For the past year or so I've been using the Logitech G35 surround sound headset for movies/gaming, and I love the thing. I'm no audiophile, but everything sounds great. However I've decided its time I got a pair of some decent desktop speakers. My budget is around $150, and from what I've seen it looks like the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 PC speakers are the best I can get for that price (if there are better, let me know!). I don't have the room or setup for surround speakers, so quality 2.1 speakers are my best bet.
Now, with that, I don't want quality speakers to be dragged down by bad hardware. I'm currently using the onboard 8-channel audio that came with my ASUS M4A88TD-M/USB3 motherboard, and while I've never noticed anything wrong with the sound quality it has offered, I've also never experienced a dedicated sound card. So, what would be a good, preferably cheap, 2.1 channel sound card? I've browsed on Newegg, and it looks like the vast majority of cards are for 7.1. Obviously they probably run 2.1 just fine, but they are a bit expensive. I'd really love to stay around $50 or so, $100 at the very most. I don't know if I can get noticeably better quality on a $50 sound card... so that's why I'm here asking!
Basically, is it worth upgrading from onboard audio for a 2.1 setup, and if so, what would be a good, cost-effective product for these speakers?
The sound quality is generally determined by the chipset.
Obviously cards that cost more have better audio processor chipsets and DACS.
Of course all 5.1/7.1 soundcards allow you to choose 2.1.
I have a $100+ soundcard and prefer 2.1. speakers.
The Klipsch Promedia 2.1 are good speakers. I've been using mine since 2006. Just to let you know they are geared more towards music and movies rather than games which is why I bought them.
The only bad thing about the speakers is when you turn them on the two satellite speakers makes a popping sound. In the long run if you continually turn those speakers on and off, it can lead to some damage. You can either keep them on all the time or disconnect the input cable before turning them on and reattach the cable. If you leave them on, they draw 19w of power while idling.
Thanks for the input! I'll probably just keep them on, as my PC is almost always on anyways. And yeah, I plan to continue using my G35 headset for gaming, as I'll need to be able to talk to friends while playing. I decided a good pair of 2.1 speakers were in order, and what better thing to look for in 2.1 speakers than music reproduction.