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Seeking 'Lifestyle' Speaker Recommendations for a Parent's House

Battlebeast

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Lots to unpack there. I have started sifting though it.

Thought there was a contender. One active and one passive, though. This may be the biggest one to overcome, at the speakers will likely be at opposite corners of the room.

I really appreciate all of the suggestions!
SVS offers 15 and 20 foot connect cables if there is some way to run the wires. But that means not being able to move them much. Seems what you're looking for would be an app based wireless setup like Sonos or Apple home pods. Neither of which can connect a CD player (AFAIK). Maybe you can get your mom to use an ipad or iphone and just stream everything.
 
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BlackTalon

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She's 80 and hates all things computer/ smart phone. She has a big pile of CDs she's picked up over the years (150-200?) and a couple over-the-air radio stations and that's all she wants to deal with. As far as Amazon goes, she is 100% against any/ all things that come from them because China and putting other companies out of business.

At this point it's looking like there will be one speaker wire, if not two. I'll deal with the repercussions.
 

MaxBuck

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KEF LSXes are another idea, though maybe more than you'd want to pay.
 
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BlackTalon

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The LSXes were my first thought but I dropped the idea since they need to be linked.
 

sdrichard

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She's 80 and hates all things computer/ smart phone. She has a big pile of CDs she's picked up over the years (150-200?) and a couple over-the-air radio stations and that's all she wants to deal with....
Looks like you need to go with this route: https://us.technics.com/products/premium-all-in-one-music-system-sc-c70mk2

All-in-one, plays CD and radio (among other things), compact, elegant-looking, great sound and no messy wires nor streaming to deal with. It's not cheap, but I think she'll like it.
 

GXAlan

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Thanks. From what I have found Bose stopped making this a handful of years ago, and only used/ reconditioned are on the market. And it looks like it's >$600 for a reconditioned unit. I'll leave this in the pocket as a last resort.


You mentioned that your mom was more of an interior designer than audiophile. Just get the Bose factory refurb and be done with it…
 

antcollinet

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If she is not worried about stereo (eg speakers in opposite corners) why worry about two speakers at all. Just get one good bluetooth, with a bluetooth sender connected to the reciever. (I use one of these currently to send audio from my turntable - the device just connects when it is switched on.)
 

CHenry

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I apologize in advance for this thread. My 80 year old mother just moved into a smaller house and has downsized a bit. She enjoys having music on in the background -- both local classical and country stations as well as CDs. But in the new place, there is no room in the family room for her 30+ year old Bose 301s.

She wants to continue listening to radio stations and playing CDs. She has a Sony receiver that's only a couple years old, and it has Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities. But she is in need of a pair of wireless speakers that are about half the size of the 301s (think 12"H x 6"W x 6" deep (300 x 150 x 150 for those on SI)). Wireless because she needs to be able to move them around to try multiple locations and realistically cannot route speaker wires all around the room. There will likely be nothing like stereo sound -- I'm 99% certain the speakers will be placed on opposite corners of the room. Think Muzak in the dentist's office... Electrical outlets should not be a problem -- routing AC cords will be much easier then running speaker cables multiple times.

The one complication is she cannot/ will not use a phone, laptop, etc. to operate. Ideally the speakers would be paired (or linked via wi-fi) during setup. And maybe they would need to be relinked after power outages. The receiver can be connected to the TV via HDMI (she has a small TV she watches once in a blue moon) if that helps with redoing the wifi connection or BT pairing.

Budget is pretty low. A few hundred $ USD. I'll probably buy them for her, so ultimately I do not need to stick with that budget.

One thing do not know about with respect to wireless speakers is volume control. If using BT or wifi connections can the receiver be used as, essentially, a wireless volume control for the speakers? If she has to do anything more than load a CD into the player and turn the volume knob on the receiver she'll probably punt the whole thing and get a boombox that has a CD player. I'd hate for her to have to plumb those depths... Also, the speakers will likely go on the floor behind some chairs, so accessing a speaker-mounted volume control would be an issue.

She lives >90 minutes away, so I will not be able to just pop over and help her when she has a problem or issue. And talking her through anything tech related over the phone is rough on both of us.

Any recommendations or advice are appreciated. We're in the US. And she's closer to Crutchfield then to me.

Thanks in advance.
KEF LSX II
 
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BlackTalon

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" but the pair can also be linked wirelessly to allow for fewer cables and more flexible placement options."
Thanks -- I missed that previously, as I had read one is active and one is passive.
 

HeadDoc12

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HeadDoc12

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I think it might be useful to think in terms of the big picture.
(1) Bose 301 speakers are actually not good speakers, even for their time. It is one of the few things that subjectivists (the only thing that matters is what I hear) and objectivists (the only thing that matters is how a piece of equipment measures) almost completely agree on.
(2) Placing ANY 2 speakers in an unconventional layout (as you say, not along the same wall facing out into the room in the same direction) will make things SIGNIFICANTLY worse in terms of sound quality. Probably much worse than a big downgrade in equipment.
(3) The specific requirements your mother has in terms of space, placement, wires, apps, etc. SEVERELY limits the options (this might not be a bad thing).
(4) Your mother's hearing SUCKS. I am 54. I just played a 12kHz tone from this site (https://decibelhearing.com/hearing-loss-overview/high-frequency-hearing-loss/) and heard almost nothing. Obviously, anything higher is meaningless to me. Assume a sizable chunk of music and other audio is simply inaudible to your mother.
SO, I think an all-in-one system like the Technics or the Tivoli (or the Bose Wave if you can find it) will not only meet your mom's specific needs, but they might even be a sonic upgrade. Plus, you might be able to get a few bucks selling the receiver.
 

sdrichard

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Yes, this is a great choice too. Both the Technics and the Tivoli probably offer good sound, simplicity (no bluetooth pairing, etc), and great aesthetics (different aesthetics though). If I were the OP, the deciding factors (in this order) would be 1) aesthetics, 2) flexibility, 3) streaming capability, 4) budget. The Technics does have room correction built in, so that could improve sound quality in different placements. Streaming capability makes it more 'future proof' if she absolutely hates it. On the other hand, the Tivoli is probably easier to use due to its use of physical buttons and having fewer functions, and it's $400 cheaper.
 

sdrichard

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Your mother's hearing SUCKS. I am 54. I just played a 12kHz tone from this site (https://decibelhearing.com/hearing-loss-overview/high-frequency-hearing-loss/) and heard almost nothing. Obviously, anything higher is meaningless to me. Assume a sizable chunk of music and other audio is simply inaudible to your mother.
Haha, wait until you are my age. I struggle to hear anything over 8kHz. BUT, there's plenty to enjoy in terms of dynamics, tonality, imaging etc. And I have no trouble picking out a properly set up system every time I went to our local audio meet up. I also try to go to live concerts as much as I can (mostly jazz and small scale classical) so I can check my ears against the real deal. ;)
 
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BlackTalon

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Thanks for the replies @HeadDoc12 and @sdrichard.

As an interim solution I order a pair of Neumi BS5s from Amazon last night. They are passive monitors so speaker cables will need to be run temporarily where she will be upset about them being in the way. But at least she'll be able to play her CDs and listen to the stations she likes, and the speakers are much smaller than the 3012. It's basically a $135 stop-gap.

As a bonus, the speakers will be delivered to my house tomorrow, and she is going to be driving up to visit. So I'll be able to unbox the speakers and send them home with her.

In another month or so when I can get down to her place I'll get a much better feel for potential long-term options. I know how she used to listen before she moved to Texas ~5 years ago, but I can't be sure about today.
 

sdrichard

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Thanks for the replies @HeadDoc12 and @sdrichard.

As an interim solution I order a pair of Neumi BS5s from Amazon last night. They are passive monitors so speaker cables will need to be run temporarily where she will be upset about them being in the way. But at least she'll be able to play her CDs and listen to the stations she likes, and the speakers are much smaller than the 3012. It's basically a $135 stop-gap.

As a bonus, the speakers will be delivered to my house tomorrow, and she is going to be driving up to visit. So I'll be able to unbox the speakers and send them home with her.

In another month or so when I can get down to her place I'll get a much better feel for potential long-term options. I know how she used to listen before she moved to Texas ~5 years ago, but I can't be sure about today.
A sensible move. Hope everything works out for you and your mother.
 

CHenry

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An old-school wired system with passive speakers and a receiver (a real receiver with a real terrestrial FM tuner) and a CD player and some easy -to-move bookshelf speakers should do the trick. A slide-rule tuner model would be ideal, but that is unlikely in new gear, so a decent readable digital display and possibly a programmable tuner with assignable memory with buttons. It won't need too much power. "No to China?" Look for a pair of smaller JBL, Klipsch or Martin-Logan 2-way speakers with acceptable bass ought to do it. Forget any streamer, forget any separate DAC or multi-box amplification solutions, forget a subwoofer. You might need to work out an antenna placement for the tuner. (I am thinking a vintage Technics SA-400 that is competently re-capped would be the perfect mix of retro style and function.)
 
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BlackTalon

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As the temporary fix I ordered her a pair of Neumi BS5.

She called me the other day to say some friends stopped by and hooked them up for her. She had been expecting them to be a bit crappy, but they really surprised he. She liked them a lot over the 301s she's had for 35 or so years.

Something else fun is she lives in a pretty rural area at the foot of the mountains about 90 minutes from DC. She can barely pull in any radio stations. So she may have to learn to stream after all. But at least it looks like these speakers may be permanent.

Thank you all for the various recommendations. :cool:
 

CHenry

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A WiFi AVR with a tuner and wifi speaker connectivity might be an alternative. Yamaha makes these and so does Denon.
 
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