Recommend me a great-sounding 2.1 speaker system for PC?

Delicieuxz

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I'm looking for a replacement due to unwanted hum and buzz noise in my old Cambridge Soundworks system that I don't know how to troubleshoot. I replaced all the caps in it recently.

I think this system otherwise still sounds amazing. And the only other PC speakers I've tried didn't sound nearly as good.

s-l1600.jpg


I'm looking for a 2.1 system that sounds great, has good clarity and isn't muddy. Can someone recommend me one?
 
Budget and space considerations.

I have a couple of pairs of powered monitors, M-Audio BX5's and Alesis M1 Active MK2's.
The BX5's were on sale for $75 each and the Sub was $399. The Alesis are over 22 years old now and were around $450 for the pair back then.
Both sound phenomenal, powered studio monitors are what I would recommend.

These are the Alesis and they are paired to an M-Audio 10" BX Subwoofer.
IMG_3530.JPEG


And these are the BX5's
cubicle-printer2.jpg
 
Sweet setup! Nice Goobas. :D

I have a pair of KRK 7000 monitors (the earlier ones, without time-aligned speakers, which Alan Moulder said he hated) that I picked up some years ago and haven't used. I would need to get an amp to power them. My original plan was to renovate a large room in the basement and turn it into a recording studio, and use the monitors in there. But that doesn't seem like it's happening anytime soon, and my PC room is already a recording room.

But I'm a bit hesitant to use the KRKs in this room because it gets sunlight shining into it (and would be shining onto one of the speakers in the morning), and the KRK tweeters and woofers are made of Kevlar, which degrades from being exposed to UV light. And since these speakers aren't made anymore, I can't replace them once they're degraded and no longer give their original frequency response. I bought them from a church that had them in a studio, where they weren't exposed to natural light. I don't know how much degradation from UV light is a factor, though.


https://www.mixonline.com/recording/alan-moulder-trident-nine-inch-nails-372017
Q: What other monitors do you like?

Alan Moulder: KRK 7000s. Butch Vig and Billy [Corgan] were using them on Siamese Dream, and I got into them. Before that I was using NS-10s as everybody was. I grew to really like the KRKs. They have, since I’ve got them, time-aligned the bottom end, and what on earth possessed them to do that I can’t imagine. I know at least five people who are queuing up for the old ones and don’t want the new ones. Of all their range of speakers, and they’ve got loads of them, to me these are by far the most accurate. They’re not particularly flattering, but for balance, I find them great. Everybody I work with likes them and wants a pair, and they can’t get them because they don’t make them."

A KRK 7000 monitor can be seen in a documentary about Butch Vig's Smart Studios:
View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jO0OOzWD47g&t=63s
 
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Probably about $250CAD / $185USD for a 2.1 speaker system. If I go the route of using the KRK 7000 monitors (which I think I'd like to, if it can work), then I don't know what amount I should be expecting to spend. I'd need an amplifier and a subwoofer.
 
Probably about $250CAD / $185USD for a 2.1 speaker system. If I go the route of using the KRK 7000 monitors (which I think I'd like to, if it can work), then I don't know what amount I should be expecting to spend. I'd need an amplifier and a subwoofer.
Klipsch Promedia 2.1 still are among the best under $200 computer speakers.
 
Klipsch Promedia 2.1 still are among the best under $200 computer speakers.

I tend to agree with this. I've had mine for about a decade and still really like it. I wouldn't call it reference or audiophile quality but it sounds really good especially with gaming. The surround on my subwoofer started flaking off but I replaced it with a $20 woofer off Amazon and it actually sounds better than it did lol.

So yeah, for under $200 the Promedia is hard to beat.
 
Cool. I ordered a Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 and I'll check it out. It gets some high praise in this comparison to a Logitech Z623 speaker system: https://allsoundlab.net/klipsch-promedia-2-1-vs-logitech-z623/

A person who commented on that article also says they have both systems and the Klipsch is better in all ways.

I'm also now taking a look at the Edifier s351db. It's $100+ off from a couple places in Canada. If it had a headphone jack like the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 does, I'd probably jump on it. Right now, to use headphones I need to swap the speaker plug with the headphone plug on my add-in soundcard, so I need to go behind the PC. The ProMedia 2.1 having a headphone jack on the speaker-mounted control module will make using headphones, which I want to do whenever recording guitar, a breeze.
 
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Cool. I ordered a Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 and I'll check it out. It gets some high praise in this comparison to a Logitech Z623 speaker system: https://allsoundlab.net/klipsch-promedia-2-1-vs-logitech-z623/

A person who commented on that article also says they have both systems and the Klipsch is better in all ways.

I'm also now taking a look at the Edifier s351db. It's $100+ off from a couple places in Canada. If it had a headphone jack like the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 does, I'd probably jump on it. Right now, to use headphones I need to swap the speaker plug with the headphone plug on my add-in soundcard, so I need to go behind the PC. The ProMedia 2.1 having a headphone jack on the speaker-mounted control module will make using headphones, which I want to do whenever recording guitar, a breeze.
those where the exact two i was going to suggest, just wanted to check your budget first.
 
those where the exact two i was going to suggest, just wanted to check your budget first.
Have you used both? I'm curious how much better the Edifier s351db sounds than the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1. And while the s351db is said to have huge bass, I much prefer tight and not muddy or boomy bass to huge bass that is muddy or unpleasant in its frequency response.

I'm tempted to get both and compare them. But I'm not sure I can get free return shipping with the s351db.
 
Have you used both? I'm curious how much better the Edifier s351db sounds than the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1. And while the s351db is said to have huge bass, I much prefer tight and not muddy or boomy bass to huge bass that is muddy or unpleasant in its frequency response.

I'm tempted to get both and compare them. But I'm not sure I can get free return shipping with the s351db.
just the klipsch, i know the edifier reputation. both are returnable via amazon...
 
Imo, the best is the presonus eris 4.5 bookshelves with the sub8.. spectacular sound.
 
Imo, the best is the presonus eris 4.5 bookshelves with the sub8.. spectacular sound.
I like the look of the Eris 4.5 BT model (with the blueish tweeters), and that it has a headphone jack. There was a discounted set from Amazon Warehouse Deals, and I ordered it to try out.

I think I'd want a subwoofer to go with those, but don't want to spend what the Sub8 costs. Though, I like Sub8's low-pass and high-pass filter options. In some images of its rear panel, the gain control is labelled an Input Gain, which makes me wonder if increasing it also increases the gain for any monitors receiving their signal from it. That could make setting the volume of the subwoofer independently from speakers connected to it difficult. Can you tell me if that's the case, or if it only adjusts the subwoofer gain?

PRE-E-SUB-8.jpg




I like the impression of punchy and focused bass from the Klipsch ProMedia subwoofer in this comparison with the Edifier s351db, and I'd be interested to try pairing the Eris 4.5 BT with the ProMedia subwoofer:


View: https://youtu.be/OqGuFXPbRTY?t=163

I also submitted an offer on an Edifier s351db system from Edifier's Canada eBay store, which already has a big discount on them right now. But they might not be what I want, as I read Edifier has a softer bass sound, and I think I read somewhere that the Edifier s351db bass can extend more than some people want.
 
Cool. I ordered a Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 and I'll check it out. It gets some high praise in this comparison to a Logitech Z623 speaker system: https://allsoundlab.net/klipsch-promedia-2-1-vs-logitech-z623/

A person who commented on that article also says they have both systems and the Klipsch is better in all ways.

I'm also now taking a look at the Edifier s351db. It's $100+ off from a couple places in Canada. If it had a headphone jack like the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 does, I'd probably jump on it. Right now, to use headphones I need to swap the speaker plug with the headphone plug on my add-in soundcard, so I need to go behind the PC. The ProMedia 2.1 having a headphone jack on the speaker-mounted control module will make using headphones, which I want to do whenever recording guitar, a breeze.
The KRKs and a solid sub with a cheap little chip amp (or an amp / receiver from Craigslist/thrifts) will walk all over that Klipsch set... if you have space on your desk to use the KRKs just return the ProMedias now.
 
The KRKs and a solid sub with a cheap little chip amp (or an amp / receiver from Craigslist/thrifts) will walk all over that Klipsch set... if you have space on your desk to use the KRKs just return the ProMedias now.
Can you recommend an inexpensive amp that would get the job done?

Would I need a splitter cable from the sound card, to feed a subwoofer and the amplifier separately, or what would I need to be able to run a subwoofer with the KRKs?
 
I like the look of the Eris 4.5 BT model (with the blueish tweeters), and that it has a headphone jack. There was a discounted set from Amazon Warehouse Deals, and I ordered it to try out.

I think I'd want a subwoofer to go with those, but don't want to spend what the Sub8 costs. Though, I like Sub8's low-pass and high-pass filter options. In some images of its rear panel, the gain control is labelled an Input Gain, which makes me wonder if increasing it also increases the gain for any monitors receiving their signal from it. That could make setting the volume of the subwoofer independently from speakers connected to it difficult. Can you tell me if that's the case, or if it only adjusts the subwoofer gain



I like the impression of punchy and focused bass from the Klipsch ProMedia subwoofer in this comparison with the Edifier s351db, and I'd be interested to try pairing the Eris 4.5 BT with the ProMedia subwoofer:


View: https://youtu.be/OqGuFXPbRTY?t=163

I also submitted an offer on an Edifier s351db system from Edifier's Canada eBay store, which already has a big discount on them right now. But they might not be what I want, as I read Edifier has a softer bass sound, and I think I read somewhere that the Edifier s351db bass can extend more than some people want.

re Sub8

First thing's first:
1. The gain - yes the gain affects only the sub (just tested it)
2. It has a LPF and the manual tells you the correct cutoff for the speakers and how to calibrate them
3. The sub 8 is very punchy
4. You can (somewhat regularly) get refurbished or second hand (ebay) Sub 8s to drop the price.


Also - there are two models of the eris 4.5 - the bluetooth and the non-bluetooth model, if you don't need bluetooth, don't spend the extra on it

The presonus gear is all internally amped (and well amped too, they're studio monitors, the amp has to match)
 
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The new WiiM Amp is just $299 and includes an eq, true bass management, ARC, chromecast, airplay, the full WiiM streaming suite, 2 way bluetooth, internal psu and its the footprint of a mac mini.

Insane value.

Had me considering downsizing my gear just to save some space and scale back in devices...

View attachment 617683

https://darko.audio/2023/11/wiim-amp-review-flying-high-on-value-for-money/
That does look pretty sweet. And it has a jack for an externally-powered subwoofer. It's still pretty expensive, though. I can find an older rack amp on Craigslist for half the price or less. But I'd like to find one that will feed the audio signal to a subwoofer.

re Sub8

First thing's first:
1. The gain - yes the gain affects only the sub (just tested it)
2. It has a LPF and the manual tells you the correct cutoff for the speakers and how to calibrate them
3. The sub 8 is very punchy
4. You can (somewhat regularly) get refurbished or second hand (ebay) Sub 8s to drop the price.


Also - there are two models of the eris 4.5 - the bluetooth and the non-bluetooth model, if you don't need bluetooth, don't spend the extra on it

The presonus gear is all internally amped (and well amped too, they're studio monitors, the amp has to match)
I don't need bluetooth for speakers (though maybe I'll make use of it), but I think the blue tweeters and more-blue woofers of the BT model look sweet, and the Amazon Warehouse Deal pair I ordered cost the same as the non-bluetooth model.


714uaKjR30L._AC_SL1500_.jpg
- - - -
81v4FAchMEL._AC_SL1500_.jpg
 
I don't need bluetooth for speakers (though maybe I'll make use of it), but I think the blue tweeters and more-blue woofers of the BT model look sweet, and the Amazon Warehouse Deal pair I ordered cost the same as the non-bluetooth model.
I have the bluetooth version myself.. I love them.
 
If you have somewhere to put it a cheap old receiver from a thrift store or Craigslist will do well. Look for something with HDMI in, that should give you more codec support than TOSLINK. Use the receiver as your DAC and it can handle splitting the signal for the sub. $5-100 should get you what you need from Goodwill, craigslist, or a pawn shop depending on what options you have locally.
 
If you have somewhere to put it a cheap old receiver from a thrift store or Craigslist will do well. Look for something with HDMI in, that should give you more codec support than TOSLINK. Use the receiver as your DAC and it can handle splitting the signal for the sub. $5-100 should get you what you need from Goodwill, craigslist, or a pawn shop depending on what options you have locally.

It's been a bit since I last looked into this option myself, but has it gotten any better? AFAIK the issue is that you end up with a second "ghost' display that sometimes Windows decides is real and starts putting stuff on. The alternative is to connect your monitor via HDMI instead of DisplayPort through the AVR, and often doing so will lead to some kind of decreased functionality (e.g., reduced/fixed refresh rate, no support for resolutions such as 1440p or ultra-wides that aren't used by TVs).

I'd love to see an option in the OS and/or the GPU drivers to completely disable video on a given output and only pass the audio.
 
It's been a bit since I last looked into this option myself, but has it gotten any better? AFAIK the issue is that you end up with a second "ghost' display that sometimes Windows decides is real and starts putting stuff on. The alternative is to connect your monitor via HDMI instead of DisplayPort through the AVR, and often doing so will lead to some kind of decreased functionality (e.g., reduced/fixed refresh rate, no support for resolutions such as 1440p or ultra-wides that aren't used by TVs).

I'd love to see an option in the OS and/or the GPU drivers to completely disable video on a given output and only pass the audio.
USB would be preferable for this reason, but it's relatively rare on receivers.
 
USB would be preferable for this reason, but it's relatively rare on receivers.

Yeah, for a 2.0/2.1 setup a USB DAC/amp would be better if not going with monitors or some other option with a built-in amp.

Unfortunately, AFAICT, no one makes a USB DAC/amp that supports more channels (e.g., 5.1), and standalone five channel amps are very expensive. Using an AVR would be a good cheap option for such setups if not for the drawbacks.
 
The DAC I use is the Topping D10 - cheap and very good, and you can get a balanced version.
 
All the 2.1 System in this range r crap. The problem is that u have an hole between ~60-120hz bcoz the satelites have no power in the range. U have power from 120hz + and power of the sub 40-70hz. But between this, is nothing.
I would recomment a 2.0 fullactive speaker with the option for a small 6Inch Subwoofer. MAudio has great speakers and for this price, they r really not bad.
U could cut the sub at the upper limit that u dont have such kind of hole, but then u have no efficiency up to 50-60hz. And u can track the sub.

250USD with DIY would be not a big problem.
 
I thought I might have gotten a good deal with the Presonus Eris E4.5 set I got from Amazon Warehouse Deals. It looks like it's never been taken out of the package, all the wires and manuals looked sealed and never used or opened, and there's no cosmetic damage or sign of use anywhere. But I'm experiencing some distortion in the passive speaker. I don't hear it all of the time, and it seems to become less conspicuous when the volume is louder. But on certain things, and more conspicuously when the volume is lower, it emits some distortion and I think less bass.

Here's an example clip, recorded with my phone right next to the woofer, of how the powered speaker sounds:

View: https://voca.ro/14oCjnTIhTD9

And here's that same sound played through the passive speaker, with distortion:

View: https://vocaroo.com/1gkps64KodR9

I've tried flipping the L/R RCA connectors, and the distortion remains in the passive speaker. I've also tried adjusting all the wires connecting everything, but that didn't improve it. Might just have to return them.
 
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The "noise" issue mentioned above from the passive speaker
Yeah, there's something wrong with one of the speakers. Either a speaker is damaged and distorting, or something wrong with the amp that's feeding the passive speaker, and is feeding it a distorted signal. I've contacted Presonus and Amazon support about it and am waiting to hear back from Presonus now.
 
https://www.martinlogan.com/en/product/forte

A nice two channel amp and streamer with room correction for $150. I'd get a cheap dedicated DAC, but you could run it off your sound card to start with.

Really don't need it but still tempted to grab one myself.
That looks like it could have potential.

Is the reason I should look at a separate DAC because sound card DAC usually sucks? I have a Creative Labs Titanium HD add-in card. It should be pretty good.

That Martin Logan Forte amp says under its specs: Class-D Amp; 2 x 200W Peak; 2 x 100W RMS per channel into 4 ohms.

I'm not sure what ohms my KRK 7000 monitors are, but this advert for the 7000B says these are 8ohm. Would the Forte be compatible if my non-B 7000s are also 8 ohms, while the Forte is 4 ohms (I'm guessing per channel)?

sive-Studio-Monitors-2-Way-Speakers-194192481999-7.jpg
 
boo*, canuckistani amazon doesnt have swan and my stupid work network is blocking that vid....
*not at you
They can be delivered to Canada from US Amazon for USD $170 + roughly $38 shipping and import fees. The shipping itself is only $17.95, the rest are taxes you'd also pay if ordering from within Canada.

https://www.amazon.com/HiVi-Swans-OS-10-Speakers-Bluetooth-Bookshelf/dp/B0BG7WWWC1/

While their sound is reportedly amazing for the money, lots of reviews mention QC issues with the build and the controls, and some mentioning issues that affect the intended sound.



I'm about to order the Edifier s351db for a pretty good price. Though, I'm a bit hesitant because it has 3/4" / 3.5" tweeters and woofers, while the Presonus Eris E4.5s I'm trying right now have 1" / 4.5" tweeters and woofers, and I don't know if that going to be a downgrade in sound quality and detail (not as worried about getting enough volume out of them). Should the size of the speaker make a difference in that regard?
 
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That looks like it could have potential.

Is the reason I should look at a separate DAC because sound card DAC usually sucks? I have a Creative Labs Titanium HD add-in card. It should be pretty good.

That Martin Logan Forte amp says under its specs: Class-D Amp; 2 x 200W Peak; 2 x 100W RMS per channel into 4 ohms.

I'm not sure what ohms my KRK 7000 monitors are, but this advert for the 7000B says these are 8ohm. Would the Forte be compatible if my non-B 7000s are also 8 ohms, while the Forte is 4 ohms (I'm guessing per channel)?

View attachment 618333
Yes, it will be fine. Lower power, but still more than you'd ever need for those speakers. Sound card DAC is ok, but if you have any further issues with noise that's the next thing I'd change.
 
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