speakers for small room

I have a small living room. My amp is an Accuphase powering some Harbeth P3ESRs and a KEF KC62 subwoofer. Sounds great for acoustic and jazz. However, I also like big symphonic works and the Harbeths don't cut it for that. I'm looking for something more dynamic and something that can push more air to give me that grand experience of listening to big works. Any recommendations? Assume a budget of $10000.




"The room is 13’ x 11’ with 3 walls, the other side opening up to the rest of the house."

If I understand correctly, one side of your room is effectively a large opening into the rest of your house. If this is the case, then in the bass region your airspace is effectively your 13’ x 11" room PLUS "the rest of the house". This is good from the standpoint of modal effects in the bass region, but challenging from the standpoint of moving enough air to generate good bass impact.

Is the missing wall on an 11 foot side, or on a 13 foot side?

"Would a floorstander be too much?"

It depends on the specifics of course, but imo a floorstander is more likely to do what you want than a stand-mount speaker is, if I’m understanding correctly about your room essentially "missing" one wall. Imo some way of adjusting the bass characteristics of the speaker would be desirable.

"I’m looking for something more dynamic and something that can push more air to give me that grand experience of listening to big works."

What are your constraints as far as loudspeaker enclosure size goes?

And, what are the constraints on placement of those speakers?

Is this primarily for just one listener, or often for multiple listeners?  In other words, does the width of the "sweet spot" matter? 

Ime "that grand experience of listening to big works" is enabled when the spatial characteristics of the recording are perceptually dominant, as opposed to the "small room signature" of the playback room being perceptually dominant. To put it another way, envelopment/immersion is already on the recording (assuming it’s decent), and we want to keep the room from masking that. Briefly, this can be facilitated by minimizing the early reflections while encouraging the later-arriving reflections (and I can explain why if you’d like). Which leads to my next question: Can you orient your system such that the opening into the rest of the house is behind your listening position?


KEF Ref 1 really good.  Also DALI rubicon 6 for a smaller floor stander.  AB’d them both and was a very close call.

An update on how to use RAAL phones. I sold my amazing RAAL VM-1a tube headphone amp because I needed money for an amp for the Magnepan LRS+.

I had the new RAAL TI-1b 2-channel amp interface box ($800). I use that with the following:

  • Schitt Yggi+ Less is More DAC
  • Schitt Aegir amp ($800)
  • Schitt Mjolnir Class A preamp ($1100)

The above setup gets me to about 90-95% of the VM-1a tube amp ($7k). So one can get almost the best sound out the RAALs for a rather low price. I got this Schitt gear not because of the price, it was because of the sound.


BTW - The Mjolnir (sp?) is a headphone amp / preamp but I use it as a preamp only. It is not powerful enough for the RAAL CA-1a as a headphone amp. I also cannot use SR1a with them due to the need to do baffle compensation. I use the above Schitt setup as a 2-channel system.


Monitor Audio Gold 200. Specifically designyfor smaller rooms where room dictates placement closer to rear walls. Incredible build & finish, but most notably clean, transparent, and excellent dynamics. The dual rear ports can be individually plugged to tune the bass, both for extension and eliminating thickness on voices. 

Magico A3s work great in my 15’ sq listening room pushing them with Hegel H590. Anything bigger would probably be overkill. Retail for about 16k but available used for under 10. Picked mine up for 9 on the US Audio Mart site. I find that people will justify selling them at a loss when they find “end game” speakers at 50-60% of retail and decide to move up. All genres sound good to me on the A3. It’s the quality of the recordings that make the difference in listening pleasure.

I would definitely consider using dsp room correction. My results are night and day and I’ve tried to do room treatments in the past. Floor standers, room correction and at least one sub would be my suggestion. IMO Lyngdorf RP is the cats meow. I haven’t heard many others besides the cheapy home theater receivers room correction and it was not good for music. 

On the particular Lyngdorf unit if you play vinyl just be aware is digitizes everything. If you can get over that it sounds awesome, sounds like vinyl should. 

I recommended Pulsars earlier, but if your room can handle floorstanders I’d recommend the Perspective 2 as it’ll give you a bit more scale.

Another possibility would be Spatial Audio speakers that are a dipole design and are very good at scaling up depending on the music.


Just a couple more options for you to chew on. 

I missed the fact your room is open on one side.  So it appears you listen in an area that is smaller than the overall room side.  Seems like more information is needed.  Duke brings up several things to be taken into consideration.  To start, I think we need to know the overall room size and which wall is open in relation to the speakers and your listening position.

Small rooms do not mean small speakers. I really enjoy my 7 foot triangle of Klipsch, Cornwall and a small SVS micro 3000 subwoofer. You save money because you can buy yourself a nice little wattage tube amplifier and get the job done with dynamics and clarity and soundstage that will satisfy. 

I never answer any question for suggestion about speakers...

I dont have experience save with a few speakers brand ... Many here know more...

(But i know a bit about acoustic ...Few people ever tuned their room ... )

Because i did not want also to add another suggestion to a string of suggestions all different from all users... 😊

The other reason is for a small room any relatively good speakers will be tremendously upgraded in a small dedicated room by acoustic embeddings... But acoustic embeddings is not buying few panels and calling that purchase job done... People underestimate completely acoustics power... They think their room is already good even if the room is not designed around specfic speakers...

Another reason is my own cheap but good modified speakers ( the brand name does not matter for my purpose here ) became so good, i will be labelled a "liar" and a "tin foil hat" if i advocate them, with specific volume and diameter bundle of straws in the porthole and cardboard roll on the tweeter to increase the focus on the near listening position.. Add to that "my golden plates" homemade (shungite and copper tape on one side) as EMI blocker among other thinks all along with quartz around my speakers and connectors ...

I decrease crosstalk mechanically with separating wood panel because my speakers are on my desk , it is not perfect but it gives me a soundstage out of the speakers, depth and imaging... My speakers are damped and all connectors under "golden plate"... I use a NOS battery dac TDA 1543 to balance these active speakers analytic side ...The result is a natural timbre with details but no fatigue at all ...

It is useless i recommend my speakers here which i never used for music for 12 years because i hated them, even if they were well reviewed everywhere ; i hated them BEFORE creating all these modifications and a dedicated acoustic room around them, i did it all that for them in the last 6 months because i had no more other speakers after selling my house ...Now i loved them and i am afraid to replace them even with 1000 thousand bucks to do it...

If someone had  bought my well reviewed low cost speakers WITHOUT all these opmization and modifications he would like me 12 years ago call them "crap" or  low-fi with lack of bass at 80 hertz and a muddled one ...I go now 50 hertz with total clarity and punch... No need for a sub at all ...

Therefore what would be the reason for me to recommend any speakers because i dont believe too much in any reviews here anyway , when people are often unable to adress acoustic and optimization but always bought something to merely plug them and play ? And the costlier always must be the better...

I smile and pity because we pay for acoustics ignorance and embeddings control lacks ... It is more fun to learn and create our heaven than to think we can buy it without investing TIME in learning experiments ...

Someone for example who sell IMPROVED speakers posted music from his improved speakers on youtube; listening to it i prefer my files on my small optimized speakers because it seems on par ....This does not prove that my speakers modified are on par with his costlier product, no, i dont claim that , but this prove that my acoustic room/speakers is not far behind with active speakers modified which cost me 100 bucks 12 years ago ...😊

i will recommend to the OP acoustic experiments and not any costly speakers BEFORE studying...

it seems  for some i am deluded😁 because i am one of the few people happy passed this minimal acoustic threshold satisfaction where going further we pay a lot for a bit improvement on all acoustic factors ... What matter is the BALANCE between all acoustic factors, which balance can be reach at low cost modulo modifications, optimizations and acoustic ...

I wrote this post for people with very low budget here to say that studying help to go a long way with low cost good products... Hope for the best and study, experiment, and be creative... It pay a lot...



I have my Revel Salon 2 speakers in a smaller room, and they sound absolutely incredible there!!!  The Salon 2 speakers work so well in smaller rooms because they're so adjustable.  The Salon 2s tremble and bass settings can be adjusted and toned down to suit smaller rooms.  For example, because my room is smaller, I had to decrease the Salon 2s bass output by simply switching the bass setting from "Normal" to "Contour."  The "Contour" setting is designed to help prevent the Salon 2s bass from overpowering smaller rooms.  But, you still get deep, true full-range bass while in "Contour" mode, and it's just incredible!!!  The Revel Salon 2 speakers finally ended my long journey to find my ideal speaker for the foreseeable future, for which, my ears and my wallet are extremely grateful.