Bookshelf speaker for an apartment

I rented a 1BR apartment as a 2nd home and want to upgrade my speakers.  I currently am using Totem Mini's through a Denon AVR-X6200.  My speakers in my main system in my home are Sopra 2's.  Due to Covid I am unable to audition speakers but have read good things about the Focal Chora 806, Aria 906 ane the B&W 707.  I would like to keep the budget under $1000 for the pair but go a bit higher for the right speaker.  I welcome suggestions.  Thank you.
2nd home, apt, I would go for a decent pair of bookshelf, 6-1/2" woofer, not ported, somewhat wide dispersion of tweeter, and add a self powered sub, just to add a bit more bass, only aware of the sub when you turn it off.

I'd go used, get more for less, buy with returns accepted, ask questions, ...

Personally I found a used pair of  Bowers & Wilkins B&W DM100i, and use my old Velodyne 12" self powered sub, just because I had it, a smaller sub would do. For primary music system, if subs, I recommend a stereo pair of subs, located with the mains, for directional bass.

If not going to be involved with imaging, decent music throughout the place, off center location, a bose 'sound everywhere' 901 would do it.
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Thanks, they do look cool.  Such a bad time to shop without the abilty to listen.  I think I will need to wait and hopefully things will open up in a month or two.  I'm a shopper so I will revisit then.  

Thank you.
The 906 are hard to beat in that price range. They sound big and detailed and there is nothing offensive about them imo. Not sure that Denon is going to do any of these justice though. 
Silverline Minuet Supreme Plus sound fabulous, look great, aren’t hard to drive and do well with mass market components (although will yield the benefits of better electronics), and are only $699/pr new.  Best of luck. 
Honestly....underwood lsa bookshelfs..they were made to mirror the joseph audio pulsar i believe and came very close..very. 
A pair of Vandy VLR's would be my suggestion. 
I use them in my office mounted near the ceiling at opposite corners and pointed at my desk.
Don't let the diminutive size fool you, these speakers can rock with the right equipment/cables.
Paired with a Belles Aria Integrated and you have the beginnings of a great system.
I would contact a local dealer. Many are closed to the public, but will open for an appointment.
There is a dealer near me that sells B&W and Vandy.  They also have closeout on a NAD T758 for $499.  I will check them out.
I can also recommend the Focal 906s.   I have them in my family room sitting beside my TV (very close to the back wall) driven by a Rega Brio 2017 and for the money I think they are excellent.    Detailed and punchy without being too forward or bright.   The front port works well for such a poor room placement.   I spend a lot of time listening to them with Roon instead of going to my main room (Pass 250.8+Spendor D9) as they just sound very good!   I've also tried Vandersteen VLRs in the same system and they are very musical and very easy to listen too, but for my tastes they lacked the resolution and punch I was looking for.
the focal and b&w's don't have any low end. If you like Totem, get a used pair of the Model 1's or spend a little more and get a used pair of the Hawks or Forests. Then in the future if you want to upgrade your amp, then the totems would even sound better
The contemporary small bookshelf standard is the KEF LS50. They are almost giving them away at Accessories4Less. Unless your room is really small, they will need to be supplemented by a sub. If so; I suggest one of the budget sealed SVS models, they sound great, are built to last and don’t cost a lot.

I recommend the KEF R100S if you can find a pair.  Also you  can grab a good used amp and for $1,000 the whole system is upgraded. But it all depends on the music, your ears, and how loud you want it.  There is a lot of good gear.  I am guessing for $1,000 you can have a nice little setup.  We could all list lots of mixes and options, but I prefer one sound and my friend is the opposite.  Maybe a nice Klipsch is more your direction. 

Best of luck.

04-19-2020 4:52pm
the focal and b&w’s don’t have any low end. If you like Totem, get a used pair of the Model 1’s or spend a little more and get a used pair of the Hawks or Forests. Then in the future if you want to upgrade your amp, then the totems would even sound better.
re: Totem Model One
Having owned three pairs, both standard and two pairs of Totem Model One Signatures, they truly need a weighty amplifier to perform their absolute best. No whimpy flea-watt triode amps need apply here. Tried it all. Think Big Iron Class-A/AB Solid State or higher power Tube amps. They thrive with high current amplifiers up to 250wpc SS or at least Tube 50w strapped triode or 100w ultralinear tube amplification can sound huge with these compact monitors. Signature version with bi-wire worth the extra $ IMO.
Focal 906s are well over $1K. But the new Chora 706 is not. Also like Revel M-16s. Don’t expect much low end from any mini with a 5” woofer. 6.5” is the minimum unless you are adding a sub. 
Decooney- I agree that’s why I mentioned when he upgrades his amp in the future the totems will sound better. Even with his current setup, the totems would sound better than the focal or b&w.
I sold all my Totems (multiple pairs of mani II’s, model 1 biwire, arro’s, and mites) and went all usher. Usher speakers don’t require the beefy amps to make them sound their best until you get up to the top of the line floor standers. I’ve had 7 different pairs of ushers and still use a few of them now.
Both the Focal and B&W are speakers that pay particular attention to how the top end and having a house sound.

Compare to Fritz or Joseph Audio for a very different presentation.

Pick the best sounding and cheapest among them. :)
I may get laughed at, but I have the Pioneer EBS/73 bookshelves and they rock. $400 a pair maybe a little lower. Has anyone else had a chance to listen to these speakers?
On the classifieds here I saw a few that might fit the bill, again depending on the sound preferences of your ears, and if you are looking for low end or, efficient, volume, etc.  You could also add a sub later if you find the need.B&W Natulilus SCM1 are front ported, and used here on AG for $850, Focal 906 here for $911, Paradigim Prestige 15B for $900, Dynaudio Excite X14 for $800, KEF LS50 $790, Revel Preforma M20 $750 with stands even, and more of course some for less.  I have seen a few Spendors for this range, but usually a bit older.  Depends on how much the beautiful cabinet means, and physical size. I do agree if you can find sealed or front port you are likely better off if jammed for bookshelf space.  But these are ones I would enjoy for different reasons. There are some fairly decent powered units out there for around that amount as well, then just hook up a small digital source unit. 
What source do you use?  I think the speakers you have suit your situation. Are the totems bi-wire able? Perhaps a matching sub might be an option. With the home theatre amp, you can bi-wire using separate speaker outputs, it has a sub out option , dependant on the bass output inside your room. "Totem also offers a matching KIN Mini Sub subwoofer ($800), which lowers the frequency response down to a respectable 32 Hz"
I just uncrated a pair of Andrew Jones DBR 62 past Friday.  Speakers placed several feet from back wall, more mid-room.  In other words, not the ideal placement for enhancing lower frequencies.  

Experience thus far, while only several hours, appears that the speakers will reproduce sound stage, imaging as recorded.   So bad recordings will sound badly.   Fortunately, the converse is true ... Don Fagan's Kamikiriad was heavenly ... while a 1980s  AAD recording of Beethoven's Fifth Piano concerto was shrill. 

At sub $800 please consider these!   I believe these babies sourced with Roon or a decent DAC (with proper placements) will be a mind blower!  Good luck!  
Thank you all for so many good suggestions.  I am still not used to being in an apartment and listening to music and theater the way I am used to.  In my home theater I have the following:

Sopra 2 Fronts
Sopra Aria Center (due to space limits)
B&W 805D3's Rears (Fronts prior to the Sopra's)
2 REL T7i's
Anthem AVM60
Parasound A52+

So for the part time apartment I don't think I want to go with a sub or too crazy in price.  I have not yet heard any of the speakers we are discussing but my gut is leaning toward the Focal Chora or Aria, although I had not considered upgrading to better Totems which is an interesting idea too. I do plan on upgrading the Denon to a better multi-channel receiver.

Thanks again all.
Good call on the Focal Aria 906 (I’m a former owner). It’s an enjoyable speaker that has good detail without being harsh. Beautiful imaging and a very transparent treble. Doesn’t have the deepest bass, but it’s fine for its size. The new Chora line has gotten some mixed reviews - I think the Aria would be much better.

Good luck!
P.S. - another nice benefit to the Aria is that it's front ported, so you have some leeway with positioning them closer to the back wall if you ever need to.
If you heard them and liked them, buy them.  It's your ears that need to be happy.  I was happy last night with my small speakers (R100s) becase they needed to be quieter at 2:00am.  Using Arcam amps with Parasound Pre.  It's a warm sound. 
IMO I would go with the Aria or the Chora. They are a better match to the X6200.
Check out the Ascend Sierra 2-EX. It’s a bit above $1000, but you get impressive 33hz-27khz frequency response, a RAAL ribbon tweeter for exquisite highs and a 7 year warranty.

i have the RAAL towers which use similar drivers and they have a wonderfully balanced and nuanced sound.
I’ve got a pair of music culture rl-21. Maybe the only pair for sale in the us. They will be your endgame compact loudspeaker. They were designed by Wolfgang meletsky of mbl fame. Music culture is his company. They are stunning. I’d let them go with stands for 2k. Research them if you can stretch your budget. 
Has anyone had experience with Accessories For Less?  They have some Focal Factory Refurbs with full warranty.  
Meridian DSP3200 Digital Powered Bookshelf Speakers; Pair; SpeakerLink (21590)Listing ID: lis9ib05 Classified  Listed April 12, 2020 6:16pm · 126 Views
This thread went about as they usually do, many suggestions which all offer very different sounding results.  Which sound will the OP like?  Hard to say, but a few things should be kept in mind;

With a 1K budget, some really great sounding options are possible, but you'll be in a category of transparency where everything starts to matter to the end result sonics.  Speaker cable, interconnects and amp.  I've got a 5 yr old Denon flagship AVR, the 4520, and I hope that the Denon X6200 has better 2 channel performance than my 4520 with Totem Hawks.   AVR's are best for movies, not music.

Well I ended up pulling the trigger today.  I ordered Factory Refurbished Aria 906 in Black for $899 and full 5 year warranty.  I am hoping they are in the perfect condition that they claim.  I will keep you posted when I receive them and test them out.  
First of all  I have to say I am impressed with the service.   I ordered the Aria 906 yesterday and I received them today at 11:15 with free delivery.  I was pretty surprised.
I set them up immediately although I do not have stands yet so they are on my TV stand right next to my TV, and the easiest way to get started was to play some of my artists on Pandora. 

I listened to a couple of songs and it sounded good, but of course Pandora is not the best source.  I went into my office to reply to an email and all of a sudden I jumped from seat in a wow moment.  Dire Straits, Once Upon a Time in the West came on  the speakers really shined.  Great detail and clarity, but yet a comfortable warmth.  It was a moment of affirmation that I made the right move. 

I then played some other artists like Eva Cassidy, Delta Rae and Joe Bonamassa and the speakers sound great without the best conditions or equipment.  They are not my Sopra 2's, but hard to imagine a better pair of bookshelves for $899.  Needless to say I am pleased with the purchase and the vendor.

I am sure I will upgrade my Denon soon and probably get a sub, which they do need btw.  

The bass will be much better and tighter with a high current amp IME. May still want a sub. 
If you think the sound is good now, try a nice 2 channel integrated like a hegel H190, h360, or a newer Mcintosh, or even the new ps audio integrated and you will be blown away how much better everything will sound
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OK Focal Aria 906.   Good Choice and a great choice given the price I see on the A4L website.  Others mentioned KEF LS50, and at current prices a downright bargain.

I would have suggested QUAD S1 or S2.  Small ported bookshelf speakers, with ribbon tweeters that many believe sound better than the LS50.
Ascend Acoustics makes some really nice gear. Their more expensive bookshelf speakers would be in your budget on the used market. 
I totally agree with the idea of getting sealed bookshelf speakers. I find the sound of sealed/acoustic suspension systems to be superior in several ways, though you do need some power to make them open up. You can also place these closer to the rear wall than any ported speaker.

I have experience with 2 really excellent sealed 2-ways:
  • ATC SCM12 Pro: 6" woofer makes astounding bass. This is a studio monitor that also makes music very dynamically & accurately. The sound is huge--I'll never sell these
  • Aerial Acoustic 5Bs: Very similar in size but somewhat different sound--a little more "air" on top and a slightly more forward, nuanced midrange. If I didn't love the ATCs so much I'd keep these...but they'll soon be F.S. BTW the wood is beautiful.
I have a pair of Focal 906, on stands. Rarely use my sub. Absolutely gorgeous sound. I like the LS50 a lot, but the 906 is twice as efficient and has more bass. Front ports allow placement flexibility in small apts. Check them out. Theres nothing not to like. Wide soundstage too.
I did my first serious listening last night as I received my stands.  I have to agree with all the reviews, they sound great.  Very natural, very musical and full bodied at both lower and higher volume.  I even felt my sofa vibrate a bit from the base which really surprised me.  And they are totally non fatiguing.  I may still get a sub and will probably get my Aria center next time I'm home, but this was a very good purchase and a darn good sound for an apartment, for not a lot of money.

Thanks again to everyone for their input.