I’m looking for some ‘semi-decent’ speakers for my desktop setup, and would be interested for thoughts.
I used to have an audio interface and a HiFi amp and speakers, but I think there was quite a lot of latency in the analog conversion, and I’d rather avoid buying lots of separate things.
There’s also the old joke that an audiophile is someone who uses music to listen to his equipment, and I’m not one of those!
So: minimum amounts of stuff, reasonable sound quality, competitively priced? My hardware is a 2018 MacMini, so USB-C, Thunderbolt, Bluetooth 5.0. Would prefer digital connection rather than using the audio jack, unless there’s a reason why that would be better.
There is no digital connector to sound output without some kind of an audio interface! Even built in output in mac is using internal DAC. With (cheap) computer speakers with USB c connector you’ll probably also get a cheap audio interface. I’d avoid that to be honest, or just use the audio jack.
PS: I was watching a mixing guru on YT and he said that you can get a really nice pair of monitors below $10.000 these days So it’s all very subjective. Probably for any kind of real production, audio interface with monitors is the way to go…
It depends a little on how much you’re willing to spend. I’ve had a Bose Companion 50 for some years and I’m quite happy with the quality of the sound (as a fellow non-audiophile!). It uses two smaller speakers on the desk next to the monitor and a sub-woofer under the desk, it connects via USB and has a small, circular controller for volume with two jacks for microphone and headset. I can recommend it.
Yes, I was looking at the Bose Companion range.
Of course, I realise the D/A conversion has to happen somewhere, but I’m surprised that there don’t seem to be more computer speakers that take a digital input and do all the work in one box. You’d think there would be a market for that. But it’s all just waterproof Bluetooth Party iPhone boosters…
I use a pair of Genelec 1030, plugged into my Steinberg 242 interface, and find it satisfactory. These are not new equipment, which you probably could find second hand (cheaper then). Don’t forget that the last (and most important) resonance cabinet is the room where you work, so any acoustic change you can make in that room will be very important vs. the quality of hardware you put in that room. Keeping everything balanced (budget, acoustics, expectations) is the key!
I’m nailing eggboxes to the walls, like they do in professional studios.
Free range egg boxes, I would hope.
Ha! You and me both.
Over the years I’ve found myself wondering whether they’re as good as they used to be or is their performance degrading over time? The reality is that the speakers are still fabulous and it’s my hearing that’s the problem.
I used to have a pair of Adam F5s that were very good. This looks like a really good combo deal for the Adam T5V (which replaced the F5), Focusrite Scarlett 2i2, and cables:
I have a ton of friends who have that 2i2. It is reviewed very favorably, and it seems to be a very common first interface purchase for a lot of musicians. Since you mentioned you have Thunderbolt, I’m currently using UA Apollo Twin QUAD Thunderbolt and it is great for recording and for use with Pro Tools. UA’s plug-ins are really great if that’s something you care about, but are only compatible with UA interfaces.
If we’re going for more expensive… I’m a big fan of Mackie 824s with Audient interface.
I am currently using iLoud Micro Monitors because I’m in a second bedroom in an apartment. They’re actually pretty doggone good considering their niche and their price.
I can really recommend Adam A5X or maybe A7X, depending on the size of your room. Absolutely awesome speakers!
I’d add another vote for the Adam A5 - I love mine!
Just a quick plug for the NuForce uDAC for getting signal out of your computer. It’s a great “mini interface” for lack of a better term, for getting signal out to a pair of speakers. Very affordable and perfectly sufficient if you don’t need an actual interface with ‘I’ in addition to ‘O’. I have Equator d5’s in my office, but apparently Equator is now defunct, which is a shame since they are coaxial speakers and very good. At home I use PreSonus Eris e5’s, but they aren’t my favorite. They are ‘good enough’.
Adams also great. The other thing for really cheap is S/H Tannoy Reveals. I have a very old pair that I still use often to check mixes.
Adam monitors are really good.
I had “Behringer MS-40” before. The good thing was that they had 2 inputs, can be controlled separately.