New active speaker recommendations for kitchen

Hi all,

I am expanding my Network, I just installed Ethernet into my house, the next phase will be to add the kitchen in. Currently I am running a single Sonos Play:1 (wirelessly) which I would like to upgrade, I might move it to a bedroom. Anyway, I am thinking of moving over my Raspberry Pi/IQAudiODAC to the kitchen and I would like it to feed a new active pair of speakers, ideally with phono inputs.I have had a good look around and not landed on anything yet. So, does anyone have any recommendations?

The speakers would sit on a secondary cabinet in the kitchen, where stuff gets dumped before being tidied away, so they can’t be massive. I did like the Ruark Audio MR1 Mk2 but the other half thinks the fabric covers will get dirty in a kitchen environment and they are immovable unfortunately.

As for budget, not sure, says £200-£400.

Bluesound Pulse Mini.

A second Sonos one and use them in stereo, they sound so much better that way. Just a thought.

That’s what I have in my bedroom. The sound is certainly reasonable, at times I have issues with a ‘Roon lost control of the transport’ error, but a restart of the Roon software running on my MBP core usually fixes it. I’ve been happy with my choice and would recommend it. I think I paid around $299 USD for the pair of Play:1 speakers. No Alexa support, and won’t be compatible with Apple AirPlay 2, but they work just fine with Roon!

If you are ok with rpi maybe look at some of the amp based dac options like iqaudio digiamp+ I have a few of these in the house with decent book shelves and or even satellite speakers and good results. I even have one with 7” display with ropieee loaded and that allows for pause/next etc track interface. Wife is good with it. Keep the speakers off of the counters too

Powered (not active), i use the Q acoustic BT3 in the kitchen with a RPi end point. Do a solid job.

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Audioengine A5+ are good. Or even A2+

Or a pair of active monitors like the Rockit KRK 5’s or ADAM A3X. Don’t be put off by a pair of so call “monitor speakers” over “hifi”. They all play music. If you can consider a pair of active monitors then options flourish.

I have a pair of ADAM A5X’s which are great in my office or kitchen. I rotate duties with a pair of KEF X300A’s, also excellent; I saw them on Amazon for a stupidly low price the other day of 300 quid!

I have a pair of Bluesound Pulse Flex in the kitchen in stereo mode. They are Roon Ready so they really just need a power cable (I also run them wired to the LAN). They have 5 preset buttons on top so they also function as a good old transistor kitchen radio for me:)

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If you do not want to go further down the Sonos or Blusound routes, a RPi +IQAudioDigiAmp has a lot to commend it. It gives you the flexibility to choose any passive speaker. Many speakers have cloth grills though, but most are removable. You can swap your current HAT for a DigiAmp version easy enough.

I 2nd QAcoustics BT3. I love mine and they have phono and optical ins. You can pick up the red ones cheap to.

Thanks for all the replies. I am going to float the QAcoustics as suggested by @Matthew_Clegg and @CrystalGipsy past the other half and see how it goes. However I am also thinking about switching hats on the Pi as suggested by @Anthony_Bates and @wizardofoz. The upside to this if I do use the Pi, it will open up the need for new DAC solution for my living room, which is always exciting. I doubt I could get them into the kitchen.

As for monitor speakers mentioned by @Sallah_48 I actually have some Adam F5 in my PC set-up running off a Arcam irDAC-II and they sound brilliant however they are a little lacking in the looks department.

I need to read up a bit on the Bluesound Pulse mini as suggested by @Chrislayeruk as I don’t have much experience of them. I have also had a quick look to see if I could pick up a second sonos as suggested by @Phil_Wright1 and @kneville but they seem to hold there value well, even second hand.

A bit more thinking…

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Listening to mine right now, with Allo USBridge, Arcam irDac II, Grateful Dead Live in MQA sounds great.

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Here’s a few more thoughts on the same question.

What did I go for in the end?

Nothing as yet! Let me know how you get on. Wouldn’t surprise me if a new version of the q acoustics comes out soon…

Yep they are updating the range as they recently announced the Q3000i range and its getting harder to find the BT3’s. I might be looking to change my 2050 for the new ones as they have upped the spec again.

I use these for my computer room and they sound fantastic. Huge sound stage. Flat freq response. Detailed sound. Can maintain high SPLs with very little distortion.

Genelec Model One.Has owned a pair for several years. And they never dissapoint me when it comes to sound compaired to the size of the speaker.

Thanks all for the replies - these are all good speakers @CrystalGipsy, @Glenn_Stupak and @Per_Nilsson but I think all fail the other half test. However I do remember looking at all of these for my office system (I went for the Adam f5’s in the end).

In my kitchen I have AudioPro C5. Amazing sound signature, good features (Airplay, wifi, ethernet, two analog inputs…) and great looking & solid built. Also good price. 3 months so far and I love it.

Look at AudioEngine… Cheap but good.

My Emotiva pros sound great.