Computer Speaker Selection?

mlightsey

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My current Logitech 5.1 x530 have died after 7 years. I have a Sound-blaster Z as my sound card (could go to MB Gigabyte Z170 Gaming 7). Looking for an all around speakers for music with Spotify Premium and gaming.

Any suggestion of the three or one I have not thought of. Looking to stay under $200.00

Should I go with Logitech z506 or:

1. Klipsch Pro Media 2.1
2. Creative T4W 2.1
3. Mackie CR4 LTD Edition 4"
 

B00nie

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Forget all of them and invest an extra 40 bucks for a pair of JBL LSR 305's. Astronomical improvement.
 

mlightsey

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Sounds good...Will they hook directly into my sound card? Still a newbie at anything else besides plugging the speakers into the sound card.
 

pippenainteasy

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Based on the current model photos there appears to be only XLR or Phono input, so you'd need to run some adapters to get them to fit into a 3.5mm TRS. Your other option is to get a USB DAC with a lot of outputs, or stick to a powered monitors with minijack inputs if you don't want to run any extra cables/adapters.
 

mlightsey

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Any suggestion on a DAC or powered monitors. That is why I was eyeing the Mackie's.
 

B00nie

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Based on the current model photos there appears to be only XLR or Phono input, so you'd need to run some adapters to get them to fit into a 3.5mm TRS. Your other option is to get a USB DAC with a lot of outputs, or stick to a powered monitors with minijack inputs if you don't want to run any extra cables/adapters.

Cables/adapters are a no brainer if your other option is to get a totally crappy model with a minijack input. Just get a ready cable from Cordial that has a 3,5mm plug and 2xXLR.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Cordial-CFY-WMM-Y-Adaptor-Stereo/dp/B001385XXM
 

B00nie

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Decibel

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If you do pick up the 305s (which I really like and have a pair on my desk) you will need to be concerned about noise from your PC. Fortunately, there are a bunch of inexpensive DACs out there that will clean that right up. Hell, $20 will get you a FiiO D3 which is a great starter DAC.

A decent starter setup would be a FiiO D3 for $20, a two meter optical cable (assuming either your mobo or sound card has optical) for like $5 and a 3.5mm to TRS cable for another $5. Something like this:

Amazon.com: FiiO D3 (D03K) Digital to Analog Audio Converter With Micca 6ft Optical Toslink Cable - 192kHz/24bit Optical and Coaxial DAC: Electronics

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005HGM1D6
 

equalme

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LSR305 + Schitt Modi DAC. Without the DAC you'll have terrible interference noise. Another choice is the Emotiva 5s, but I have yet to hear them in person and they're a little bit more expensive.
 

lb_felipe

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Another option is the Fiio E17 Alpen with a e09K+Dayton B652 powered by a Lepai T Amp then add a sub later on.
 

Shogon

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For the price and value the Pro Media speakers from Klipsch are pretty good for a under $100 2.1 setup. I have 2 right now that I'm hoping to sell to friends. This setup may not be the best sounding to studio monitors,b it the price is amazing.

The JBL LSR305s on Amazon have gone down in price; you can now get a pair for $240 or so, about $50 cheaper than what I paid months ago. Maybe someday I'll upgrade to the 8" monitors.

I will say the JBL speakers paired with the Schiit SYS and modi 2 Uber are a wonderful combo.
 

TechLarry

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Cables/adapters are a no brainer if your other option is to get a totally crappy model with a minijack input. Just get a ready cable from Cordial that has a 3,5mm plug and 2xXLR.

Cordial CFY 3 WMM Y-Adaptor Cable 3.5 mm Stereo Jack Gold to 2 x XLR Male 3 m: Amazon.co.uk: Musical Instruments

Is that a balanced cable?

And for $99 if you can catch them on sale, and around $149 not on sale, you guys know what I like.

Bang for the buck, those Klipsch PM 2.1's are awesome. I have three sets in use, and they are on 24/7.

The amount of bass that comes out of that little sub is amazing, and they are very musical.

The Corsair 2500's are one of the few products they sell I don't care for. They are overpriced by a country mile, and don't sound nearly as good as the PM's IMHO.
 

Zepher

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Is that a balanced cable?

And for $99 if you can catch them on sale, and around $149 not on sale, you guys know what I like.

Bang for the buck, those Klipsch PM 2.1's are awesome. I have three sets in use, and they are on 24/7.

The amount of bass that comes out of that little sub is amazing, and they are very musical.

The Corsair 2500's are one of the few products they sell I don't care for. They are overpriced by a country mile, and don't sound nearly as good as the PM's IMHO.

I am pretty sure it's unbalanced as it terminates at a 3.5mm 3 position plug.
 

rezerekted

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Here's a couple of suggestions for you for self powered speakers.

Emotiva Audio Pro Airmotiv 4s powered loudspeaker

Audioengine 2 powered loudspeaker

I used to have the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 and they are decent for what they cost.

One thing about the specs listed on amazon about the frequency range, it says 31 Hz to 20 kHz frequency response range. I tested the sub and I could clearly hear it at even 20hz so that sub has better low frequency than 31hz, unless it is now different than the sub I had. When I bought mine they cost $300.00 CAD. I think the sub is a bit bloaty sounding anyway. If it was me I would probably go for the one of the two listed above and then get a sub later on. All small speakers need a sub if you want full range frequencies.

One other thing, some people claim they are horn tweeters and even Klipsch obfuscate by saying they are hybrid horn tweeters. They are no such thing, they are just a dome tweeter stuck inside what looks like a horn. I think real horn tweeters would be too bright sounding for nearfiield listening anyway.
 
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atarione

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if getting the JBL 305's w/ the balanced inputs ... a device I own that I can speak to from a audio standpoint if the Focusrite scarlet 2i2 DAW .. it has balanced output and actually sounds pretty nice when using it as a dac...

it runs about $150~ for the new 2nd gen model on amazon


Unlike many on this forum I have sort of a thing for passive speakers + stereo amps / receiver... If I had no set up right now I'd give strong consideration to the Andrew Jone's designed ELAC B5 speaker and a stereo amp

https://www.amazon.com/Debut-Booksh...e=UTF8&qid=1470191515&sr=8-1&keywords=Elac+b5

if space was tight something like this..SMSL SA-60 class D amp $80~
Amazon.com: SMSL SMSL SA-60 black 60WPC Class D Digital Amplifier (Black): Car Electronics
 

HammerSandwich

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B00nie

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I use passive speakers and receiver. Over the years I have learned that method gives you the best options on speakers and connectivity. Right now I am considering upgrading my Onkyo receiver to this Yamaha integrated amp.

Yamaha AS801 Integrated Amplifier (AS801)

What sort of speakers do you have? You'll probably gain no audible benefit from switching amps unless the unlikely event of your current amp not being suitable for your current speakers.

I would consider upgrading the amp only in two scenarios: 1) Your amp can't drive your current speakers or is faulty in some way 2) Your speakers are priced 3-4 times the value of your amp and you can't afford to buy better ones.

Source and amp give you least bang for buck when you go above 300 dollar price range. From there exponential increases in price will give you only incremental improvement (if even that) especially if you're driving regular 4-8 ohm speakers.

When I was young I had a friend who spent all his salary for years improving his source and amp - using crappy speakers. Guess what? His setup always sounded just as bad.
 

rezerekted

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What sort of speakers do you have?

I have three sets of speakers here, Totem Staff w/ Totem Storm sub, Paradigm Titans and Energy RC1-Minis (which they have now made part of Veritas series and renamed Veritas Minis) with Energy sub. On my computer I am using the Energy setup w/ Onkyo TX-SR505 reiever. I have a Denon 789 receiver too but it has died on me. You are right that I probably wn't hear a dif but when you read reviews that use all those superlatives to describe their SQ it makes one think that they might improve the SQ of your current setup.

Sorry to OP for hijacking the thread.
 

anthrex

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If you are looking for powered speaks these are right at the top of your budget . HiVi M100 MkII. It is too bad the HiVi D1080IV are out of stock I'd recommend those as a cheaper replacement.
 

B00nie

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I have three sets of speakers here, Totem Staff w/ Totem Storm sub, Paradigm Titans and Energy RC1-Minis (which they have now made part of Veritas series and renamed Veritas Minis) with Energy sub. On my computer I am using the Energy setup w/ Onkyo TX-SR505 reiever. I have a Denon 789 receiver too but it has died on me. You are right that I probably wn't hear a dif but when you read reviews that use all those superlatives to describe their SQ it makes one think that they might improve the SQ of your current setup.

Sorry to OP for hijacking the thread.

One thing to remember in audio: Every review is subjective and reviewers often use superlatives they cannot back up in reality. Best way to buy audio is to bring the device home, compare it to your old stuff and then (and only then) if you really hear the difference and it's for the better, seriously, then buy the device.

The problem with passive speakers is that each speaker produces an unique load to the amplifier. This creates two problems: The same amp will work differently on two different speakers, affecting sound and most importantly the amp will have to be 'over engineered' to match as large variation of commercial speakers possible which again raises the cost.

Active speakers can use very simple amps that are designed and matched for the exact drivers they drive. This removes a huge bundle of design problems passive speakers and their amps face.
 

B00nie

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Thanks for the all the advice however my goal is under $200.
For 200 bucks you'll struggle to find anything decent. There are a couple good price/value speakers but they may be hard to find depending where you live. The Elac B5 is around 300 bucks a pair and an older set designed by the same designer Pioneer SP-BS22-LR is even cheaper (plus you can get them preowned on Ebay for even cheaper).

Those speakers are not designed to be near field monitors though, they're more like bookshelf or stand speakers. This may affect their sound quality when listening in very close.

The JBL LSR305 has come down in price so much that I would still recommend it. You skip needing an amp and it's very good quality for the price. You'll have to scrape up a few bucks extra to your 200 budget.
 

mlightsey

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I understand I need an amp for the JBL's or any passive speaker. The $200.00 dollar range included an amp in the mix. I am looking at the SMSL Q5 Pro as an amp and the Soundblaster Z as the DAC for the time being.
 

B00nie

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I understand I need an amp for the JBL's or any passive speaker. The $200.00 dollar range included an amp in the mix. I am looking at the SMSL Q5 Pro as an amp and the Soundblaster Z as the DAC for the time being.

You won't need an amp for the JBL they contain their own amps. You can just plug them in directly to the sound card (although it's recommended to use an external DAC to avoid interference). For 200 bucks speakers + amp - you're going to have a tough time finding anything decent I'm afraid.
 
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