Forum Topic: Active or Passive Speakers for Possible Multiroom System

Too many possibilities?

by Mark Hodgkinson Jul 4, 2017 at 7:04 AM


  • Here’s a question for you to ponder from one of our Scandinavian members, rodnt who has been spending a few days considering an upgrade but can’t choose between an active or passive speaker typ, meaning they cannot compare speakers...yet..
    Here are rodnt’s needs/wishes in order of priority:

    1. Sound quality in a 20m square room. Source is podcasts/Spotify from iPhone, sometimes mp3 from MacBook pro. Mostly house music, but just about all styles are played every now and then. Volume doesn't necessarily need to be that high.

    2. Simplicity. Since the source is wireless this is obviously important. rodnt usually uses airplay with an ATV (old version), but it doesn't always work. They need a system that just works. Period.

    3. Possibility to play the same music in the kitchen. Sound quality doesn't need to be as good, but ok. If an app can control volume in both rooms that'd be great. They have heard about Chromecast audio but they don't know if that’s the solution? Or do they need to buy speakers from the same series?

    4. Movies/TV - Surround is nice but no requirement. Could always expand the system later.

    5. Discrete design. If desktop speakers like the Egg + a sub are enough, great. If bookshelf speakers like Dynaudio Emit M20 are needed - fine. If floorstanders like Dali Zensor 5 AX is the answer.. Well ok then, would have preferred smaller but sound quality is more important.

    They budget is flexible, but rodnt is hoping to stay below €1,000 and €500-700 would be even better.

    The first question is if they should search for active or passive speakers. rodnt found a pair of relatively cheap active ones in the form of the Yamaha NX-N500 or System Audio Saxo 5. Or if they feel rich the Dynaudio Neo 2. Or should they go for the Dali Zensor 3 or Monitor Audio Bronze 2 speakers and an amplifier? Or go all-in with Sonos? Is the sound quality on a par with the other options?

    Please help rodnt become less confused, anything advice would be useful.

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