Your favorite Small Apartment Speakers

  1. I view this as sort of a companion thread to the “Best Small Speakers At any Price” thread.

Lets hear what you’ve used and loved!

Thanks in advance.
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I wouldn’t think one would want floor standers in an apartment. Or am I wrong?
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I have 2 pairs of stand mounts that I rotate. Nola Boxer 2's,and Spendor S3/5's. To my ears,in my modest system,they do so many things right. Stellar imaging,detail,and totally non fatiguing. 
Vandy VLR's if you want bookshelves.
Treo's for floorstanders. Though I would put them on an isolating base if living in a multistory apartment.
Do you think something like Gaia’s on speakers helps with that Bob? I’d spend the money if they do. I guess I should investigate more on that. 

Any LS3/5A type of speaker go great in a small space. Spendor, Harbeth, Falcon, Stirling, etc. make nice ones!
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I guess I’m assuming floor standing speakers will project bass through the floor to the neighbor below. I’ve been operating on the presumption that stand mount is the imperative.

Is this not the case? @elizabeth

Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2 with RAAL ribbon tweeter. Retail around $1400. So worth the price...
KEF LS50 if on a budget, Sonus Faber Guarneri’s otherwise... Happy listening! R
Diapason adamantes. Music culture rl-21’s. 
Both spectacular. Still have them both. 2 different listening rooms. 
I'll add another vote for the Ascend Acoustics Sierra 2.
My Gryphon Cantatas. They're designed for small rooms and have a bass roll off unit. 
Speaking of small rooms - 15" X 20" I am putting my Paradigm monitor 5's in the corners(meaning not in the way of any windows per my wife!) of my new sunroom.  Hindsight being 20/20 I would have had my HVAC registers not put in the corners where I have to place the speakers, however....and therefore does anyone know of any available speaker stands to elevate these speakers about 4 to 6 inches off of the floor to allow the air to circulate below them?  The paradigm speakers are about 11" deep and about 7" wide.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated!!
Kevin M  
Proac Super Tablette, simply amazing dinky speakers.   Need a good/fast subwoofer though.
On a budget bookshelf would be Elac UniFi.
No budget bookshelf would be Sonner Allegro.
Best of the best would be YG Acoustics Carmel 2, small floorstander.
Those would be my choices, but lots of great stuff out there.
Larsens, Ohm Walsh MWT/1000, Davone Mojo-yeah, I tend to like Omni's...and many of the above mentioned speakers are great too. All depends on the owner/listener's values.
Verdant Audio Blackthorn 1s as they deliver a great soundstage in a small space.  They work really well close to a wall and deliver a very true and accurate sound.  

Yes, they are mine (I am manufacturer) so I am biased but have had some unbelievably good feedback from independent listeners at AXPONA including The Absolute Sound.
@verdantaudio I looked at those. I saw them mentioned on here before. If they went deeper into the lower frequencies I'd definitely want to try them out.

I'm very nervous about speakers because I don't listen to typical audiophile stuff. I feel like the speaker market isn't geared towards me and my tastes. But thats another story.
@gochurchgo  Thanks for the direct comment back.  What music are you listening too? 

I completely get the issue with bass response.  I assume apartment means you don't want to fill in lower frequencies with a subwoofer.  What kind of bass response do you want?
Silverline Prelude Plus.
@verdantaudio I listen to alot of music thats not well produced or recorded (classic punk and hardcore records) along with 80's and 90's alternative (average production for the day). In the last few years classic 60's and 70's reggae and ritualistic/black ambient has got me excited about music again. Add in a sprinkle of death/thrash metal and some jazz too (Davis/Mingus/Adderly).

I try to use Napalm Death (the band) as a guide as its crazy heavy and super fast. If the speaker can render all the layers and keep the speed, it will probably work.ha!

As for bass you are correct. I have space so thats not an issue, I just don't want to (and probably cannot) run a sub in apartment life. I am currently on the ground floor but that will not always be true which is why it seems stand mounts are the way to go.

 I am currently running Focal 807's which do many things right, but I find them polite and lacking in the bass. Ideally something that can get into the low 40's / high 30's should be fine. The Focals image well with 23" of space between them and the front wall but that sucks all the bass out.

High on my list to try and audition are Dynaudio Special 40's, Holt Hill Consaille (sp) and whatever else I find. Looking for a musical/fun sound with great bass and some refinement.
Interesting.  You and I listen to a lot of similar music.  I don't go quite as heavy as Napalm Death.  I need a speaker that does well with metal but for me it is Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Avenged Sevenfold, Disturbed, etc...  For punk, Sex Pistols, Early Police, Ramones, Iggy Pop, etc...   Though I also like a lot of 60s psychedelic, 80s and my wife listens to 90s hip hop, oh and Classical gets mixed in regularly.  Finding a speaker that does all that well is hard and when you roll in the added requirement of <40hz performance, it gets harder still.  

I know what you mean about the speaker market not being geared toward you. Part of why I started my company. 

We had a great moment at AXPONA where we had a group of guys who were in the room and did 5 or 6 songs at their request.  Music started with Michael Jackson and we capped it with The Trooper.  One of the guys commented "I can't believe I am about to sit down and critically listen to Iron Maiden."  Every time we played Metal the room filled.  Way more guys feel the speaker industry isn't geared towards them than you would think.  That being said, I was running a subwoofer.  

What market are you in?
@verdantaudio You get me then for sure. Absolutely. I technically could run a sub right now but as I said, what happens when I can't? My current speakers break at 50hz and roll off fairly quick. If I put them in my bedroom I bet they would be good in there (small room, 4 walls, corners) but in my livingroom the bass isn't cutting it. And I'm not trying to pressurize it, I just like that satisfying thump of the bass drum.

I'm in the armpit of the universe (Arizona).

Gochurchgo wrote:  "I guess I’m assuming floor standing speakers will project bass through the floor to the neighbor below. I’ve been operating on the presumption that stand mount is the imperative."

Bass can be transmitted by two mechanisms:  Airborne vibrations and mechanical vibrations.  The latter can be largely prevented by placing the speakers on de-coupling devices or pads, such as the Auralex SubDude.  The only way to prevent airborne vibrations is to not generate them in the first place.

Gochurch again:  "I just don't want to (and probably cannot) run a sub in apartment life."

One imo worthwhile advantage of running a sub is the adjustability.  You don't have to run it at full power (relative to the main speakers).  You can turn it down or turn it off.  And with two subs and a phase control you can increase the sense of envelopment while not adding a whole lot of bass energy (I can describe how if you would like).  Again, use something like the Auralex SubDude underneath the sub(s) to largely eliminate structure-borne mechanical vibrations.

Gochurchgo:  "I try to use Napalm Death (the band) as a guide as its crazy heavy and super fast.  If the speaker can render all the layers and keep the speed, it will probably work."

This makes me think you might want to consider fairly narrow-dispersion speakers.  Here's why:   Reflections in the room, and in particular the earliest reflections, constitute a "noise floor" which partially masks and therefore degrades the clarity of subsequent sounds.  Speakers that put less energy into the reflections for a given sound pressure level at the listening position will have a lower in-room noise floor and therefore better clarity, all else being equal.  Not saying that ALL reflections are bad; just that for very fast and complex music in a smallish space, we might want to be closer to that end of the spectrum.

Go, church.  Go!


speaker designer dude guy


Full disclosure, I am a speaker manufacturer. I rarely post but thought this option might make sense for you.

Have you considered a DSP controlled speaker system? We are launching a stand mounted monitor that is DSP controlled. There are others on the market as well. A well engineered speaker system that is DSP controlled and with advanced room correction can address many room issues, which is what many of us are sensing when we are dissatisfied with an audio system. If the speakers are designed to be DSP controlled you will get a very dynamic presentation, not only the bass but also in the mid frequency region. A great solution for fast, dense and intricate music. Mix in high output, low distortion drivers and you can play all music.

You can use subs for now and if you move you can dial them down through the DSP system. Most good quality DSP controlled speaker systems have multiple presets so you can rock the house when your neighbors are away and change settings on the fly that limits the low bass. 
AudioNote UK AN speaker line are very nice in a smaller room because they work best in a corner, so you do not need the speakers way out in the room with you to sound their best. I'd also second the ProAc smaller speakers.

But really stand mount or floor stander is not going to be any different so a smaller set of floor standers wound work too.
 As Duke already mentioned.
Yes, I think the Gaia should help with unwanted bass frequencies migrating to other apartments.
FWIW, I hope to be trying some Townshend isolation products with my system. I just need to get some time to play...
And, as an aside,
I live in a single family home about 100 years old. My main system is on the first floor.
If I go to the basement, I hardly hear anything. If I go upstairs, there is also not much I can hear- unless I really crank it up.
Interesting. I will reaearch further. One speaker I heard that I liked was the Spatial M5. I had ruled it out as a floor stander. 

Absolutely not opposed to DSP. I have zero experience with it but if there's a step by step I should be able to get it to work. I don't frankly care how accurate or linear a speaker is, all of them are to some extent in the higher dollar brackets. I just want something that sounds good. I like my Focals, but I feel like I can do better. My only reservations about DSP is that it typically adds a substantial cost. I was, for a while, looking into miniDSP or something of the sort.

@gdnrbob Thanks, I will look more into that. I want to be a good enighbor, even when I'm being a bad neighbor haha
I own a pair of Fritz Carrera 7be's and they are a pleasure. Scanspeak Revelator woofer and Transducer Labs pure beryllium tweeter. Very detailed throughout and go down to the mid 30's. First order series crossovers. Very well built. I find no need for a sub with these guys.
I would check out the Monitor Audio Platinum 100s.  Tons of detail and good for rock and metal music.  Good bass response as well with a rating of +/- 6 dB at 40hz.  They need to be driven by a neutral to slightly forward amplifier.  

There are four dealers in AZ.  Give them a call and see if they have them on display.  

@thecarpathianInteresting. I will look at those

@verdantaudio I have seen those mentioned but I guess I never really look at them. I'll look deeper.

@glennewdick No interest in anything Audio Note. But thank you.

Gochurchgo wrote:  "One speaker I heard that I liked was the Spatial M5. I had ruled it out as a floor stander."

Imo the Spatial M5 would be an excellent candidate for your situation.

Many moons ago I was a dealer for Clayton Shaw, back in the early days of Emerald Physics. 


I@audiokinesis “sort of” got to hear the prototype. It did a lot things well but there was some issue with the woofers. I didn’t get to experience what I was most curious about which was the bass.

that said, people seem to love OB, the price is doable and I’ve been routinely told they play dynamic at low volume, don’t radiate sound in all directions and are good for room filling sound as long as I understand they don’t pressurize a room. I’ve tried to reach out to any locals to see if I could play a few tracks and see what I get from it.
Stax ESL Ear Speakers. They are VERY small ;-) .
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My current speaker Aerial 5T's.
I had a pair of Klipsch Palladium P-17b which I thought sounded wonderful but you really had to find the sweet spot to sit at or you missed a lot of the high end in my opinion, the dispersion angle was minimal. I replaced them with a pair of Polk Audio LSiM703's which to me sounded better and had a much wider angle of dispersion. They're normally $1500 a pair which is very reasonable for the quality but they're now on sale for 50% off. They will blow away anything else in the $2500 or under price range IMO and I am NOT affiliated with them in any way.
I keep looking at those Polks as they  are willing to sell them for a roll of tape and some gum. I don't know anything of the Polk sound, I just recall in the late 80's they were a revered brand.

If I could sell them for what I paid I'd maybe buy them on a whim.


my current speakers AirPulse A200 Model 1
there is the newer A300 out now with bigger mid-woofers
powered monitors with invisible midrange
built in DAC also has XLR input
@gochurchgo For $750 a pair the LSiM 703’s are impossible to beat and they have a 45 day return, I think you just pay shipping back. I have a pair in my office and the bigger brother LSiM 707’s in my stereo room. Nobody really considers Polk to be any better than Mid Fi but the LSiM’s are in a totally different world. I use mine with McCormack and Bryston amps and the detail is excellent.
Joseph Audio Pulsars but I don't think they play low enough to do the double bass drums in metal any justice. The Polks mentioned above might be a better fit for that genre.
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I don’t care about cred. Hell I’ve been banned from half the audiophile forums on the planet. What I do want is something that does everything my Focals do but better especially in the bass department.
@stfoth  what speakers would you consider world beaters in the $2500 range?