NHT MOO and SOO are good.
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hey again still looking, eh?
do you mean a 2 speakers with subwoofer powered set up? (aka 2.1 powered speakers)
I think most monitor type 2.1 or 2.0 speaker systems are designed for near-field listening so if you have *different* needs then you might want to clarify.
In the past I mentioned my entry level mediadesk by blue sky and I like them using my computer as a source. They are very clean and accurate. like you said there are lots of options.
I've heard nothing but great stuff about the audioengine stuff. Their A2 got a stellar review a few issues back in Stereophile. They're $199, built-in wi-fi & have some beefy amps. The matching sub is out of stock right now but you might not even need it if you step up to the A5's for $349.
I was in the same position. Try the Infinty Beta 10's and drive them with a parasound sound Zamp, the version 3 has 45 or 50 watts per channel. You do the whole combo for under 500 bucks and get decent PC sound. Spend a bit more and get a better sound card too from EMU or M-audio; both widely available on the web.
As for the Audioengine 2 - I really don't like speakers that put the amplifiers for both the left and the right speakers in the same speaker.
There's no question that Blue Sky has the best designed speakers - the main speakers are acoustic suspension and use ring radiator tweeters - if you are willing to pay the $$$$.
Ok, I may get flamed for this one, but here goes. I have the "original" Cambridge Soundworks "Soundworks" 2.1 system designed by Henry Kloss. I purchased mine about ten years ago, (prior to the Creative buyout) and I have to tell you, they sound great for near-field listening. I don't know if the quality has gone downhill lately or not, so I cannot comment on the newer systems from Creative.
This system avoids the "one note bass" sound if you spend the same care with experimenting with placement of the bass module as you would your main system's sub. When you set the bass level correctly with your SPL meter, this little system is capable of very good sound. I think Kloss's design has stood the test of time and I would not hesitate to buy this system again if my original set ever dies. Let the flaming begin! :) jz
I just bought the Mackie MR8 and am very happy with them (they are much cheaper than the HR824). I decided on a nice 2.0 system rather than a mediocre 2.1 system (the Tapco line). I live in an apartment (don't want to own a house) and I am not keen on having my neighbors enjoy my subwoofer along with me.