What desktop speakers would you get for your new iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by brooka, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. brooka macrumors member

    May 14, 2011
    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-companion-20_Peripheral_review

    BOWERS & WILKINS MM-1 - http://www.bowers-wilkins.com/Speakers/iPod-and-Computer-Speakers/MM-1/overview.html


  2. shigzeo macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2005
    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.
  3. brooka thread starter macrumors member

    May 14, 2011
    Sound pretty epic but I'm looking for around $700 max :(
  4. Johnf1285 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2010
    New Jersey
    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.
  5. brooka thread starter macrumors member

    May 14, 2011
    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?
  6. palmerc2 macrumors 68000


    Feb 29, 2008
    Los Angeles
    These are the ones I have, which I'll keep when I upgrade to the 2012 iMac.


    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.
  7. NVRENUF! macrumors regular


    Mar 19, 2012
    PERTH, Australia
    Logitech Z5500 best pc speakers around for the money
  8. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    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.
  9. CoreyLahey macrumors regular

    Jun 18, 2012
    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.
  10. jahoys macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2011
  11. kstswe macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2008
  12. shigzeo macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2005
    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.


    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.
  13. GorgeousGeorge macrumors newbie


    Nov 30, 2012
    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.
    They're an active speaker also no no amp required just a sweet minimalist look!
  14. Scrapula macrumors 6502

    May 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    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.
  15. alksion macrumors 68000


    Sep 10, 2010
    Los Angeles County
    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?
  16. cesarhans macrumors newbie

    Nov 13, 2012
    Toulouse - France
    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.
  17. alksion macrumors 68000


    Sep 10, 2010
    Los Angeles County
    I absolutely disagree with that. How do you define usual user?
  18. panda bear macrumors 68000

    panda bear

    Apr 5, 2010
    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.
  19. hacke macrumors member

    Nov 15, 2011
    I will use my Bose Companion 2 speakers. (75$) The sound is great but not such brilliant as with a great audio system (approx. 500$)
  20. 6ftunder macrumors member

    Mar 4, 2011
    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.
  21. shinji macrumors 65816


    Mar 18, 2007
  22. Opspin macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2011
  23. Snarl macrumors member

    Nov 3, 2012
    Canada Eh
    No room for a Sub, these arent bad..

    Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II 2.0 Speakers
  24. apedance macrumors member

    Sep 1, 2012
    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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