i'm looking for the best solution (sound and appearance) for a set of speakers to use with my laptop when watching movies on our HDTV. i have a very basic HDTV+Cable Box+DVD player setup. laptop connects via DVI and i have the standard audio out for the audio.
The appearance is so subjective I won't even try to approach that. If you like the look then that's what counts. As for the performance well...
I find spending money on a high quality 2.1 system to be a better investment then the same money on a budget 5.1 or 7.1 system. That said it has a lot to do with the tweeters an the mid range performance (the satellites), far more so then the sub woofer as most of these are over powered compared to their satellites anyway.
I don't know your budget but expect to spend $100+ for a good sounding, robust 2.1 set up.
Make sure it has a tweeter. A horn tweeter is great if your can find it but is very rare now in the computer speaker field. Most PC speaker systems feature "multi-range" cones which are versatile but can't hit higher frequencies. Having a tweeter eliminates the stress on the mid-range cones for higher frequencies as well as providing those frequencies!
Second your mid range cones should have a hefty amount of wattage. What good is a mid range with 5 watts when the sub-woofer is 50watts? All you'll hear, or rather feel, is bass. The rest will be to low to enjoy.
Lastly make sure your sub-woofer fits with your housing arrangement. If your in a split lvl, best to go with a sub-woofer you can turn way down. Make sure your system can adjust bass levels to your environment.
Horn Tweeters, Powerful Satellites, and Bass control. Again I can't speak on "looks". But they are a find set of speakers if your objective is quality sound.
Note that depending on your sound out put from your PC you may have some feedback/interference. This is on the PC's end and not the speakers. Investing in a good sound card or pre-amp is worth while if you want to get the most out of your sound system.
just kidding, that's an amazingly helpful amount of information and i'm seriously close to buying those speakers. thanks so much, i don't know anything about audio, so this helped clarify a lot for me.
I'm on an extreme budget and didn't want a subwoofer, so for a 2.0 setup I just purchased a pair of 8W Genius PC speakers from NewEgg and hooked them up to the audio out (headphone jack). They sound amazing...
I've also had good luck with most CyberAcoustic 2.1 products... also availab
What about something totally different? The BluTiger 6000 speakers rock my entire house. I use the spectrum analyzer displays for parties. I game, so for fragging purposes (visually detect sounds around the corner and behind my back) I get an advantage. It claims broader frequency than competitors and they are right...I hear Pink Floyd like a 2nd row seat. Has two aux in addition to 5.1 analog jacks. I stick an iPod on one aux and my TV (sports dude) for the other and switch around. Very traditional silver look but the displays make up for it. Only $299 for the best sound I've ever heard (and more kills). Boutique builder not a big brand name...awesome customer service so far.