Larsen or Neat?

Thinking bout get one of these for a Nova or a Goldnote IS-1000 Deluxe (any recommendation well appreciated).

You know, nowadays apartments, recently moved to a small one with a 18-20sqm living room, and they must be place close to rear wall, one of them cannot be place more than 20-30cm from right side wall, the left one got like 2.5m.

Been reading bout Neat Xplorer or Alpha? and Larsen 6.2, any thoughts?

Thanks in advance!

Whilst far from huge, that is somewhat larger than a typical UK house lounge!

thing is, little bit weird, kind of open kitchen.

I can’t help with your choice of speaker, never having heard either, but given your added comment it might help with suggestions to give more details about the shape and layout of the room, including the sitting space you have and length/width. If it is rectangular then sitting with the kitchen part behind you might be beneficial, with rear reflecting wall some distance behind, as long as that doesn’t result in you sitting in the centre front to back.

Speakers have the biggest effect of any system component on the sound character, then modified by the room, so whilst people may make selections, if at all possible you need to hear before buying. Ideally that should be in your home, though if at home isn’t possible then taking some speakers you’ve heard at home and know the character of, together with your amp if the seller doesn’t have the same, can let you get used to the different sound compared to home, to better asses others against them.

Both Neats are imho brilliant and not hard to accommodate, but they major on fun and vigour, not perfect tonal neutrality.

Alphas are tiny and have more bass than you think from looking at them, but Xplorers can offer a geed deal more - nearly as much as my much larger B&W 804 D3s.

Downward firing means neither belongs on a shag pile, and many like Isoascoustics Gaias instead of spikes, esp on a bouncy wooden floor.

Neither needs lots of space round them, but tight to a wall may well not sound right - I’d suggest 30cm minimum in any direction as a starting point. Given what you say about placement, this may be a problem. However, having one speaker 20cm from a sidewall and the other a long way from a side wall is likely to have an effect on SQ from just about any speaker - is there any wriggle room on this?

Tweeters inside or tweeters outside? Try both - they sound slightly different.

A Nova works really well with iota Alphas. The Xplorers offer more, and are still pretty small and easy to live with, but they will also show the benefit if you ever want to go beyond a Nova.

I don’t know the Larsens or Goldnote products at all, so can’t help at all with comparisons, but I hope that’s of some help.


A few years back when I was looking to replace my PMC GB1i speakers, I borrowed a pair of Larsen Model 6 speakers for a few weeks. I quite liked them, particularly the against the wall positioning. In the end, they didn’t quite do it for me and I ended up with Shahinian Compass speakers which work on a similar angled driver arrangement.

As with any speaker, one to audition at home to see what you think.


That’s a handy comparator because I still have a pair of Compasses in my bedroom and have heard a Nova through them and through Xplorers - the Xplorers have more foot-tapping vigour, more detail and more air and are better all round imho. Other ears and other rooms…


I owned the baby Larsen, the Model 4.2’s for almost five years. Mine were used with a Naim Uniti1 and it was a very fun and enjoyable system, one that made me forget about all of the “hifi” crap and just enjoy the music.

Larsen’s aren’t for everyone of course, they do have a certain sound to them that typical front firing box speakers will not give, I liked them though for their “live sound and staging”. The other thing was that they freed up a lot of floor space.

I also happen to like Neats as well, and I think there is merit to either solution, as they are somewhat similar in how they project the music, not saying they sound the same though. A home audition of course is always best. Have fun on your journey and enjoy your music!


The Compasses were meant to be stop gap speakers but stayed a lot longer than intended - they just made lovely music and I really liked them. They do like a bit of volume and then wake up. I’ve kept them for another system upstairs, once I clear out one of our spare rooms.

Hard to beat Neat speakers though :+1:

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I moved the Compasses upstairs too - they work well with an Atom, but weren’t disgraced at all over a decade with LP12, 82, HC, 250. The are very engaging imho, but (as you say) are not at their best at low volume and can also get confused/ losing detail if music gets both loud and complicated.


thanks guys!!

What about Motive SX2?

The SX2 are great speakers, and are reasonably unfussy about positioning, but they are not an ‘against the wall’ design and really need 30cm if space behind them.
I haven’t heard them in the same room or system as the Xplorers but I think you’ll find that SX2s aren’t really in the same league.

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I’d highly recommend the Nova + Neat Iota Alphas. A really good match and mine don’t seem to be fussy about placement. As noted above, they are fun and surprising, the tweeter is sweet and airy and the bass is very solid.

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Problem with asking for suggestions re speakers everyone has their favs and ultimately the responses can be very subjective. Best advice is to get out there and listen to as many options as you can . Take your own music once you’ve narrowed the list to a few and if possible arrange a home demo.

Good luck.

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