Help choosing speakers for casual / room-wide listening [Archive] - Audio & Video Forums


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08-18-2013, 09:01 AM
Hello, I have been doing tons of research, but I can't seem to find the information that I need. I want to set up a speaker system in my living room just to use for music in a casual setting, IE when we have guests over or while were cleaning the house. My problem is, everything I read about quality speakers seems to assume your going to be sitting in the "sweet spot", which is never going to happen for me. How do I tell what speakers are going to sound good anywhere in the room? The reviews I am reading don't mention this.

I have a Harman Kardon AVR 340 7.1 receiver I grabbed on craigslist, and my original intention was to pair that with a set of Bose 301s since I know they work good for background music, and I like the sound of them. Also they look good for the wife, and work without a sub which is important to me because I want to keep the setup minimal.

Is there a good alternative to the Bose 301s? I would love to get a higher quality speaker for the same or less money, but all these recommendations I see look like they are intended for critical listening, IE "sweet spot" positioning and "accurate" sound vs "pleasant" sound, which is not my goal. I also don't have a lot of time or knowledge to spend tweaking the sound profile myself, I would prefer to just hook it up, choose a preset, and have it sound great. Any recommendations or insight are appreciated, thanks!

08-18-2013, 09:08 PM
If you can increase your budget to about $400 you can get some nice sounding for casual listening. The speakers listed below will greatly outshine the Bose 301's which will sound like a transistor radio compared to any of the speakers listed below

Mordaunt-Short - Aviano 2 - Bookshelf Speakers-Audio Advisor (

Saturday Audio ( Check out the PSB specials of Bstock or refurbished speakers. My favorite are the PSB B6's, these are well reviewed and excellent sounding. I have a pair that I bought from them. The B5's are nice too.

Here are some reviews on the B6-

PSB Image B6 loudspeaker | (

6moons audio reviews: PSB B6 (

Here are some other speakers-



The Epos above are a steal at that price, here is a review on them-

Epos Epic 2 loudspeaker | (

You could not go wrong with any of these speakers but the PSB B6's and Epos are probably the best out of the bunch.

08-18-2013, 11:08 PM
Thanks Raven!

They look like excellent picks, but pushing my budget more than I would like. I keep seeing the "Pioneer SP-BS22-LR Andrew Jones" recommended as budget bookshelf speakers, so I am thinking I will swing by Best Buy tomorrow and see how they sound.

08-19-2013, 05:56 AM
You will not get much room filling sound with those Pioneers that have a 4" woofer. They will be especially bass thin.

Here are a few more budget friendly speakers-

Boston Acoustics CS26II Black 2-way bookshelf speaker | (

BIC Venturi DV62si Bl 6-1/2" 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker Pair 303-402 ( Bic America FH-65B Bookshelf Speakers 350 Watt 6.5IN 2 Way (each): Electronics (

Mordaunt-Short - Aviano 1 - Bookshelf Speakers-Audio Advisor (

Polk Audio RTi A1 (Black) Bookshelf speakers at (

Polk Audio TSi200 (Cherry) Bookshelf speakers at (

By the way, all speakers have a sweet spot, some are wider than others. I would not worry about it if all you are looking for is good background music. I would just consider buying a speaker that will not strain to fill the room with sound. How big of space is your listening area?

harley .guy07
08-19-2013, 06:12 AM
Pioneer also makes a floorstanding speaker in the same line of speakers so if more low end is needed then they would be the way to go unless space is an issue. I have heard real good things regarding the Pioneers both in bookshelf form and floorstanding form and they are not expensive to boot. As far as placement you are going to get good sound without being in the sweet spot as far as tonally you just will miss the imaging and soundstaging qualities that the sweet spot brings.