Beginner Audiophile Speaker Advice

Looking for advice on entry level audiophile desk speakers. Budget is around $200-$300. Will be used equally for gaming, music, and videos. Looking at powered only right now. I am currently considering:

  • Monolith MM-3 or MM-5
  • Kanto YUx
  • Fluance Ai40, Ai60
  • Vanatoo T0 (out of budget but could wait for b-stock)
  • Klipsch Pro Media 2.1

I am just beginning my dive into audiophile gear so I am looking for any and all advice for startng out. Anyone have some insight or experience with this set or others I should consider?

Thanks!

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YU would work well if you don’t need optical or phono. Now that we have come out with YU I rarely recommend YU4 for desktop use. PM me if you have any questions about our speakers.

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What’s the usage setting? Office near a PC or sitting several feet away in a home theater?

Mostly near field listening at a desk for gaming and music. But i would like it to still fill a small bedroom with good sound if possible.

AD18 or SA300 + Infinity R152

I’m big on Klipsch but the pro media 2.1 is probably my least favorite system because the satellite and sub integration is pretty miserable.

I have not heard them in person but I believe Z gave a glowing review to the Fluance powered monitors.

If you want to have some fun getting some reasonably priced gear - Desktop Speaker Amp - https://www.amazon.com/Micca-OriGain-Compact-Integrated-Amplifier/dp/B01M0SL7YC/ref=sr_1_2?crid=31H94EIBL261A&dchild=1&keywords=mica+origain&qid=1593061026&s=electronics&sprefix=mica+or%2Celectronics%2C137&sr=1-2

Fun little standmount speakers - https://www.amazon.com/Micca-MB42X-Bookshelf-Speakers-Tweeter/dp/B00NXAEPDC/ref=sr_1_4?crid=31H94EIBL261A&dchild=1&keywords=mica%2Borigain&qid=1593061078&s=electronics&sprefix=mica%2Bor%2Celectronics%2C137&sr=1-4&th=1

Optional but if you want to get the sound card ( DAC ) outside of your PC, just depending on how much noise you notice from inside your PC, or if the on board sound is sub par, this may or may not be necessary - https://www.schiit.com/products/modi-1

i run a Topping MX3 and Micca MB42X on desktop and Really like it.

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Yeah the MX3 would give you a nice desktop all in one solution, DAC, headphone amp, speaker amp, and the Micca speakers are a good pairing for a smaller room. They are not the perfect “audiophile” speaker but they are energetic and fun and almost too good to be true for under $100 a pair. They do make a powered version, but I think I’d invest in a separate little class D amp and passive speakers if I could, if you look at it as a hobby that’s a good way to start, gives you more flexibility to change out things later when you can.

Thank you everyone for the advice!

Appreciate the insight on the Pro Media 2.1. I was hesitant on it before but now am definitely taking it off the list.

I am torn on going active vs passive. I was considering the MX3 and passive speakers but am now leaning towards the Asgard 3/Modius with active monitors. Looking like my top two are the Ai40 or YU.

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I use the Kanto YU2 with a cheap monoprice sub. Sounds great.

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After being and playing with passive speakers for 10 years and moving active.
I ain’t never going back. Just have select good ones, there is plenty of meh…

I am highly considering the YU and a monoprice sub, but haven’t pulled the trigger yet. Glad to hear its a good setup.

Appreciate the insight. Definitely the way I’m leaning. What was it that made you choose active over passive after a decade? Sound quality or simplicity or something else?

Local audio event and Demo show with Genelec speakers + Trinnov Auro 3D surround.
So basically everything. Overall sound and quality, accuracy and details, dynamics, build quality and all the features they have (GLM).
Started from the home (G) series and quickly moved to Master Studio and Studio gear.

Also the others brands. It’s something how detail they are and deliver the bass, there is punch always even with low volumes.
But the cheaper ones are cheap and meh… like a pair of Mackies i have in garage.
They just where shit… in listening.
Also got cheap JBL’s as TV speakers, had Genelecs earlier. They were much better in overall but had to sell them for money for main set’s surround.
KRK’s also had nice bass and low end but the high’s just were not there, not so natural and touch to bright. Thought there was a small “gap” between tweeter and midrange, not so even.

So use purpose and location/room is important when selecting a pair you like.
What sound you like, so listening before buying is very important.

Till this day. Have not listened or found passive speakers with same short of “presence” at every level and with every music at any time.