Need suggestions for stereo speakers under $350.00/pair

R

rnaeye

Enthusiast
Ratings
1
#1
Hi all, I am new to stereo. I am looking for a pair of speakers (under $350) to listen to Hi-resolution music from my computer in my study room. I have a receiver or can buy a new one. Or speakers could be powered. I was wondering if there is any suggestions. I am planning to add sub in the future if necessary. I care more about quality than size or look. So far, my research found the following 3 candidates:
--Fluance AI40 (powered speakers, $169.96 free shipping)
--CBM-170 SE BOOKSHELF ($298/pr)
--HB-1 MK2 Horn Bookshelf Speaker ($320/pr)
Please let me know if you have any suggestions or comments. Thank you.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
5,115 34 17
#2
My guess is that the Fluance speakers aren't quite in the same league as the Hsu or Ascend speakers. As for the Ascend and Hsu speakers, what you are deciding on is a wide dispersion speaker vs narrow dispersion speaker. They both have advantages. What is your listening situation? How far will be be seated from the speakers? Where will they be placed?
 
R

rnaeye

Enthusiast
Ratings
1
#3
I am planning to put them behind me 8-9 feet away from my desk. Or maybe on my desk. Not sure yet. But most likely they go behind my sitting position. Thanks.
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
5,115 34 17
#5
I am planning to put them behind me 8-9 feet away from my desk. Or maybe on my desk. Not sure yet. But most likely they go behind my sitting position. Thanks.
Behind your sitting position? Speakers sound best when they are facing you. If you are not going to be facing the speakers, you may be losing the advantages of their better qualities. If that is the case, there might not be much of a point of shelling out for nice speakers, you could get some OKay-ish ones for less money.
 
R

rnaeye

Enthusiast
Ratings
1
#6
Behind your sitting position? Speakers sound best when they are facing you. If you are not going to be facing the speakers, you may be losing the advantages of their better qualities. If that is the case, there might not be much of a point of shelling out for nice speakers, you could get some OKay-ish ones for less money.
If that is the case, I can re arrange my room. That is not a problem. So much to learn!
 
S

shadyJ

Speaker of the House
Ratings
5,115 34 17
#7
If that is the case, I can re arrange my room. That is not a problem. So much to learn!
The ideal speaker placement is to have them pulled out from the walls a bit and facing you directly. Here is a good diagram of speaker placement vs listening position:


Ideally, you want to have the ear height of the listening position to be level with the tweeter height of the speaker. You also want to be listening to them at an equidistant position from both speakers so that one speaker isn't closer to you than the other.

Some speakers can change their sound somewhat based on the angle that they are facing you. This is especially true of narrower directivity speakers like the Hsu speakers. What that means is that you can actually modify their sound by changing the angle at which they face you. So you can having toe'd in a bit so that their 'aim' crosses in front of you or behind you by a couple feet. With wide dispersion speakers like the Ascend speakers, it doesn't make that much of a difference. As I said before, both approaches have their advantages.

Also, the further you can get them away from large surfaces such as walls and desktops, the better it is for the sound.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
5,909 21 47
#9
Does your receiver have pre-outs for a powered speaker? The JBL LSR series of active speakers are pretty nice (305, 306, 308) for the price.
 
lovinthehd

lovinthehd

Audioholic Slumlord
Ratings
5,909 21 47
#11
I've used the 170SEs as surrounds in a couple systems (and still do),even tested them informally against my Sierra-1s, good speaker but not a shape/exterior many love :)
 
ellisr63

ellisr63

Audioholic
Ratings
61
#13
How about Klipsch rp160m speakers...they are last year's model, and can be picked up for $350 (I know it is 50 over your budget). You might be able to find a pair on sale for $299 still somewhere.
 
R

rnaeye

Enthusiast
Ratings
1
#14
How about Klipsch rp160m speakers...they are last year's model, and can be picked up for $350 (I know it is 50 over your budget). You might be able to find a pair on sale for $299 still somewhere.
My ears never liked Klipsch sound. I am not sure if it's something I need to get used to. I could use them for movies but I am not sure if I would like them for music listening.
 

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