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Old Dec 4, 2012, 08:25 PM   #1
brooka
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What desktop speakers would you get for your new iMac?

Not sure if there is a topic on this but...

I've read reviews on the new imac's speakers and also heard them in person at a store and I wasn't impressed. They do sound quite tiny and almost no bass.

I was wondering if anyone had thought about getting a set of desktop speakers/monitors to go with the imac.

I'm looking at getting something compact but large in sound quality and loudness. Space is an issue in my home so they have to be small enough to sit on a medium desk without looking ridiculous. Main use would be for music listening, video editing and movies watching.

Options I'm yet to look at and hear in person (any ideas?) -
BOSE COMPANION 20 - http://www.trustedreviews.com/bose-c...ipheral_review

BOWERS & WILKINS MM-1 - http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Speake.../overview.html

FOCAL- XS BOOK SPEAKERS
http://www.focal.com/en/home-audio-l...al-xs-book.php

PSP- ALPHA PS1
http://www.psbspeakers.com/products/...owered-Speaker
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 08:34 PM   #2
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Centrance ADS bundle

From what I understand, you can get the Centrance Audiophile Desktop System, an integrated power amp/headphone amp with coaxial (RCA), optical (toslink), RCA (line), and USB inputs for 1200$.

It goes for 2000$ but got a special discount for the holidays.

I reviewed it at TMA and afterwards, bought it because it rocked for the price, and that was back when it cost 2000$. The speakers are small and the amp you can hid in a drawer. You won't get better sound unless you step up to genelec, not for the price, and certainly not from active speakers that rely on using the audio output of the iMac.

You will need a good outboard audio processor in order to get pristine sound from a computer, not just good speakers. 1200$ sounds like a lot for a desktop system, but when you factor in what you get, and the fact that you don't need anything extra to enjoy good quality speakers (included) plus a top-notch headphone amp and good DAC component, you will laugh at the other options.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 09:07 PM   #3
brooka
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
From what I understand, you can get the Centrance Audiophile Desktop System, an integrated power amp/headphone amp with coaxial (RCA), optical (toslink), RCA (line), and USB inputs for 1200$.

It goes for 2000$ but got a special discount for the holidays.

I reviewed it at TMA and afterwards, bought it because it rocked for the price, and that was back when it cost 2000$. The speakers are small and the amp you can hid in a drawer. You won't get better sound unless you step up to genelec, not for the price, and certainly not from active speakers that rely on using the audio output of the iMac.

You will need a good outboard audio processor in order to get pristine sound from a computer, not just good speakers. 1200$ sounds like a lot for a desktop system, but when you factor in what you get, and the fact that you don't need anything extra to enjoy good quality speakers (included) plus a top-notch headphone amp and good DAC component, you will laugh at the other options.
Sound pretty epic but I'm looking for around $700 max
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 09:22 PM   #4
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I've had so many typical computer speaker systems over the years but currently find that the Bose Companion 5 are my favorites. I know many audiophiles despise Bose for many reasons, but I appreciate the USB connection, sound, and size of this system. I also liked the simulated surround sound effects when playing games.

Prior to the Companion 5's, I had a higher midrange Denon receiver, two 6.5" Infinity Beta bookshelf speakers and a powered Polk 10" subwoofer (I know, still not audiophile quality). I fed the system digital audio from my iMac and had all the high pass and cross over settings configured on the receiver. This system was great but just too bulky for my computer set up. I was on a mission to find a nicer solution for my desk.

I compared this to the Companion 5's for a few days. I had both systems connected and switched between the two. I ultimately went with Bose Companion 5's.

I gave the Companion 20s in the store a try, they were nice too.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 09:32 PM   #5
brooka
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Originally Posted by Johnf1285 View Post
I've had so many typical computer speaker systems over the years but currently find that the Bose Companion 5 are my favorites. I know many audiophiles despise Bose for many reasons, but I appreciate the USB connection, sound, and size of this system. I also liked the simulated surround sound effects when playing games.

Prior to the Companion 5's, I had a higher midrange Denon receiver, two 6.5" Infinity Beta bookshelf speakers and a powered Polk 10" subwoofer (I know, still not audiophile quality). I fed the system digital audio from my iMac and had all the high pass and cross over settings configured on the receiver. This system was great but just too bulky for my computer set up. I was on a mission to find a nicer solution for my desk.

I compared this to the Companion 5's for a few days. I had both systems connected and switched between the two. I ultimately went with Bose Companion 5's.

I gave the Companion 20s in the store a try, they were nice too.
I was also looking at the Companion 5's however I just dont have room for a sub.
Anyone know any other good 2.0 systems?
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 09:51 PM   #6
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These are the ones I have, which I'll keep when I upgrade to the 2012 iMac.

http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-Z-230...h+2.1+speakers

They have absolutely incredible sound, I listen to a lot of genre's of music, including: classical, jazz, blues, classic rock, metal, and death metal. They do superb at everything. Really good for watching movies too when I don't feel like firing up my home theater system. Also good for gaming, however for gaming you may want to go with a 5.1 system, for what I do these are perfect computer speakers.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 10:10 PM   #7
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Logitech Z5500 best pc speakers around for the money
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 10:37 PM   #8
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THX rated ones. Logitech, Klipsch, and maybe a few others make THX compliant speakers....and more much less money than many speakers that would not pass THX compliance.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 10:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shigzeo View Post
From what I understand, you can get the Centrance Audiophile Desktop System, an integrated power amp/headphone amp with coaxial (RCA), optical (toslink), RCA (line), and USB inputs for 1200$.

It goes for 2000$ but got a special discount for the holidays.

I reviewed it at TMA and afterwards, bought it because it rocked for the price, and that was back when it cost 2000$. The speakers are small and the amp you can hid in a drawer. You won't get better sound unless you step up to genelec, not for the price, and certainly not from active speakers that rely on using the audio output of the iMac.

You will need a good outboard audio processor in order to get pristine sound from a computer, not just good speakers. 1200$ sounds like a lot for a desktop system, but when you factor in what you get, and the fact that you don't need anything extra to enjoy good quality speakers (included) plus a top-notch headphone amp and good DAC component, you will laugh at the other options.
Just browsed through your reviews a bit and was amazed by what audio products actually exist. Japanese earphones for around $1,400...wow. Really curious about how they sound, even though I'm definitely not an audiophile.

As for iMac speakers, I'll first listen to how the speakers actually sound at my place, listening in an Apple store is probably not representative. Those Bose Companion 20 seem to be really good though.
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 11:19 PM   #10
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Heard great things about these:

http://www.klipsch.com/promedia-2-1-computer-speakers
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 11:27 PM   #11
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quite a few folks here recommend these: http://amzn.to/Yyg91D

EDIT: sorry, this is the correct url: http://amzn.to/Yygwct
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Old Dec 4, 2012, 11:48 PM   #12
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I have MM1, love them
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 01:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoreyLahey View Post
Just browsed through your reviews a bit and was amazed by what audio products actually exist. Japanese earphones for around $1,400...wow. Really curious about how they sound, even though I'm definitely not an audiophile.

As for iMac speakers, I'll first listen to how the speakers actually sound at my place, listening in an Apple store is probably not representative. Those Bose Companion 20 seem to be really good though.
TMA is basically run by audiophiles and a few appphiles. I'm the former, not so much the latter. Centrance are a DAC maker for various professional and audiophile companies, their chips and circuits in rigs that cost thousands of dollars. The Audiophile desktop system isn't another speaker rig for computers, it is a full-on reference system for the desktop. Currently, it has no match at the price range. It costs more than a pair of powered logitechs, but is much much better in build and sound quality. No comparison.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by brooka View Post
Sound pretty epic but I'm looking for around $700 max
The problem with a max of 700$ is that you can get good/decent low-end to mid-range speakers for that price, but will lose a good amp. 700$ is where things start to get interesting in terms of real quality.

But, 700$ only gets you a pair of speakers. It doesn't get you an amp. The ADS is more than 400$ over your budget, but it serves what no other option can: digital in (3 inputs), analogue in (1 input), pre-amp, and a good power amp plus headphone amp.

Whatever other system you go for will do one of those things reasonably well. The logitech and B&W systems are good choices, but they are not at all hifi in and of themselves.

If you are interested in getting wow, then by all means go for either of them, but if you want quality plus power, you simply have to abandon these cheap alternatives and get a separate DAC plus power amp.

A quick gander at computeraudiophile.com will probably cause your mind to blow. The ASD from Centrance is considered bottom of the heap, because for all-in-one packages, it really is the starting point for circuit and sound quality.

I hope you find what you are looking for.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 02:09 AM   #14
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Ive been wanting an excuse to try these out, have heard good reports and theyre quite good looking aswell, would match nicely with a mac i would think.
http://www.aktimate.com.au/micro.html
They're an active speaker also no no amp required just a sweet minimalist look!
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 03:17 AM   #15
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Your speakers are only as good as the audio that you are feeding it. I have several albums on DVD-Audio. You can also still find Sony SACD. These I listen to on my home stereo. There are some optical drives that can play the format. My husband has one for his PC. For my computer, Harman-Kardon Soundsticks work fine. I use a Klipsch portable for my iPod at work.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 03:26 AM   #16
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I'm in the market for a new set of speakers as well. Problem is that the ones that supposedly sound good, don't look so good and the ones that look all fancy, don't sound accordingly.

Anyone have opinions on the cleanest looking pair of 2.1 speakers with sound quality around 8/10?
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 03:37 AM   #17
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In truth I was very surprised about bem iMac speakers. I tought about buy some additional speakers before buy it, but trust me: YOU DON'T NEED!!

The new speakers are very good and impressed me. Of course it's not a MTF sound quality, but is very enought for the usual user.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 03:40 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cesarhans View Post
In truth I was very surprised about bem iMac speakers. I tought about buy some additional speakers before buy it, but trust me: YOU DON'T NEED!!

The new speakers are very good and impressed me. Of course it's not a MTF sound quality, but is very enought for the usual user.
I absolutely disagree with that. How do you define usual user?
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 03:44 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by cesarhans View Post
In truth I was very surprised about bem iMac speakers. I tought about buy some additional speakers before buy it, but trust me: YOU DON'T NEED!!

The new speakers are very good and impressed me. Of course it's not a MTF sound quality, but is very enought for the usual user.
I am no audiophile by any means, but of by "usual user" you mean someone who only needs speakers to hear system alerts and the occasional YouTube video, then sure.

Otherwise, I'd rather listen to music on speaker from my iPad Mini than listen to it from the iMac speakers.

I have had the Bose Companion 2 or 3 (can't recall without a web search) for at least 3 years and I'm quite pleased with them, but it is a 2.1 system.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 03:46 AM   #20
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I will use my Bose Companion 2 speakers. (75$) The sound is great but not such brilliant as with a great audio system (approx. 500$)
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 03:48 AM   #21
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I will continue to use my JBl Spots in White. The sound they produce while being SO tiny is amazing. People are amazed when they see them and hear them.
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 04:00 AM   #22
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 04:41 AM   #23
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Cool Go for stile

Why not go for the B&O BeoPlay A9

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Old Dec 5, 2012, 06:25 AM   #24
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No room for a Sub, these arent bad..

Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II 2.0 Speakers
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Old Dec 5, 2012, 06:47 AM   #25
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I can recommend a Berlin based company named "Teufel"

This set is STUNNING!

By far best value for money I have ever owned.

Ships with Decoderstation 5

I get DTS 5.1 & DolbyD 5.1 via Toslik.

Just use a Toslink cable and this adapter to plug it into your Mac's headphone jack.

Smaller options are available as well
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