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5.1 computer speaker system

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July 27, 2011 1:52:36 AM

Hi All!

I'm in the market for some new speakers for my bedroom computer. I'm really interesting in getting a 5.1 system. I've been looking around and I've seen a lot of bouncing around between Z-5500 and the X-540.

I'm stuck between these 2 systems. I would mostly use it for movies and games. For music, I've heard their not the best, but I usually use my headphones (Shure SHR840). Both appeal to me but the price turns me off and the stock quantity is very limited.

My question is if there are any other systems to consider that are around the price range of the X-540. I really want the flexibility of cable length, like the X-540 and the option of optical input. But I would rather conform than break the bank right now. Also, (I hope it's obvious) a overall good quality of sound.

Thanks in advance
July 27, 2011 5:01:00 AM

Mhm, I didn't look at specs, but it looks like the Z-5500 has a bulkier subwoofer.

Quote:

For music, I've heard their not the best


Thats very subjective based on price range. For their price they may sound great.

Quote:

option of optical input


May I ask why optical is so important to you?
July 27, 2011 11:34:35 AM

from just a quick google price check check it looks like you're trying to compare a $100 system with a $400+ system. it would help if you're comparing apples to apples.

i've owned a $100 logitech set that looks similar to the x540 and while it wasn't the best sound i've ever heard it was more than adequate. so far its over 6-7 years old and still plays as good as day 1. granted i moved on to bigger and better things (i gave it away) but i don't regret my purchase of the logitech system.

optical input for a $100 set of speakers is a joke. at that level of speaker quality you're not going to notice the difference.

as far as "there not to best for music" its subjective. what would you consider the best? a $1,000,000 concert hall? a $50,000 home theatre? a $500 computer speaker set? it goes on and on. instead of looking for the "best" it would be beneficial to figure out your max budget and pick from within it. if you want to pay $100 then look to only the models within that budget. sure they might not be the best in the world but for that price class quite a few don't sound half bad.

i used to use my logitech 5.1 for movies and games. i never had any issues. its a $100 speaker set, how much can you expect?
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July 27, 2011 2:49:08 PM

blackhawk1928 said:

Quote:

option of optical input


May I ask why optical is so important to you?


it's just for organization basically. I'm not going to cut my wrists if i don't get it :p 


ssddx said:
from just a quick google price check check it looks like you're trying to compare a $100 system with a $400+ system. it would help if you're comparing apples to apples.

i've owned a $100 logitech set that looks similar to the x540 and while it wasn't the best sound i've ever heard it was more than adequate. so far its over 6-7 years old and still plays as good as day 1. granted i moved on to bigger and better things (i gave it away) but i don't regret my purchase of the logitech system.

optical input for a $100 set of speakers is a joke. at that level of speaker quality you're not going to notice the difference.

as far as "there not to best for music" its subjective. what would you consider the best? a $1,000,000 concert hall? a $50,000 home theatre? a $500 computer speaker set? it goes on and on. instead of looking for the "best" it would be beneficial to figure out your max budget and pick from within it. if you want to pay $100 then look to only the models within that budget. sure they might not be the best in the world but for that price class quite a few don't sound half bad.

i used to use my logitech 5.1 for movies and games. i never had any issues. its a $100 speaker set, how much can you expect?


It probably wasn't clear; I wasn't comparing them. I know that they are in 2 different leagues, I'm just asking weather or not there are systems that I might have missed or not looked at that may offer the options that I'm looking for. At this moment in time, I'm not interested in buying anything over the $100 range. I will probably invest in a more quality system for a home theatre not too far in the future. I'm not asking for the best of the best. Sure there are many options within that range, but which would be the top picks from that set that people with an honest option can tell me about their experience with them?
July 27, 2011 4:12:24 PM

honestly i've never had anything but logitechs as far as pc speakers are concerned. you most certainly cannot go wrong with any of their speakers over $40.

since you mentioned it, here is another route you could take:

you mentioned that you would be likely getting a quality home theatre system in the near future. you can always save the $100 from the pc speakers and use it towards your home theatre. you can then use the home theatre system for both your pc and your other perepherals. just an idea....

i have the ps3 and pc hooked up to some nice klipsh's and it truley is leaps and bounds ahead of regular pc speakers.
July 27, 2011 5:33:14 PM

ssddx said:
honestly i've never had anything but logitechs as far as pc speakers are concerned. you most certainly cannot go wrong with any of their speakers over $40.

since you mentioned it, here is another route you could take:

you mentioned that you would be likely getting a quality home theatre system in the near future. you can always save the $100 from the pc speakers and use it towards your home theatre. you can then use the home theatre system for both your pc and your other perepherals. just an idea....

i have the ps3 and pc hooked up to some nice klipsh's and it truley is leaps and bounds ahead of regular pc speakers.


YES!, I was thinking about that. But I think I'd have them in 2 separate systems because right now i'm planning a new rig which i'm building from scratch. Currently i'll be using it for like games and movies, but in about 1-1.5 years when I move out after school is done, i'll be putting together a separate home theatre system with a better setup.
July 27, 2011 5:40:58 PM

^I'm a big klipsch fan, I prefer them for movies personally, because for music they sound a bit too harsh for my liking. However good klipsch's sound awesome.

Quote:

it's just for organization basically. I'm not going to cut my wrists if i don't get it


If you want organization, you want HDMI because its audio and video in one wire...optical (if you mean fiber optic/toslink) is strictly for audio, so you'd have to run a separate wire for video.

Either way, technically speaking, the highest quality audio connection is optical as it virtually eliminates interference where as interference is still possible to some degree in coaxial/hdmi connections. However you won't notice, a well insulated regular wire will do great.
July 27, 2011 10:21:30 PM

blackhawk1928 said:
^I'm a big klipsch fan, I prefer them for movies personally, because for music they sound a bit too harsh for my liking. However good klipsch's sound awesome.

Quote:

it's just for organization basically. I'm not going to cut my wrists if i don't get it


If you want organization, you want HDMI because its audio and video in one wire...optical (if you mean fiber optic/toslink) is strictly for audio, so you'd have to run a separate wire for video.

Either way, technically speaking, the highest quality audio connection is optical as it virtually eliminates interference where as interference is still possible to some degree in coaxial/hdmi connections. However you won't notice, a well insulated regular wire will do great.


Yeah I've read a lot of posts and a lot of people saying they like klipsch.

And i was looking at hdmi, but the only systems I found that would support that were home theatres "in a box", and they were output.

So I'm guessing there hasn't been any products that are as trustworthy or exceeds the quality of the x-540's for that price range then?

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July 28, 2011 11:10:24 AM
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to be perfectly honest,

home theatre in a box solutions are not all that great. you'd do much better picking out your own receiver and speakers for the same pricerange. granted some do sound decent and give decent options, but they are often very cheaply made and do not give the freedom that a non-box solution provides.

this doesnt mean you have to pick out your own speakers and try to match them: some speaker sets sold by some audio companies do just fine.

for instance i bought my receiver, a pioneer vsx-30 then bought the klipsch quintet IV 5.0 speaker set and then picked up the matching klipsch 450w sub. the speakers were all matched and the build quality was at least 5x better than anything you get in a HTIB solution (even some of those $1000+ htib sets).

about your other question: i've been out of the pc speaker market for a little bit myself, but family just bought a 2.1 logitech (the $40 one) and it sounds perfectly ok. logically their $100 model which apparently is also a step up should sound better as well. they were using the same speakers shown in the other 5.1 set that goes for like $80. i've always had good luch with logitech as a whole. not the absolute best perhaps (but at this price point i wouldnt say the difference is leaps and bounds) but definitely not a bad choice to buy.

July 30, 2011 3:46:44 PM

ssddx said:
to be perfectly honest,

home theatre in a box solutions are not all that great. you'd do much better picking out your own receiver and speakers for the same pricerange. granted some do sound decent and give decent options, but they are often very cheaply made and do not give the freedom that a non-box solution provides.

this doesnt mean you have to pick out your own speakers and try to match them: some speaker sets sold by some audio companies do just fine.

for instance i bought my receiver, a pioneer vsx-30 then bought the klipsch quintet IV 5.0 speaker set and then picked up the matching klipsch 450w sub. the speakers were all matched and the build quality was at least 5x better than anything you get in a HTIB solution (even some of those $1000+ htib sets).

about your other question: i've been out of the pc speaker market for a little bit myself, but family just bought a 2.1 logitech (the $40 one) and it sounds perfectly ok. logically their $100 model which apparently is also a step up should sound better as well. they were using the same speakers shown in the other 5.1 set that goes for like $80. i've always had good luch with logitech as a whole. not the absolute best perhaps (but at this price point i wouldnt say the difference is leaps and bounds) but definitely not a bad choice to buy.


I'd defiantly agree with you. There probably the low end of sound. But yeah, like I said, i'm planning to drop the ball on a nice system later down the road.

I was hoping for a larger audience of people to get a overall grasp on how the performance and overall quality of the product or others. But this shall suffice.

thanks,
August 1, 2011 8:24:01 PM

well you have to realize two things:

questions such as "what speakers for $xx budget should i buy?" are asked almost every single day. i suppose people get tired of answering the same questions day in day out since you can get opinions from various online retailer "buyer ratings & comments"

some of us do not log in on a regular basis and so activity might fluctuate. from what i've seen there is a small number of people who post quite actively and a larger number of those who post off and on. this means that sometimes responses can be hit or miss. we do this in our free time so what else can you expect.

good luck. you should definetly stop by when its time to create your new soundsystem. it might not hurt to also look at some audio-specific forums for ideas.
August 8, 2011 12:40:44 AM

Best answer selected by monkeyyy.
February 20, 2013 8:40:34 PM

You are all missing the whole point, COMPLETELY.

The reason speakers sets go up in price and the reason for the optical input into a speaker systems is for 5.1!!!

The "5.1" speaker sets that have a sole 3.5mm input into your PC (and they are EVERYWHERE) do NOT output 5.1 sound. It's stereo through 5 speakers. It's a joke.

The x540 has 3 independent 3.5mm jacks (Front, Rear, Sub/Center) and THAT allows it to output 5.1, but it's not as elegant. That said, it's at a MUCH higher price point than the majority of the "5.1" systems out there.

Bottom line is regardless of speaker quality, if you want true 5.1, that is to say you want an independent signal going to each individual speaker, you're going to have to pay for it. Seacrest out.
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