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The best 2.1 Setup

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September 7, 2006 9:24:29 AM

I'm going to throw away my horrible PC speakers from -93 and replace them. I've looking at 2.1 systems, since music is the primary area of usage. Price (around $300-400) is not really an issue, and I'm open to other suggestions than the three I mention.

I've been looking at

- logitech Z-2300
- altec lansing FX6021 (some reviews says sound, especially bass, is somewhat mediocre?)
- harman / kardon soundsticks II (are they powerful enough?)

So, whats the best 2.1 system out there?

Also, right now I use the onboard integrated sound on my Asus A8N SLI-Deluxe motherboard. Will there be a hearable difference (mostly listening to mp3, at least 192kbps)?

I'm thinking about something like
- Creative SB Audigy SE , Bulk PCI, 7.1 Surround, 24-bit/96KHz, EAX2.0

will it make a difference from my onboard sound?
will audigy 4, or X-fi, make further difference?


Thanks in advance, all comments welcome

More about : setup

September 7, 2006 11:13:48 AM

Your best choice is probably the Logitech Z-2300, althgough I haven't personally heard the other two speaker choices you mentioned, I have heard the Z-2300, and they deliver earth shatering, window ratling sound. Let's just say your neighbors better enjoy your music.

As far as soundcard goes, if your a gamer it will definitely help. You will get a few extra frames, as well as higher EAX support. I recommend any soundcards from Creative. The newer the model the better. I wouldn't recommend getting anything less than the audigy 2.
September 7, 2006 11:30:07 AM

Quote:
I'm going to throw away my horrible PC speakers from -93 and replace them. I've looking at 2.1 systems, since music is the primary area of usage. Price (around $300-400) is not really an issue, and I'm open to other suggestions than the three I mention.



Given that you have a reasonable budget I'd consider foregoing PC speakers altogether for sonic reasons. Even the best PC speakers tend to be somewhat mediocre when compared to mid-range bookshelf-sub or home theatre speaker sets.

At ~$400 you'd be better served to get a $150-$200 receiver and good bookshelves. Honestly.

You can find a very good Panasonic SA-XR55 receiver that can do home theater, quite well, should you ever desire for ~$200.

You can easily find better bookshelves and a sub for ~$200 on eBay than you can in made-for-PC set. I just did a search and there's too many to list.

Quote:

I've been looking at

- logitech Z-2300
- altec lansing FX6021 (some reviews says sound, especially bass, is somewhat mediocre?)
- harman / kardon soundsticks II (are they powerful enough?)

So, whats the best 2.1 system out there?


You can do a lot better than any of these at your price range. Forget anything you see at Comp USA, Best Buys, or your local computer retailer. However, if you're heart is set on the ease of hookup of a PC set consider the Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 or Klipsch iFi 2.1. These are some of the better (if not best) PC 2.1 speakers out there and they're w/in your budget.

We have some folks that frequent this forum that can give you EXCELLENT and accurate advice on good speaker systems. If you're lucky, you'll hear from them.

Quote:

Also, right now I use the onboard integrated sound on my Asus A8N SLI-Deluxe motherboard. Will there be a hearable difference (mostly listening to mp3, at least 192kbps)?

I'm thinking about something like
- Creative SB Audigy SE , Bulk PCI, 7.1 Surround, 24-bit/96KHz, EAX2.0

will it make a difference from my onboard sound?
will audigy 4, or X-fi, make further difference?


Thanks in advance, all comments welcome


You can do significantly better than onboard sound and you don't have to buy a $120 soundcard to accomplish that.

Consider the Chaintech AV-710 or Creative Audigy SE 7.1 in the ~$30 range. These will both meet your 2 or up-to 7-channel desires easily with good quality. ...nice bang-for-the-buck.

Consider the Audigy 4 or TurtleBeach Montego DDL (nice card, btw) in the ~$80 range. You're getting good quality and some nice features (toys) at this price range, meaning you may be happier with this range of card in the long run should you want to step out of the 2-channel stereo into something broader or have more options for gaming and music.

X-Fi? Contender for the best analog card available. Powerful and expensive enough that you'll feel like you bought the best. If you're set on this stick with the Extreme Music version.
Related resources
September 7, 2006 12:21:45 PM

Well if you want the best 2.1 setup, get the Z-2300s. I haven't heard them myself but I have heard they are the best 2.1 system out there right now. The sound card definitely does make a difference, when I upgraded from my SoundBlaster Live 5.1 to the SoundBlaster X-Fi Music, it was a huge change.

But for $300-$400... Why the hell are you looking at 2.1? At newegg.com you can get the Z-5500 for less than $300 and it's a huge difference. Even if you don't game and just use it for music, it's worth it. I have a set and the sound is amazingly good.
September 7, 2006 12:38:17 PM

The Logitech 2300s arent by far the "best computer speakers"; try Altecs MX5021 or FX6021, Klipsh IFi and why not Empire M2.1, now these are the best.

Yet, i dont recommand buying a 2.1 computer set, instead buy an amp and a pair of bookshelfs, thats what i wanna do ( i own the Altec Lansing MX5021, they rock but i know that i can achieve better sound).
September 7, 2006 2:25:08 PM

I can tell you right now, from personal experience, don't choose any of these options.

By far the best 2-channel music listening setup I've ever had was two standard Hi-Fi floorstanding speakers and a standard stereo amplifier connected to the soundcard output. This will demolish ANY 2.1 setup in the $3-400 pricerange, I promise you. And it's EASY to setup, takes 10 minutes.

You will need:

2x Speakers (have a listen at a HiFi store at the $200 range to find ones u like)
Stereo Amplifier
Cable from soundcard output to the amplifier (typically stereo minijack to stereo aux)

I'd recommend maxing your $400 budget. Spend $200 on the amplifier and $200 on the speakers... and you will have a good music listening setup.
September 7, 2006 3:23:30 PM

Thanks for all replies

It seems I should rethink and check out some Hifi-speakers/amplifiers..

The problem I have no experience in this area, and I'd be grateful for any advice on websites, reviews, brands, specific products etc

also, noone mentions a subwoofer in these setups. Will I not need one?
September 7, 2006 3:58:05 PM

Quote:
I'm going to throw away my horrible PC speakers from -93 and replace them. I've looking at 2.1 systems, since music is the primary area of usage. Price (around $300-400) is not really an issue, and I'm open to other suggestions than the three I mention.



Given that you have a reasonable budget I'd consider foregoing PC speakers altogether for sonic reasons. Even the best PC speakers tend to be somewhat mediocre when compared to mid-range bookshelf-sub or home theatre speaker sets.

At ~$400 you'd be better served to get a $150-$200 receiver and good bookshelves. Honestly.

You can find a very good Panasonic SA-XR55 receiver that can do home theater, quite well, should you ever desire for ~$200.

You can easily find better bookshelves and a sub for ~$200 on eBay than you can in made-for-PC set. I just did a search and there's too many to list.

Quote:

I've been looking at

- logitech Z-2300
- altec lansing FX6021 (some reviews says sound, especially bass, is somewhat mediocre?)
- harman / kardon soundsticks II (are they powerful enough?)

So, whats the best 2.1 system out there?


You can do a lot better than any of these at your price range. Forget anything you see at Comp USA, Best Buys, or your local computer retailer. However, if you're heart is set on the ease of hookup of a PC set consider the Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 or Klipsch iFi 2.1. These are some of the better (if not best) PC 2.1 speakers out there and they're w/in your budget.

We have some folks that frequent this forum that can give you EXCELLENT and accurate advice on good speaker systems. If you're lucky, you'll hear from them.

Quote:

Also, right now I use the onboard integrated sound on my Asus A8N SLI-Deluxe motherboard. Will there be a hearable difference (mostly listening to mp3, at least 192kbps)?

I'm thinking about something like
- Creative SB Audigy SE , Bulk PCI, 7.1 Surround, 24-bit/96KHz, EAX2.0

will it make a difference from my onboard sound?
will audigy 4, or X-fi, make further difference?


Thanks in advance, all comments welcome


You can do significantly better than onboard sound and you don't have to buy a $120 soundcard to accomplish that.

Consider the Chaintech AV-710 or Creative Audigy SE 7.1 in the ~$30 range. These will both meet your 2 or up-to 7-channel desires easily with good quality. ...nice bang-for-the-buck.

Consider the Audigy 4 or TurtleBeach Montego DDL (nice card, btw) in the ~$80 range. You're getting good quality and some nice features (toys) at this price range, meaning you may be happier with this range of card in the long run should you want to step out of the 2-channel stereo into something broader or have more options for gaming and music.

X-Fi? Contender for the best analog card available. Powerful and expensive enough that you'll feel like you bought the best. If you're set on this stick with the Extreme Music version.

Now that is some good advice!

BTW Halcyon, instead of getting those HD595s i asked you about i decided to go for the HD600. My GOD the sound is good! Makes my old HD202 sound tinny and horrible!

My soundcard doesn't do them justice, and my stereo system (Audionet ART + SAM with Nordost cabling) makes them sound lovely. The sound is warm and crisp, especially in some nice Holdsworth/Clapton.
September 7, 2006 4:12:54 PM

I bought a set of Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers 4 years ago. The driver in the subwoofer blew after about 18 months...the company replaced it for a flat fee of $50 and it's been working fine ever since. I have the Creative X-Fi Elite Pro soundcard (which cost twice as much as my speakers). Together, I can shake the walls of my living room if I wanted to. Sound is incredible.

The Promedia's list for $150 currently. I love them.

scrapser
September 7, 2006 4:41:00 PM

I have had the Altec Lansing ATP3 2.1 system for about a year and a half now. My room mate bought them when he was over seas and i have to say im really impressed. I couldn't imagine that there is a better 2.1 out there but im sure there is. It sound amazing and i wouldn't see a need to spend 300 unless you want 5.1 or better.
September 7, 2006 5:50:34 PM

Hmm...everyone's different I suppose. I thought the old ATP's (I had the ATP4s) seemed really boomy in terms of the bass, even looser than Logitech bass.
September 7, 2006 5:53:02 PM

Quote:
I'm going to throw away my horrible PC speakers from -93 and replace them. I've looking at 2.1 systems, since music is the primary area of usage. Price (around $300-400) is not really an issue, and I'm open to other suggestions than the three I mention.



Given that you have a reasonable budget I'd consider foregoing PC speakers altogether for sonic reasons. Even the best PC speakers tend to be somewhat mediocre when compared to mid-range bookshelf-sub or home theatre speaker sets.

At ~$400 you'd be better served to get a $150-$200 receiver and good bookshelves. Honestly.

You can find a very good Panasonic SA-XR55 receiver that can do home theater, quite well, should you ever desire for ~$200.

You can easily find better bookshelves and a sub for ~$200 on eBay than you can in made-for-PC set. I just did a search and there's too many to list.

Quote:

I've been looking at

- logitech Z-2300
- altec lansing FX6021 (some reviews says sound, especially bass, is somewhat mediocre?)
- harman / kardon soundsticks II (are they powerful enough?)

So, whats the best 2.1 system out there?


You can do a lot better than any of these at your price range. Forget anything you see at Comp USA, Best Buys, or your local computer retailer. However, if you're heart is set on the ease of hookup of a PC set consider the Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 or Klipsch iFi 2.1. These are some of the better (if not best) PC 2.1 speakers out there and they're w/in your budget.

We have some folks that frequent this forum that can give you EXCELLENT and accurate advice on good speaker systems. If you're lucky, you'll hear from them.

Quote:

Also, right now I use the onboard integrated sound on my Asus A8N SLI-Deluxe motherboard. Will there be a hearable difference (mostly listening to mp3, at least 192kbps)?

I'm thinking about something like
- Creative SB Audigy SE , Bulk PCI, 7.1 Surround, 24-bit/96KHz, EAX2.0

will it make a difference from my onboard sound?
will audigy 4, or X-fi, make further difference?


Thanks in advance, all comments welcome


You can do significantly better than onboard sound and you don't have to buy a $120 soundcard to accomplish that.

Consider the Chaintech AV-710 or Creative Audigy SE 7.1 in the ~$30 range. These will both meet your 2 or up-to 7-channel desires easily with good quality. ...nice bang-for-the-buck.

Consider the Audigy 4 or TurtleBeach Montego DDL (nice card, btw) in the ~$80 range. You're getting good quality and some nice features (toys) at this price range, meaning you may be happier with this range of card in the long run should you want to step out of the 2-channel stereo into something broader or have more options for gaming and music.

X-Fi? Contender for the best analog card available. Powerful and expensive enough that you'll feel like you bought the best. If you're set on this stick with the Extreme Music version.

Now that is some good advice!

BTW Halcyon, instead of getting those HD595s i asked you about i decided to go for the HD600. My GOD the sound is good! Makes my old HD202 sound tinny and horrible!

My soundcard doesn't do them justice, and my stereo system (Audionet ART + SAM with Nordost cabling) makes them sound lovely. The sound is warm and crisp, especially in some nice Holdsworth/Clapton.

That's awesome! You have what many contend to be the best headphones available. Nice set. ...and they sound good without an amp? Congrats on a fine set of cans!
September 7, 2006 9:32:28 PM

Quote:
I'm going to throw away my horrible PC speakers from -93 and replace them. I've looking at 2.1 systems, since music is the primary area of usage. Price (around $300-400) is not really an issue, and I'm open to other suggestions than the three I mention.



Given that you have a reasonable budget I'd consider foregoing PC speakers altogether for sonic reasons. Even the best PC speakers tend to be somewhat mediocre when compared to mid-range bookshelf-sub or home theatre speaker sets.

At ~$400 you'd be better served to get a $150-$200 receiver and good bookshelves. Honestly.

You can find a very good Panasonic SA-XR55 receiver that can do home theater, quite well, should you ever desire for ~$200.

You can easily find better bookshelves and a sub for ~$200 on eBay than you can in made-for-PC set. I just did a search and there's too many to list.

Quote:

I've been looking at

- logitech Z-2300
- altec lansing FX6021 (some reviews says sound, especially bass, is somewhat mediocre?)
- harman / kardon soundsticks II (are they powerful enough?)

So, whats the best 2.1 system out there?


You can do a lot better than any of these at your price range. Forget anything you see at Comp USA, Best Buys, or your local computer retailer. However, if you're heart is set on the ease of hookup of a PC set consider the Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 or Klipsch iFi 2.1. These are some of the better (if not best) PC 2.1 speakers out there and they're w/in your budget.

We have some folks that frequent this forum that can give you EXCELLENT and accurate advice on good speaker systems. If you're lucky, you'll hear from them.

Quote:

Also, right now I use the onboard integrated sound on my Asus A8N SLI-Deluxe motherboard. Will there be a hearable difference (mostly listening to mp3, at least 192kbps)?

I'm thinking about something like
- Creative SB Audigy SE , Bulk PCI, 7.1 Surround, 24-bit/96KHz, EAX2.0

will it make a difference from my onboard sound?
will audigy 4, or X-fi, make further difference?


Thanks in advance, all comments welcome


You can do significantly better than onboard sound and you don't have to buy a $120 soundcard to accomplish that.

Consider the Chaintech AV-710 or Creative Audigy SE 7.1 in the ~$30 range. These will both meet your 2 or up-to 7-channel desires easily with good quality. ...nice bang-for-the-buck.

Consider the Audigy 4 or TurtleBeach Montego DDL (nice card, btw) in the ~$80 range. You're getting good quality and some nice features (toys) at this price range, meaning you may be happier with this range of card in the long run should you want to step out of the 2-channel stereo into something broader or have more options for gaming and music.

X-Fi? Contender for the best analog card available. Powerful and expensive enough that you'll feel like you bought the best. If you're set on this stick with the Extreme Music version.

Now that is some good advice!

BTW Halcyon, instead of getting those HD595s i asked you about i decided to go for the HD600. My GOD the sound is good! Makes my old HD202 sound tinny and horrible!

My soundcard doesn't do them justice, and my stereo system (Audionet ART + SAM with Nordost cabling) makes them sound lovely. The sound is warm and crisp, especially in some nice Holdsworth/Clapton.

That's awesome! You have what many contend to be the best headphones available. Nice set. ...and they sound good without an amp? Congrats on a fine set of cans!

They do sound perfectly good without an amp, but a nice amp just makes gives them that small push to audio "perfection". Or as close as you can get to perfection for a pair of cans costing around £180.
September 7, 2006 10:44:13 PM

Quote:
I'm going to throw away my horrible PC speakers from -93 and replace them. I've looking at 2.1 systems, since music is the primary area of usage. Price (around $300-400) is not really an issue, and I'm open to other suggestions than the three I mention.



Given that you have a reasonable budget I'd consider foregoing PC speakers altogether for sonic reasons. Even the best PC speakers tend to be somewhat mediocre when compared to mid-range bookshelf-sub or home theatre speaker sets.

At ~$400 you'd be better served to get a $150-$200 receiver and good bookshelves. Honestly.

You can find a very good Panasonic SA-XR55 receiver that can do home theater, quite well, should you ever desire for ~$200.

You can easily find better bookshelves and a sub for ~$200 on eBay than you can in made-for-PC set. I just did a search and there's too many to list.

Quote:

I've been looking at

- logitech Z-2300
- altec lansing FX6021 (some reviews says sound, especially bass, is somewhat mediocre?)
- harman / kardon soundsticks II (are they powerful enough?)

So, whats the best 2.1 system out there?


You can do a lot better than any of these at your price range. Forget anything you see at Comp USA, Best Buys, or your local computer retailer. However, if you're heart is set on the ease of hookup of a PC set consider the Klipsch Pro Media 2.1 or Klipsch iFi 2.1. These are some of the better (if not best) PC 2.1 speakers out there and they're w/in your budget.

We have some folks that frequent this forum that can give you EXCELLENT and accurate advice on good speaker systems. If you're lucky, you'll hear from them.

Quote:

Also, right now I use the onboard integrated sound on my Asus A8N SLI-Deluxe motherboard. Will there be a hearable difference (mostly listening to mp3, at least 192kbps)?

I'm thinking about something like
- Creative SB Audigy SE , Bulk PCI, 7.1 Surround, 24-bit/96KHz, EAX2.0

will it make a difference from my onboard sound?
will audigy 4, or X-fi, make further difference?


Thanks in advance, all comments welcome


You can do significantly better than onboard sound and you don't have to buy a $120 soundcard to accomplish that.

Consider the Chaintech AV-710 or Creative Audigy SE 7.1 in the ~$30 range. These will both meet your 2 or up-to 7-channel desires easily with good quality. ...nice bang-for-the-buck.

Consider the Audigy 4 or TurtleBeach Montego DDL (nice card, btw) in the ~$80 range. You're getting good quality and some nice features (toys) at this price range, meaning you may be happier with this range of card in the long run should you want to step out of the 2-channel stereo into something broader or have more options for gaming and music.

X-Fi? Contender for the best analog card available. Powerful and expensive enough that you'll feel like you bought the best. If you're set on this stick with the Extreme Music version.

Now that is some good advice!

BTW Halcyon, instead of getting those HD595s i asked you about i decided to go for the HD600. My GOD the sound is good! Makes my old HD202 sound tinny and horrible!

My soundcard doesn't do them justice, and my stereo system (Audionet ART + SAM with Nordost cabling) makes them sound lovely. The sound is warm and crisp, especially in some nice Holdsworth/Clapton.

That's awesome! You have what many contend to be the best headphones available. Nice set. ...and they sound good without an amp? Congrats on a fine set of cans!

They do sound perfectly good without an amp, but a nice amp just makes gives them that small push to audio "perfection". Or as close as you can get to perfection for a pair of cans costing around £180.

I've decided to refuse to be jealous, that would be childish. HD600's...grumble, grumble. Well, I got, oh...forget it. LOL If I do spring for a 3rd set of headphones I'd really like to get the AKG K701's. ...but since I have 2 pairs of headphones already, I'd feel kinda dumb getting'd a 3rd set, but that hasn't stopped me before. LOL

Congrats again.
September 8, 2006 6:13:51 AM

You can never have too much audio equipment :D 
September 8, 2006 6:38:55 AM

Cut down on the quotes a bit lol :wink:
September 8, 2006 11:40:43 AM

Sorry about that!!
September 8, 2006 12:40:42 PM

Quote:
Thanks for all replies

It seems I should rethink and check out some Hifi-speakers/amplifiers..

The problem I have no experience in this area, and I'd be grateful for any advice on websites, reviews, brands, specific products etc

also, noone mentions a subwoofer in these setups. Will I not need one?


i second choosing a HT amp and speakers over conventional pc sets...

as far as a sub being necessary, it wont be in all honesty, especially if your front left and right speakers have wide enough range... id consider some decent floorstandings for that then... a sub at that point is completly optional though (as the bass frequencies will already be taken care of), subs are more useful for the LFE channel than anything really (typical of dvds for example, which is indicated by the .1), which adds more of an emphasis on the 'booming', and 'rumbling', (when its called for), and not just having 'all' your low frequencies being sent to your front speakers, or all low frequencies being sent to your sub, but rather just what low frequencies are really necessary to be sent to either/both... ...you basically end up with 2 types of bass in the end, low sounds in general, and LFE specific effects...

at $300-400... youre definetly being able to afford some quality sound, easily exceeding that of a pc speaker set in the same price range...

as far as recommendations, even a fairly mediocre pair of stereo channel bookshelves/floorstandings will set you a decent way in the right direction... for instance, part of the setup i have in my signature, a JVC a/v receiver, and sony floorstandings... it literally blows away any pc set ive heard before (makes sense anyhow), and it was only $312 total after discounts, and tax and all... ...go to any electronics retailer, such as frys electronics for example... check out what they have thats in your price range, and see what sounds good to you after listening to them, auditioning them, giving them a test run so to speak.
September 15, 2006 3:02:36 AM

Quote:
I'm thinking about something like
- Creative SB Audigy SE , Bulk PCI, 7.1 Surround, 24-bit/96KHz, EAX2.0

Also have a look at M-Audio audiophile cards. The 2496 is very good and amazing value. These cards are aimed more at audio recording and as such concentrate on no-frills, high quality stereo sound.
September 19, 2006 2:57:39 PM

Every pair of ears are different. Just make sure you personally listen to any speakers first, and then just shop around for the best price.
September 20, 2006 5:58:38 AM

try this, 120v ac and 230v ac
swan m200 2.0
m-audio LX4
Harman Kardon's SoundSticks II, 2.1
Creative Labs MegaWorks 2.1 THX 250D,
Altec Lansing MX-5021 THX ,2.1
Altec Lansing FX6021,2.1
Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX,
Klipsch ProMedia GMX A-2.1
Logitech z2300 thx 2.1
Klipsch IFI

swans m200 may be best musical
http://www.swanspeaker.com/product/htm/view.asp?id=3

more swans 2.2 best all over 150kg
http://www.swanspeaker.com/product/htm/view.asp?id=193

other speakers
http://www.klipsch.com/products/lists/floorstanding-sys...
thanks
September 20, 2006 7:12:42 AM

If you have the money and the space, go for the HT setup. A PC hooked into a real system beats PC speakers anytime.

The first two years of college, I had my PC hooked into my stereo A year ago I bought the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 because I wanted good sound but I didn't want to haul my whole stereo setup to school (space was a factor). I love my Klipsches..they are awesome! But having my PC hooked into one of my stereos beats my Klipsches anyday.

I have an SB Audigy 1 Platinum and I have been very pleased with this card. Newegg has the Audigy SE for $27.99 (and it has 7.1 for future upgrades--my Audigy only has 5.1 (not that I care though))

I can hear a distinct difference between my Audigy and the onboard sound on my Compaq laptop (when hooked into the same stereo). The Audigy sounds muh better and is still worth the money I put into it three years ago ($130).

krfan1
September 25, 2006 10:04:23 PM

If you insist on computer speakers than Buy the Klipsch pro media. 2.1 for 250 ish I think?

If you have 400 dollars, find a paradigm dealer, buy a pair of Titans in the performace series and a cheap stereo reciever at best buy or circuit city, OR buy a great stereo reciever A Harmon Kardon 80 w per channel refurb on ebay.

titans 250-270 Harmon Kardon reciever 180

This setup will completely destroy any computer speaker ever made. Life changing is a good descriptor. I keep harping on about this but seriously computer speakers suck balls.

http://www.paradigm.com/Website/SiteParadigmProduct/Par...
The site also lists dealerships around the country.
September 25, 2006 10:58:22 PM

i have to agree with everyone recommending h.t. speakers
and a seperate reciever/amp
much better sound than computer speakers.

i have the same mobo as you and use the onboardsound(dont have
a soundcard) and connect it to my h/k a/v reciever and it sounds great.
September 26, 2006 1:00:38 AM

You should check out Turtle Beach soundcards they run like 30-120 dollars and the 30-60 dollar models are usually just as good as the 70-300 dollar creative versions, they just don't have all the chic little functions. I used to own one, and two of my friends own catalina's they are really quality cards. I can not stress enough what a good deal they are. It's hard to imagine that 30 bucks can dramatically improve your sound quality, and offload cpu.
September 26, 2006 10:55:50 AM

I do agree with the audio quality benefits of stereo or h.t. speakers. I don't quite agree that there's no use or for computer speakers. For instance, I have 4 computers, I use all 4. One is my H.T. system hooked up to my little Yamaha 5940 (X-Fi'd). Another is my personal divertissement rig, hooked up to my Logitech Z-5500's (also X-Fi'd) and FireStone Audio headphone DAC&Amp pushing the Senn's and Grado's. Third is my Do-Some-Work rig, hooked up to my old HK Soundsticks (X-Fi unused, just now), and bringing up the rear is my ThinkPad X-32 connected to my Sony STR-DE897 with Polk RT25 and junior Sony sub (complete overkill, but there was no place to store this old equipment so I hooked it up).

TMI

My point is that computer speakers work well for some of these rigs. It doesn't make sense, to me, to install a receiver and speakers for each rig, and I have one setup that people see and ask, "Why do you have that there?"...the Sony setup. The Harmon Kardon Soundsticks are small, un-obtrusive and the Logitech Z-5500's sats are small enough that I can place them on the floor around me in the same room, while putting the sub out of the way. Don't have to cloud the room with a receiver. If I was married I doubt most of the equipement I do have would be an option, let alone PC speakers vs. Receiver-set.

Perhaps, TMI. These computer speakers work fine here, the audio quality is fine for the intended use. I have the Yamaha powered 5.1 system when I desire quality.

My bottom line, and point is that computer speakers, are fine, to me, when they're not the only audio solution in one's home. Many people, like myself, have more than one rig, that they use for dedicated purposes. I guess its a personal choice as to whether or not it makes sense to hook up hi-fi receivers to any computer in the home that you want sound out of, for me, it does not. I don't need to hear the bleeps and bloops of my Work-related PC or laptop in hi-fi (though the laptop is currently laid-out with such). Doesn't mean sound's not important, just that cheap speakers work (would work) fine there.

We never really consider this type of scenario, from what I see in these posts. Perhaps we should, I don't think its as uncommon as you might think.

...my apologies for this extended post. 8O
September 26, 2006 7:57:25 PM

I never said they were useless, I just said they sounded like crap, of course I understand there application, like someone said to me on another forum "you don't share a desk with your wife" lol. I am just a sound nazi I guess and I just hope people who are really interested in accurate music/sound repro. get pointed in the direction of technology that will actually perform for them.

I reccomend computer speakers to people on a budget/sharing desk's with there wives all the time. Although I usually include a blurb about how they could buy small bookshelves and a micro amp.
September 26, 2006 9:40:09 PM

Speaking of MicroAmp, a nice brain you may have heard of, Astrallite, listed one of Italian design, for like ~20, if I recall correctly. I've got to look up that post. That kind of blew me away.
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