The way to find good speakers requires a little legwork and you can’t do it online.
- Take your iPod/iPhone, (portable) DAC, or favorite good sounding CDs to an audio store
- Chase the salesman away and pull out a yellow pad or whatever note-taking app you have in your phone
- Play the first song on every speaker in the store, regardless of price and write down notes on how they sound
- Repeat the process with all of your reference songs
- Figure out which speakers sounded the best with the largest number of songs
- Now look at the prices and see what the bargain is
- Buy the speakers and take them home and set them up, paying attention to room acoustics
- Get a good prograde equalizer and balance the response
- Now, enjoy your music
Nowadays, my music reference is set and won’t be changed anytime soon. I usually bring HeadAmp Pico DAC or Wyred 4 Sound mINT if the audio store allows me to drive their speakers with it. When I chose my speakers, I also brought along with me, speakers that I bought online but I personally know the owner of the audio store. This is a unique case. It’s not like I didn’t buy anything from the store, I bought a lot of stuff from the store.
As usual, rules of thumb: spend less on amp and DAC, more on the speakers, and a bit more on room acoustics.