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Audio options for computer and TV

Last response: in Home Audio
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August 26, 2012 8:27:23 PM

I am in the process of replacing my pc and television and am seeking advice on audio options. For the computer I intend to include a Creative Recon3d 5.1 sound card and the primary concern would be quality audio for gaming and secondarily watching movies/TV on occasion. For the television I intend to purchase an LCD HD TV, but have not decided on a model yet, primarily to be used with general television and movies.

Initially I planned to get the 5.1 card for the computer and just buy a cheap set of 5.1 pc speakers such as Creative Inspire T6160's or Logitech Z506's, and then I planned to simply use the TV on it's own without any additional speakers. However, with replacing the TV and PC at the same time, I am now leaning towards buying a set of Home Theater speakers for use with both the Television and the PC, expecting the improvement in sound quality and step up to surround sound would be worth the extra cost and I feel I can justify it since I'd be using it for both.

I am looking for a budget option, perhaps no more than $300-$400. The rooms the speakers will be placed in are small enough that I don't expect that price point to be inadequate, and regardless it should be a better audio experience than I've ever had since I've never set up surround sound.

My experience with audio setups is fairly limited so any advice is appreciated. Here is what I'm thinking currently:

Onkyo TX-SR313 5.1 Channel Home Theater Receiver
http://www.frys.com/product/7016191?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN... $150.00

KLIPSCH HDT300 5.1 speakers
http://www.frys.com/product/6680564?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN... $189.00

I plan to connect all Home Theater equipment via HDMI and the PC via S-PDIF. The computer and TV will be in separate rooms and I plan to run separate speaker wire runs to each of the rooms. I only plan to buy one set of speakers and swap them to the different rooms depending on whether I'm using the PC or TV. I know this is not an ideal setup, but I think I could tolerate it for my purposes. Here are my questions/concerns:

1. Are the speakers/receiver selected a good choice, or are there better options?
2. Could I get by with a cheaper receiver, such as ONKYO TX-SR508 5.1 REC, or would this be inadvisable?

ONKYO TX-SR508 5.1 REC $79.00
http://www.frys.com/product/6229960?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN...

3. Is it possible to make multiple speaker wire connections to the receiver's 5.1 connectors or will this cause any problems. For instance, connecting 2/3 speaker wires to each of the receiver's 5.1 connectors in order to run speaker wires to multiple rooms for moving the speakers room to room where desired?
4. Will I still be able to utilize the TV's included speaker if I do not wish to move the speakers into the TV room? Also, is there an option to disable the TV's include speaker when I am using the surround sound speakers?
5. Is there anything else I am missing as far as compatibility for PC to Home Theater speakers?

Thank you in advance. I expect this is a peculiar setup, but I thought it would be better audio quality for both the PC and TV than I previously intended for a reasonable price. Any advice and feedback is greatly appreciated.

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a b x TV
August 28, 2012 4:29:49 PM

You will get much better sound even with low end home theater equipment. It also allows for gradual upgrades over time. Some of the stuff you ask about is no longer available at Frys website but if you can get similar items you will be OK. Sound quality is always subjective. You should listen to speakers to decide which you like. Use music that you are familiar with and make sure to listen at low and high volumes. Many speakers become muddy at low volumes and that means lack of clarity on dialoque and detail on music.
You can connect two sets of speaker cables at the same time and move the speakers but make sure that the unused wires do not short out as this will damage the receiver.
If you run the HDMI to the receiver and then to the TV then unless there is an HDMI pass though function you will not get sound on the TV speakers. If you run the HDMI to the TV and feed the digital audio out from the TV to the receiver then you can turn the volume down on the TV. If you have a set top box then you can feed the audio from it to the receiver with digital audio and HDMI to the TV.
August 29, 2012 3:01:34 AM

Thank you for the reply. I noticed that the frys options weren't available, but I'm leaning towards other options now. I've never had a 5.1 system and am still fairly new to this and quite undecided at this point but weighing some options.

I saw a deal on newegg for the Polk rm6750 5.1 set bundled with a Pioneer receiver for $350.00. That seemed great, but both the speakers and receiver had spring clip connectors and the more I think about it I want binding posts that can take banana plugs because I plan to make wire runs through the house and swap speakers...and as inconvenient and impractical as that is, banana plugs would make that much simpler!

Now I'm considering the Klipsch Quintet speakers. There seem to be good deals on the Quintet IV's on Amazon right now, around $260. I know I'm looking at more than $350, but I expect the quality would be worth it. I want to pair it with a receiver with binding posts so I was thinking something like the Onkyo TX-NR414. And I could pick up a sub around $150-$200 a few months down the road. Would that be a good route to go?
September 5, 2012 7:13:29 PM

I agree 100% with americanaudiophile - cheap PC/Multimedia speakers once you are exposed to better stuff would really sound muddy, cheap and frankly their overall build quality simply blows :ouch: 

No idea how big an area u are filling audio with but if i had $200 for an active sub something like a BIC F12 12" ought to be considered ;) 
http://www.amazon.com/BIC-America-F12-475-Watt-Subwoofe...
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