Budget bookshelf speaker advice

I’m looking for some bookshelf speakers for my 2nd (home office) system consisting of a UnitiQute 1 and Rega P3. I’m on quite a limited budget at the moment (due to house building project) so looking 2nd-hand up to around GBP300-ish (NZ$600). Smallish room around 12-14 sqm and to be mounted close to the wall. Mostly relatively lowish volume background use but still want something decent enough for proper listening at times. I won’t have the chance to demo these so I would appreciate the advice of the group.

Currently available options are;
Dynaudio Emit 10 (probably my pick at the moment)
Spendor 2020
Cabasse Surf
KEF Q1 and Q Compact
Q Acoustics 3020 and 2020
B&W (various like DM600, 686, DM303, but I understand B&W generally aren’t a great match with Naim)
Jamo Cornet 25
Any other options to consider? I have time to wait for other speakers to be listed.

Linn Tukans - pretty serious speakers for their current low price.
Mission MS50s - cheerful, cheap, but actually quite good.
Also if you need to put these on stands anyway - don’t forget the many small floorstanders - Rega RS3s etc.

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The dyns need a bit of room behind them… about 300mm I found,

Sonus Faber Lumina 1 could be another option. An ex demo pair may be in budget. Great speaker with Naim, I use these in a second system and I’m surprised you don’t hear them recommended more often.

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Neat Iota.

Or… Linn Kans…? Or maybe another from the LS3/5A size ‘pool’…?

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The Q Acoustics 3010i that I bought during the pandemic are fantastic for the money.


I’d second Neat Iotas. I have them with the Atom in my office which is even smaller than 12 sq m. They can be wall mounted on brackets which helps with placement. How widely available they are used in NZ I’m not sure, but they do play well with the Atom, so should do so with a UQ.

I’ve also heard Emits (they may have been 20s) driven by an Atom. This was at a show a few years ago and I thought that little system was making some of the most enjoyable sounds I heard that day. I was not alone in that assessment.


B&w can be a very good match with Naim, but my finding is that they need space to breath - a consequence of many rear ported loudspeakers. The smaller B&W’s are generally less efficient and need more powerful amps.

A while back there was a poll of what speakers members used with their Naim gear and B&W actually turned out to be the most popular brand IIRC.

I use the 702s2 with a Uniti Star and think it’s a great match.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone, appreciate it. You gave me some new options to consider.

@b-lilja @IanRobertM I don’t know much about the Linn speakers, thanks for the suggestion!

@LindsayM @PeakMan I’ve love a pair of Neat speakers but never seen any for sale here, and I’ve been watching for quite some time. Don’t think they were ever imported.

@Hifi-dog I did wonder about the space required for rear-ported speakers, and the Spendor specs something similar to the Dyn’s so I guess any rear port is going to need a bit of space. I do want to try bigger Dyn’s on my main (SuperNait) system at some point.

@Ardbeg10y @n-lot It’s interesting how different opinions pop up in different parts of the internet but this forum does seem to have more balanced views, I’look closer at B&W options now. Thanks!

@nitrous @Christopher_M Agree the Q Acoustics are fantastic, I’ve had a pair in the past. Still an option though I think I’d like to try something I haven’t had before. The Sonus Faber’s are beautiful but tend to be pricey here, something might turn up though.

Another popular pairing here with Naim were Totem, again typically a little over my current budget but something might be offered in the future.

I’m running emit m10s from my 5si. They are on wall brackets a few cms from the wall with the port bungs fully in. They sound great for what I need, not optimal but sound amazing and great vfm used. Look gorgeous too. Forgot to add, room is about 16sqm and mainly listen at low volume but crank it up when the neighbours are away.

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It’s true, but not as much as you often hear. It’s only so much that the airflow needs to not be impeded. A good rule of thumb is 1-1.5 times the diameter of the port. Some speakers in some room will of course benefit from being further away, but the port location becomes irrelevant past that distance.

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There have been a multitude of threads on much the same subject, worth a scan, e.g:

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