What's your picks

Object: 12x15 ft room in an apartment 

Product: speakers 

Budget : $1-2k  (new or used)

What would you try to place in this design & budget?

(No sub will be used)

Looking for ideas. I listen to ALL genres of music.


JBL 580 or 590 are on sale 50% which is an amazing deal. At full retail they are still a good deal based on sound quality. 60 day trial and free shipping both ways.

$1000 for a pair of 590s and $600?!? For a pair of 580s.




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I am not a fan of ports, if port, front only, especially in an apt.

However, check the technology of those Joseph Audios soix found, he makes terrific speakers, however they have a rear port. IF you have plaster or brick or outside walls, then


They have Richard Modafferi Infinite Slope Technology which is amazing,

I owned JSE Infinite Slope Model II’s, no ports, sound incredible, if not too big, keep in mind you will probably move to .......?



here’s a pair of smaller JSE’s, no ports (never heard this model)


other JSE’s on hifishark



Magnepan LRS+ or .7 ....Magnepans can be great in apartment as their bass travels less through walls and floors...yes they are big, but you can easily slide away from wall when needed...

At that price point, I really liked the KEF LS50 metas.  You can find them used for around $1k

JBL 4309's come to mind. They have received many favorable reviews and can be had on sale for $1400. They are typically $2k.

Buchardt Audio S400 MKIIs......about $1,700 used. I've had them for a couple of years, and am still loving their sound. Wide and high soundstage (though average on depth), really good instrument location and separation, nice tight and detailed bass, and extraordinary mids, vocals are a standout. There are dozens of positive reviews to be found.

They do not have a port, but instead have a passive radiator which allows them to be close to the front wall....I have mine about 14" right now.

I heard these at the Pacific Audio Fest and I gotta tell you, I was impressed:


I don't even need a pair and I wanted to buy them. And later on if you move, you can pair with a sub and they're really amazing. Happy hunting!

Happy listening.

Magnepan LRS+ or .7 might be a good recommendation if you like that sound and have the proper amplification. I'm certainly having fun with my .7's and I've had probably close to a dozen speakers. 

the two main options in this price range are to go with an entry model of a boutique brand or the middle of the road model of a commercial brand, and mostly I mean used.

such as

boutique | mainstream

Fritz          Dynaudio

Spatial      Klipsch

Totem        Revel

Buchardt   Polk

Nola          Wharfedale




I had a pair of Magnepan 1.7i in a room that size an the sound was exceptional. You should be able to find a used pair in that range. Hopefully you have the space to properly set them up. I have since moved up to the 3.7i in the same room.


@johnto , my speakers have to be close to the front wall and 1 corner wall due to the floor plan and walkways/ doors. Great suggestion though. I'm so tempted to get those Salk and try to make them work, but I think I really need to resist forcing a speaker into my room when a lower quality one might give better overall sound simply because it fits the space better. I really need to remind myself that bigger doesn't necessarily equal better in this situation.

@mesch I am using a Yamaha integrated, but have been considering keeping my current Acoustic Energy towers while I upgrade to either a pass labs integrated, anthem str integrated (does this have arc?), or maybe a benchmark ahb2 with a dac 3hcg as a dac & preamp combo to do better justice to better speakers. I saw a mcintosh for sale, but I'm not sure about that. I'm quite indecisive and overwhelmed so I keep trying to squirrel monet away for "someday".

@grislybutter I like your chart as I own 2 of the 5 boutique speakers (Nola and Spatial). Plus I've listened to and like the Buchardt and Totem speakers. I haven't seen or heard Fritz speakers. 

@dz13 thank you, I have been collating a list of speaker brands, and speakers, that I plan to post shortly. Unfortunately I only have seen and heard a fraction of them