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View Full Discussion Where are people hearing they are power hungry? They are not high efficiency speakers, but most speakers aren't. These speakers are what you can call paradigm shifting. Before these you had to spend hundreds of dollars to get this sound.
I have a pair of these in my bedroom. I use a smsl Q5 pro. I have an old laptop hooked up and use a audio-engine D3 DAC from the usb port. I use the laptop only for music.
I can't remember what i paid for the Q5, I got it here at Massdrop. The D3 I got on audio-engines website, it was a refurb, for $50. (The Q5 has a DAC, but it was super Bright, the amp in the Q5 is already bright ~class D amp. So I bypass it, the amp itself was worth the money) It is safe to say the whole set-up cost me under $200.
Maybe that is too much for Technologists who are not really into audio, dont care, or just do not have an ear for it. But for that extra money you come way up on the returns vs. cost curve. The point of diminishing returns is probably around $500, IMHO. In other wods you make a huge jump in audio quality. If you have been using some PC accessory type of companys speakers like Logitech or worse, you will hear a huge difference.
I'm the kind of guy a lot of you probably hate, an audio snob. But I like the sound on that set up for "easy listening" before I go to bed, or in the morning when I am chilling out. The most important piece to your system are the speakers. These things are great. They are well reviewed (even stereophile magazine likes them) and have a buzz all over the user driven audio websites.
I use high res audio files I get from HDtracks.com. Or i rip CD's that I buy used from Amazon Prime . It dumbfounds me that you get higher resolution music for less cost than an itunes album this way, yet folks still buy shit itunes albums, or worse yet stream even shittier music? I do stream though Hearts of Space, HOS.com, at 128K. What can I say, I am a hypocrite. It still sounds great.
Realize though, these things are accurate and pretty transparent. So if you get a real crappy amp, do not use a DAC and/or are just running old Itunes files, it will reveal what you give it, so if you give it crap, they will put out crap. In other words, you may think "well that it is not much of an improvement?" This why people like BOSE, they alter the sound and make it pleasant. This is anathema to everything that a person that loves music is trying to achieve, which is transparency. THIS IS WHY SO MANY PEOPLE HATE BOSE. For me, if you just want some pleasant sound, can give a crap about the actual music and the artist, and do not mind paying inflated prices (that covers their huge marketing campaigns) than I see nothing wrong with the BOSE approach. A lot of PC companies that are getting into audio follow this approach.
BTW, the SMSL products are a lot of times surprisingly good at a very low cost. But, you may get a faulty one. There is no customer support, forget about returns. Treat the things extremely well, do not drop it for gosh sakes. Careful of the interfaces, do not stress them with your cables. Just have your expectations in order. They are made in china.
Oh lastly. At least use a nominally short USB cable that is well shielded, I am sure you all have one. For speaker wire, just get 12 or 14 gauge simple wire. Do not make it exceptionally longer that it needs to be. You do not need any fancy connectors.
tldr: pretty decent speakers.