Need help with deciding on desktop speakers

I’ve managed to save up roughly US$200 for some desktop speakers so I would like to treat myself for the holidays and spend it.

Firstly, I’m looking for active speakers since it’s just one less thing to worry about.
Then, I’m looking for one that has a volume control knob.
Lastly, I really would love them to have a small form factor and hopefully they’ll be in white just so it would fit my desk setup.

Some speakers that I listed and saw available via amazon are:

  1. Monolith Monoprice MM-3 (no sub out though if ever I wanted to buy in the future, although perfect size and the knob and BT is just perfect)
  2. Kanto YU2 (knob is at the back) or YU4 ($70 over budget, is it worth to save?)
  3. Fluance AI40 (may be a bit too big, and the knob is on the right speaker, dunno about quality)

If you guys can suggest better options for passive speakers + amp that would also be considered.

Also a side-question, my setup at the moment is I have Phillips SHP9500’s running straight through to PC’s mobo. What do I get if I want to quickly switch from my headphones to speaker? I heard Syba Sonic’s DAC/AMP would work but the headphones + speakers would be playing at the same time. I think Micca OriGen G2 would be perfect since it has a switch on it, but it’s out of stock everywhere. Any suggestions?

Thank you!

1 Like

B&H has them for $200, and their customer service is :+1::+1::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star::star:
The knob is also on the back, plus their free expedited shipping is a pretty close match to Prime shipping, only you’re not paying extra for a bunch of crap you’re never gonna use.
*note: they do have them in white, but it’s at the full $300


If you just wanted something to pass through sound, something like the JDS Labs Ol Switcher would work:

You can input 3.5mm from your onboard to this, then 3.5mm to your headphones and RCA to the speakers, have a knob to control the volume for your speakers and your headphones. Later, once you’ve saved more, you could get a DAC/AMP and RCA line out into this and still have a volume control for whatever speakers you want.


I will definitely look into those iLoud Micro Monitors, bummer the white ones costs another hundred. Thanks for this suggestion!

The OL Switcher seems to be the perfect gadget for my intended use. If I were to get a DAC/AMP for my headphones, it would go between the switcher and the input(in this case, my PC) right?

1 Like

If you got a DAC/AMP, the way I would have it set up would be like so:
PC to DAC/AMP to Headphones
PC to DAC/AMP (via line out) to OL Switcher to powered monitors

1 Like

might i suggest a ridiculous setup?
this amp which is very powerful combined with these micca mini speakers (or any bookshelves)
what this allows for is an easy upgrade in the future.
cheap dac/amp combo (check for deals this is currently going for $50 used) rca out to that amp i linked above and BOOM. great beginner setup with decent parts and speakers that A have re-sell value and B will allow for easy upgrades in the future.

I looked hard at those Fluance speakers. Seemed like a great deal, but they were too big for my small desk.
Then they came out with the AI60’s and I thought harder about that because they were such a great price. But the desk hadn’t gotten any bigger and I really wanted more connection options.

I ended up going with Vanatoo Transparent Zeroes, but that is over your budget. If you could find these used they really do have a great sound. And TONS of flexibility.


The headphones don’t have to go to the switcher? Actually, for this setup, what dac/amp would you use? So I could imagine what the setup would look like, hahaha.

This looks very interesting. How loud can those micca mini speakers go? Like compared let’s say to a simple Google Home speaker. Also, the 3rd link doesn’t seem to redirect me to a product.

I heard about these and dang, they are very well above my budget at the moment. Are they really good, to the point that an upgrade would mean spending thousands? How big/heavy are these guys? They look pretty good, maybe I’ll consider saving up more for these.

They are $359.00 or $319.00 when they have some B-stock. They really do sound great and come with a remote. They have a DAC and amp built-in, but I am so spoiled with my headphone gear that I bought a cheap DAC (D30) and used one of my amps (to provide a headphone jack for my wife) in the chain to improve the sound.

The Vanatoo connection options are crazy. I will keep these forever. I would like to try them out with my TV, but I am SO incredibly lazy, that hasn’t happened yet.:laughing:

1 Like

That would depend on how much you where willing to spend on one, and your priorities. Cheapest and still decent?
Small and split, (Computer to DAC, DAC (via RCA) to OL Switcher, OL Switcher (via RCA) to amp, OL Switcher (via 3.5mm aux) to speakers)
Otherwise, (for the most part) pick a $100 DAC/AMP, and go for it.

1 Like

Fiio k5 pro is a good budget dac/amp imo


Ahh, now I understand how you would wire them up. I’ll definitely look into these. Big thanks!

This looks really good! The big knob really is what drawing me to this, hahaha. Thanks for the suggestion!

The k5 pro has plenty of clean power and a solid dac, that overall has great bang for the buck

1 Like

JBL powered monitors on sale at B&H photo right now. Great sound, well within a moderate budget. Not sure if that works for you but i wanted to let you know.

That’s a pretty good price on them, actually. Problem would probably be the size though, it seems to be too big for my desk.

The Kanto YU2’s sound great with a sub. All the suggestions here are good. Wanting sub out or BT should help narrow options.

1 Like