Computer 2.1 vs studio monitors vs bookshelf speakers?

Discussion in 'Computer Audio' started by silk186, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. silk186

    silk186 [H]ard|Gawd

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    My current setup is a Microlabs Fc360 2.1 system. It connects to my computer which connects to my TV. I use it for TV, Movies, gaming and music. I'm pretty happy with the system in terms of price, footprint and ease of use. I upgraded from a Logitech system I had pick up used after 2 days because the logitech 2.1 system was so terrible that I had trouble making out dialogue in shows.

    I will be moving to Beijing in some months and will be linking to set up one or two sets of speakers, depending on how far the TV is from my work space. Video playback on the TV won't be an issue as android boxes have gone mainstream and 'cable' is subscription based.

    I have a 2.0 and 4.0 setup in my bedroom when I was growing up. They were my parents old amp and speakers. They were better than my boom box but even as a teenager they didn't impress me. So, the question is what to go with next.

    • 2.1 computer speakers - (Edifier, HiVi or Micro Labs)
    • studio monitors - (Edifier, HiVi, M-Audio or what ever is new and preferably a local brand)
    • Bookshelf speakers - books shelf speakers + sub + DAC + ??
    the 2.1 computer speakers and studio monitors are the easiest and likely the cheapest, but the least flexible and up-gradable. The Bookshelf speakers is a viable option but I don't now what the benefit is over studio monitors. Ideally I would like to use an optical out. Do the bookshelf speakers have any disadvantage in gaming? I remember seeing something years about about positioning.

    I don't see a big difference between 2.0 computer speakers and studio monitors in brands like Edifier and HiVi. With Edifier I've bought someone a set of R1000T4 or something similar and was very impressed by the sound. I see that I can get R1800T III or the HiVi D1080-IVB for under $100. Some of these also support BT and optical input.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  2. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard Proud Brony

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  3. silk186

    silk186 [H]ard|Gawd

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    The M200MKIII+ are going for $216 which is more than I was looking to spend but not out of the question.
    I'm looking to spend around 600-800 RMB, or around $120 but pricing is so different between the US and China. The speakers you linked are $360 +tax
     
  4. StoleMyOwnCar

    StoleMyOwnCar 2[H]4U

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  5. silk186

    silk186 [H]ard|Gawd

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    I would think that shipping to China would be a lot more than $30.
    Actually the LP-2020A is $9.50 shipped in China.
     
  6. Commander Shepard

    Commander Shepard Proud Brony

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  7. silk186

    silk186 [H]ard|Gawd

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  8. BigJayDogg3

    BigJayDogg3 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Unless something changed, also figure in the cost of a good 12v power supply. The one that came with these in the past doesn't have the amperage to properly supply the amplifier. As someone that's not really big on the whole you need amplifier "head room" for good sound quality, I noticed a fairly large difference in sound quality AND loudness by getting a good power supply behind this amp. At high volumes, I was getting the amplifier to shut down. A "high" power power supply completely fixed that.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  9. silk186

    silk186 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Good to know, I'm sure I can get a decent 12v power supply for next to nothing if I go this route. I'm still not sold on the benefit of an amp and speakers over powered speakers, particularly as China doesn't really have a second hand market that I'm aware of.
     
  10. B00nie

    B00nie [H]ardness Supreme

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    I can't understand how you have difficulties to find cheap electronics in the world capital of cheap electronics. I mean wtf?
     
  11. silk186

    silk186 [H]ard|Gawd

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    If I only wanted cheap it would be easy. Finding cheap and good quality is the hard part. I brought an xbox to China and needed a power convert for 120 to 240. I bought one for 150w, it blew up immediately. I bought another for 300w it blew of quickly.
    In the end I went to a place that sells imported consoles and copy games and bought one that lasted as long as I had the syste. Something like LEPY LP-2020A Amplifier will look just like all the other competing products, most of which will be not be nearly as good.

    It would be like someone sending you to one of the largest fish markets in the world and not understanding why you can't find a great deal because they have fish all over. Unless you know a lot about fish and how to tell which are better than others you are going in blind.

    I generally avoid the major markets in Beijing unless I know exactly what I want as they can be very overwhelming. I prefer to buy online from taobao/Tmall/JD where I can take my time with specs and prices. The only exception is large items like a monitor or computer case. That said, the last time I went back I ordered a mountain bike and a fridge.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  12. StoleMyOwnCar

    StoleMyOwnCar 2[H]4U

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    Depends on how loud you need it, I guess? First of all I had a 2020A. I never had problems with its power supply. 2020Ti, on the other hand, seems to be more efficient than its predecessor. But my main amp (Denon 3806 aside) is a Topping anyway, so I rarely use it. I gave my 2020Ti to my friend, who has been using it all the time (almost a year now), and he hasn't had the PSU blow up.
     
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  13. BigJayDogg3

    BigJayDogg3 [H]ard|Gawd

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    If you don't mind my completely off-topic question, where are you from originally?

    I guess, to a certain extent? I didn't have especially difficult to drive speakers. Originally I had a pair of cheap Sony bookshelves, and playing music at a loud enough volume to be heard through my small-ish bedroom would result in some pretty terrible sound quality. If I'm trying to fill the room or have it heard in another room, the amp just couldn't do it. It would go into protect mode. Replacing it with a 12v 6a power supply resolved both issues. I would say something was broken in the original power supply, but amplifiers I bought after that one exhibited the same behavior with the stock power supply.

    Maybe the sound quality differences just came from better power filtering or something? Either way, I wouldn't buy of these cheap t-amps without also planning to replace the power supply.
     
  14. silk186

    silk186 [H]ard|Gawd

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    Originally from Canada, currently in the UK, will be relocating to China.
    If I buy a t-amp from one of the electronic markets I can easily ask them to switch the power supply for something more robust.