KEF X300A vs. Audioengine A5+ (with Schiit DAC)

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
is there a reason why you're wanting powered speakers and a dac instead of passive speakers with a receiver? passive speakers would give you quite a bit more choice in terms of bookshelves.

the schiit is a good 2.0 dac. not much to be said besides that. its half the price of a low end receiver though which would pair well with entry level bookshelves so unless you really want to go the powered route and a small dac [if you have very little space for instance] it may make more sense to go passive with an amp/receiver.

not sure about the a5 but i know the a2 is very fussy with placement and i would not expect much bass out of them. no experience with kef.

http://www.wirerealm.com/guides/top-10-best-studio-monitor-speakers may be worth a look. i've heard of the av40's being decent value though again, powered speakers arent my real area of expertise.

if you go unpowered, pioneer bs22's are nice, klipsch has the icons, if you're in uk/europe wharfdale diamond 9 or 10's are good.

i'm sure americanaudiophile or one of the others will be along to suggest a few more brands or ideas.
 

porkhips

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Dec 5, 2015
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Honestly, I would prefer to have an all in one powered speaker - speaker/amp/dac. The reason for me is simple - it's not my main audio system (I already have one in a separate room), and it's not my home theatre system (have one of those, too). I want something that's good, but not where I am needing to buy all these components and turning it into a miniature version of the two systems I already have. Just something that I can enjoy music and movies from when I am in my office all day working.

The KEF is an all in one. The A5+s would need a DAC, and the Schist Modi 2 is cheap and good (especially for this specific set-up). So that's about as much gear as I would want to buy for a casual, while working set-up. I don't want to have to dig into passive speakers, amp, pre and dac - it's way overkill for something that is NOT a primary system.

 

ien2222

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Mar 28, 2010
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For me, I'd pick the KEF.

I've listened to the R100 (which is passive) which should be rather similar to the X300A's and liked them better than the A5+'s, overall I believe it gives you a better soundstage. That and the fact that you want a simple setup, it just seems like it would be the best way to go.

 
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