Small desktop amp and speakers


Standard Member
Hi All.

Ive been thinking about maybe getting some speakers for my desk at work.

I thought about something like a smsl SA-36A Pro for the amp, as its small enough to sit under the monitor. And maybe some qacoustics speakers, rhe 1010, 2010 or one of the variants. The smallest ones they do.

I want it to sound nice a low levels. It doesnt need to fill the room.

Anyone done something similar?

Thoughts about the hardware choice?



Standard Member
Good info. Those ruarks are interesting, but a lot more than i want to pay. I can get some used qacoustics for about £40 ish. Maybe less if i went with 1010s. Pickup a used chip amp for £30 ish. Thats a bit more my price range.



Active Member
Why not get some small active speakers?
Perfect for desk use and lots of options across the budget range.

Edit: Should have refreshed!
Last edited:


Well-known Member
The smsl SA-36A Pro has provided sterling service (daily use with TV) for the Mother-in-Law for several years with no problems. It sounds good too - tight and controlled. Bass performance is limited although I suspect that won't be noticeable with the QA 1010 and 2010 or other similarly sized speakers. The SMSL doesn't have much power and small speakers are often inefficient - not a great pairing - so you may find the amp clips if you push the volume.

Around the £80 mark, there are some reasonable, small powered passive speakers (not to be confused with similar looking active speakers) that should be considered such as the M-Audio AV42, Alesis Elevate 4, Mackie CR4, Samson MediaOne BT4. These are all reputable brands though I've not listened to any of them. Looks like the Alesis and Samson both offer more power than the SMSL amp. I don't know how the audio quality of these powered passives would compare with the SMSL + QA speaker combo. Edifier is also a well-known brand selling many powered passive speaker pairs under £100.

A true active speaker pair would be an option if you're OK with pre-owned, e.g.

Samson Rubicon R5a Active Studio Monitors | eBay

A decent true active option would likely give best audio quality.

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