Desktop speakers around $500 usd

Hi, I’m looking for my first set up with speakers for my desktop computer. I’d love to get some small speakers (under 12 inches in height), with a subout for future upgrades, and ideally with tone controls.
These will be used near field, about 1~6 feet distance.
I listen to 80% metal music, but I also listen to electronic, jazz, and soundtracks. Will also watch tv shows/movies, etc.
My budget is around $500, will be buying in the US

I currently have my eyes on the following 3 sets:

  • Kanto YU4
  • Peachtree Audio M24
  • Vanatoo T One Encore plus

After watching zeos’ reviews, I’ve narrowed it down to the bottom two in the list. He said that the M24s are great in near field configurations, which is my use case. He also said that the T1E+ are great for that use case, but didn’t compare them with any other speakers so I don’t really have data to make my decision. They are also more expensive.

What would you suggest?
And, is it possible to get the features I am looking for in a compact set up with passive speakers?

I’ve only used the T1Es, but I love them. I take them on the road with me sometimes on long trips (I travel for work). Like any other speaker on a desk, I recommend using some stands or pads to decouple them and angle the tweeters at ear-level.

As far as passives, I also used to rock a pair of RB42s with an SMSL AD18 that performed admirably, but not as “packable” or self-contained as the T1Es are. I also threw together a pair of RSL CG5s with an SVS Soundbase which was incredible, but far more than $500 for that setup (and both the CG5s and OG Soundbase are discontinued).

Thanks for the reply.
What pads would you recommend for these small speakers?

I use stands personally, the Soundrise Pro-5 to be exact. for pads, you could use anything from yoga blocks to shelf matting (the rubber stuff like this: or even angled wedges like these:
I used that style of wedges with my RB42s, and then I just cut them down to a footprint that matched the cabinets best. You can look around on Youtube to find tons of solutions, just remember that the keys are to have the tweeters pointed at your ear level (either straight on or tilted up towards them) and whatever keeps your speakers from transmitting vibration to the desk you have them on. I can tell you from experience that the Vanatoo T1E throws out some serious vibes with that passive radiator on the back, even through the soundrise stands you can feel it through a desk from time to time.

First off, welcome to the HF forums @propjoe84. I have some in my wishlist that I have done some research on to eventually upgrade my current setup (given this is for my small space). Not sure if this fits the bill for you but they are the IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitors. Since you mentioned Zeos, here is an older (but still valid) review of his on these.

Hope this helps perhaps give another option. Also, meant to ask, what is your budget (tops)?


Thanks. My budget is around $500, though I am seriously consider stretching it a bit since the Vanatoo T1E+ costs around $650 and has all the features I want.

After stretching the budget though, I wonder if I can do better with other options.


Have you ruled out the Audioengine products? A5+ is a solid choice plus AE make stands & subs specifically for their speakers.
I’ve had several of their line up…A5’s are not to be scoffed at.

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This is all great intel , especially for the desktop newcomer…get them decoupled. I went through all sorts of foams and stands …I settled for the plumbing isle at Lowes and found some discharge plates and rubber connector…best 10 bucks spent ever! They did the best job sound wise…no shit! Also get them away from the wall as much as possible.

Whats great about this set up is depending on the track or what I am doing , I just tow them in or or back and forth to dial in staging.


That is an awesome solution! “If it works, it works!”
I know that a lot of people buy expensive feet for subs, but most people get the best result from those rubber isolation feet for keeping washers and dryers from dancing around during cycle. Effective doesn’t have be expensive!

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No, I haven’t ruled out the A5+ completely. Just seeing if I can find something slightly smaller with comparable sound and features. 11 inches is the top size in height that I can fit on my desk.

T0 has the same functions and sound great.

Yes, I think it does come down to the Vanatoo T0+ vs the preachtree m24x, but I haven’t really found anyone doing a comparison between this. But they seem to be the best in their niche of near field small speakers. Of course the iloud micro and the genelec 8010 exist, but they are a bit more expensive and don’t have the same feature set.