Reference 3A De Capo i's, oh forget that, I just saw your price limit.
What about headphones?
What about headphones?
You may be able to use a wide variety of speakers. The variables are how loud, how big the room, how close are you to the speakers, what kind of music will you listen to, will you likely upgrade in the near future. As an example, I am playing CDs through a Sonic Impact T-amp, 6 W/ch, through Dynaudio Audience 70 floorstanders in my bedroom. They are 87 dB into 4 Ohms. I can achieve loudness of 80 dB with little distortion in a room that is 17' x 13' with vaulted ceilings playing Classical, Jazz and Folk. So, it depends. But I would say go for the highest quality speaker you can afford and settle for less volume with higher fidelity. You can never go wrong with fine speakers. They last the longest of any component you will buy. Good luck in your quest.
Looks like many of A'goners around here are in their typical "buy this, buy this" mode of what is their personal favorites. Makes you wonder how many of them "REALLY" read your post, and what your "wants and needs" really are.?
So you got a 15 watt Fatman, "tube based" I-pod player for your office. Not a bad little unit. Had a chance to listen to one myself. I'm guessing in an office enviroment, you're listening "near field" and in addition, you're limited in how much you can "crank it up". Personally, I think the B&W 601s3 would work well in such an enviroment. Of course, in your price range, and for your needs, there are many other choices, including the Energy RC-10, NHT Classic 2 or 3, Epos ELS-3, Usher S-510, ect. The fact of the matter is, their are many speakers in the $300 a pair range (new or used)that would work well in such an enviroment, and I for one wouldn't get to "hung up" on db levels (88db or even 86db should work very well in an "office" enviroment). Bottom line, find a speaker that sounds good, and "enjoy the music" and don't worry about whether or not, this speaker or that speaker might sound better. At your price point, it's not about one speaker sounding better than the other, it's more about which speaker has the "flavor" that you like. Basically you're dealing more with "differances" than with "betters". Just my .02 cemts.
Sacman, fwiw the Reynaud speakers I used to own (Trentes) are very easy to drive (despite their 88db rating) my 18 wpc vacuum tube Soro drove them to rockin levels with ease so I recommended their baby brother the Twins - admittedly at $125 over what you stated. fwiw the Trentes are superbly musical speakers, often favored over Spendor, Harbeth and other popular choices. the Twins are supposed to give you a fair amount of the Trentes magic so I recommended them. Cleanedup has some good points