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How good of speakers do I need?

Last response: in Home Audio
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November 18, 2010 11:47:02 PM

I'm a total audio newb and am looking to improve my home setup a bit.

My basic question is: How good of speakers do I need to improve over the ones that come built into your standard medium quality HD TV (I'm totally blanking on the model, but its a Sony from ~3years ago)? And what would you recommend for a basic setup?

I don't really care if it's surround or not (given my room layout, probably can't be), but I currently have that issue where sound is loud enough, but it lacks clarity and I have a hard time making out dialog.

If possible, I'd like to also be able to easily swap the speakers over to my nearby computer so I don't always have to wear my headphones.

Any advice would be appreciated.

More about : good speakers

November 19, 2010 2:54:10 AM

It seems like you just want good quality speaker system. However, what would your budget like, how much would you be willing to spend on 2-speaker system?
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November 19, 2010 3:19:16 AM

Budget is totally flexible, I'm picturing somewhere between $100-400? I'm unsure what a good quality setup even costs. I definitely don't want to do the full media room setup when I can't even mount speakers behind for surround, but I also want enough quality improvement to justify whatever it does cost.
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November 19, 2010 5:15:37 AM

Pricewise those aren't bad at all. How do I tell how they compare to my current though? Not that I'm sure I could compare them even if I had them, but I can't find the audio specs for my TV anywhere.

And I don't need a seperate subwoofer?
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November 19, 2010 8:43:21 AM

You need to go to partsexpress and buy some kits and put stuff together. You won't get anything more than a glorified home-theater-in-a-box system for $400.
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November 19, 2010 1:47:29 PM

It's hard to tell how it would compare to your old system but, usually, the Sony built-in system isn’t bad. In most cases, neither the satellite speakers nor the amp in those small systems distort once the sound volume reaches over 50% of their level. They’re ok for a year or two - maybe more - as long as you don’t play it loud. Of course, any system degrades faster if it’s run close to, at or over its maximum performance.

Anyway, you could use both your old and new (to be purchase equipment) sound systems if you want. And by the way, the equipment I suggested above are just example on how you will get a better system under $400, So if you can find a better deal on a better system within your budget then it's better.
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November 20, 2010 5:47:28 AM

Quote:
depends on the amp you got. they got to balance each other. no good getting quality speakers with cheap more heat than power amp


Please elaborate.
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November 21, 2010 8:00:06 PM

astrallite said:
Please elaborate.


he means stuff like bright sounding speakers shouldnt be partnered with bright electronics. or even warm speakers and its similar sounding electronics and so on...
and also his example.
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November 21, 2010 11:25:07 PM

I'm asking him to elaborate on what kind of electronics and speakers that will balance each other out that he is talking about in a $400 system for home theater.
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December 6, 2010 11:05:31 PM

dimpled said:
I'm a total audio newb and am looking to improve my home setup a bit.

My basic question is: How good of speakers do I need to improve over the ones that come built into your standard medium quality HD TV (I'm totally blanking on the model, but its a Sony from ~3years ago)? And what would you recommend for a basic setup?

I don't really care if it's surround or not (given my room layout, probably can't be), but I currently have that issue where sound is loud enough, but it lacks clarity and I have a hard time making out dialog.

If possible, I'd like to also be able to easily swap the speakers over to my nearby computer so I don't always have to wear my headphones.

Any advice would be appreciated.


The best advice I heard 30 years ago...determine your budget, then spend half on your speaker system. SIMPLE.
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December 7, 2010 3:24:37 PM

that speakers that come from teh sony HD tv probably have better sounding speakers built into it then logitech speakers- and i aint bull s***ing. i own a HDTV and its gd for making out dialogue, and even has some subtle low end of bass.

i have owned a logitech speakers 5 years ago, (z4) altought u can make out the dialog, its only when u turn up the volume, but then teh bass can drown out the voice a litle, making u reduce the bass, at that point it sounds like a 10 dollar speaker.

if u really want better sound go to speakers over 100- 150 and avoid logitech.
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February 4, 2011 12:11:44 PM

sure.. but if you are willing to go that far, you want to make sure your transformer can output enough power to hold the speaker near its RMS maximum rating @ the highest impedance.

you usually need an equalizer to adjust the output of the amplifier.
but you can build a circuit to make the impedance curve of the speaker look flat.
you can also build a circuit to make the amplitude curve of the amplifier look flat.

its very extensive to match a speakers impedance curve with an amplitude curve from an amplifier.. that.. when put together create a flat line.

i would want to know if my amplifier can provide power that is close to the RMS rating at the highest impedance to be used for the speaker.. because if there isnt enough power from the transformer.. you wont be allowing the full potential of the speaker if you are too far away from the RMS rating.
you might continue to turn up the amplifier and the output clips.. that means you lose details and it can get so bad that you cant comprehend what is trying to be played (said) from the speakers.

you need to put some resistance on the amplifier that equals the same value the speaker impedance curve says it has at whichever frequency you are testing.
then play the frequency through the amplifier with a sine wave.
and then you need an oscilloscope to check the sine wave to see if the edges are rounded or clipped.

i would say write down the voltage and change the resistance and frequency a few good times to check for irregularities of the amplifier.

its kinda funny about speakers.
they have a wattage rating.. but it can be difficult to translate watts into voltage so that you know how many volts the speaker's voice coil can handle before it gets hotter than its safety margin.

what can happen.. the solid that the voice coil is wrapped in will turn to liquid and being to evaporate.
IF you allow the voice coil to cool before all of the coil wrap is evaporated.. there's no guarantee that the voice coil wrap will have the same characteristics.
(not talking about the metal.. talking about the ferrofluid that the metal is dipped in)
that 'grease' might being to melt much sooner if you get it hot enough to melt ONCE.
so if you got the voice coil too hot and let it cool.. the 2nd time you use the speaker, obviously you would turn it down.. but the 'grease' might start to turn to liquid again and evaporate.
if its all gone, the voice coil metal will get hot and expand - which would generally change the impedance.
(maybe change the entire impedance curve)

i dont know if all of that 'grease' is called ferrofluid.. but if you have ever burnt a voice coil, you might have had the pleasure to see the 'wrap' flake-ing off.
that stuff can get so complicated.. the 'grease' might be keeping the copper from getting hot like its something from NASA.
and then once it starts to burn up.. the voice coil gets more attention from the magnet which could throw off the linear response of the coil movement and rub the side until the copper has sanded itself (breaking the circuit).
and if your voice coil gets too hot, it could swell and expand until the movement is seized because the coil is rubbing along the insides of the magnet.


i'm just saying be careful when matching the amplifier output with the impedance curve.
you dont want to heat up the voice coil more than necessary.
a whole slew of problems could result if you dont use all of your options to be careful.

and you never want to wire a speaker in series unless the characteristics of the motor are designed specifically for it.
you lose the crisp details when you wire up two speakers in series.
BUT.. if you have two speakers that sound really good in a carpeted room, you could try to wire both speakers in series for a room without carpet.

the masters are so good that they have their crossovers built into the voice coils.
wire up two speakers in series and each speaker does their own thing with a different chunk of the frequency range.

extensive is not a light word and expresses the situation quite well.
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February 4, 2011 2:08:35 PM

OP,

if you do not want or can not fit a full surround sound system into your room then you dont need to! even a decent 2.1 or 3.1 system can sound much better than a stock tv.

if you want to use an audio system for both your television and your computer perhaps you should consider getting an A/V Receiver and pairing speakers & subs to it. this would allow you to switch between the sources.

a decent but cheap a/v unit can be had for $90-150

some speakers (at least for the left + right channels) you might want to look at. I know sears.com sells them.

Sony Floor Standing Speaker
Model SS-F5000 ($143.99)

Sony Bookshelf Speakers
Model SS-B1000 ($49.99)

we own the floorstanders for the living room and even without an amp (they are hooked up direct to tv) they sound great! a subwoofer really isnt even required in that 25x15 room. when i ordered my set TWO came in the box, not one. so i do believe that price listed is for two (but websites dont claim 2 in box).

---

In my private entertainment room i have an a/v unit hooked up to both my computer and ps3. switching back and forth between source inputs isn't a hassle at all. just remember that you cannot listen to both sources at once.
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February 11, 2011 12:56:12 PM

I didnt read all replys but I'm gona toss this out there for ya too. I just picked up one of those 200 buck dvd/speaker combo packs at bestbuy (5.1) and they work perfectly fine for what i need. Vast improvement over the stock tv speakers and added quite abit of depth to the expierence. Also while the speakers arnt amazing the reciever is powerful enough that i can upgrade the speakers at a later date peicemel if I so desire.
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