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speakers pc vs ht

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December 24, 2003 5:36:27 AM

Hey guys I was having an "argument" with a mate of mine
The question was for 500 Aus dollars ~ 300US? which set of speakers would sound better.
Those designed by computer companies eg. logitech/creative
Or those designed by sound companies for home theatre applications.

I was looking at a logitech z680 and a z5300

More about : speakers

December 24, 2003 6:00:21 AM

Good question! The answer is kind of tough: If you want home theater speaker you're going to need an amp, home theater amps cost a lot of money, so unless you already have one you're getting the better price on the computer speaker (which have their own cheaper amp).

Let me put it this way, I think a $200 HT amp and a $150 speaker system would sound about the same as a $250-$300 computer speaker set. Of course it would have more features (remote control, lots of inputs, lots of power...).

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
December 24, 2003 6:04:03 AM

BTW, if you buy a "home theater center" here (the complete kit) with all the speakers, you'll pay $500 U.S. to get a settup with the same quality as a $300 set of computer speakers...but it will produce at least 50% more volume as well. Just my opinion.

My friend just fried his $200 computer speaker amp, and tried replacing it with a $260 home theater settup, but the speakers on the old system were better so he ended up using the new amp with the old speakers.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
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December 24, 2003 7:06:46 AM

thnx crashman..
December 29, 2003 5:14:53 AM

how come toms don't test Klipsch setups? i have the 2.1 and that thing has some nice power...

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December 29, 2003 3:40:38 PM

Yeah, why not Klipsch?

Okay, brain. You don't like me, and I don't like you, but let's get through this thing and then I can continue killing you with beer. -- Homer Simpson.
December 29, 2003 10:12:08 PM

Buy them some and I'm sure they'll test them. What, you expect Tom's to actually buy the parts?

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
December 30, 2003 5:54:25 PM

i have the klipsch 5.1... they blow all other comp speakers out of the water. period. (logitech is a cheap accessory company, i wouldnt go for their 'high end' audio)

i hooked them up to my new sony 500w reciever ($180) so now the speakers sound even more amazing because the reciever amps them better

as for HT vs Comp.... basicly HT setups are generally louder and richer, meant to listen in your average room.
Comp speaker setups are meant to have full sound when sitting at your comp, not to fill a room.
if u have good 5.1 speakers right now, get a cheap amp (i got my sony from best buy with a 10% off coupon.. great deal)... if your really into sound, then go for a decent level HT setup, its worth it cause you can do more than just the comp
December 31, 2003 1:56:39 PM

Hi,
The question i have to you all, is how do Creative GigaWorks S750 compare to the home cinema packages in terms of sound quality? Which home cinema package would be comparative to Creative GigaWorks S750 speakers?

Thanks ARK
January 1, 2004 8:39:24 AM

yer question leaves me in the wonder land. What exactly you want: reach sound for your PC needs, or all around system to have. For 300 bucks you will not find a good "ht" (whatever that thing is, I assume "house tunes") caz you need a good $300+ rec to boot. Altec makes very (I mean very) good PC speakers, they sound better than any other ones in their price range, which means they sound the same as ones with the price above them (pease of junk klipsch and such). Check them out, best bang for the buck and best sound around.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
January 1, 2004 8:42:58 AM

""they blow all other comp speakers""

what does "all" mean? you mean "all" other? that means "all"? or am I lost here? you seriously mean "all" other, right? have you listened to "all"? what do you mean by "all?

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January 4, 2004 10:42:58 PM

my god man.. stop responding to posts on these boards... you have no idea what your talking about in anything (HT is short for Home Theater, idiot)... cant even spell right ('caz' what is 'caz'? i'm assuming you mean 'because')
and by 'all other' i mean exactly that, klipsch are better than 'all other' computer speakers.. what dont you understand there?

Altec? your kidding right? altec is a complete POS brand... if you have any concern for having good sound then a) if you dont want to spend the money go for the logitechs... b) if you dont mind spending some money and getting really good sound, go for the Klipsch Promedia series, the best sound your gonna get for the comp... or go for the HT setup, gonna pay a bit more for it (unless you get an all in one for $3-500) but the HT setups are nice because you can customize them how you like, can get any reciever you want and hook up any speakers, dont have to settle for a complete package, you can also easily hook up multiple devices, not just the comp (i currently have my comp, tv, and dvd to a reciever going through my klipsch speakers)
its all a question of how much you want to spend and what you want to use it for
January 5, 2004 3:15:32 AM

chill out, dude, the question was about $300, what will be better, not $700+ setup you or $1000+ I are having.



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January 5, 2004 3:27:50 AM

Depends on the individual setups really. I have a $250 500W Sony HT reciever (eh, it's decent), and a 5.0 (no sub) $500 set of speakers which do me pretty well. I LOVE how I can get DD 5.1 to the amp from my soundstorm.

It sounds great and I'll never buy another set of computer speakers ever again. A few years down the road I'll get a nice Denon amp and use it to power a Paradigm 7.1 system for sure. Until then, my current setup will do fine and will kick the crap out of most, if not all, pc speakers.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
January 6, 2004 7:48:11 AM

Spend around $100 on a good pair of headphones and you will have sound superior to any speakers. The main difference is that with headphones you will be able hear/isolate sounds you just cant hear as well with speakers. This is a must for PC games: especially first person shooters.

Balls, said the Queen if I had them I would be king!
January 6, 2004 1:57:43 PM

hehehe, I just got RP-DJ1200 DJs ordered, those things will blow your brains out, they have so much bass, gg

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January 7, 2004 12:42:51 AM

Not really. Sure you can hear more sounds, but you don't get any directional info out of headphones. I would much rather play with a surround speaker setup in an fps than headphones because then I can tell exactly where everyone is.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
January 7, 2004 12:56:33 AM

I couldnt disagree with you more. The truth is headphones do provide fantastic directional information. I would like to say all professional gamers use headphones but nothing is absolute.

Balls, said the Queen if I had them I would be king!<P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by hobbit on 01/06/04 09:58 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
January 7, 2004 3:25:38 AM

You get right and left. Your sound card outputs only a right and left stereo signal to your headphones which only have 2 drivers. You can tell when something passes left to right, but not if it's behind you or in front of you.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
January 7, 2004 8:34:08 AM

dam i didn't visit here in a few days and everyone went crazy...lol..

Yeah i have the Klipsch Promedia 2.1, only complains i have are 2, one being that they do supply some cheap wire'ing... i had to makeup my own cables, and also i wasn't to thrilled on the fact that i have to bend over and flip a switch on the back of the sub to power them on.. other then that the speakers ROCK, solid design and deff no problems with power output. Everyone on this forum talks so much about Logitech z680s or whatever models, personally never tested them out or anything but im just wondering how a company who makes MOUSE"S and KEYBOARDS can make speaker setup that sounds better then a Real Speaker company like Klipsch.

Next time im in a store i am deff gonna check out those z680's.. only thing i can see right from the start that i like are the Remote and that little box with that you can power on everything and control everything.

anyway 2.1's rock! lol

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January 7, 2004 4:51:06 PM

<""You can tell when something passes left to right, but not if it's behind you or in front of you."">

Dood, you talk like a cow, lots of fat, no brain. Have you ever played UT on MX300 with headphones? That thing is so thruthfull it is scarry.

PS: please make yerself a fever and find out how sound is "flying" into yer ear? do you have front and rear "hole" in the head? if you know what I mean?

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
January 8, 2004 1:28:27 AM

I've played UT, quake, CS, and about 30 other games both with my sennheiser headphones and with my 5.1 HT setup.

It's very easy to see how you can tell where the sound is if you use a simple program where you can move a sound source around you on the screen. Creative's utilities let you do just that. Use your headphones and move a sound around you in a circle. All you will hear is the sound going left to right and back again. Now do with with a surround setup. You will be able to hear the sound actually move around you.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
January 8, 2004 2:14:20 AM

hey, I will not say a word any more to you, you don't understand what I am telling you, it is not headpones it's a sound card that makes you "hear things". SB Live! is a junk with your headphones, let it be sennheiser or shmakheizer, they just produce what's going in with different quality. (by the way, the headphone you posess have weak bass line, all sennheisers have that, and if you have an open air, which is I hardly doubt, caz they cheap, they suck even more)

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January 8, 2004 5:51:00 AM

I've used 3 different sb cards from the original live through to a full 5.1 digital card, as well as the nforce apu in analog mode and in DD mode where the signal is decoded by my amp and sent to the head phones. Basically, with the last setup, I get downmixed DD 5.1 to the headphones and I'll still take the 5.1 setup over headphones.

Why do you say "it is not headpones it's a sound card that makes you 'hear things'" when you're trying to argue that headphones are superior to a 5.1 setup?

So is it the headphones or is it the sound card?

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
January 8, 2004 8:58:27 AM

blah, you want to be the worst troll ever but you just suck so much that you can't even be nominated that. We really need a moderator (and a worthy FAQ by the way) for the forums. You try and post some of this garbage on ArsTechnica.com forums just once and you'll see how hard you'll get kicked out and never allowed in again.
January 9, 2004 4:44:21 AM

<"you'll get kicked out and never allowed in again">

hehehe, that's why I don't go the those "non-garbage" sites, they are too clean for "average" user. By the way, what kind of "garbage" you are puking out about? And even Technica phones are a little better than those sennheisers in the mid range price, it does not mean that you have the right to call me a name that many of the posters said doesn't belong to me. So hit the road, fella, and get lost in the dust. And please, don't threaten me by some stupid ruled sites somewhere I don't even think to go, jeeez, stick to reality a little, I am here, not there, and never be, so will remain here as long as there is a need for me to have some fun, kapish, idiot?



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January 9, 2004 4:48:12 AM

yeah, and why "ArsTechnica.com"? Did I ever mention anything about Technica stuff? Where did you get it from? Have you being kicked out of there, so you want me to get the same? Are you too envy of me? Where did you come from, idiot?

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January 10, 2004 1:53:33 AM

" it is not headpones it's a sound card that makes you "hear things"."

Um.. BLAH... Sound Card just produces, outputs the sound... you won't hear [-peep-] with out a pair of headphones or another device like a Speaker...... the SOUND card don't make you HEAR anything if that was the case we wouldn't need speakers or headphones

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January 10, 2004 8:15:17 AM

Whora bunch of idiots, are you all stupid to the bone? I did not say that you can hear from the sound card, morons, I've said that if you have headphones on, they do nothing but produce what they were told to, nothing else, so if the sound card is stupid just like you, the headphones (not the sound card) will produce stupid sound and you will not "hear things", but if the sound card is smart (like myself), the headphones (not the sound card) will transfer into your earz what they were told to from the sound card and you will "hear things" (meaning: behind, in front of you, on the sides, above, below, inside of your head..) that's what called "hear things" not "thing". If you can't understand this, you are completely unfixable, and only grave will fix it (meaning: you'll die stupid)

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January 10, 2004 12:08:17 PM

You're an idiot.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
January 10, 2004 5:51:17 PM

Are you a doctor? If not, don't try to make yourself one, caz you need a serious education for that, which is no go in your case.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
January 11, 2004 1:56:53 AM

yo, i just copied your exact quote tool.... look wtf you wrote what you getting all mad about... take a look at wtf you wrote... i even put " " QUOTES around what you said

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January 11, 2004 7:36:38 AM

Gimme a year or two...

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
January 12, 2004 4:52:15 AM

You can take as much time as you wish, but only after that you can make a diagnoses like this, kapish, (idiot;)

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January 12, 2004 4:56:14 AM

yo, i am no mad, i am "cool" (it is 'cool' to be an upset dumb ars;)>

PS: but the statement stands as it is - headphones (or speakers for that matter) are no good without a good sound card (which makes you hear things)

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
January 12, 2004 6:38:53 AM

You don't need a Ph.D to figure out you can't get surround info out of a pair of stereo headphones.

You do need a brain to realize it though.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
January 13, 2004 7:55:29 PM

yeah, but the brain can be tricked though.

PS: you have to realize (or admit) that path into the ear is the same when the sounds come into it. it is the "bouncing" that makes your (or Joe's) 'ear' to hear "directions" of them, and for that to know you need a Ph.D though.

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January 13, 2004 11:50:49 PM

It can be, but it's much more than just the path. You have to reproduce all the vector properties of every waveform, something you can't accurately do with a single diaphragm. The waves travelling down your ear canal carry information with them that contributes to directional information, and the interference patterns of these different components is what gives directional information.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
January 14, 2004 3:34:02 AM

hehehe, I think I gotcha
>and the interference patterns of these different components is what gives directional information.<

Isn't it the thing I was telling you? The sound card through the headphones can 'trick' yer brain by providing "The waves" with "patterns" which can give you "immaginatory" positioning of the sound. Why you were arguing so much about it, you know more than I do.

..this is very useful and helpful place for information...
January 14, 2004 3:22:14 PM

It can't do that with a single diaphragm.

Look up "two slit experiment" with light to see how you need 2 sources of light to produce interference. You can't get things like that with just one source.

In the real world, the sound waves originate from a source, but also interfere with its own reflections off of other objects, as well as other sounds to produce the real sound you hear. All sound cards just emulate a few of these effects with generic presets that add some harmonics and what not, but do nothing for directional information.

I bought a pair of sennheiser wireless headphones and opted for the ones with the SRS trusurround DSP in them. Boy I wish I hadn't. When you turn on the "surround sound" all the DSP does is add some bass and echo, muddying the sound up. It doesn't give you directional information at all.

Furthermore, your headphones connect to the front channel output of your soundcard, so you only get that information through them anyways.

The closest you can come to good surround sound without getting real quadrophonic headphones is to use the dolby headphone algorithm. It only works on DD 5.1 streams, and the algorithm mixes the signals very well. It gives a much more transparent sound than any other I've found, and manages to trick your ears pretty well, but it still won't quite get your head turning.

Some day I'll be rich and famous for inventing a device that allows you to stab people in the face over the internet.
January 15, 2004 2:18:34 AM

>> but it still won't quite get your head turning.

Get MX300 somewhere if you can, try to play UT, you will have your head turning, and more to that, I really have jumped from my chair when someone shoot me from the back, and I mean jerked my body off the armchair with all attention to the back of me, gg. It all depends on the equipment you have as you've said, and still proves my point, good soundcard can trick your brain well enough.


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Anonymous
April 11, 2004 11:47:25 PM

Sorry for dredging up this old thread, it's just that it's such an interesting subject and it seems poor blah can't seem to spit it out. Everybody is bitching at blah, but I think he is onto something. I never had one but I sat through a MX300 demo at the store that was amazing.

Like blah was trying to point out true sounding 3D sound through headphones could be done, in theory. You say how?...I say tricks with phase delay per side plus amplitude modulation per side, all derived by some fancy DSP algorithms acting on relevant application data ala not Creative Labs (blah!).

I believe it is possible. I think of it like this. Each ear is only one transducer capable of transducing one signal at a time. In mulitchannel surround environments the sound waves are combining based on the complex acoustics of the given environment/system to the resultant single signal present at the eardrum (OK einsteins please assume nothings in saturation and levels are out of the mud and we are talkin sounds in a reasonable ears bandwidth). My whole point is based on the fact that all the individual sound waves, ie speakers + ambient, are interfering in a constructive or destructive way depending on amplitude, frequency, and phase into a final resultant waveform which is present at the eardrum at any given point in time. I propose that a set of earphones can do this just as well as google phonic super duper surround given the proper software and hardware support.

The real question is: Is software/hardware at this modern stage of technology really up to this task without making it too much of a burden to the rest of the soundcard product it will need to coexist with? I will dare to speculate that blah and possibly others out there might say yes and I would have to agree. I'm sure everyone is familiar with some of the creative labs conspiracy theories.
April 14, 2004 3:27:30 AM

Don't know much about sound but i think its kind of true that soundcard or software can make different with sound from headphones .
Using headphones with my TBSC soundcard watching DVD. Set speaker enviroment in power dvd and TB control panel to headphones and the sound is so amazaing. i can feel if the sound came from behind and can feel if the sound came from something in a disctance.
Sometimes im confused if the sound came from my headphones or from noise my broher did in my room. I read some review that TBSC soundcard have better sound when using headphones than Creative sb live and thats true, i never had experience with headphones sound as good as this with my old SB live. So i guess more or less soundcard has big role to producing better 3d sound from headphones.
April 15, 2004 5:00:46 AM

lol, try to explain that to a "true professionals" out here which are trying to prove something different, hehe, they say "stereo phones" can do nothing but play mp3 files, but we the rookies know better, caz we play DVDs and games, right? lol.

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April 15, 2004 9:05:33 PM

Jesus, this post started off about info on HT and PC Speakers and now it finishes with two people who cant seem to agree on the theory of how virtual surround in headphones works.

The sound card is responsible for processing the sound streams and deciding on simple things like what levels of bass and treble will the final output have, to what sound format it will reproduce (DD, DTS) and how. The Speakers/Headphones are the final devices which actually produce the final sound waves, some have mroe features than others and some are better quality than others.

Virtual Surround in headphones is best controlled from the sound card - Creative have a certain technology called CMSS which can not only upmix stereo sources to fill multi speaker systems but it can also downmix dolby digital and surround sound sources so that you can acutally hear center and rear speaker content, but to make it sound more lifelike they alter the rear speaker signals so your headphones produce sounds, which fool you mind into thinking that it is acutally comming from behind you.

You can get headpones like Philips FM with SRS Wow effects which do nothing more than try and extract some surround content from stereo streams but sometimes cramming all that data through two speakers destroys the entire broadcast. You can also get headphones from Sony which can accept 5.1 material and it will merely translate the 5.1 material so that it can be fed realistically through the headphones. If you own one of these headphones, then you can tell your soundcard to carry on outputting 5.1 material and you can let your headphones do the work.

Hopefully thats cleared things up a bit. In my response to the original question, I like Creative's Megworks series they produce kick ass stuff for PC speakers. Plus they are magnetically shielded so theres no need to worry about ruining your PC. If you want to hook ur PC Speakers up to the TV and DVD player than you are a candidate for Creatives decoder, which allows you to connect your PC, TV and one optical and coaxial device.

Megaworks = £300 Approx
Decoder = £110 Approx

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Anonymous
April 16, 2004 4:11:45 AM

you said:
"You can get headpones like Philips FM with SRS Wow effects which do nothing more than try and extract some surround content from stereo streams but sometimes cramming all that data through two speakers destroys the entire broadcast. You can also get headphones from Sony which can accept 5.1 material and it will merely translate the 5.1 material so that it can be fed realistically through the headphones. If you own one of these headphones, then you can tell your soundcard to carry on outputting 5.1 material and you can let your headphones do the work."

oooo yuk! why would anyone do that to their music? I'm thinking you'll get the best results by leaving it as the artist intended.
April 16, 2004 4:32:42 AM

I'm glad this came up. I've been trying to figure out how to upgrade.
Currently I have a builtin cmedia sound card on my asus board. I convert the output to RCA and run it to my Sony EX receiver. Currently I'm only using two speakers.

I want to go with 5.1 but I can't find a sound card that I can use the output to go to my receiver directly. I'm thinking along the lines of the old AWE64 which had RCA outs.
I know my thought are confusing but I'm not sure how to ask this...
I need a soundcard that I can use my sony's 5.1 with, I don't want to buy computer speakers.

Cheers
April 16, 2004 5:12:54 AM

I need a soundcard that I can use my sony's 5.1 with --

then get any modern card which haz 5.1 output.

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April 16, 2004 2:47:12 PM

As long as your sound card has a 5.1 output then you should be able to connect your Sony receiver to the PC. As long as your Sony Receiver has an analogue 5.1 Input then all you need is is three 3.5mm -> 2 RCA cable. Otherwise as long as your card has a 3.5mm digital out (such cards include the Audigy series) then you only need a 3.5mm minijack to coaxial/optical to connect your soundcard digitally to the receiver. However connecting the soundcard digitally will mean no DVD Audio, but its no big loss at the moment since the only sound card capable of delivering DVD Audio is the Audigy 2 and very few people actually listen to DVD Audio.

PC Spec: AMD Athlon XP 2000+ running at 1.25ghz, ECS K7S5A Motherboard, 768MB SDRAM PC133, Sparkle nVidia Riva TNT2 M64 32MB AGP Graphics Card, Creative Sound Blaster Audigy 2 6.1, Windows Me
April 23, 2004 1:56:59 PM

You can hear full spectrum with head phones, its done by fading the sounds, If you dont believe it lets play some cs some time. Heh, are you saying that in a game people who are in front of you or behind you stop creating sound, but only when they are to your left and right they hear them?

In cs when someone is walking away from you but straight ahead
you hear the sound fade foward to the head phones, when they walk up to you, you hear it equally loud in both head phones, when they walk behind you, you hear the sound slowly trail towards the back of the head phones and fade, when they are going more to your left, more sound comes out of the left head phone, when they are walking ahead of you diagonaly to the right you hear the sound fading towards the front right of the headphone.

Just because a sound isnt coming from a box on the wall from the physical location of the person making it in the game dosnt mean that you cant replicate location on a smaller scale.

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!