1200 euros budget for a living room setup, what are my options?

My budget is 1200 euros. The main usage of the system is for daily TV, Netflix, Spotify, and movies. I listen to all kinds of music. I would prefer a flatter to warm sound signature. My living room has 35m2 and my listening position is 2.5 meters. The room is untreated but has some absorbing materials like a rug and a big couch in front of the speakers.
I have at the moment a pair of Kali LP-6s connected directly to the TV at the headphone jack.

My first question, would be a good thing to move from the headphone jack to something like a Topping E30 so I could use the optical output from the TV and in theory a better DAC? I don’t know if the TV is messing up with the sound as it may be applying some EQ thinking that the audio is really being used at a headphone.

Second, I thought of upgrading my LP-6 to Kali In-8 second wave. The price difference is 2.6x more. But given that I quite like the sound signature of the LP-6 this upgrade has any value as I don’t play too loud? The main difference that I saw from the specs and tests from these two speakers is the capability of playing louder without distortion, the sound signature looks the same. Am I correct to assume this?

This is the Spinorama comparison. The In-8 has more bass, but I don’t know it’s worth 2.6x the cost.

I quite like active speakers but I’m completely ok going passive. The thing that I’m avoiding is using complex AV receivers. I much prefer audio quality over features. All my devices are connected directly to the TV and I’m ok with that. If it has an optical connection and a remote control it’s ok for me.
I don’t know if I want a sub right now mainly because I live in an apartment, would have to treat the room, and or acquire equipments to do proper measurements and equalization, but I don’t exclude this idea in the future.

This is what I’m thinking at the moment:

  • Do nothing and keep 1200 euros at the bank :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
  • Keep the Kali LP-6 and add a Topping E30 - 140 euros
  • Kali In-8 2nd wave + Topping E30 - 940 euros
  • Kali In-8 2nd wave + SMSL M300 MKII (to use the balanced connections) - 1070 euros
  • ELAC DBR62 + IOTAVX SA3 - 963 euros

Any other suggestions?

I would say yes. The Optical would be a better solution for audio quality than 3.5mm audio output.
You would need to use Topping E30’s remote for volume control.
Optical output is “full volume” so you need some volume control from DAC/Preamp.
E30 is one option.

Yes you are correct.
More low end bass or more bass extension is what you basically get. When playing with “normal” volume levels.

As you mentioned. Other option would be subwoofer.
If you can find a suitable position to place it. With subs location recommendations or by testing.
Finding a good sub (enough tuning and settings), you would get the low end, bass extension to get lower Hz with LP-6 current speakers. Probably even more than with IN-8’s.
Then the sub should have speaker outputs so he chain would be.
TV → DAC/Preamp → Sub → Speakers.

Since you would not play loud volumes. The LP-6 are enough for volume. The sub does not play any louder volumes. With good tuning options / settings, it plays as loud as the LP-6’s so wont be boomy box in the corner.
Overall sound would be fuller. So IMO this definitely is a good option.
Good sub’s of course are good money so the budget might not be enough for E30 + sub with the needed options (speaker outputs and or/and microphone for measuring or/and internal DSP or/and room correction).

What is the overall goal and need. :slight_smile: