• WANTED: Happy members who like to discuss audio and other topics related to our interest. Desire to learn and share knowledge of science required. There are daily reviews of audio hardware and expert members to help answer your questions. Click here to have your audio equipment measured for free!

Personal experiences with small ~4" desktop speakers and subs?

617

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
2,373
Likes
5,237
Location
Somerville, MA
Good afternoon everyone. I have a pair of LSR305 for my computer. I've measured them before, and my particular pair have some response abnormalities, so I was thinking of upgrading to something else.

I recently added and mostly integrated a fairly high end 10" subwoofer in a sealed enclosure with a 250W dsp amplifier. Adding this subwoofer has really created delightful sound, with beautiful tuneful bass going as deep and as loud as I could want in this space. I have another driver, so I may build a dual opposed unit or perhaps locate it somewhere else in the room, but space is at a premium, and I am happy with the one for now.

I was wondering if anyone had any experiences with both inexpensive powered speakers such as the jbl 305 or Kali LP6 compared to slightly higher end, but smaller solutions, in a smaller form factor. I'm looking at units like:
  • The iLoud MT and MTM speakers, which are tiny
  • Small but higher end options like Genelec 8010, Neuman kh80
  • Adam a4 speakers
  • Maybe the KRK v4
I am not looking for, nor do I need a super 'accurate' speaker, but something free of major resonances and offering some kind of HF/LF/desk bounce adjustment would be nice. High output is not necessary, I listen from about 2 or 3 feet away at my desk, so I'm wondering if these would work well. I am wondering if I should go down this path or get something like the Kali in-5, which costs less, but offers a 3 way design and greater output potential.
 

sweetchaos

Major Contributor
The Curator
Joined
Nov 29, 2019
Messages
3,837
Likes
11,427
Location
BC, Canada
KRK Rokit 5 G4:
CEA2034.jpg
Even with EQ, I wouldn't consider this, since these issues aren't fixable.

Adam A4V:
CEA2034.jpg
Again, 2 major issues, that are not fixable with EQ.

iK Multimedia MTM:
CEA2034.jpg
Not bad.
I bought a pair for family and they're amazing for the use case (next to TV, moderate listening levels). Prices went up by like 30% since a few years ago, so I don't know if i'm still recommending them, considering there are alternatives at the higher price point.

Genelec 8010:
CEA2034.jpg
Very good.

Neumann KH80:
CEA2034.jpg
Very good.

I would be considering iK Multimedia if physical space is an issue. Otherwise, Genelec or Neumann.

Also, don't forget to model the sizes when comparing options. Here's a great website.
 
OP
617

617

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
2,373
Likes
5,237
Location
Somerville, MA
KRK Rokit 5 G4:
CEA2034.jpg
Even with EQ, I wouldn't consider this, since these issues aren't fixable.

Adam A4V:
CEA2034.jpg
Again, 2 major issues, that are not fixable with EQ.

iK Multimedia MTM:
CEA2034.jpg
Not bad.
I bought a pair for family and they're amazing for the use case (next to TV, moderate listening levels). Prices went up by like 30% since a few years ago, so I don't know if i'm still recommending them, considering there are alternatives at the higher price point.

Genelec 8010:
CEA2034.jpg
Very good.

Neumann KH80:
CEA2034.jpg
Very good.

I would be considering iK Multimedia if physical space is an issue. Otherwise, Genelec or Neumann.

Also, don't forget to model the sizes when comparing options. Here's a great website.

Thanks, that's extremely helpful. What do you think of the in-5? It's surprisingly small and it's a 3 way. I'd prefer not to pay for Genelec/Neuman only because I'm not a professional, but nobody else seems to make really great small speakers except for iLoud.
 

twsecrest

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Messages
891
Likes
290
Location
California
More details on how the computer is connected to the LSR305 and subwoofer please.
To me the best connection would be the computer, connected to an external DAC (that has balanced output jacks), using USB.
Than run a balanced cable connection from the DAC to the subwoofer.
Than run balanced cables from the subwoofer to the JBL LSR305 studio monitors.

I would not replace the 5" LSR305 with a studio monitor that uses woofers smaller than 5"
 

maverickronin

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jul 19, 2018
Messages
2,527
Likes
3,305
Location
Midwest, USA
The 8010 are great at 1-2 feet but not so much at 2-3.

If you already have room for the 305 then the 8010 is probably too small for your desk.
 

Chrispy

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 7, 2020
Messages
7,563
Likes
5,726
Location
PNW
Why is the 3-way attractive in such a small speaker since you already have a sub? The 305s are nice speakers, tho.... (I have a pair)
 
Last edited:

GD Fan

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 7, 2020
Messages
917
Likes
1,658
Location
NY, NY USA
A few years ago I picked up the 8320s for my desktop, along with the Genelec L-shaped stands. Like you, for listening at 2-3 feet.

They are excellent but doing it again I wouldn't get the GLM speakers, I'd probably go for 8030s with the larger woofer instead. The SPL out of the 8320 is totally sufficient for my purposes, though.

But, honestly, if it were a greenfield project I'd look seriously at less expensive options too.
 

MachOne

Active Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2021
Messages
101
Likes
79
The smallest iLoud MT sounded great to me, but only at low levels. The bottom end limits quite early and you can hear the ports when pushed at all. But I really liked their tuning.
 

ernestcarl

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
3,068
Likes
2,279
Location
Canada
Good afternoon everyone. I have a pair of LSR305 for my computer. I've measured them before, and my particular pair have some response abnormalities, so I was thinking of upgrading to something else.

How big is the differences/"abnormalities"? Quite a number of people have complained about unit-to-unit variance on this particular JBL model... including myself -- although, I suspect it rather common. People have reported resonances from the surround ring plate, internal amp/DSP boards, and driver itself etc. Lingering resonances not seen in the spinorama can also be heard easily with burst test tones. Although, I think masking with real music playback negates a good deal of those issues -- and, besides, you said you weren't doing any critical professional work with these speakers... Personally, I would first try to EQ things to get the speaker to measure and sound as best as possible e.g. using MMM and/or multi-point measurements.
 

LTig

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
5,727
Likes
9,373
Location
Europe
The tiny Genelec 8010 has a 3" midwoofer and is quite SPL limited even with a sub, I wouldn't go smaller than a 4" like 8020 or KH 80.
I second this. I have Genelec 8020a from 2006 and a KEF PSW2000 sub (not the best) and they can play loud enough. If I had to buy again I would go for 8x20 or KH80. I wouldn't trust any smaller speaker.
 

jhaider

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
2,787
Likes
4,446
KH 80 DSP seems like the perfect fit to me. They’re expensive, but you’re not going to find better engineering. I’d been using them for a while…until yesterday actually. I just swapped mine for a pair of KH 120 II. I’m not sure they will stay. They look so much bigger on the desk. There are also always used 1st gen KH 120.

If you want serviceable and a lot cheaper, and are willing to use a small amp, what about the KEF E301 new, or in used the older KEF 3001SE eggs, Tannoy Arena eggs, Paradigm Millenia, or the baby PSB (name escapes me).
 

escape2

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Joined
Mar 8, 2019
Messages
881
Likes
938
Location
USA
Having tried a few 4" speakers, albeit not high end ones, I found them problematic when trying to integrate with a sub. The low pass filter on the sub had to be set too high to fill in what the speakers couldn't reproduce, and that caused the sub to draw too much attention to itself. Switching to speakers with 5.25" drivers made for a much more seamless integration with the sub.

I'm still using some 4" speakers with my TV because of WAF and current living arrangements, but again, not happy with it. It's just temporary, though, or so I've been saying for the past 5+ years...
 
OP
617

617

Major Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Mar 18, 2019
Messages
2,373
Likes
5,237
Location
Somerville, MA
How big is the differences/"abnormalities"? Quite a number of people have complained about unit-to-unit variance on this particular JBL model... including myself -- although, I suspect it rather common. People have reported resonances from the surround ring plate, internal amp/DSP boards, and driver itself etc. Lingering resonances not seen in the spinorama can also be heard easily with burst test tones. Although, I think masking with real music playback negates a good deal of those issues -- and, besides, you said you weren't doing any critical professional work with these speakers... Personally, I would first try to EQ things to get the speaker to measure and sound as best as possible e.g. using MMM and/or multi-point measurements.
1697514295111.jpeg


One of them is shown here - the dark red line is an un-equalized.

I'm at a point in life where I refuse to run Equalizer APO, I just want something that works. The other one has a different response.

I also don't like how they look. The cheap vinyl wrap is delaminating. I'll give them to my nephew or put them in the basement.
 

Bleib

Major Contributor
Joined
May 13, 2021
Messages
1,191
Likes
2,089
Location
Sweden
Experience with Guru Audio Junior on the desktop. It's terrific but also feels wasted because they like quite a bit volume. Since I can sit quite long time in front of the PC I actually prefer not there to be a lot of deep bass (these go down to 34hz). On the plus side it doesn't need a sub
 

ernestcarl

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
3,068
Likes
2,279
Location
Canada
View attachment 319423

One of them is shown here - the dark red line is an un-equalized.

I'm at a point in life where I refuse to run Equalizer APO, I just want something that works. The other one has a different response.

I also don't like how they look. The cheap vinyl wrap is delaminating. I'll give them to my nephew or put them in the basement.

Ah... the HF freq response looks very strange!

From experience with MMM and my own JBL LSR305 1-3+ meters, the HF response is quite smooth (courtesy of the excellent waveguide) even if they're non-matching between two units.
 

thewas

Master Contributor
Forum Donor
Joined
Jan 15, 2020
Messages
6,555
Likes
15,600
Ah... the HF freq response looks very strange!

From experience with MMM and my own JBL LSR305 1-3+ meters, the HF response is quite smooth (courtesy of the excellent waveguide) even if they're non-matching between two units.
Same here (also used them in the past till they were replaced by my Genelec M40 and later old LS50 at my desktop setup) and in the end EQ Apo is usually needed (especially for desktop environment) in the bass region. That rather looks like a defect to me.
 

dominikz

Addicted to Fun and Learning
Forum Donor
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
779
Likes
2,529
View attachment 319423

One of them is shown here - the dark red line is an un-equalized.

I'm at a point in life where I refuse to run Equalizer APO, I just want something that works. The other one has a different response.

I also don't like how they look. The cheap vinyl wrap is delaminating. I'll give them to my nephew or put them in the basement.
Thanks for sharing! This looks relatively similar to how my pair measured:
index.php

The ripples between 4k-10k in the response by @617 might be reflections from the microphone stand or nearby surfaces (those can be difficult to avoid) but overall seems close to me.
 

ernestcarl

Major Contributor
Joined
Sep 4, 2019
Messages
3,068
Likes
2,279
Location
Canada
Thanks for sharing! This looks relatively similar to how my pair measured:
index.php

The ripples between 4k-10k in the response by @617 might be reflections from the microphone stand or nearby surfaces (those can be difficult to avoid) but overall seems close to me.

Indeed, quite similar... but what about that rather conspicuous hump below 4kHz? It looks very wrong -- one would assume an LSR305 need not be corrected where the waveguide works its magic -- supposedly -- and, yet, I that couldn't be caused by the microphone stand only. If it's a nearby surface, then the speaker must be directly adjacent against a wall or something extreme.
 
Top Bottom