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Good all-purpose monitors
Old 4th May 2019
  #1
Here for the gear
Good all-purpose monitors

Hi everyone,

I need your help narrowing down my choice. I research monitors since a couple of weeks and am a bit stuck. I'm new here, please let me know if there is a better place to ask this question, thanks!

Main use case: living room, enjoying music and movies
Secondary use case: taking them with me to a small party

(I would like to eventually learn electronic music production but that won't happen soon enough to warrant listing it as a serious use case, so far only occasional djing at a party could count)

Living room: small, cca 4m x 5m (13 ft x 16ft), untreated (will consider treatment in future), listening distance ~2.5m
Criteria: as hassle-free as possible: active (i.e. no hi-fi, amps, ...), ideally wireless (or a setup that will achieve easy reliable wireless use), not too big but with nice bass

Budget: it depends, not my main constraint but nothing crazy

I've always owned more or less just cheap but relatively good 2.1 computer speakers so far

How to decide whether to go for 2.0 or 2.1 monitors? I'm thinking about trying a setup without a sub (less "clutter" in the room) but that would probably mean bigger monitors...


I've heard friend's HS5 with and without a sub. It wouldn't work for me without a sub. In youtube sound demos I actually found HS5 unimpressive compared to for example JBL or Kali (my options of live demos are unfortunately limited). I'm not primarily after monitoring so don't need the flattest frequency response, don't want anything too exaggerated either, but want something that's fun listening to (wide sound stage, clear mids and highs, nice bass, ... I guess)

Mackie MR624 caught my attention because it supposedly plays well quietly too. However, when I listened to XR624 in a store (on a shelf against a wall...) they were lacking in bass to my ears. Adam A5X surprisingly produced more bass in comparison, it seemed to me (maybe they didn't have them set up correctly?). Does someone know how the MR624 would compare to XR624? (I couldn't find many XR624 reviews online and no direct comparison of the two)

KEF LS50W and LSX caught my attention because of the great reviews and wireless features. They have a 5'' woofer so I'm afraid I'd need a sub with them and while I could afford them, I'm thinking 1) it might be too much of a step up that I would not maybe even be able to appreciate it now 2) might be a bit too expensive to drag along to a party (and esp. after maybe buying an additional sub)

I guess my main contenders are Kali LP-6 (not too big, could have enough bass without a sub, might not be powerful enough for a mid-sized room? so maybe less useful for the party use case but that's a secondary one..), maybe some Adams... Adam A7X? Adam A8X? maybe just the T line? I was quite impressed by the A5X I heard in the store. I still don't rule out Mackie but would have to give them another listen - what other monitors do well with rather quiet listening?

I realise my question is all over the place, I'd appreciate your thoughts!
Old 4th May 2019
  #2
Deleted e999d8e
Guest
Start with 2, name-brand, 2-way, 8" speakers, either passive or active. Consider floor stands, 24-30" in height -- so you can make adjustments. Go from there.
Old 4th May 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
Floor stands - yes, they are on my list hmm, 8'', that's where I started and drifted more towards 6.5'' because of their size and because my room is not that big
Old 4th May 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 
chrischoir's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nandio View Post
Hi everyone,

I need your help narrowing down my choice. I research monitors since a couple of weeks and am a bit stuck. I'm new here, please let me know if there is a better place to ask this question, thanks!

Main use case: living room, enjoying music and movies
Secondary use case: taking them with me to a small party

(I would like to eventually learn electronic music production but that won't happen soon enough to warrant listing it as a serious use case, so far only occasional djing at a party could count)

Living room: small, cca 4m x 5m (13 ft x 16ft), untreated (will consider treatment in future), listening distance ~2.5m
Criteria: as hassle-free as possible: active (i.e. no hi-fi, amps, ...), ideally wireless (or a setup that will achieve easy reliable wireless use), not too big but with nice bass

Budget: it depends, not my main constraint but nothing crazy

I've always owned more or less just cheap but relatively good 2.1 computer speakers so far

How to decide whether to go for 2.0 or 2.1 monitors? I'm thinking about trying a setup without a sub (less "clutter" in the room) but that would probably mean bigger monitors...


I've heard friend's HS5 with and without a sub. It wouldn't work for me without a sub. In youtube sound demos I actually found HS5 unimpressive compared to for example JBL or Kali (my options of live demos are unfortunately limited). I'm not primarily after monitoring so don't need the flattest frequency response, don't want anything too exaggerated either, but want something that's fun listening to (wide sound stage, clear mids and highs, nice bass, ... I guess)

Mackie MR624 caught my attention because it supposedly plays well quietly too. However, when I listened to XR624 in a store (on a shelf against a wall...) they were lacking in bass to my ears. Adam A5X surprisingly produced more bass in comparison, it seemed to me (maybe they didn't have them set up correctly?). Does someone know how the MR624 would compare to XR624? (I couldn't find many XR624 reviews online and no direct comparison of the two)

KEF LS50W and LSX caught my attention because of the great reviews and wireless features. They have a 5'' woofer so I'm afraid I'd need a sub with them and while I could afford them, I'm thinking 1) it might be too much of a step up that I would not maybe even be able to appreciate it now 2) might be a bit too expensive to drag along to a party (and esp. after maybe buying an additional sub)

I guess my main contenders are Kali LP-6 (not too big, could have enough bass without a sub, might not be powerful enough for a mid-sized room? so maybe less useful for the party use case but that's a secondary one..), maybe some Adams... Adam A7X? Adam A8X? maybe just the T line? I was quite impressed by the A5X I heard in the store. I still don't rule out Mackie but would have to give them another listen - what other monitors do well with rather quiet listening?

I realise my question is all over the place, I'd appreciate your thoughts!
you really need 6inch +

I personally love the Adams stuff and I use Adams A7 and A7x but there are better monitors for sure. Just avoid the cheap stuff like KRK, Yamaha , presonus
Old 3 days ago
  #5
Here for the gear
Just in case someone is wondering later: I chose HEDD Type 07, connected wirelessly through Chromecast Audio, Novopro SMS80R stands.
I'm pretty happy with the monitors - they play very well, are good for listening to music at home, work perhaps even better for a small party - they are powerful and play everything well as far as I can tell (I should say not everything but all well recorded good quality music).
I'm not so happy with the stands - they are ok for my living room but they feel a bit too wobbly. If there were people passing around them, I'd be worried.
Cheers and thanks for the advice
Old 2 days ago
  #6
Lives for gear
 
johannburkard's Avatar
Don't forget acoustic treatment.
Old 1 day ago
  #7
Lives for gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nandio View Post
Hi everyone,

I need your help narrowing down my choice. I research monitors since a couple of weeks and am a bit stuck. I'm new here, please let me know if there is a better place to ask this question, thanks!

Main use case: living room, enjoying music and movies
Secondary use case: taking them with me to a small party

(I would like to eventually learn electronic music production but that won't happen soon enough to warrant listing it as a serious use case, so far only occasional djing at a party could count)

From your comments here it doesn't sound like you should be in the market for near field studio monitors. Studio monitors are expensive sensitive tools. Thee last thing you'd want is to move them from a secure environment and risk having them damaged.

Next, Quality sound for mixing purposes is NOT the same as filling the room with sound and doing a DJ work. For that you want speakers that have front covers that cant be damaged when moving or have holes poked in it by some little kid that comes walking up to it.

What you want are self powered PA speakers or monitors for entertaining the public. They are typically good enough for playing back commercial music and durable enough to handle moving.

Studio monitors have no covers over the speakers. They are extremely flat in response and the speaker cones are shallow so a person sitting within a few feet with the speakers at ear height hears the full frequency sound. The speakers are designed to make any flaws in the music stand out like a sore thumb which allows you to get rid of the flaws mixing. They aren't designed to take the place of Hi Fi, DJ or and PA gear. You want to fill your room with sound you should buy different speakers.

For TV the speakers you'd typically use are surround speakers which focus the frequencies used in most movies. Again those speakers aren't necessarily the best for other applications. Surround typically incorporates DBX and the satellite speakers don't produce full frequency. They usually have a sub for the lows.

Its not that good studio monitors cant work. I'd be dammed if I'd be hauling my $1000 worth of studio monitors around however. I'd need to build a hard shell case so they didn't get damaged. Even then they aren't the right speakers for the public.

Studio monitors are typically used by a single person in a triangulated setup and the speakers focus in on the ears like a laser beam. They are as clkose to wearing headphones as you can get except there is air between you and the speakers. Move a few inches out of alignment and the sound quality changes drastically. A few feet is almost like removing headphones.

What many also don't realize is, studio monitors are usually run at low volumes. You mix at 83dB which is very low, about as louds as when listening to TV. You can easily talk over it without raising your voice.
At that volume the studio monitors produce a full frequency sound and engineers use them at that volume to avoid ear fatigue.

There are some that can get quite loud, mostly for checking compatibility or impressing your customers, but you risk blowing extremely delicate and expensive speakers when pushed too hard. Having been a performing musician for over 50 years, I wouldn't be taking my studio monitors to any parties. I have PA gear or Hi Fi gear for that. Its far more durable and less expensive. You can buy self contained units that have line ins, mic ins and even have basic EQ controls.

You also mentioned wireless. They make Blue tooth stuff. You could probably feed them from a cell phone even. They still need power however so you're not completely disconnected but it can make wiring up a surround system easier.

You'll need to decide just what you plan on doing with them if you want to get the best bang for the buck. Surround and studio monitors are not normally hauled around. Wiring, power, durability and cost dictate they are typically permanent or semi permanent placement speakers. If you want portability, you want PA gear that cant be moved safely and be easily set up and broken down. If you want Audiophile quality listening, Hi Fi still rules in that category.
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