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Old 4th May 2019
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!