Desktop single-driver speakers?

I have enjoyed the Sony SRS ZX1 desktop speakers for many years, and am looking for an upgrade. These are small active single-driver speakers with a special «mobius duct» or C-formed extended bass port that makes them play more bass than expected from such small (7.5 by 3.1 by 7 inches) speakers (further described here: ).

They are great for nearfield listening at low-moderate volume, e g late night listening in my home office, not waking everyone else in our house, throwing a limited but high quality soundscape.

They benefit from the bass port – and even more, from the single-driver solution. I have experience with the Audioengine A5+, the Aurum Cantus 2 SE, and some small Elacs – all are two-way, and I give a plus to the one-way Sony ZX1 (even if this is otherwise a more limited speaker), for coherence, due to no crossover, but rather trying to solve problems acoustically.

In my system, including an OTL tube headphone amp into the gain chain (reducing problems with the s-state internal amp in the speakers), and some DIY stands raising them from the desktop, they have worked very well indeed.

I have looked in vain for upgrades from Sony, and have not seen much else in this way, either, from other companies. Maybe someone else can fill me out?

I am looking for single driver speakers with desktop or small monitor dimensions, preferably easy to drive for a low power tube amp. They can be active speakers, like the ZX1, or passive. The room is 12 x 9 x 7 feet, but I am mainly listening nearfield just 3-5 feet away from the speakers. I am looking for the best nearfield moderate volume sound, not speakers or amps that can «fill» the room with volume.  


Was just re-researching these and am pleased to read that they worked out for you.

Wish I had a pair (recently set up a CD based desk top system for my wife) and will research the little sub you are using.





I am enjoying the Arche system, and find it very good for home office listening and researching new music. My main system is full of tubes and have ’enveloping’ sound, while this one is s-state and pinpoint/single driver. Interesting contrast. If you order from them, make sure the hz setting of the linear power supply is correct for the voltage.

I know that the Arche speakers will sound even better with an OTL tube amp, like I have in my main system. But there is a point to using a s-state "standard" amp. This is what the music was produced with, etc. So in my case, the Arche advice - which I found in an obscure hifi review by a guy who liked single driver speakers - was correct. There is something special by just using single driver speakers, with their coherence and clarity, and then, adjusting a little front-firing sub precisely on your desktop, so it is coherent and basically ’disappears’ - the sound seems to be coming from the speakers only. With the sub, this is a in reality a two-driver speaker system, but user adjustable, for a low cost. Works for me.

Thanks, i will check the Eve, if I get the chance. This seems to be a conventional treble + woofer driver though. That these can do the job very good is no news to me. Listening e g to Aurum Cantus, Elac, and others. Yet my special interest, as stated, is in single driver speakers.


I have bought a new DAC for my office system - Topping E30ii, for ca 150 usd, here Norway. First impression - quite amazing, for this low cost. Much better than the older low cost DACs I used before (Steinberg Ur22, Zoom H6, Fiio x3ii etc). The Arche system clearly shows the difference - a better source means it performs better.

Over the last months, I have stopped worrying that the Arche speakers sound "bright". They have mellowed. But they remain very precise. The better the digital resolution - all else equal, the same recording, production etc - the better they sound. When they sound harsh, its mainly in the recording and the lower file format /resolution. CD format files usually sound more hard and flat. Allthough in some cases the CD mastering outperforms the rest. Both formats sound good with the Topping e30ii, but the step up is clear with the higher formats especially.