Suggestions for Passive White bookshelf speakers for desk setup - Under £250

adriancal

Active Member
Hi All,

I am looking to pick up a pair of White passive bookshelf speakers for a desk setup. Preferably under £250,
As they will be sat on my desk I am not looking at large bookshelf speakers. Cambridge Audio MINX XL
are on my shortlist but I'm up for any recommendations you may have?

Thanks
 

larkone

Member
Dali Spektor 1 - white and £180
 

password1

Distinguished Member
Mission lx1, mk2

The Dali oberon 1 are on offer if you can stretch a little.

MA Silver 50 6g if you can find ld new stock in white.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
Are the QA Concept 20 too big? They're in budget and great for the money.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
What amp and source are you using?

The concepts require decent quality ampage and they show up poorly recorded material.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Hi All,

I am looking to pick up a pair of White passive bookshelf speakers for a desk setup. Preferably under £250,
As they will be sat on my desk I am not looking at large bookshelf speakers. Cambridge Audio MINX XL
are on my shortlist but I'm up for any recommendations you may have?

Thanks
Hi,

I used to own the Minx XL speakers, and have even considered getting another pair, as they have a charming sound. I really liked them, and at £140, they are a good buy. I am currently using the Q Acoustics Concept 20s in my desktop setup, and they are brilliant, far, far better than the Minx XL. They are £230 new at the moment, and available in gloss white, like the Minx XL.

To me, both speakers are very easy to listen to, easy to drive, easy to position and not fussy at all about being stuck in corners, against walls, and so on. The differences are that the Concept 20s have tighter bass (but not more extension), better imaging, more detail, and a better quality finish. The Minx XL is slightly smaller, and for some reason had very high Wife Acceptance Factor. My wife regularly asks "where did those lovely little white Cambridge speakers go?". I sold them 2 years ago...and she still asks every few weeks. In fact, she only asked last week again. I am tempted to buy a pair to make a little desktop setup for her. She really took a fancy to them. The Concept 20s...well, she things they are ugly with the grills off and are "too big". Go figure ;)

I hope that helps.
 

gava

Well-known Member

password1

Distinguished Member
From experience of the lx1 mark 1 and concept 40 with different amps.

I expect the sound signatures and capabilityies of the mark 1 and 2 and concept 20 and 40 to be similar.

I also expect the lx Mark 2 to be better than the mark 1.

My lx1 mark 1 worked well with alsorts of amps whereas the concepts are more sensitive to the quality of the amp.
 

acgingersnaps

Well-known Member
What amp and source are you using?

The concepts require decent quality ampage and they show up poorly recorded material.
I've always found QA speakets really easy to drive.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
From experience of the lx1 mark 1 and concept 40 with different amps.

I expect the sound signatures and capabilityies of the mark 1 and 2 and concept 20 and 40 to be similar.

I also expect the lx Mark 2 to be better than the mark 1.

My lx1 mark 1 worked well with alsorts of amps whereas the concepts are more sensitive to the quality of the amp.
Hi,

I have both Concept 20s and 40s. I've never heard the Missions, so cannot comment there.

You are right...the Concept 20s and 40s do have a very similar sound, besides the difference in bass output. But I have tried them on a few amps, and they seem quite happy with everything I've tried, even the rather warm sounding NAD D3020 and Cambridge Topaz SR10. I think they will suit a bright amp too, as they have a very mellow sound, not warm, just mellow.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
What amp and source are you using?

The concepts require decent quality ampage and they show up poorly recorded material.
This is rather different than my own experience. I can drive my Concept 20s off a 30w NAD amp quite happily. They do like more power and sound a bit better on a 60 or 80w amp, but they seem pretty easy to drive to me. The SMSL amp the OP mentioned is 50w per channel into 8Ohm. I reckon that is fine.

As for showing up poorly recorded material, I have found quite the opposite. I have played some pretty awful recordings through both 20s and 40s, and they seem to do a good job smoothing it out. This is not so much the case with the QA 3030i, and even less so with the 3020, Dali Spektors, Dali Oberons, or anything I have heard in the Monitor Audio Bronze ranges going back a couple of generations.
 

password1

Distinguished Member
This is rather different than my own experience. I can drive my Concept 20s off a 30w NAD amp quite happily. They do like more power and sound a bit better on a 60 or 80w amp, but they seem pretty easy to drive to me. The SMSL amp the OP mentioned is 50w per channel into 8Ohm. I reckon that is fine.

As for showing up poorly recorded material, I have found quite the opposite. I have played some pretty awful recordings through both 20s and 40s, and they seem to do a good job smoothing it out. This is not so much the case with the QA 3030i, and even less so with the 3020, Dali Spektors, Dali Oberons, or anything I have heard in the Monitor Audio Bronze ranges going back a couple of generations.
On a budget amp the concept 20s sound good, on a Cyrus system, they sound incredible.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
On a budget amp the concept 20s sound good, on a Cyrus system, they sound incredible.
I agree. They sound good on anything. But the better you feed into them, the better they sound. The 3030i speakers are the same. My point was that if the OP is thinking of the Concept 20s on the SMSL, they will probably still sound good. I guess only trial and error (i.e. auditioning) will allow the OP to tell which speakers suit the amp best. The Concept 20s would be on my shortlist, that's for sure.
 

eastsoutheast

Well-known Member
Concept 20's are great speakers but very deep for a desktop. I used a pair of Monitor Audio Silver 1's in white which worked very well, size and front ported/sealed depending on your desks proximity to the wall.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
That was also my opinion re the concept 20’s. The MA1’s are very nice but out of my price bracket for a desk speaker.
I used to use the Monitor Bronze 1s as desktop speakers. They are pretty compact and sounded like a much larger speaker. Sadly, they are rather overpriced on the used market now, and the newer replacement models, the Bronze 50s, have a much deeper cabinet, about the same size as the Concept 20s. I did a lot of looking around for desktop-sized speakers a few weeks ago. The Fyne Audio F300 is also pretty compact. They can be had for under £200 now if you shop around. A little bright in the treble though, unless you like that. The Dali Spektor 1s were another option I considered. I didn't like the Spektor 2s, so I didn't feel they would be for me either. The older Q Acoustics 3020 can be had for around £150 new...they are about 20cm deep, smaller than the newer 3020i or Concept 20s.

Good luck with your choice :)
 

FootHealer

Active Member
Concept 20's are great speakers but very deep for a desktop. I used a pair of Monitor Audio Silver 1's in white which worked very well, size and front ported/sealed depending on your desks proximity to the wall.
Yeah, you are right. I have the Concept 20s on stands at either side of the desk. Sadly, if these are too big, then the Minx XL might be too big too, as the dimensions are not far off.
 

TB Rich

Active Member
You've had all the traditional Hifi brand usual suspects identified above, but given these are to go on your desk and not by the side or behind - I would look to go for something actually small, and run a little sub underneath if that's possible?

My office setup is a Dali Zensor 1, a conventionally small speaker like all those mentioned above... but no way would I want those actually on my desk, simply much too large!
You could try and find the Dali Zensor Pico, but they stopped selling them so at the mercy of 2nd hand.

However if it were me I'd go for these.

Kanto Yu4 Passive: £159

YUP4_AMIMG03_Finish.jpg


With the matching Kanto Sub6: £189

Or they do a Sub8 but it's pushing the budget then too much?

I've not seen any alternative passive mains to the Yu4's really, certainly not ones that look as nice aesthetically. However subs lots of choice, though many are likely to be trash, a couple of other subs similar value that should be decent though:

Wharfedale Diamond SW150: £149
Amazon product

Presonus Eris Sub8: £158
Amazon product
 

Onlythesound

Well-known Member
QA Concept 20s . If you can fit their depth into you space. I’ve used them with a Denon rcd N-9, an Audiolab 6000a and a Denon DRA 800-h.
They have always been a joy from Game of Thrones to Rachmaninov to Knopfler.
 

FootHealer

Active Member
AlonhYou've had all the traditional Hifi brand usual suspects identified above, but given these are to go on your desk and not by the side or behind - I would look to go for something actually small, and run a little sub underneath if that's possible?

My office setup is a Dali Zensor 1, a conventionally small speaker like all those mentioned above... but no way would I want those actually on my desk, simply much too large!
You could try and find the Dali Zensor Pico, but they stopped selling them so at the mercy of 2nd hand.

However if it were me I'd go for these.

Kanto Yu4 Passive: £159

View attachment 1614816

With the matching Kanto Sub6: £189

Or they do a Sub8 but it's pushing the budget then too much?

I've not seen any alternative passive mains to the Yu4's really, certainly not ones that look as nice aesthetically. However subs lots of choice, though many are likely to be trash, a couple of other subs similar value that should be decent though:

Wharfedale Diamond SW150: £149
Amazon product

Presonus Eris Sub8: £158
Amazon product

Along similar lines, you could get a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 9.0s for £49 and a Wharfedale Diamond SW150 subwoofer for £149.

The Diamond 9.0s are tiny and front ported. Pretty budget, but I tried these several years ago and remember them being okay for the price (were originally £100 when they first came out many years ago).

The Kantos would be my recommendation if the OP can stretch the budget a little higher.
 

adriancal

Active Member
You've had all the traditional Hifi brand usual suspects identified above, but given these are to go on your desk and not by the side or behind - I would look to go for something actually small, and run a little sub underneath if that's possible?

My office setup is a Dali Zensor 1, a conventionally small speaker like all those mentioned above... but no way would I want those actually on my desk, simply much too large!
You could try and find the Dali Zensor Pico, but they stopped selling them so at the mercy of 2nd hand.

However if it were me I'd go for these.

Kanto Yu4 Passive: £159

View attachment 1614816

With the matching Kanto Sub6: £189

Or they do a Sub8 but it's pushing the budget then too much?

I've not seen any alternative passive mains to the Yu4's really, certainly not ones that look as nice aesthetically. However subs lots of choice, though many are likely to be trash, a couple of other subs similar value that should be decent though:

Wharfedale Diamond SW150: £149
Amazon product

Presonus Eris Sub8: £158
Amazon product

Oooh those Kantos sure are puurrdy!! Need to do some research on them.
 

The latest video from AVForums

Samsung S95B Update, B&W Panorama 3 & Q Acoustics Reviews, HDR PQ EOTF/Gamma Calibration Discussion
Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Latest News

Netflix confirms ad-supported option is on the way
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Rotel announces 60th Anniversary Diamond Series Hi-Fi duo
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Paramount+ launches in the UK and Ireland
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
Hisense launches A9H 4K OLED TV
  • By Ian Collen
  • Published
What's new on UK streaming services for July 2022
  • By Andy Bassett
  • Published

Full fat HDMI teeshirts

Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom