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Which speaker should I get?

alaperse

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Jun 22, 2022
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Hi there!

Newbie posting here, but I've been lurking for a while.

I'm setting my first audio system to place it in a desktop on my bedroom (about 4x3 meters, 1 or 1.5 meters of listening distance). I've decided to go cheap and simple: an integrated amp with a pair of bookshelf speakers (maybe a subwoofer in the future, when I move to another place). For the amp, I was thinking on a class D with an Infineon MA12070 chip and bluetooth. Probably will be SMSL A100 or Sabaj A1 (new edition).

However, I'm having trouble deciding for the speakers. I live in Chile (South America) and I want to buy new and locally (international shipping prices are high so not worth it). My budget is $300 USD. I've considered a lot of options, and after discarding them for price, size or preference, I've reached the following (prices in USD):
  • Dali Spektor 1 ($200) and 2 ($270)​
  • JBL Stage A120 ($240) and A130 ($290)​
  • Monitor Audio Monitor 50 ($150 on sale) and 100 ($200 on sale)​
  • Monitor Audio Bronze 50 ($250 on sale)​
  • Polk Audio XT15 ($130 on sale)​
  • Polk Audio ES10 ($250) ES15 ($300)​
  • Wharfedale D310 ($100 on sale)​
  • Wharfedale Diamond 12.0 ($260)​
Mostly for music listening, I'm looking for the best sound possible (in low volume levels, considering the space) with good imaging and stereo separation. Hopefully the one with the best resolution/raw detail/instrument separation. I'm a little treble sensitive tbh. Also a smaller size is preferable due to available space reasons.

I'm leaning towards the Dali Spektor and Monitor Audio for now. For what I've read in forums, Polk and Wharfedale have not the sound profile that I'm looking for, but I'm not really sure. Which one would you recommend me?
 
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alex-z

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Polk Audio XT15 for $130 are the best value on that list by far. Less mid-range bump than the JBL Stage A130, and a bit more treble, but you can fix that.


Use EQ on your PC to pull down the bump at 1100Hz, and pull the treble above 5000Hz. It makes way more sense to buy speakers with good directivity and use 2-3 EQ filters than to buy speakers with mediocre directivity.
 

DSJR

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My only caution would be desktop placement and close to wall behind as regards (too much) bass to mid balance. Make sure the speakers can be placed either at ear height or angled up towards you. These days with a computer as source, eq can be easily done to 'fix' the worst of it of course as suggested above - this is still fairly new to me as I also use legacy analogue sources and am gradually being dragged into twenty first century streaming ideals ;) but that ain't going to matter to you.

Do remember if you're starting out on this journey, THE MUSIC is what mattters, and not so much the gear (famous last words, but I've 'been there' for most of my life so hopefully you don't have to - cheesy grin - ). Good luck :)
 
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alaperse

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Polk Audio XT15 for $130 are the best value on that list by far. Less mid-range bump than the JBL Stage A130, and a bit more treble, but you can fix that.

Use EQ on your PC to pull down the bump at 1100Hz, and pull the treble above 5000Hz. It makes way more sense to buy speakers with good directivity and use 2-3 EQ filters than to buy speakers with mediocre directivity.
Thanks! I'll check more about that model. At that price it's a really good deal.

Something like Equalizer APO + Peace should work fine, right? I'm not very sure how to EQ. I use Auto EQ presets to equalize my headphones to the Harman Target, but nothing more.

My only caution would be desktop placement and close to wall behind as regards (too much) bass to mid balance. Make sure the speakers can be placed either at ear height or angled up towards you. These days with a computer as source, eq can be easily done to 'fix' the worst of it of course as suggested above - this is still fairly new to me as I also use legacy analogue sources and am gradually being dragged into twenty first century streaming ideals ;) but that ain't going to matter to you.
Matching the speakers at ear height or angle up towards me shouldn't be a problem. However they need to be close to the wall.

By how much distance should be the speakers separated? 1 meter? 2 meters? The max I could separate is 1.5 meters on my desk and I'm afraid is not enough. And how much distance from the speaker back to the wall is the optimum?

Do remember if you're starting out on this journey, THE MUSIC is what mattters, and not so much the gear (famous last words, but I've 'been there' for most of my life so hopefully you don't have to - cheesy grin - ). Good luck :)
Thanks for the advice. Always trying to enjoy the music the most.

It's said the most famous words are also the truest. They need a reason to be that famous.

Keep in mind that amplifiers with this chip do not have much power (SMSL A100 has about 18W at 8 ohms).
I thought about it! I'll use in a desktop on my bedroom, so it should be considered as a desktop system/near field use. And I tend to listen music at low volumes. It should be enough power for that.

But perhaps I'm wrong. Do you have another recommendation for less than $150? Ideally $100. Bluetooth is a must.
 
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