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Schiit Stack : Near-field speaker recommendation

matthope

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Hi everyone,

I had an Asus Essence STX audio card that I'd liked, but when I changed my computer for a new one with Win11, the driver kept crashing and was globally not pleasant to use. I decided to go with a Schiit Stack to replace it. I have a no non-sense attitude regarding audiophile gears. If justified I'm okay to pay for quality and something that will last a decade. That's why I purchased Schiit Stack over Topping DX3. Now, I would like to upgrade my PC speaker as well. I used them mainly for low volume and multimedia (gaming, music and movies). I'm in a apartment so I cannot go crazy with the bass. Subwoofer is not needed. I'm in Canada, but I converted everything to USD.

Requirement:
-> Compact. Strong preference for speaker driver between 3 inch and 4 inch.
-> 300 USD budget (400 USD max if it unlocks significantly more interesting products)
-> Near-field listening only. Speaker will be 2-3 inches from the wall.
-> Significant upgrade from existing setup.
-> (Bonus) Something close to the sound signature of the ATH-M50X. They are my main headphone for the last 10 years and I still like them.

Option 1: Schiit Rekkr and a passive bookshelf speaker. I would prefer that option but I seems way more expensive than powered monitor. Rekkr alone is 150USD and good speaker pair, that doesn't require massive EQ, are like 300USD alone (Dali Spektor 1). I've looked for Dayton Audio M402X (100USD) that are looking decent but i don't think it's a good match with the Rekkr low power.

Option 2: Powered Studio monitors. This seems to be the cheapest solution for acceptable quality. I don't really like the idea that the signal will most likely be digitized to apply some EQ inside the speaker... That said, the Edifier MR4 (130USD) seems to be the best bang for the bucks. It seems that Mackie CX-4 or Presonus Eris 4 are inferior to the Edifier MR4 concerning the flatness and bass response. And after that it's a no man's land. Only bigger 5 inches speaker. I saw the Fostex PM0.4 at 230USD but it is not clear if they are worth it or not.

My actual setup:

DAC: Schiit Modi+
Headphone Amp: Schiit Magni+ Heresy
Headphone : Audio-technica ATH-M50X
PC Speaker : Logitech Z213 (Purchased 5 years ago for 20$ in a clearance)

Sorry if this post is too loaded with information or if there is another thread already. I've read a lot of review and forum thread in the past day and the more that I read the more i'm confused.

Thanks for your help.
 
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twsecrest

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matthope

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Alesis Elevate 5 MK II, for a budget option.
I would spend the rest of the budget, upgrading from the ATH-M50X.
Drop Hifiman HE5XX headphones.
Alesis Elevate 5 MK II are quite big even for 5-inch speaker class. I had the chance to try the M-Audio BX5 D3 and at 6.9” x 7.8” x 10” I found them very big. Alesis are even bigger at 7.25" x 8.7" x 10.6" . Also, I didn't see any objective review for this speaker pair. Maybe you have a link to a review ?
 

twsecrest

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Last month watched a lot of Youtube reviews on budget studio monitors.
Wanted smaller units, something that offered better sound than the speakers built into the computer monitor.
Ended up going with Presonus Eris E3.5 (3.5") monitors, as good reviews for clarity (I did not need much bass)
But the same reviewer said the Alesis (5") offered better over sound (more bass), than the E3.5.
The M-Audio BX5 was not as well liked, in the review as the Alesis
Other Youtube reviewers seem to like the Alesis, but can't remember which reviews.
 

scrubb

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It's at the top end of your budget but how about the JBL 305P MkII? Reviewed here and at Erin's Audio Corner.
 
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AnalogSteph

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Ended up going with Presonus Eris E3.5 (3.5") monitors, as good reviews for clarity (I did not need much bass)
You'll probably want to EQ these...

Unfortunately it's very slim pickings among small and good speakers. iLoud Micros would fit the budget. Thanks to DSP magic, they go very deep at modest levels. They do have a bit of hiss, and the DSP throttling back the low end can apparently be disconcerting when listening to music at elevated levels (it seems to go over better with gaming).

The best bet would probably be some Edifier MR4s and an external sub (the kind sold for home studio use, or Edifier's own T5).
 
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matthope

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It's at the top end of your budget but how about the JBL 305P MkII? Reviewed here and at Erin's Audio Corner.
At 540CAD (400USD) they barely fit in the maximum range that I'm ready to go. Also they are quite big again 5-inch class. It seems that if you want something great in the 3 to 4 inch class you need to pay a lot.
 
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matthope

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You'll probably want to EQ these...

Unfortunately it's very slim pickings among small and good speakers. iLoud Micros would fit the budget. Thanks to DSP magic, they go very deep at modest levels. They do have a bit of hiss, and the DSP throttling back the low end can apparently be disconcerting when listening to music at elevated levels (it seems to go over better with gaming).

The best bet would probably be some Edifier MR4s and an external sub (the kind sold for home studio use, or Edifier's own T5).
I purchased a set of Edifier MR4 today, they were 40% off (Amazon). At 80USD, I don't think there is anything close to this at this price.

I plan to reuse the subwoofer from my Logitech Z213 set if I found the bass lacking. I'm not sure if it's a good idea but hey it's free. Nothing to lose here.

My plan for the future is to build my own 4 or 5 inch full range enclosure. I really like the look of this build :

I would tune it a little bit to fit a bigger TB 4-inch full range with maybe a passive radiator. I know that a cube is not ideal as a shape for an enclosure but this is the best way to use the space that I have.
 
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escape2

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Maybe Vanatoo T0, if you can EQ them...
 
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