Simplistic/Clean Looking Speakers for Mac Mini?

doobybiggs

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 5, 2012
528
17
Looking for speakers for the Mac Mini, right now I am using the speaker on the mini and it is amazing :)

I am not looking for anything amazing that an audiophile would need. I am more interested in something simplistic looking, that doesnt add a lot of bulk to the desk and I am going for the simple clean look. I would prefer something without its own subwoofer, as that would be overkill for me. Mainly just something for a little music, but mainly youtube stuff.

Any thoughts on that?
 

Erehy Dobon

macrumors 65816
Feb 16, 2018
1,207
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I never understand why so many people don't specify a budget for these "Which ____ should I buy?" questions.

You have tons of options. There are $300 powered speaker solutions like the very popular Audioengine models.

Do you want wired or wireless? Do the controls matter (like a conveniently placed volume knob)? Do you want to plug anything else into the speakers? What size speakers would be the maximum you would like?

There are junky "PC speakers" for $30. Pretty much everything will sound better than the Mac mini's internal speaker so your budget is an important factor here.

For what it's worth, I am using a discontinued Teac AI-101DA USB DAC amplifier, a pair of discontinued Polk Audio TL1 satellite speakers, and a long-discontinued geriatric Cambridge Soundworks BassCube 85 subwoofer. The latter two are probably fifteen years old.

The Teac amp is maybe five years old, has inputs for USB, Bluetooth, two optical digital inputs, and analog 3.5mm mini-jack line-in (and subwoofer out). The Teac amp's DAC can convert 192kHz/24-bit digital audio to analog. Pretty decent output from a tiny amp.

If I listen to lossless music (mostly classical music, opera, some jazz), the speakers are the limiting factor not the amp. Videogame audio is also pretty awesome especially with the powered subwoofer; over-the-ear headphones hurt my head after 30 minutes anyhow.

If you're mostly watching YouTube, the audio quality is likely terrible and whatever speaker you use probably won't make much of a difference unless you are sticking with content with extremely high, professional grade production values (which is probably <0.1% of all YouTube content).

I did accomplish what you are setting out to do: a clean looking, compact desktop speaker system for a Mac mini. The amp's circular volume knob is within arm's reach; I prefer simple physical controls for audio volume rather than buttons or a graphically-based slider. My desktop is maybe 3.5 ft. by 2.5 ft. so I didn't want large speakers (the Polk TL1 is 6.5" tall). That cripples bass performance so the old subwoofer in the footwell makes up for much of the low frequency shortcomings of the TL1s.

Could you accomplish this with a Harmon Kardon SoundSticks III or SoundSticks 4 system? Absolutely, although the volume controls are on the subwoofer, an inconvenience for some.
 
Last edited:

doobybiggs

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 5, 2012
528
17
I never understand why so many people don't specify a budget for these "Which ____ should I buy?" questions.
well $$ isnt the big concern, the simplistic non space hogging design is. If that means a $30 pair of cheap small speakers is it, then $30 it is ... if I can only find this in the $6-700 range, then there it is.


You have tons of options. There are $300 powered speaker solutions like the very popular Audioengine models.

Do you want wired or wireless? Do the controls matter (like a conveniently placed volume knob)? Do you want to plug anything else into the speakers? What size speakers would be the maximum you would like?

There are junky "PC speakers" for $30. Pretty much everything will sound better than the Mac mini's internal speaker so your budget is an important factor here.
Audio engine are too big ...
The Soundsticks would be a perfect size if it didnt have that goofy bubble sub included...

You do bring up a good point, the volume knob would be a nice feature to have, but I have only seen those on the bigger speakers. So I know i will most likely not get it in what I am looking for.

Wireless might be nice as it would reduce at least 1 extra wire ... but does that mean I would need 2 power connections (1 power supply for each speaker?)
 

jackerin

macrumors 6502a
Jun 29, 2008
852
30
Finland
I recently got a new set for my parents which sounded pretty decent for the price, the Creative Gigaworks T20. Worth checking out imo, delivered with dust filters mounted in case the yellow bugs you out. I've also heard good things about the IK multimedia iLoud speakers (despite the name).
 
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wardie

macrumors 6502
Aug 18, 2008
470
154
well $$ isnt the big concern, the simplistic non space hogging design is. If that means a $30 pair of cheap small speakers is it, then $30 it is ... if I can only find this in the $6-700 range, then there it is.




Audio engine are too big ...
The Soundsticks would be a perfect size if it didnt have that goofy bubble sub included...

You do bring up a good point, the volume knob would be a nice feature to have, but I have only seen those on the bigger speakers. So I know i will most likely not get it in what I am looking for.

Wireless might be nice as it would reduce at least 1 extra wire ... but does that mean I would need 2 power connections (1 power supply for each speaker?)
I have these (a present, under £100) and love them, wire into iMac headphones socket. Minimal cables. Quirky design, on desktop and no subwoofer but have decent bass in the ‘balls’. Also act as Bluetooth speaker.

Edifier E10BT Exclaim with Bluetooth Home Audio Speaker
 
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doobybiggs

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 5, 2012
528
17
Now that doesnt look too bad at all ...

I recently got a new set for my parents which sounded pretty decent for the price, the Creative Gigaworks T20. Worth checking out imo, delivered with dust filters mounted in case the yellow bugs you out. I've also heard good things about the IK multimedia iLoud speakers (despite the name).
will take a look at these ..

I have these (a present, under £100) and love them, wire into iMac headphones socket. Minimal cables. Quirky design, on desktop and no subwoofer but have decent bass in the ‘balls’. Also act as Bluetooth speaker.

Edifier E10BT Exclaim with Bluetooth Home Audio Speaker
haha interesting looking phallic devices there :)
 
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Reactions: wardie
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