Nearfield actives for Atom HE

Quick Q. Have tried the search and doesn’t seem that this is answered exactly.
Looking for SMALL active speakers to use on my desk with Atom HE when I don’t head headphones in my home office. Need XLR input and under £1k.
Need to be reasonably home looking. Genelecs are just too ugly……
AE1 Active - any one tried? OK near field?

Alternative would be a NAP150 used under the desk and some small cheap ,Q Acoustics….

Lots of active speakers will have XLR inputs, but the HE has both balanced XLR and single ended RCA outputs, so I wouldn’t exclude a speaker just because it lacked XLR sockets. Especially given that your cables will presumably be short in a nearfield setup, and the major benefit of balanced connections is that they are better for long cable runs.

This would certainly open up more options, albeit with an extra box to accommodate. If space is really at a premium, there are plenty of smaller power amps too, such as the shoebox Naim NAPs.

I have AE1 actives in a second system. Pretty speakers, especially on their dedicated stands and sound good, too. Whilst no match for my active ATC SCM40s at several times the cost, in their price range I reckon they’re very hard to beat. They have class A/B amps, if that matters, and balanced XLR inputs, so long cables are no problem.


Roger, thanks.
What are they like close up? Do they need space to sound ok?
My plan is low volumes on the desk in front of me.

Mine are about 160cm, tweeter to tweeter and a similar distance from the listening position. I guess that counts as nearfield? There’s about 40 cm between the back of the speakers and the wall behind and the left one is around 25cm from a bookcase to one side. They do have controls on the back which allow a small amount of bass and treble boost and cut to allow for some adjustment in position. I have them on the dedicated stands, so I’m not sure how they’d sound on a desk. I suspect putting them on mini stands would be beneficial, but that’s purely a guess.


mine would be 1m apart, 80cm from listening position and backs to the wall…

Kef Lsx ?

From « Numeriques « site.


I have an Atom HE that I want to use as DAC/pre I need a passive speaker + NAP or an Active with power only. No need for wireless, built in DAC etc.

1 Like

… but they are very good…

Yes, maybe, but I can’t look at those all day.

I use Qacoustics on my desk but if I was after actives, I’d almost certainly go for PMC Result6 nearfield monitors.

Bit pricey but took me into the world of studio monitors… Rokit RP-5 G4 look to be about what I need.

I have an Atom HE with Genelec 8020D’s. They look better in the flesh (high quality aluminium), but I still wouldn’t describe them as beautiful. They fit my desk aesthetic well enough.

Sound wise, they are neutral, precise and transparent, as you’d expect. I find them a touch sterile, but I guess that reflects the monitor heritage. Given the small size they don’t generate a lot of bass, so I’m toying with getting the accompanying subwoofer to see how that balances them out. Suspect this will help, but probably won’t overcome the slightly boring presentation.

What I like about them is the dip switches on the back which allow you to adjust the frequency to accommodate real-world limitations around desktop setup and distance to back walls. This removes all of the challenges I’ve had with positioning traditional speakers for nearfield listening. I also like the extensive range of products that Genelec offer which allows you to find a size of speaker that perfectly fits your environment.

So, in short, this is the best speaker I’ve found so far for desk / nearfield listening. I did have some Proac Tab 10 Sigs on demo which were great on a desk set-up, but just took a bit too much real estate up and didn’t want to be too close to the back wall to sound their best. They did sound good though :slight_smile:

1 Like

My desk is more domestic….
I’ve just picked up a pair of Rokit RP5 G4 in white.
I can sell them on if I don’t like them, but they have good reviews and built in EQ.
Will report back.

Probably the last thing I thought you’d pick… :upside_down_face:

1 Like

small, clean, modern look. Doesn’t look like something out of an ‘ICT dept store’ - Kind of Apple style…

I guess I’m just used to looking at Genelecs…

Interesting to see that the KRKs use DSP for the EQ.

1 Like

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder :slight_smile: