Can you recommend websites good for Active Speaker reviews ?

Seeing that many Audacity users are likely to be using pc’s or laptops to hold high quality music, I thought this forum may be able to recommend some websites specialising in indepth reviews of Hi-Fi gear that connects to pc’s/laptops, in particular Active Speakers.

I frequently relocate, and so am looking for a compact stereo Monitor quality pair, yet with good bass response, and that ideally can hopefully be driven directly from my laptop without need for an Amp or ‘Home Theatre’, and wirelessly (perhaps brand agnostic WiFi) as its often not practical to plant wired connections in rented premises and prefer ability to locate speakers in different room to laptop. Hoping for just a stereo pair, without need to carry a woofer or sub-woofer.

Something like the Yamaha MSP5 maybe close to what I want re. price, size, weight, except I read its Titanium tweeters maybe a little shrill and tiring for my ears, so perhaps a newer design is better.

I already know of the, & whathifi>active-speakers-club sites. Purchase would be in the UK.

Thank you for any assistance.

We use the KRK Rokit5 speakers at work, but we don’t mix on them. They’re part of the business communications system between countries. They sound good, they’re self-contained and they’re rough to break. We don’t mix sound as one of our products. At home I’m using a large component sound system which is pretty much the complete opposite of what you want.

I afraid the centuries old wisdom holds. You need to go out and listen. I found a series of Boston Acoustic midsize speakers that I really, really liked (the old CR6). It doesn’t happen often. I went store to store and bought them out. Boston came out with an “improved” version of CR6 – the current model – which makes my teeth hurt.

I discovered a long time ago that I can’t go into a store and listen. It doesn’t work for me. I have to listen over an extended period and then I know. I took a set of CR8 speakers home based on their being larger and “better.” I took them back. They gave me a headache.

I don’t know that it’s something you can ask other people about. Google [your preferred brand] complaints. Don’t go for the recommendations, although Sound On Sound magazine may be worth your while to buy the reviews.


You are unlikely to get wireless connectivity on good monitor speakers.

They have quite a lot of reviews here:

In that price range you can’t go far wrong - they’re all pretty good and competition between manufacturers is fierce.
There are of course differences in taste and personally I’m not very keen on the “Yamaha sound” (until the speakers go way above my price range).

Note that monitor speakers are not designed for “leisure listening”. Often less expensive hi-fi speakers will sound more flattering to the sound, but for recording work we are not looking for a flattering sound, we are looking for a sound that is accurate and detailed.

Also, small monitor speakers are designed for “near-field” use - that is, position the speakers at head level about 1 m in front, one offset to the left and one to the right.

Regardless of marketing hype, very small speakers never give much low bass. If bass response is important without a sub I would recommend that the bass drivers are preferably 8" or bigger.

Personally I like the KRK Rokit Powered 8 G2 and would definitely be considering them if I were looking for replacements for my current monitors. There is a review here:

KRK Rokit Powered 8

I think that’s what we recommended for the new small theater in Vancouver. I don’t know if they took us up on it or not. They were making noises about a surround system. Koz

Many thanks Koz & Steve for giving me the benefit of your experiences on this. It is many decades ago I last looked into quality speakers, I also am not sure if I should be looking for Studio Monitor models, which as you say, seem to be intended for ‘near-field’ listening, and neutral sound. Problem is I am in S. America, far from shops with even a small selection from which to audition, and likely to be some months before back in UK.

Having now read the Rokit KRK G2 review on the link your gave, it would appear the KRK 8 G2 is the only candidate from Rokits range. Thought quite an unusual review style but comprehensive. Fortunately that model is sold in UK and a lower price than feared. My first thoughts on it, are as follows:

  1. As I thought to ask just for some recommended website specialising in reviews, rather than actual speaker models (but much appreciated) I didn’t say what music genres I listen to: they are quite wide ranging, from classic opera like Puccini’s Tosca & Turandot & other classical - all of which require hi fidelity, to the “” mentioned in Rokits own description, to the vast breadth of film soundtracks. (Rarely will I want to use the spekaers for edit/mix)
    Think it is Rokits own description : suitable for “any genre of music, from bass-driven Dance to Rock” - so what about opera & classical ?
  2. 45Hz - 20kHz (+/- 1.5 db) seems fine to me, also the softdome tweeter maybe sweeter than Yamaha titanium ?
  3. The box is slightly big for air travel, and the 11.8kg is the absolute top weight limit - prefer the 9kg of next size down - but guess cant have one without the other !
  4. I thought back panel a bit lacking in inputs & controls; heard some Active Spkrs have at least USB to avoid doubly converting from digital to analog then back to digital. I know you said prob wont find a Wireless model, and I guess not everyone would want extra cost of a wireless option builtin. Next best is if there are any lowcost WiFi dongles made specifically to ‘adapt’ an Active Speaker to be driven from a pc/laptop.
  5. I didn’t see any info on the type of electronics used eg. amplifier Class AB or D, crossover frequency - is this available ?
  6. I guess a bit of a luxury, and have never had one, but I have seen HiFi systems sold with TV type remotes for many years now. Is this a feature that is coming to Active Speaker systems, either integral, or as external addon ?

It will probably be a few months before I get back to UK to buy. I just want to research a shortlist of recommended models to audition for when I get there, as may then have little time to evaluate before leaving. Is it ok if I return to this thread with you from time to time to seek further opinions on the topic, and to hear if you have further news/recommendations ?

Many thanks again for your help.

It’s as much about sound quality as cost. There are various wireless technologies available, ranging in price from $25 or so up to thousands, but even the high end systems are worse sound quality than a humble wire.

Understood. From my last “Think it is Rokits own description : suitable for “any genre of music, from bass-driven Dance to Rock” - so what about opera & classical ?” - any thoughts on its suitability for opera & classical ?