The best $500 or a lot less complete budget audio systems #audiophile

The best $500 or a lot less complete budget audio systems #audiophile



The $47 Dayton Audio B652 Air speakers, read my CNET review,

$90 Pioneer SP-BS22-LR, on Amazon

$229 Emotiva B1, read the CNET review

$200 JBL Stage A130, read my CNET review

$125 Klipsch R-51M, read my CNET review,

$229 ELAC Debut B6.2, read the CNET review

$255 Q Acoustics 3020i, read the CNET review

Klipsch R100SW SUBWOOFER single price is $175,

Sorry, the R100SW won’t work with the Onkyo or Yamaha receivers, but the Dayton Audio SUB1000 will, it’s $120 on Amazon,

$219 Audioengine A2+ powered speakers, with these there’s no need to also buy an amp or receiver, the CNET review


$80 Dayton Audio DTA 2.1 BT2 integrated amp,

$119 Onkyo TX 8020 stereo receiver, read my CNET review

$130 Yamaha R-S202 stereo receiver, read my CNET review

$129 Schiit Mani phono pre,

$99 Schiit Modi digital converter,


$100 Audio Technica AT-LP60, read my CNET review

$200 Fluance RT80,

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  1. MuZach on January 2, 2021 at 2:04 am

    Love the intro about budget audio systems. Started a channel like yours, hope you like it!

  2. Randall Spaulding on January 2, 2021 at 2:07 am

    I’d toss the Micca RB42’s and MB42X’s on this list now for sure! Great vid as always Steve

  3. Opie Krumpus on January 2, 2021 at 2:09 am

    All i have is the Fluance rt81 turntable and Edifier 1280t speakers. For me this is a outstanding sounding setup.

  4. Rod Scott on January 2, 2021 at 2:09 am

    A true "Reference Speaker" is Steve

  5. Dib Irken on January 2, 2021 at 2:14 am

    I see VWestlife feature a lot of components he got from a flea market. Techmoan also did a feature ofa budget setup. Ignore these audiofool snobs. Yes, $500 is more than enough for a budget system and a fantastic one at that.

  6. MrJason9142002 on January 2, 2021 at 2:16 am

    I have the Yamaha receiver and a pair of klipsch speakers. I love it.

  7. Alex Turner on January 2, 2021 at 2:16 am

    Wonderful video. Thanks for the advice!

  8. Ben Delgado on January 2, 2021 at 2:17 am

    Great job Steve! I noticed you look like the characters on your shirt.

  9. John Scheppler on January 2, 2021 at 2:18 am

  10. Don Reinholz on January 2, 2021 at 2:18 am

    Just found your channel Steve. I’m still using my 40 year old Hitachi SR-903 receiver that I believe is 160 watts per channel and I have it paired with JBL Stage tower speakers that I cranked up loud in the Best Buy store and an Onkyo 6 cd changer. For my basement home theatre I already have a 500 watt 5.1 Yamaha receiver, Yamaha center channel, and a Radio Shack 8" front firing subwoofer but I will need a set of four speakers for the fronts and tears after I finish my basement. I want them to come with brackets so I can mount them to the walls. What do you recommend? I like good clean bass and clear highs also. Thanks.

  11. Zizzbiz on January 2, 2021 at 2:19 am

    Where does Googlephonics rank?

  12. Chris Blanchette on January 2, 2021 at 2:19 am

    I love the R41M from klipsch. $114! It absolutely rips, but yea you should get a sub. I use them as rears and they are very powerful. Frequency response is surprisingly low

  13. robert rodriquez on January 2, 2021 at 2:22 am

    Steve. I really used to be into sound. I have been away from it for some time. This video helped me ease back into it with some basic equipment.
    I purchased the Elac 6.2, Yamaha 202. Awesome sound for not a lot of money. I am looking to fill in a little more bass. Any suggestions for $200 range sub. Thanks again for the video

  14. Homesteader Workouts on January 2, 2021 at 2:24 am

    I don’t understand the appeal of this guy. Most of his videos are just him talking. Sometimes he uses stock images of products he is talking about. Most of his videos have very real substance.

  15. dan lavoie on January 2, 2021 at 2:31 am

    At one of local record stores I always see the younger crowd contemplating buying a cheap record player usually a suitcase style . I always do my best in explaining that your pretty much wasting your money . For a couple hundred dollars you can buy a cheap amp , record player and speakers that will sound 10 times better.

  16. Rick on January 2, 2021 at 2:31 am

    I love Steve.
    He reminds so much of the beloved Juilan Hirsch who all audiophiles owe a debt of graditude to.


  17. arpan roy on January 2, 2021 at 2:31 am

    Which is the best speaker under $300 till date according to you?

  18. Ladislav Mertlik on January 2, 2021 at 2:31 am

    Great. How would you compare Musical Fidelity M3Si vs Arcam SA20 vs Cambridge CXA81? Looking for most musical and warm tone.

  19. Analog Human on January 2, 2021 at 2:31 am

    Another video where all he show you are his hands moving around.

  20. RIII on January 2, 2021 at 2:31 am

  21. Dee Johnson on January 2, 2021 at 2:32 am


  22. Magnum Opus Songwriter on January 2, 2021 at 2:34 am

    So true! I am a studio guy
    (Producer & Singer/Songwriter) Since i came across my modified "Polk Monitor" speakers my world changed in the audio spectrum! Dont even use my nearfields anymore because these Polk speakers have an awesome full range spectrum with fast and accurate midrange. Searched for the right amp and voila,couldnt be any happier 😁💯🎵

  23. Simple Life on January 2, 2021 at 2:34 am

    Could you update this set type up for 2020?

  24. cracklingice on January 2, 2021 at 2:35 am

    My favorite budget pieces I got are my pair of KLH L853B (8 inch 3 way) bookshelf speakers I got from Best Buy on sale for $40 for the pair and KLH 911B (5.25 inch 2 way) bookshelf speakers also from Best Buy on sale for $20 for the pair. I still have yet to get a center channel I particularly like to match with them but the 8 inch mains and 5.25 inch rears sound quite nice to me. I run them off a Sherwood RD-6108 I got from Circuit City long ago for like $90.

  25. Ian Puddick on January 2, 2021 at 2:35 am

    Hi Steve
    Just discovered your channel, great content and excellent communication skills
    Greetings from

  26. hxhdfj ifzir st c on January 2, 2021 at 2:36 am

    Go to Salvation Army or Goodwill and buy a used receiver. Wait until you find a good one at a good price. You can find an old Kenwood or Yamaha for $15 sometimes… Wednesday is half price.

    STEP 2: If you’re lucky you can also find good speakers there. I got some Infinity Reference 6.5" bookshelf speakers to go with my used receiver. I think I paid $30ish for them.

    If you just can’t find any used speakers for cheap, try something like a 6.5" round JBL coaxial car speaker. I think a pair will be $75-$150. Good sound and excellent stereo imaging (which is most important for ‘audiophile’ purposes). Slap them in a premade cabinet, or whatever.

    I happen to own a pair of speakers that were $2,000 each but that doesn’t stop me from enjoying the sport of putting together a good system for the lowest price possible.

    My best was $22. $15 for a used Yamaha receiver and $7 for a pair of very decent bookshelf speakers. It would take about $400 to match or beat that system if you bought new stuff at a store.

    The secret is that you’re doing the shipping and handling labor, by driving down to Goodwill. Shipping is the killer that makes ebay more expensive.

  27. Ricky Murray on January 2, 2021 at 2:37 am

    You seem like a really cool guy, thanks for the info!
    Shame these are normally twice the price in the UK, some are not even availible

  28. Mace Windu on January 2, 2021 at 2:39 am

    i didn’t need proof to know that. great loudspeakers are comparably cheap. Germany is flooded with them. 300 at most and you’re in with a fine set of towers and sub.

  29. WGM 247 on January 2, 2021 at 2:39 am

    Qacoustics are total rubbish.. cant believe they are in this list

  30. Malach Dorell on January 2, 2021 at 2:41 am

    this is sick. thank you

  31. Tyler Combs on January 2, 2021 at 2:41 am

    Love your videos Steve. I’m new to the audiophile world, working on a budget setup and wanted some advice. Current setup is pioneer SP-BS22-LR bookshelf speakers paired with Definitive Technology ProSub 800. Wanting to upgrade my Audio Technica AT-LP60 and I need a stereo integrated amplifier to run everything. Would you suggest:

    U Turn Basic
    Fluance RT80?

    The the amps I’ve been looking at

    Onkyo A-9110
    Yamaha A-S301
    Emotiva TA-100
    Denon PMA-600NE
    NAD C 316BEE V2
    Pioneer A-10AE

    Thanks in advance for any feedback anyone may have.

  32. John Hooper on January 2, 2021 at 2:43 am

    Budget audio system is ACTIVE

  33. Justwantahover on January 2, 2021 at 2:43 am

  34. Sebastien Carlus on January 2, 2021 at 2:44 am

    Here’s the proof that a very low budget can provide good quality sound:

  35. Maak Bow on January 2, 2021 at 2:44 am

    All this is true for those within the spere of american mass consumer buying power, but here in New Zealand for example a pair of elac b6.2 cost $799 on sale 😂😂😂😂

  36. Jerry Bowers on January 2, 2021 at 2:46 am

    Does the preamp in the Fluance RT-80 or 81 work with the Dayton Audio DTA 2.1 BT2 or do I need the Schitt Pre Amp?

  37. Gravity Storm on January 2, 2021 at 2:48 am

    My Carver 6250 just puffed smoke😢☹️, exploded feedback and smoked my Sansui cone mid and both super tweeters. Totally bummed.

  38. Troy Larkin on January 2, 2021 at 2:48 am

    Has anyone listened to Klipsch The 5’s Speakers? If so, are they worth the $$?

  39. Svein Olav Nyberg on January 2, 2021 at 2:48 am

    Steve, I have an Apogee Duet on my desk. For recording purposes. But it does a fine job as a headphone amp for my (low impendance) Grados and Denons. It would be interesting to hear your take on using such studio equipment for audiophile purposes. Is it really true in general that when you buy studio equipment aimed at sound engineers, you get the quality of 3x as expensive audiophile gear, since sound engineers aren’t paying for hype?

  40. mike .D on January 2, 2021 at 2:48 am

    Steve is a hippy idiot , well he lives in Ca..says it all. I guess he voted Biden ?

  41. Dwayne Hendricks on January 2, 2021 at 2:50 am

    Let’s be real here, $500 won’t get sh**!

  42. Scott Mcnicholas on January 2, 2021 at 2:51 am

    Almost none of this stuff is on the market anymore…just sayin’.

  43. Spanish Alpha Male on January 2, 2021 at 2:54 am

    I remember when a dime bag was a dime man

  44. Wheat Husk on January 2, 2021 at 2:54 am

    Thanks for being who you are! 💖 Caring Audiophile sharing his precious experiences with us without looking down upon those who can’t afford the most expensive.

  45. Tommy on January 2, 2021 at 2:55 am

    I would never put any money on something called SCHIIT

  46. Reserved 86 on January 2, 2021 at 2:56 am

    I have spent a little over $1000 for a full Atmos setup. Pioneer Elite VSX-LX103, 2 Pioneer Andrew Jones FS-52 floor standing, 4 surround SP-BS22-LR, 1 center speaker SP-C22 and an Elite subwoofer SW-E10.

  47. Dazz Za on January 2, 2021 at 2:56 am

    Steve. Im not sure if you have reviewed the B&O Beolab 1700with Beovox 2702 speakers?. Couldnt find it. Will you review that?

  48. Wytze te Riet Scholten on January 2, 2021 at 2:58 am

    Hey steve I’m actually looking for some good bookshelf speakers. I stumbled across the edifier r2000db. It got graete reviews but I feel like a audio enthusiastic like you could help me out. I looking for active speakers for music production and for listening to farious music genres. Would you recommend these speakers or do you know better speakers for this budget. Thanks for your amazing videos. Jacob.

  49. Higauge on January 2, 2021 at 3:00 am

    I purchased a pair of second-hand pioneers, a Yamaha sub hooked to cheap Chinese 2.1 amp connected to a Behringer U-Control UCA202. It sounds great and only paid under $100. the UCA202 is a cheap option for a DAC. It sounds great for what I listen to. I will try all your recommendations if I see them on Craigslist or Facebook Market place.

  50. NackDSP on January 2, 2021 at 3:01 am

    Vanatoo Transparent One Encore Powered Speakers ( at Amazon ) connect them to anything. Done. Amazing linear MBX long throw woofer and clear sounding tweeter. They will blue tooth to your phone, or RCA inputs, or Digital inputs from a TV. Outputs for a subwoofer if you want to add one. Add a Raspberry Pi with Volumio, A system in a speaker.