Advice on getting 2.1 or 5.1, and the best budget setups


Im looking for help in getting the right speakers for my computer setup.

Basically I used it for Movies Music and Gaming, in that order of priority.

Firstly can anyone explain if 2.1 computer setups are better than 5.1 and why? What is it that makes either one better than the other. I dont have space issues. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Ive looked thru some systems and for 5.1 the Logitech X-540 was being put forward as the better option.

For 2.1 systems I have my eye on Harman Kardon Soundsticks III and Logitech Z- 2300. Ive heard nothing but praise for the 2300 model, I wonder if it has diff versions one should avoid or anything else that might be useful would be great!

Also how useful would it be to invest in a Sound Card? My motherboard has built in support for a 5.1 and it came loaded with Realtek HD Audio.

I have a budget of up to $150 (for the speaks)

Thanks alot for the help
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  1. If you have the setup space for the 5.1 you will be better off getting those especially for movies, however for 150.. I'd go with the Z-2300 and use the fake 3-D emulation. A quality set of 5.1 would be over $200.

    You can also try the M-Audio AV-40, they are 2.0, but very solid sounding. I use them and love them. Also have a 4.1 Logitech Z-560 that are not as musical or true sounding, but cost over 2 times what I paid for the AV-40s, and also probably the best cheap 2.1 speakers ever in the Cambridge Soundworks PC Works, the AV-40s are still well over those.

    I always sound like an ad when I write about the M-Audio speakers, but they are just that good to my ears. Very good for music and movies, although a bit on the largish size, you need desk space for them. If you can, find a place to hear them.

    The on-board sound will be fine, unless you have some hum issues with sheilding on the motherboard components when you crank up the sound.
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