I've been using 5.1 Logitech X-530 for a few years now, but having recently moved I really can't get the rear speakers installed anywhere any longer and am using just the stereo and middle speakers at the moment. I use the PC for heavy gaming and listening to music (usually mp3 @ 256kbps, I don't really deal with FLACs). I was thinking of getting a proper set of 2.1 speakers and a dedicated sound card to go with it, but honestly I know jack*** about audio stuff. Also like I said I'm not really a headphones person so is there even any point in getting a sound card? The integrated audio device on my current motherboard is Realtek® ALC892 8-Channel High Definition Audio CODEC.
So please recommend me a sound card if necessary and a set of 2.1 PC speakers to go with it.
My budget is about ~$400 or 400€.
Ehhh Bose have a full range of sound, but the bass is muddy. (I own a pair I'm not using any more)
The best would be Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 for $170,
But those can be hard to find, in which case corsair SP2500 speakers for $200, are great too.
The best <$100 is the logitech z523
As far as sound cards go, I agree Asus is good, just don't spend more than $60, get a ds, dsx, dg, or dgx. (x means pci xpress, g is 5.1, s is 7.1)
Personally I've got a pair of polk monitor 30s (series ii) hooked up to a topping tp22 mini amp, running off an asus xonar dsx.
Polk has since updated the 30s to 35s (same sound, slightly better looking cabinet)
These sound great but they won't give you the overkill base that a sub would, plus they are a little on the large side.
I had my eyes on the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 myself. They're actually not that hard to come by where I live, although very few retailers actually have them in stock. What are the key differences between cheaper sound cards and of those in the steep end?
What are the key differences between cheaper sound cards and of those in the steep end?
It mostly comes down to two things:
1) Signal to Noise ratio: anything above 95db doesn't sound like crap, 105 and above sounds great in a normal setting, for sealed headphones you might be able to tell the difference as high as 115db
2) Integrated Headphone amps
So, most of your super high-end sound cards are made for super high-end headphones. Other than that, it's up to your own personal preference. I have three computers (work, gaming, and a htpc). I have x-fi's on the two that are hooked up to surround systems, and a xonar dsx hooked up to the one with stereo.
The asus does sound a little better, out of the box, but I tend to think that's because it colors the sound more than the x-fi cards. But the x-fi's are much more tweakable, especially with surround systems.