Q. on speakers, powered or regular


I used to listen to a regular system (Vandersteen w/ Arcam amps, and then Acoustat with Belles amps) and since I spend most of my time in front of the computer and have downsized, want to switch to computer audio.

My question is since speakers are generally one of the most important links, where to start with.

1. I could go with typical speakers (smaller monitors, like say Paradigm's, PSB's, or Totem's) and add a cheap integrated/receiver or

2. Go for speakers specifically intended for computer audio like the Audioengine, Mackie's, Nuforce etc.

Which provides better quality (likely I can space the speakers a foot or two away at the max. Price is not too much of an issue as buying used can get good monitor speakers in the $300 range.


Quality wise, transparency is important, so is PRAT, bass is not critical

I faced the same decision. Orginally had a small integrated tube amp feeding KEF monitors on my desktop.

Later I decided to simplify the system, chose the audioengine 5's and fed them with a very inexpensive outboard DAC. Later I upgraded the DAC. The bass is a bit tipped up but I like them like that and am very satisfied. I am not even tempted to change anything.
Setup will be the biggest factor. I'd get something designed for it rather than a dogs breakfast (audio at 2 feet will sound different - you will probably need an HF cut to retain balance if you use a regular speaker and integrated). Sound will be compromised anyway because of the desk - so aim the speakers up at you or get them up off the desk at ear level and aimed at your head. Personally I'd go with Genelec 8020A's over the speakers you mentioned - I think they represent the best value right now.
So what are speakers designed for this space, assume regular speakers like PSP Alpha Mini are not.

I know Dynaudio does have nearfield monitors, both active and passive, any ideas how they compare to audioengine and or Genelec's.

Price wise I can spend more esp as likely will be buying used.

Thinking of putting stands too so can get it at a decent height.

PPS. What about quad active speakers compared to say Audioenine for those who have heard both?