Which desktop speakers to buy $800

I recently bought the Audioengine A5+'s, but they were a little disappointing. While they do deliver excellent sound, the sound sounds kind of muffled, I assume because of the thick, magnetically shielded shell. I have been looking at the Kef X300A for my next speaker purchase. I just want the best-sounding speakers possible for my desktop computer for around 800 USD.
Hi Zan...I have the A5s purchased new a couple years ago. They took a VERY long time to break in and really sounded just mediocre for the longest time. The desktop system they are in wasn't a critical application for me so I just put up with it. Started using that system more regularly this year and the sound has improved greatly. Very nice clarity now. Good treble with balanced (no longer boomy) bass. Don't know how many hours you have on yours but am wondering if a little more time might improve the sound.
Take a look at the swan speaker lineup; I bought the s200a and they do a very good job; only negative is no subwoofer.
I found them to do very good job with all types of music and gaming (red orchestra 2 and rising storm).
Adam F7 active speakers so no need for an amp. They are terrific! No muffled sound here at all. Although you might need add $99 more to your budget (you could sell your amp since it is not needed). But believe me, they are well worth it.
The Emotiva AirMotiv series speakers (active speakers, amps are built-in) have been getting pretty good reviews and they have 2 models within your budget...


I have Audioengine A5+'s and they just get better with play time. If you can be patient, keep listening.

I am completely pleased and have no desire to look elsewhere. The A5's are perfect for me. YMMV.
The best for $800? Audience The One, normally $995, available new, here, for BIN of $795.

Stereophile review
Hi Res Audio Central review
Soundstageaccess review
HiFi+ review
Also, desktop means nearfield listening, and the Audience The One has a single true full range 2-1/2" driver. No sound coming from the multiple angles of woofers and tweeters. The over-the-counter price of a pair of those raw drivers alone is $390.
So as others have mentioned, how many hours do you have on these? I have serious doubts it has anything to do with magnetically shielded shells. Really sounds like it could be a break-in issue, so give them at least a few hundred hours of play time.

And Johnnyb53, have you actually heard those Audience speakers? I had the 1+1s in my system and also in a friend's system as a double check, and our assessment was they were severely compromised in the upper mid and treble range, right where the OP is already experiencing problems. They sounded muddy and significantly dynamically constrained. At that price range, if it were me, I'd look at the Silverline Minuets. They're rear ported, so that might be an issue, but they're really great speakers at that price level. Or a used pair of KEF LS50s if they become available. Best of luck.
Wait for the new Andrew Jones ELAC speakers. I heard them at The Newport show and for $250 they are incredible for that price. The Audience The One is another one recommended to me but I never heard it.

I was using the KEF LS50's on my desktop for over a year and they were excellent in a less than optimal desktop setup. I have now moved the KEF's to stands and have placed more space between them; they now sound staggeringly good. Better in the top end than my old Revel Salon 1's. Maybe a shocking statement to some. So if you can find a used KEF LS50 around $800 I would go for that.

I would put the KEF back on my desk if circumstances dictated that. They are just exceptional for near-field listening.
Used Thiel PCS?
Try horn/waveguide speakers like the jbl 305. Don't write them off base on the cheap prices ;)
abacus c box