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I am upgrading from a Yamaha arranger with speakers to Korg Kronos. The arranger has speakers but what types of speakers do I buy for Kronos? I just play at home. Nothing professional. Do I need PA speakers or studio monitors? Are there any features in particular I should look for?

Also, how do I connect two keyboard to one speaker system? Is there a type device that can be put in the middle?

  • If you want to use the two keyboards at the same time, you need a mixer. If you are OK with switching back and forth between them, you need an audio input selector. – n.m. Feb 9 '14 at 11:52
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The audio signal coming out of a keyboard has all the same characteristics as the signal coming out of a CD player's line-out socket. For home use you just need the same kind of speakers/amplifier as you would use for a CD player.

A hi-fi system, or a pair of powered PC speakers will do the job nicely.

The "keyboard equivalent" of a guitar amp -- something the same size and shape as a guitar amp, but suitable for a keyboard -- is often called a "keyboard amp". The difference between a keyboard amp and a guitar amp is:

  • The guitar amp is designed to add colour and sometimes distortion to the sound. The keyboard amp is designed to accurately reproduce the output of the keyboard
  • The guitar amp is designed for the low-level output of a guitar pickup. The keyboard amp is designed for the line-level output of a keyboard.
  • The guitar amp -- both its amplifier and its speaker - are designed for the relatively narrow range of frequencies that a guitar produces. The keyboard amp is designed for the full range of frequencies a synth might produce (more or less the whole of the human hearing range)

As it happens, the design goals of the keyboard amp match the goals of a hi-fi amp and speakers, or anything designed for playing back music.

Clearly, a hi-fi with a subwoofer does a better job with the bass in recorded music, than a hi-fi with only small speakers. The same applies when amplifying music from a keyboard.


For combining two inputs into one amplifier, the very simplest option is a splitter (used as a combiner) like this:

Phone plug splitter

There are theoretical reasons why this might not give the best quality -- but it has always worked OK for me.

A more sophisticated option is to use a mixer; this will let you adjust levels in one place, may give a cleaner sound, and depending on how much you spend, may give you extra features like compression, stereo balance, an effects loop and so on.

  • The lowest piano key is 27.5 Hz. You need a rather serious subwoofer to reproduce it. Logitech Z623, their flagship 2.1 set, starts at 35 Hz. But it should be worlds above and beyond any built-in speakers. – n.m. Feb 9 '14 at 11:45
  • My angle is, of its good enough to reproduce a CD, it's good enough to directly play an instrument you might record onto CD. – slim Feb 9 '14 at 13:17
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Personally, I would go with a pair of active studio monitors - there are plenty of options for all budgets and tastes, new and second hand, with or without subwoofer (but remember that if you want to go really really deep things get more complicated, usually anything that gets to 40Hz is good enough).

The quality of the outputs of a Kronos is way higher than what you usually get from a normal CD player or (oh dear lord!) the stereo-mini-jack of your PC integrated sound card, so I would skip on all the 2.1 hoem speakers solutions (again, unless budget strictly imposes otherwise)

Also, I see that the Kronos has a pair of analog inputs that could probably work as "thru" if you only want to plug in another instrument (or two mono ones), so for now the mixer could be avoided (mo' money for dem speakers!)

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What you definitely not need for home is a set of PA speakers. These are normally/mostly not HIFI, they just give a lot of power (although lately the speaker quality is increasing).

What you want is also not a normal HIFI stereo, because a synthesizer can have a very large range of frequencies. Unless you have a very high end HIFI stereo.

Instead either use (active) studio monitors, depending on the quality you search for you can make those as expensive as you want. Also another (or alternative) option is to buy good headphones.

For mixing two keyboards/synths you normally use a mixer... there are plenty of cheap ones, although make sure the sound quality might be affected by a cheap mixer. Also think in case you want to connect it to a computer, to use a USB audio interface instead. Normally these are slightly more expensive, but in return you can connect both your synths and computer to one 'system'.

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