaha HS8 for reliability or deacent 6.5" pasive one's that can go very loud (96~100 dB SPL @1 m) with reliable amplifier and one or two subs and cetera but you don't so you have to gamble a little bit and put some effort even to find budget active one's that will do the job and still for a little more money.
Quite frankly that JBL line didn't do half bad regarding measurements hire and there whosent lot of complaints regarding reliability elsewhere. Sure they aren't best speakers ever but they aren't half bad either (tho with balanced inputs only so you would have to invest more in such DAC and sub's later on). I tried to give you a best proposition to my better knowledge (with BX8 D3) for minimal money that would do the job quet satisfactory (again with a lot effort from you). Have a nice time, welcome to ASR and make sure that you read a lot hire in order to learn.
Thanks a lot!!
 

aswillman

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Just a shout out for these little fellows. Small but quite accurate. Worth a trial but may be too small for your needs! These are the GoAux 3s but they do larger versions.

IMG_2923.jpeg
 

AnalogSteph

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With Austria have quite the affinity to music, I assume a look at the used market may definitely be worth a shot, although it obviously complicates matters considerably. You'd have to wade through a jungle of past speakers models, as well as pay attention to age-related issues like rotted foam surrounds. Perhaps you can find a decent set of '90s Canton bookshelves or something. Then there's still the question of a suitable amplifier... I'm assuming at least 80€ for a 15-20 year old AV receiver or something, which again may already have its issues.

8" class monitors feel like a bit of an unloved stepchild... it's where output often takes priority over best dispersion. Behringer B2031As used to be a spectacular value here when they were under 300€ the pair, but they are 400 now. BX8 D3 (169€ a pop) probably isn't a bad bet as their stuff generally performs decent for what it is, though I guess you'll want to buy some Al heatsink stock and stick it to the back if the 5" model is any indication. A308s (149€ each) would also be a decent bet (not quite as good as the 6.5" model though).
The biggest problem is that all of them are quite large compared to the originally desired E3.5 size. Granted, at a 2.5 m listening distance with potentially bass-heavy music you do rather want 8", or a 2.1 system with a decent sub (but you could spend most of the budget on the sub alone, so that's probably out). A decent 6.5" could also work though, especially with some boundary reinforcement.
 

Chrispy

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I am a bit sceptical bout JBL budget speakers. they seem to be overpriced for low quality. I have seen some reviews about jbls under 400 and tehy have horrible data.
I have some 305s (original version) and they're quite nice, but wouldn't use them in a particularly large room. What speakers have you seen with better measurements under 400? That's just a limited budget in any case, and likely the speaker will be on the small side.
 
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ERMI

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I have some 305s (original version) and they're quite nice, but wouldn't use them in a particularly large room. What speakers have you seen with better measurements under 400? That's just a limited budget in any case, and likely the speaker will be on the small side.
Idk whats better but after Presonus Eris e 3.5, I made a conclusion that it does not make sense to go for something that does not meet a criteria:
- durability
- No fatigue listening experience.

Thing that I noticed, I dont know this is true to all studio monitors, is that Paresonus Eris E.3.5 covers very limited range of ambience. This particular monitor must be directed towards face to hear what it offers.
 
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ERMI

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I have summed up your suggestions and checked local second hand market as well.
Speakers/monitors bellow are accessible within 300 Euro.
Can you all please vote/ name your top three ? I think this will be extremely useful for some other people as well

This list is made for speakers/monitors which can provide best listening experience in a max 20 m2 space under budget of 300 Euro.
Speakers are for everyday use primarily!


Swissonic A305
Alesis Elevate 5 MKII
KRK Rokit 6 RP6 G3 (Second hand)
KRK 6000 (Second hand)
M-Audio BX8 D3 (Second hand)
Edifier R1800 BT (Second hand)
 
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ZolaIII

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Idk whats better but after Presonus Eris e 3.5, I made a conclusion that it does not make sense to go for something that does not meet a criteria:
- durability
- No fatigue listening experience.

Thing that I noticed, I dont know this is true to all studio monitors, is that Paresonus Eris E.3.5 covers very limited range of ambience. This particular monitor must be directed towards face to hear what it offers.
Most studio monitors have a narrow dispersion and almost all speakers have such regarding tweeters especially on vertical axes. The wave guide will help a little, there are of course wide dispersion multiple tweeters per speaker designs and cetera. Narrow distortion is purposely done so that in relatively small space and near field you aim them and hire mostly direct sound and as less as po room.
 

ZolaIII

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I have summed up your suggestions and checked local second hand market as well.
Speakers/monitors bellow are accessible within 300 Euro.
Can you all please vote/ name your top three ? I think this will be extremely useful for some other people as well

This list is made for speakers/monitors which can provide best listening experience in a max 20 m2 space under budget of 300 Euro.
Speakers are for everyday use primarily!


Swissonic A305
Alesis Elevate 5 MKII
KRK Rokit 6 RP6 G3 (Second hand)
KRK 6000 (Second hand)
M-Audio BX8 D3 (Second hand)
Edifier R1800 BT (Second hand)
I really wouldn't advice you second hand when it comes to cheap active speakers where durability is questionable as it is even with new one's.
If you want durable you go with proven things with long track record or those that come with very long warranty and costumer service. Arguably neither you will find in cheap category, in affordable with economy class there are some and Yamaha is first thing which comes to my mind when talking of such. But that is still way over your budget.
 

dominikz

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KRK Classic 5 seem OK with a bit of EQ: measurements by @amirm
With a bit more EQ M-Audio BX5 D3 seem solid (for even cheaper) - here are measurements by @Weeb Labs.
Swissonic A305 seems pretty good out of the box: measurements by @KLang1

Unfortunately there might be significant unit-to-unit deviations in such budget speakers, so what you get might significantly deviate from available measurements (e.g. JBL LSR305 I had previously exhibited ~2dB difference in tweeter sensitivity between two units: link)

Note that all of the above are relatively small units (5" woofer), so they may not be sufficient if you are sitting far from the speakers or want to listen very loud. For this you'd need bigger speakers. Also, to get full-range sound you'd need to add a subwoofer - though this is something I'd recommend in any case, since a well integrated subwoofer can help fix certain room-acoustic related issues (SBIR).
Lastly I'd recommend you look into room EQ - this is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to greatly improve sound quality in most rooms. I like REW for this - perhaps these short instructions can help get you started.
 

Chrispy

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Idk whats better but after Presonus Eris e 3.5, I made a conclusion that it does not make sense to go for something that does not meet a criteria:
- durability
- No fatigue listening experience.

Thing that I noticed, I dont know this is true to all studio monitors, is that Paresonus Eris E.3.5 covers very limited range of ambience. This particular monitor must be directed towards face to hear what it offers.
The JBLs have been unreliable? I don't get fatigued listening to them....

YMMV.
 

twsecrest

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Hi everyone,
I am new here and I dont have enough tech knowledge.
I want to ask for your advices about the options I should be looking at to get an audio setup/speakers under 250 Euro as I am located in Austria.

My needs:
- I am using speakers for everyday use for music, film, game e.c..
- It would be ideal to get a speaker that sounds good within 30 degree, which would cover the whole space where I am experiencing the sound.
Speakers will be placed in the room of 20 m2. (5 meter long, 4 meter wide, 3,5 meter heigh)
- I dont have much space. Dimensions of presonus eris e3.5 are perfect (W x H x D: 5.6 x 8.3 x 6.4" / 14.2 x 21.1 x 16.3 cm)


What am I listening:
I like various genres but most often I listen to electro, pop, rock, industrial stiles.

What do I have
Right now, I dont have nothing!
I was using Presonus Eris E3.5 and it disappointed me! Not mentioning about mixing and mastering on them, listening music on them was not satisfying.
B.W. monitors just switched of and did not turn on ever since . never mind! fixing it costs more then the original price of it!

What am I considering:
-Passive or Active speakers
-Amplifier
What else do I need?

Additional details:
Bluetooth feature is good to have but not must. I know I can get it any time after.

Thank you in advance!
What exactly (sources) are you plugging the speakers into or are they being plugged into a DAC?
 
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