PSA: Most computer speakers suck

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Mar 15, 2003
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I've been pretty frustrated searching for the perfect 2.1 computer audio system for music and movies (I don't game on the pC anymore) and all systems were compromises -I bought the "thx" logitech 2.1s that could shatter my windows with the bass but also made my ears bleed because the highs are so fatiguing.. Ditto with the over rated klipsch promedias- those died on me twice and, while they had better mids than the logitech, they still.. broke twice and had shrilly highs in my opinion..

Then I took some forum advice and got a $40 amplifier from parts express and repurposed some low cost satellites and an old 8" subwoofer I had lying around (replacement bookshelves are coming in today!) - WOW, what a huge difference.. Warm, beautiful sound, and I can upgrade any component if something pops, breaks.

$35 for amp
$80 bookshelf speakers
$100 for a dayton 8" sub

$225, which is a bit pricey, but the sound quality kills anything i've heard, even much more expensive monitor speakers

What I wonder is - why does a company like klipsch sell their 2.1s with such obviously awful amps? The satellites on their promedia are actually pretty decent, it's the amp that's coloring the sound.
 
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Gibson486

Lifer
Aug 9, 2000
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to answer your question.....because they are cheap and people buy them. Why would you change a formula that works?
 

ahenkel

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Jan 11, 2009
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I loved my promedia 4.1's till the sub died. Now I have a set of logitech 6.1's that are adequate but not fantastic.
 

effowe

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Nov 1, 2004
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I never liked computer speakers. I've been using my computer hooked up to a receiver and 2 large speakers for probably 15 years now.
 

0roo0roo

No Lifer
Sep 21, 2002
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very rarely do actually decent sets come out, like the klipsch ifi, and that cost a decent bit, but it had actual 3.5" midrange drivers instead of the 2-2.5" weedy little things in most budget speakers.
 
Mar 15, 2003
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I have an older set of Altec Lansings that are awesome.

Actually, older computer speakers are quite decent (I have creative 2.1s with seperate tweeters, woofers, and subwoofers). It's these cheap "one large tweeter = a speaker" designs that make more recent computer speakers so shrilly
 
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If I want quality sound I go listen to my HT stereo system...not my computer.

I'm weirdly obsessed with sound (and get head aches from bad sound) so I'm all about having decent listening experiences where ever I can... Working that into my meager budget's always a challenge, but I get a kick out of having decent sound in every room of my house (other than the bathroom.. Unless......). No harm in that, right?
 

Exterous

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Jun 20, 2006
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I never liked computer speakers. I've been using my computer hooked up to a receiver and 2 large speakers

:thumbsup:

I am not a big fan either although I will say I had an altec lansing that was pretty good. Still doesn't compare to a reciever, bookshelves and sub though
 
Mar 15, 2003
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very rarely do actually decent sets come out, like the klipsch ifi, and that cost a decent bit, but it had actual 3.5" midrange drivers instead of the 2-2.5" weedy little things in most budget speakers.

Funny that you mentioned the iFi- I loved mine! I think they sound slightly warmer than the promedias, and they're cheaper too (at least on clearance)... I wonder if they warmed it up to compensate for the iPods shit sound quality... Alas, like my other klipsch systems, the subwoofer/amp unit broke..
 
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:thumbsup:

I am not a big fan either although I will say I had an altec lansing that was pretty good. Still doesn't compare to a reciever, bookshelves and sub though

Indeed. Space was my primary concern for not going with a receiver, so a $35 t-amp did the trick. I may go with a receiver if I ever decide to go 5.1
 

goobernoodles

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Jun 5, 2005
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Yeahhh... I'm gonna have to agree 100%.

Says the guy who brought in a receiver and bookshelf speakers to work... lol
 

frostedflakes

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Mar 1, 2005
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The highs don't really bug me on most 2.1 PC speakers, what I can't stand is that the bass tends to be overpowering and muddy. You can tell they design them for 14 year olds who want lots of boom boom boom for their music and video games. So I usually just stick with 2.0 setups, and there are some pretty good ones out there. The Swan M200 and Audioengine A5, for example. Both are kind of expensive, though.
 
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http://www.thespeakercompany.com/T-Series-Bookshelf-Speakers-C27.aspx

Those rule. I have the hooked to a decent yamaha receiver, that comes from my M-Audio revolution 5.1 sound card. Totally worth it and I paid full price. But they each weight like 20 pounds and are the size of a small computer case.

I had reservations with TSC speakers after owning a few (they appear to be rebadged made in China deals), but my new TSC center channel is really quite nice.

Also, dude, I love yamaha receivers. I wonder why more people don't own them, instead opting for denon's that cost more but aren't as warm.
 

Crono

Lifer
Aug 8, 2001
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Glad you like them, but I owned those speakers back in my gaming days, and they were another case of logitech extremes to me- bass that can tear down a house and intense, sometimes painful highs.. But nothing in between!

What sound card did you use?
 
Mar 15, 2003
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The highs don't really bug me on most 2.1 PC speakers, what I can't stand is that the bass tends to be overpowering and muddy. You can tell they design them for 14 year olds who want lots of boom boom boom for their music and video games. So I usually just stick with 2.0 setups, and there are some pretty good ones out there. The Swan M200 and Audioengine A5, for example. Both are kind of expensive, though.

Yes, the obnoxious bass on most 2.1. PC speakers make me feel like a riced out Honda Civic ghetto blaster... I

I might get the Swan m10s to try to disprove my own theory, because they look so purty! 2.0s get most things right, but I do miss the occasional thump, and an amp/receiver+speakers cost about the same as decent studio monitors
 
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What sound card did you use?

Haha, this is pretty old school - an Envy 24 based card... Phenomenal card back in the day for music. Now I just use the output on my macbook pro, which sounds fantastic with my current speaker set up.
 
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