I definitely have to agree with you westcott. The Klipsch Promedia 5.1 speakers have generally been regarded by many people as a benchmark that all other speakers are compared against. Leaving these speakers out of this review just doesn't make any sense as I'm sure many people besides me would like to see how they compare to these new sets.
I would also have to agree. I have owned both the klipsch original 5.1s as well as now owning the new 5.1 ultras. Before my purchase of the ultras I "borrowed" the 7.1 gigaworks from my local computer shop.
I quickly returned them after they did not even compete to the pure richness of the old 5.1s that I had. I promptly bought a set of the Klipsch 5.1 Ultras right after and I am totally astonished at how much they improved from the original 5.1s.
The gigaworks system is nice, but for a pc configuration, 7.1 speakers is overkill as you can barely tell any seperation in the rear-side and rear-speakers.
The Klipsch fill that same space with 2 speakers with much richer sound and thicker sounding base.
So I agree, I can't believe they left Klipsch out of the mix. They are truly the flagship and "Best" benchmark speakers for comparing other speakers to.
Anything can improve, so I look forward to the day when someone else can come along and knock Klipsch out of the top spot. I'll most likely be the first to purchase those speakers.
<b>If it aint broke, then hell, you aint looking at it in the right frame of mind!</b>
I think this is a great speaker review, though not as complete as many would like. Yes I'd like to see Klipcsh involved and others, but I'm ok if they are added later.
What makes this such a nice review is that finally someone has done subjective frequency analysis on these systems. I have yet to buy a 4.1+ system as I've never found one that sounds as good as my current 2.1 (which is dying). I tried many a couple years ago (including klipsch) and hated them all (mostly due to midrange and treble response). Now that I'm going into another round of testing for myself I can use this review to help me choose what to try.
The problem I have is that THG has become so busy that very few articles these days are properly followed up. Many people take THG as the gospel on product recommendations and publishing an incomplete article that is mistitled only makes the article more misleading. To add salt to the wound, they title the article "high end pc speakers reviewed....it just doesn't get more complete than this."
Well, if anyone at THG is listening (or reading), here are a few other mfgs of TRUE high end pc speakers that should be considered to really have an article that comes close to being complete.
I am a staunch supporter of THG and have been for many years, but like their vendors they review, THG also needs constructive criticism to stay competitive in their market place.
Athlon 2000XP, A7N8X Deluxe, Corsair 3200XMS, WD Raptor 36GB, GF3 Ti500 Golden Sample, Yamaha EZ3200CDRW, 19" Mistubishi Diamond Pro 900u with USB, Antec 430W TruePower, Klipsch GMX A-2.1<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by westcott on 12/24/03 09:44 AM.</EM></FONT></P>
It is essential for readers to note the word "PC" in the title "High End PC Speakers Reviewed," and also in Wescott's post "...TRUE high end pc speakers..."
I agree with Wescott about the review being misleading and incomplete. It's too bad that THG and other reviewers never point out to readers (who may not know any better) that PC speakers, however high quality, are much worse than pro studio near field monitors (most PC users have their front L and R speakers very close to them); surround sound speakers are less critical; and audiophile subwoofers sound vastly superior to PC speaker subwoofers. But of course the sonic quality of near field monitors and audiophile subwoofers comes at a price: good near field monitors cost many hundreds of dollars EACH, and good audiophile subwoofers (especially self powered ones) can easily cost several thousand dollars each.
I'm not arguing that everyone should invest $5K in the speaker system for their PC's (although I did, and its only two pro studio near field monitors and an audiophile subwoofer with a 1000W amp). I'm arguing that users deserve more information from PC hardware reviewers about their speaker price/performance options so they can be better consumers. Lacking that, users should visit pro audio web sites (a Froogle search on "near field monitor," online stores like Zzounds.com, for example).
I too agree that although the review is very helpful, it's not quite complete. Except for one thing, I couldn't find anything else on the net that is more complete... so maybe its title is really true after all.
Anyway, I am coming from the other side of the market, in that I came here trying to get info on what I should buy. I currently have a 4.1 philips set, which isn't overly impressive. I got it as a $100 deal a few years back. I'm ready to make the upgrade now, and I'm not sure what I should get. I mainly use my speakers for gaming (mostly first-person shooter), listening to *a lot* of music and watching dvd's on my computer. I recently upgraded my computer's sound card to a Creative Audigy 2 ZS card, and I want to harness the power that I have in my computer now. I know I at least want 5.1 surround, and have been told by a number of friends that 7.1 is not necessary and is still too expensive. Any suggestions?
I became curious when I saw Creative T7700 for $70 at compusa (this week) after a few rebates, although after reading this review it seems as if I should look into a better 5.1 system.
I would start by doing a search with google for the names I listed above with word "review" in the search. I have also included a link that should review most of these in one revision or another. It should also help you figure out what is really being said in the technical specifications. Some vendors rate their speakers with only one channel driven at a time or list peak power and not sustained power. Some do not list any distortion numbers, etc.
Your friends are correct, 6-7- or 8 channel systems are very hard to justify on a pc sound system unless you spend most of your time watching DVD's or games that support that many channels. A 5.1 system should be all one really needs for a long time to come and you may find, as I did, my limited budget ($125) was better spend on a high quality 2.1 system.
Speaker placement is far more important than quantity so do some homework on this. The Dolby website covers this rather well with diagrams and distances.
Some of the speakers I listed are not available everywhere so this may have some bearing on your decision. All of these systems deliver incredible sound for their price and you will find that many use similar speaker and sub designs that you would find in their high end home theater systems.
I am sure the review page I gave you should answer most of your questions.
Thank you for your very thorough response... I will copy it down and save it once I have more of a budget (soon). I definately want surround sound, and I definately want quality. Is it crazy to want both with a $150 budget?
You could find a good sounding surround system for that price. The problem you will encounter is that once you hear some of the systems I listed against some of the less expensive systems, you will kick yourself. It is only when you listen to the higher quality systems that you really appreciate the quality of sound produced.