My little brother is finally making the leap from TV speakers to a basic 5.1 setup, and looking to me for advice. The problem is any speaker I've recommended is way too big and on the high side of his price range. I am worried he is going to spend $500 on a crappy 5.1 "system-in-a-box" than includes 6 worthless speakers. Can anyone recommend a good bookshelf speaker < $200 a piece that is smaller than 6" in any dimension? I think I can talk him into a real subwoofer, but any speaker needs to extend down to a reasonable crossover point.
I GI friend of mine just returned from Iraq and rented a small apartment. He went out and bought a sony Bravia 3d tv in 47 (ish) inch and then paired it with an LG 5.1 surround system. I shudder to say this, but it is not terrible. For his movies and X-box it is not too bad. He is a twenty year old kid in a one bedroom apartment that drives an old Olds Delta 88. So it fits his lifestyle. And I am hoping that the break into better SQ will be the first step on his way to audiophile. The little LG theatre in a box is okay and way cheap.
What about the rockets that a member has for sale here...
Focal 836V left/right
Focal CC800V center
Focal 836V matching surrounds
Rythmik F15HPCI subs
This is the latest version of one of the most highly rated reasonable priced sub/satellite systems, period. At one time I owned two sets of the original Take Five at $800 each. This price is a steal!
Please understand with any speaker in the 6" high range you need a sub period! It would usually crossover from the other five speakers in the 100-125Hz range. This means keep the sub up at the front of the room, somewhere near the left, center and right speakers. Whatever he buys, do not let him buy the little cube system that rhymes with Hose (kill him first, he'll thank you! ;D).
Energy Take Five Classic 5.1 system (five speakers and sub) $399
I just purchased a pair of Paradigm Atoms (V2) off Audiogon for $100 + shipping. These are pretty darn good little speakers and would work quite well as the main speakers for a surround sound setup as long as you have a decent subwoofer to fill in at 100 Hz and below.
I would suggest that your friend start to scan Audiogon and Videogon for deals on satellite speakers and a sub...
I found these on Videogon, $150 ea. and he has 5 of them. However, they do not match his 6" requirement. An odd requirement, no?
The Audioengine speakers are very good. I don't have the P4 but I do have the A2 and the A5. Both have excellent SQ and play surprisingly low for their respective sizes. The P4 is 9 inches in height so does not qualify for your 6" or smaller requirement. They do come in gloss white and they look very nice in white.
Orbs are good too but you will need to xo the sub at about 120 or slightly higher if you have a mod 1 or 2 setup. I have not heard the mod 4 setup. The AE P4 might be easier to integrate with a sub.
I had those. They are not "tiny," though. They are around the size of the Emo ERM-1's and the 6.2's. They are definitely worth an audition and the price is crazy low. Construction-wise they are nothing special and Emo speakers are higher quality but sound-wise, they sound much, much better than their price would indicate.
Emotiva: XMC-1, ERC-2, Airmotiv 4's, ASM base, CMX-2 (2), Emo T-Shirts (4), Sherbourn PT-7030. Emo keychain light and mug and a partridge in a pear tree.
Your little brother's desired specifications are a near impossibility to acheive at low cost. If the loudspeakers are truly to be 6" or under in any dimension, yet produce frequencies down to 80Hz, and sound half way decent, you are limited to the Orb and A'Diva.
The Polk Blackstone TL3 can be crossed over at 120Hz and sounds pretty damn good, but it is 7 3/4" tall.
13.3" MacBook Air, 4GB RAM, 256GB SSD, iTunes/BitPerfect MacBook Air SuperDrive Western Digital My Book Essential 2TB USB HD LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt 2TB HD Schiit Bifrost USB DAC and Audioengine D3 DAC Emotiva USP-1, ERC-1 and two UPA-1s Pro-Ject Xpression III and AT440MLa AKAI AT-2600 and Harman Kardon TD4400 Grado SR80i Wharfedale Diamond 225 and Magnestand MMG Rythmik Audio F12
As you would note from my equip sig, I use the Def Tech Pro Cinema 1000. They are 10-1/4" tall and about 6-1/2" wide and they are $219.00 each. Their -3dB is approx 90Hz but can be safely crossed at 80Hz according to Def tech as they roll off very slowly. I'm not sure they fit exactly what the OP wants. But, they are damn good little brutes.