Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

sam2428

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 8, 2011
404
141
Houston, TX
Hello all, I am looking to replace my 10 year old desktop speakers with sub with something more minimalist and clean (i.e. less wires etc) for my iMac. I need some help on options for me to choose from.

I originally really thought the HomePod was the perfect solution. No wires except for power, good sound and bass, works well with all my Apple gear, etc. But it seems like this might not be the best option and there may be some sound delays / latency issues with using the speaker in this way.

i don’t plan on doing any video editing or gaming. Just general purpose computer use, listening to music, watching YouTube videos and all.

after doing a lot of searches I can’t seem to find something like the HomePod that would work Well, sound great, and still allow me to stream or connect to my phone for music playback when needed.

any help or advice would be much appreciated! Thanks
 

sunapple

macrumors 68030
Jul 16, 2013
2,755
5,158
The Netherlands
Isn’t it possible to make regular speakers look clean by just hiding the wires better? A wired connection to your iMac is what you’d want for the best quality and even the wire between speakers doesn’t have to be a pain. Eliminating just the sub should help. And some sort of wireless connection to your phone.

There are many options to choose from. You could start off looking at the more standard and affordable A2+ wireless speakers from Audioengine and the more expensive options they offer.

Something higher-end like the KEF LSX Wireless would be a perfect solution; no sub, no wire between speakers and AirPlay 2. Very expensive though, don’t know your budget.
 

Velin

macrumors 68020
Jul 23, 2008
2,019
1,933
Hearst Castle
If you want something that sounds really good, won't require a subwoofer, and won't break the bank: Audioengine A5 Plus Classic 150W Powered Bookshelf Speakers with Remote Control, Built-in Analog Amplifier. Both the black and the white look really good on the desk, or on a wall.

They have some size, but not too bad. And if you want good sound, you're going to need at least some driver size, i.e. your speakers need to push air.

These speakers also come in bluetooth. But wired is still vastly superior to wireless/bluetooth sound. After having used these Audioengine A5+ wired, I'm never going back to smaller pipsqueak speakers because they simply cannot drive as well as their larger brethren. And never again with wireless, because the sound clarity and detail is simply too good with a quality wired bookshelf speaker, and occasional wireless latency and artifact is really, really aggravating and distracting. Can't stand it.

Function over form for your audio. That's my take.
 

sam2428

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 8, 2011
404
141
Houston, TX
Thanks for the replies....yes, I understand I can just try to hide wires. I think I like the look of one single omnidirectional speaker like the homepod in the corner of my desk to keep less clutter and bulk overall. As opposed to a typical 2.0 or 2.1 setup with several wires. Hence the minimalist in the subject line.

I am looking for decent sound, but it doesnt have to be super high end or anything. My budget is around $150-200.

BTW, the HomePod has been on sale at Best Buy for $199 for several weeks now and I’ve seen it drop down as low as $150 online.

Ultimately, I guess what I’m looking for is alternatives to the homepod with potentially a aux connection. To avoid any latency issues. Doesn’t have to be a smart speaker.
 

D.T.

macrumors G4
Sep 15, 2011
11,050
12,460
Vilano Beach, FL
For good SQ, pretty solid build quality, features, etc., check out Edifier. They've been through several audio review sites, disassembled to check the cross overs, components, and they consistently get high marks.

I'm using a pair of their near field powered models, the R1280T, very nice highs, punchy bass/mid-bass (shocking for the size, they use a neat bass port design), excellent stereo isolation/soundstage at 2-3 feet away. They're behind a Vali 2 tube amp/preamp (and a Modi 3 DAC hangined off my '18 Mini), and wired, so have a pretty nice source - also have a remote, 2 sets of inputs, tone controls.

Anyway, the model variant I was thinking of for you, is the R1280DB, basically the same speaker but with the addition of BT (and optical/Coax inputs), $129 from Amazon.

 

sunapple

macrumors 68030
Jul 16, 2013
2,755
5,158
The Netherlands
Thanks for the replies....yes, I understand I can just try to hide wires. I think I like the look of one single omnidirectional speaker like the homepod in the corner of my desk to keep less clutter and bulk overall. As opposed to a typical 2.0 or 2.1 setup with several wires. Hence the minimalist in the subject line.

I am looking for decent sound, but it doesnt have to be super high end or anything. My budget is around $150-200.

BTW, the HomePod has been on sale at Best Buy for $199 for several weeks now and I’ve seen it drop down as low as $150 online.

Ultimately, I guess what I’m looking for is alternatives to the homepod with potentially a aux connection. To avoid any latency issues. Doesn’t have to be a smart speaker.

I think I understand what you want a little better now. Minimalistic comes in several degrees, next step would be using the internal iMac speakers ?

I personally wish HomePod had an auxiliary input as I'm also using a desktop (Mac mini) setup. But the wireless solution would indeed be too clumsy to use for video. Wouldn't want to miss stereo sound either though. I therefore upgraded my existing 2.0 set with a USB DAC that also has Bluetooth.

Can't think of any other solutions right now in your price range. Good luck!
 

sam2428

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 8, 2011
404
141
Houston, TX
I think I understand what you want a little better now. Minimalistic comes in several degrees, next step would be using the internal iMac speakers ?

I personally wish HomePod had an auxiliary input as I'm also using a desktop (Mac mini) setup. But the wireless solution would indeed be too clumsy to use for video. Wouldn't want to miss stereo sound either though. I therefore upgraded my existing 2.0 set with a USB DAC that also has Bluetooth.

Can't think of any other solutions right now in your price range. Good luck!

Thanks for the feedback! I may end up just getting a HomePod and use the internal iMac speakers like you said. and then AirPlay music to the HomePod from either iMac or iphone as necessary.

Seems to be the cleanest option for what I’m looking for albeit with some compromises. I don’t really mind not having stereo sound.
[automerge]1576771225[/automerge]
For good SQ, pretty solid build quality, features, etc., check out Edifier. They've been through several audio review sites, disassembled to check the cross overs, components, and they consistently get high marks.

I'm using a pair of their near field powered models, the R1280T, very nice highs, punchy bass/mid-bass (shocking for the size, they use a neat bass port design), excellent stereo isolation/soundstage at 2-3 feet away. They're behind a Vali 2 tube amp/preamp (and a Modi 3 DAC hangined off my '18 Mini), and wired, so have a pretty nice source - also have a remote, 2 sets of inputs, tone controls.

Anyway, the model variant I was thinking of for you, is the R1280DB, basically the same speaker but with the addition of BT (and optical/Coax inputs), $129 from Amazon.


thanks for the suggestion. Very nice looking speakers. Love the wood housing. Might be a little big for what I’m looking for but I’ll check them out!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: sunapple

dfs

macrumors 6502
Sep 17, 2008
357
183
California
Hello all, I am looking to replace my 10 year old desktop speakers with sub with something more minimalist and clean (i.e. less wires etc) for my iMac. I need some help on options for me to choose from.

I originally really thought the HomePod was the perfect solution. No wires except for power, good sound and bass, works well with all my Apple gear, etc. But it seems like this might not be the best option and there may be some sound delays / latency issues with using the speaker in this way.

i don’t plan on doing any video editing or gaming. Just general purpose computer use, listening to music, watching YouTube videos and all.

after doing a lot of searches I can’t seem to find something like the HomePod that would work Well, sound great, and still allow me to stream or connect to my phone for music playback when needed.

any help or advice would be much appreciated! Thanks
You don't mention how important sound quality is for you. Something in the Sonos lineup would probably be ideal for you, but how high up in their lineup you want to go depends on how you answer that question. For a lot of folks the Sonos One would work quite fine, and the next time you have a little extra cash in your heans you could add a compatible Sonos sub. This solution would be a LOT less expensive than a pair of HomePods.

I have some Sonos gear and it works just fine with my Apple system. There's only one problem which might or might not bother you: Sonos' hardware is great. The software they give you to manage it is a textbook model of poor industrial design.
 

staggerlee41

macrumors 65816
Sep 25, 2017
1,072
1,057
Pittsburgh, PA
I know some don't like the brand but I've been pretty happy with Bose products through the years.

This option may be appealing as it does come with a 3.5mm input, has Siri commands built in, a small footprint and is within your budget.

 

oakrrl

macrumors member
Aug 1, 2006
78
40
I know some don't like the brand but I've been pretty happy with Bose products through the years.

This option may be appealing as it does come with a 3.5mm input, has Siri commands built in, a small footprint and is within your budget.


Q Acoustics 3020i
Hello all, I am looking to replace my 10 year old desktop speakers with sub with something more minimalist and clean (i.e. less wires etc) for my iMac. I need some help on options for me to choose from.

I originally really thought the HomePod was the perfect solution. No wires except for power, good sound and bass, works well with all my Apple gear, etc. But it seems like this might not be the best option and there may be some sound delays / latency issues with using the speaker in this way.

i don’t plan on doing any video editing or gaming. Just general purpose computer use, listening to music, watching YouTube videos and all.

after doing a lot of searches I can’t seem to find something like the HomePod that would work Well, sound great, and still allow me to stream or connect to my phone for music playback when needed.

any help or advice would be much appreciated! Thanks
I researched this carefully and wound up getting Q Acoustics 3020i. Cost $280 for a pair, fantastic stereo sound much better than anything else I’ve heard for their size. Dowonsides: 1) may be larger than you want. Will fit on a desk, but I have them mounted on stands on either side of my desk. 2) you’ll need an amp and plug that in to headphone port. I have the amp under my desk, wires go invisibly up the back of the speaker stands, so only visible connect is from headphone port to amp.
 

sam2428

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 8, 2011
404
141
Houston, TX
I know some don't like the brand but I've been pretty happy with Bose products through the years.

This option may be appealing as it does come with a 3.5mm input, has Siri commands built in, a small footprint and is within your budget.


Thank you very much, this might actually be a great option. I was looking into the Bose soundtouch 10, but never even thought to look into the revolve series since they’re technically considered “portable” speakers. I didn’t realize they had a 3.5mm port. Even the revolve+,which is on sale for $239 right now, might be exactly what I’m looking for. Better bass response and goes with the clean astheic I’m trying to achieve to go with the iMac. I’ll have to go check them out at my local Best Buy to compare the sound and the size diffence.

With the optional charging cradle, this might be perfect to sit on the side of my desk. And as a bonus plus i can take it to different parts of the house or outdoors when needed. Also had Siri for smart capability. Pretty much checks all the boxes :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: staggerlee41

Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,511
12,645
For the best fidelity, you're going to need "wired".

I believe most "wireless" setups use bluetooth, and I don't believe a bluetooth signal will provide enough bandwith to equal what you'll get from wired speakers.

I could be wrong.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MSastre

sam2428

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 8, 2011
404
141
Houston, TX
For the best fidelity, you're going to need "wired".

I believe most "wireless" setups use bluetooth, and I don't believe a bluetooth signal will provide enough bandwith to equal what you'll get from wired speakers.

I could be wrong.

correct. This is why I am looking for options outside of the HomePod and something with a 3.5mm connection.
 

TheIntruder

macrumors 68000
Jul 2, 2008
1,713
1,211
For the best fidelity, you're going to need "wired".

I believe most "wireless" setups use bluetooth, and I don't believe a bluetooth signal will provide enough bandwith to equal what you'll get from wired speakers.

I could be wrong.

Wired if of course, best, but there are various levels of codecs transmitted over BT of varying quality levels. iOS is very limited, but Macs at least support aptX.

The OP obviously values tidiness highly, and general computer usage (including YT videos) doesn't equate to critical listening, or require the best fidelity.

If HomePod is being considered as an option, there is also the possibility of IKEA's Symfonisk speakers, which support AirPlay 2 (which employs ALAC over Wi-Fi, not BT), and also serve as an entry to the Sonos ecosystem. They have RJ45 network jacks for a wired option. They also fit the "lifestyle" aesthetic as well as any speaker. A pair of the smaller bookshelf speakers is $200.
 

sam2428

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 8, 2011
404
141
Houston, TX
Just following up on this thread. I went to my local Best Buy to compare and check out the Bose Revolve and Revolve+ speakers. They sound decent but when I went to compare their sound to the HomePod...it just isn’t even close.

The HomePod is just in a league of its own in terms of sound quality.

I decided to go with the HomePod to keep on my desk. I will use AirPlay to stream music to my HomePod. Everything else YouTube videos etc, I’ll just use the internal iMac speakers.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.