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Customer Discussions > Speakers forum

Best Small Speakers?

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Showing 1-25 of 322 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 25, 2010 7:40:44 AM PDT
Can I get very small speakers w/subwoofer that will rival the sound I enjoy from my Klipsh F3's? We are re-doing the living room and the wife would like rid of big speakers. I have an Energy RC Micro set hooked to my home theatre receiver in the basement and, while I think they are quite nice for that application, they just don't have the depth with music. I generally play my music at lower levels and love how a nice set of speakers don't need to be loud to make beautiful sound. I would be willing to pay 500-800 for the right set of speakers. I am using only an OK receiver, a Yamaha HTR-6130 (5.1). I want to be able to use this system for movies but it is mainly a music system. Thanks.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 7:47:40 AM PDT
A/V guru says:
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Posted on Aug 25, 2010 9:43:09 AM PDT
The theater student has spoken

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 9:59:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 25, 2010 10:00:14 AM PDT
Audiolad says:
DRR: Everyone has their own interpretation of what a good sounding small speaker would be. I wanted the same thing you want, and I have my subwoofer on in the background. Through careful selection, I upgraded boxes I owned to the quality I wanted ($300, box/crossover, drivers). A comparable off the shelf model would easily have been $500, so you will pay for that quality, no matter what brand you select. Also, small speaker doesn't necessarily mean small amp, as my small speakers pull nearly the same power as my large floorstanding speakers. Check out B&W, KEF, SWANS, BOSTON ACCOUSTICS, QUAD, ENERGY (HIGH END), MORDAUNT SHORT, WHARFDALE (HIGH END), and others. If you are buying high end speakers used, make sure you know the source and trust it's not a problem (don't recommend EBAY).

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2010 9:59:40 AM PDT
M. Stifler says:
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Posted on Aug 25, 2010 10:24:19 AM PDT
A/V guru says:
I didn't mean to be so, uhm, concise...but. Those F3 are today on Amazon for $700 by themselves. Now you want to spend that same amount on 6 speakers and expect "the same enjoyment"...not possible.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 10:30:29 AM PDT
I got the F3's used and paid less. I know the sound will not be as good as those...duh. But maybe as good as F-1's? What if I spent $800. I appreciate the posting suggesting a bunch of different brands i could look at, but I know that. I'm kind of surprised that my Energy Micro surround setup sounds so nice with a movie but not as nice with music. I mean, the movie music is nice but when i play a CD or my ipod, it seems to not have the depth. I was hoping someone might point me to a model number. Thanks.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2010 11:02:40 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 25, 2010 11:05:33 AM PDT
A/V guru says:
Tannoy HTS 200 or 100...

The problem (even with those) is they use a tired 3 inch paper woofer. You could (I've never seen them in person, so I really have no idea) cut the woofer hole bigger and get a hivi aluminum woofer pretty cheaply. The Tannoy with a 4" hivi woofer* would be outstanding.

*in my personal thought process, you don't call anything smaller than 6" a woofer. Although, if arranged in an array, a bunch of 5" "woofers" can be called woofers...cause it is a singular unit, 6" at least.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 11:07:20 AM PDT
Theater student or not, no is no. Mini-speakers are limited by physics in what they can produce in frequency response and volume (within reasonable levels of distortion). You can spend thousands -- or tens of thousands -- of dollars on the best small speakers, but they will never rival that $300 Klipsch F-3.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 11:46:30 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 25, 2010 11:47:18 AM PDT
Audiolad says:
Jonathan, he said he was using them mostly for music with a sub, and he wasn't playing them loudly. I do believe there are many quality small speakers that do just what he wants, accuracy and detail. I listen to mine 5-6 hours a day in a small environment, and I'll be blunt, few large speaker give the detail my speakers give me. It's all about what you want to use them for, but the way the key word is small not mini.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 12:40:48 PM PDT
Thanks A/V Guru, but the Tannoy set you suggested is no smaller than my current Klipsch setup. DL, do you have any recommendations? BTW, what is this "theater student" about? I'm not a theater student...

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2010 12:41:42 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Aug 25, 2010 12:45:53 PM PDT]

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 12:47:28 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 25, 2010 12:50:15 PM PDT
A/V guru says:
I'm the "theater student". It is opinunateds pet name for mine for him is I'msoopninunatedi'madonkeysbuttend (or whatever I feel like typing at the time)

you might try Orb...if Orb isn't small enough, then run to Office Depot, I'm sure there is some 5.1 computer system.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 1:08:18 PM PDT
Thanks for the Orb recommendation...but do you think you did anything for yourself by adding the "Office Depot" snarky comment after it? It just makes you sound like a pretentious person to be dismissive and condescending like that. Still, thanks for your suggestion. Anyone else?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2010 1:25:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 25, 2010 1:33:05 PM PDT
A/V guru says:
I'm always "snarky". But I currently know two people with home theatres that are INSANE...

4 klipschorns with a center Lascala that the TV sits on.

this I'm currently consignment selling...

5 Mcintosh MC1000 with 3 pairs (an "unused" extra) of XR290's (this one is even beyond my wildest budget)...The "center" XR290 has its base removed and it has a custom wall-mount for "sideways" configuration...

And isn't on Audiogon...I can only imagine the cranks I would get if it were on there. (Can I come demo that???)

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 2:16:40 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 25, 2010 2:37:09 PM PDT
Audiolad says:
DRR: At $749/pair, this would be my step up monitor from Swans, 5.25" woofer (center phase plug) and one of HiVi's best rated ribbon tweeters. If you have at least 80 watts RMS/channel, this should work well at music volumes.

The Swans 2.1se is at this same web location for less, but steer away unless you have a 200 watt/channel amp, as they eat power.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2010 2:58:12 PM PDT
DL, the OP cited Energy RC Micro's as an example, that that's as "mini" as they get... almost! There are quality small speaker that give detail, but not accuracy... well okay, accuracy, if you want it from 200Hz up. There are plenty of people who have found success in all different kinds of systems with compromises -- and that's what small speakers are, a compromise.

P.S. A normal bookshelf on speaker stands is no smaller than the F-3. The OP said his wife wanted "smaller" speakers, and I'm pretty sure we all know what she has in mind... *hint* Not Tannoys or Mordaunt Shorts...

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 7:31:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 25, 2010 7:34:25 PM PDT
Audiolad says:
Jonathan: You got me! I got the music part, missed the 5.1, and you're right. The speakers I showed are quality speakers for stereo, not really meant for surround. However, their output is quite flat down to 55 Hz, which meshes well at a low crossover point to the sub (if you want more bass). I should read carefully all the little iterations. Maybe the next person who's looking for speakers won't be looking for 5 little satellite speakers, but two fronts instead.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2010 8:03:11 PM PDT
To be fair, he did say he was looking for mainly a music system. While bookshelves could produce excellent sound for music, I am now confused on whether he wants bookshelves, to be placed on proper stands, or the smaller "invisible" satellites -- I assumed the latter, because it seems his wife is the one making the rules here.

Even still, there might be quality satellite speakers, but they will always lack the weightiness a larger speaker could bring to the table. A mini-satellite like the Energy RC Micro compared with a larger speaker that has been given equal attention in its design will have the larger speaker win every time; in other words, my point is that "very small speakers" do not rival larger ones. They may approach them if you throw enough money at it.

Posted on Aug 25, 2010 8:11:08 PM PDT
I am not looking for bookshelves on stands. They have the same footprint as my current Kilipsch speakers. I'd like them to be as invisible as possible.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2010 8:26:42 PM PDT
In that case, get a set of Jamo, BIC, Hsu, or something else. Don't spend too much. They all sound about the same, in my opinion.

Posted on Aug 26, 2010 6:39:52 AM PDT
Audiolad says:
For JAC's comments, ditto.

Posted on Aug 26, 2010 7:01:00 AM PDT
So, if I'm hearing you guys correctly, it seems like you'd say to stay with something like this (BIC America DV62si Bookshelf Speakers) and avoid going smaller to the micro spealer/sub setup? Do you think that 4 of this class (or a little better) a sub and a center channel will give me better sound than an expensive micro speaker system like this ( Mirage MX 5.1 Channel Miniature High-Performance Speaker System ) or this (Boston Acoustics SoundWareXS5.1B 5.1 Speaker System )?

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 26, 2010 9:45:53 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 26, 2010 9:54:42 AM PDT
A/V guru says:
If you were to get 4 BIC DV62si, with the DV62clrs...and either the 1020 or 1220 sub....that would simply DESTROY either the Mirage MX or BA Soundware you chose...and I'd take the BA over the Mirage*.

If you were to get these instead...these get VERY close to Klipsch...and I think this series is actually better that the Klipsch Synergy...

This gets out of your size range...but these, I'd put up against any Klipsch, that isn't part of their legacy series...

*The "fair" comparison of the BIC DV series to either of those 5.1 systems would be this...

Posted on Aug 26, 2010 10:50:43 AM PDT
That's great, thank you.
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Discussion in:  Speakers forum
Participants:  24
Total posts:  322
Initial post:  Aug 25, 2010
Latest post:  Oct 3, 2012

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