Best high end gaming/movie speaker

Dragonarmy

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Apr 20, 2017
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Hi, I would like to know what are the best gaming/movie speakers out on the market right know. I would like all of the speakers on my desk, I am running a 3 monitor system so I have considerably large space. Price is not important, if there is a $2000 or speaker that delivers the best audio quality, then I will buy it. Thanks!
 

Jan_26

Commendable
Jun 30, 2016
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Okay. In that case let me give you advice I was given long time ago by a pro audio reviewer when I was in your situation: you need to hear it. While everyone will be able to tell $5000 audio setup plays better than $500 one, in same category there are differences based on audio you listen to and also on your own perception of sound - it's different for every person and we are not talking only about frequency range you are able to hear.

Every decent audio studio will provide you with hearing/testing session free of charge. For this session you should prepare following audio tracks (burn cd, take along), at worst case they'll have their own testing cd ready, but you should really compare with something you know:
1. You should know all the tracks well
2. You should get those tracks in best possible quality (Super audio cd/dvd, audio cd, going down to mp3 - bitrate itself is not 100% indicator of quality, better algorithms can make out more on same bitrate)
3. This mixed up audio cd should contain following:
a) spoken word - in this test you should check how _quiet_ you can set the system and still be able to clearly hear what is being said
b) classic music - no matter what, classic music, given it's usually thing of huge orchestra with many instruments, gives very good indication of overall system quality both when quiet and loud... In quiet play, you should compare how various instruments disappear when you reduce volume, in loud play, you should look on overall balance and how clearly and how well separated each block of instruments is.
c) guitar play/violin - colour of tones, with good setup you should be able to hear artist fingers touching the guitar neck
d) movie soundtrack - Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith etc. - those are really good and complex for the test
e) game soundtrack - what you usualy listen to when playing, pick one or more you know well
f) game sounds - if you play FPS all the time for example, various gun sounds, artillery etc.
g) voice singer, man or women, usually best trained voices are with famous opera singers (although many pple these days consider opera unhearable so... :) )
h) any well known music

Most important is how comfortable you feel listening to the music and overall impression you get. You should also take along your DAC and let them show you the difference (I don't know that one but as it 'came with' I suspect it won't be anything stellar).

A/V receivers are well... "sitting with one butt over many chairs"... it does many things but none really well. Most of all it likely won't have enough output power to feed correctly good passive speakers (tones will blend, low frequency basses would be dull).
If you hear bass sounds making "booom booom", skip it, it's a supermarket junk (but beware, many CDs have artificially added 'booom booom' since many teenagers think they are cool as long as it boooms enough. Properly bass you rather feel on your chest than hear in your ears. Well, that's not entirely exact... How to tell, you hear them but they don't put you in a closed ball. Good for this is sandworm calling scene from old Dune by David Lynch (it should massage your chest, but shouldn't do huuuuum huuuum sounds).

I don't know audio studios in Germany, I am sure you can find good ones that will make you a session, but in case it failed you can try with
http://www.studiospalicek.cz/ who are based in Ostrava, Czech republic (offer wide variety of speakers, amps, etc.)
or
https://www.xavian.cz/ who are based in Prague - they sell only their speakers but offer amps from various renowned hi-fi manufacturers. Usually in sets they built and tuned to fit together.
(both are validated to provide listening sessions on request, in worst case I can arrange a session for you at Xavian (it's not far from where I live), but better for you to get the session on your own)

And one warning at the end. Unless you are prepared to spend money, DO NOT go to that listening session, else you will be doomed since you'll know how this or that audio COULD sound on an 'entry audiophile' level.
 

Jester Maroc

Honorable
Apr 30, 2013
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The normal audio route that most people take is to purchase some "active (powered)" speakers and then connect these to their PC. A good set of active bookshelf monitoring speakers would be great for a desktop setup. I believe these to be the best: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0080K2KUK/

An alternative (but expensive) route you can take would be to purchase passive speakers that need to be powered by an amplifier. The advantage of such a setup would be that you can start with only 2 bookshelf speakers and then slowly upgrade your system to a 5.1 or 7.1 gaming powerhouse! For that I would suggest you read through Zeos' guide: https://www.reddit.com/r/Zeos/comments/66ylk9/guide_speakers_2021_desktoproom_systems/
 

Jan_26

Commendable
Jun 30, 2016
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Well, I haven't heard about anyone gaming on Nautilus (http://www.bowers-wilkins.net/Speakers/Home_Audio/Nautilus), but it's completely doable ;-)
I game on Xavian XN-250 (https://www.xavian.cz/product/xn-250-evoluzione/?lang=en) and hoping one day I save for XN Virtuosa.

Basically you can aim for any speaker system... Depends then on space where you can put it (distances from speakers), room size etc. etc. And ofc also whether you want audiophille system (high end stereo) or some 5.1/7.1/whatever. Then you have audio output from your machine (sound card, digital output or analog?), for analog transmissions you need proper cables, want active speakers or do you want amplifier? (pretty much no active sp can stand agains amp setup... perhaps except super highend actives vs. some very crappy amp)...

Bear in mind the paradox... high end setup mercilessly shows low quality of audio source (most mp3s, even some not so well produced CDs) while cheaper speakers usually hide these flaws.

Then again you can easily move into price cathegories that are 4times of your mentioned $2k...
 

Chugalug_

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Jan 28, 2016
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They're not good for desk setups, they're more for area listening.
Dolby Atmos with a good sub is the future of high end speaker audio.
If you've experienced it, especially the more recent variations, you'll know that shit sounds amazing.

On a side note, if you had a home cinema or want a living room setup this is the best option: https://www.amazon.com/Dolby-Atmos-Klipsch-Speakers-TX-NR1030/dp/B013UP66ZY/ref=sr_1_1?srs=12691851011&ie=UTF8&qid=1493896390&sr=8-1

Here's a few good bookshelf options.
http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Pioneer-Elite-SP-EBS73-LR-Dolby-Atmos-Enabled-Bookshelf-Speakers-Pair-SPEBS73-/301557464301
Or get a Klipsch 5.1 setup. with potentially two lots of the bookshelf speakers and the center speakers.
Go to Dolby's website to learn how to set it all up.
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA2GA35M1681&cm_re=Dolby_Atmos_speakers-_-0S6-0033-001N8-_-Product
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1J71YF7950&cm_re=Klipsch_subwoofer-_-9SIA1J71YF7950-_-Product
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA1J73PV6685&cm_re=Dolby_Atmos_speakers-_-9SIA1J73PV6685-_-Product

 

Jester Maroc

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Apr 30, 2013
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LOL! You are a funny man! That would be some overkill desktop setup.

I believe it depends on what you want from your setup. Bookshelf monitor speakers are generally great at music and are small enough to fit on a large desk. However, they often lack bass or low end.

The Vanatoo Transparent One's have phenomenal low end for their size and are powered speakers that can also accommodate an extra subwoofer for expansion as an amplifier is included in the base of the one speaker.

Here is a review:
[video="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpU2nmNCcrQ&feature=youtu.be"][/video]
 

Dragonarmy

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Apr 20, 2017
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Thanks for all the suggestions! I am new to speakers and have a few questions:

1.Dolby is a system I can download on my PC, correct? Not some specific speakers.

2. I have decided to go with 2 bookshelf and 1 center speaker setup first and move on to a 7.1 in the future, which one has the best sound quality ignoring price: 2 SVS ultra bookshelf and a SVS ultra center, a Bowers and Wilkins MM1, KEF X300A, Pioneer Elite, or something else? I want the best possible speaker setup.

3. Do I need a subwoofer? If so, where do I place it?

4. I have a DAC, do I still need a amp? If so, which one?

5. Also, could someone reccomend a few German brand speakers for comparison? Thanks!
 

Jan_26

Commendable
Jun 30, 2016
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Okay, this time on a completely serious note:

1. Dolby is a company creating audio standard and compression technique Dolby Digital. Ie. it's possible to encode digital audio to DD on software side, but for decoding you need device supporting it (your DAC hopefully should)

2. Out of those I'd take MM1. Bear in mind it's active speakers connected with USB, so that completely skips sound card and DAC out of the system.

3. It's not necessary. On desk speakers it might be preferable so you don't carry low frequency vibrations on the desk causing distorsions. If you go for one, you should put it at least 40cm from wall and not in the corner of room. It shouldn't be close to any vibration sensitive material (ie. close to thin PC chasis, it would resonate). Unless you are in utter need of deep frequencies subwoofer is not necessary. It's pretty much a supplement for missing volume in desktop speakers.

4. That depends... In pure form DAC just converts digital signal to analog one. You can have DAC with integrated AMP (then you don't need amp), you can have digital AMP (then you don't need DAC)... Active speakers don't need either (if digital, analog ones would use DAC)

5. Sorry, it's just over the hills from my place but I don't know any.
 

Dragonarmy

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Apr 20, 2017
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Hi everyone! I read your suggestions and did some more research, I have decided that:

1. I am going with 3 passive speakers first, 2 of which are bookshelf speakers and 1 center speaker. I am going to upgrade to 7.1 in the future. Which set should I choose: 2 SVS Ultra bookshelf speakers and 1 Ultra center speaker, 3 klipsch Galaxy G-28 bookshelf speakers, or 2 Pioneer SP-EBS73-LR and 1 SP-EC73?

2. The DAC I have is the one that comes with the ASUS ROG Rampage V Edition 10. Is it any good? If not, I would like someone to recommend me a amp and a DAC, or just one digital AMP or a DAC with a integrated amp. It would be nice to be able to use Dolby Digital Technology.

Cheers!
 

Dragonarmy

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Apr 20, 2017
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1. Sorry for voting down on you post. I am new to this forum and not yet familiar with all of the functions.

2. I do not want to use 7.1 yet, just 2 bookshelf speakers and 1 center speaker.
 

Dragonarmy

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Apr 20, 2017
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Just curious, these are better than the Galaxy speakers? Why, because of the Dolby? Klipsch said that the galaxy where there best bookshelf speakers.

Also, I have never setup a dolby system before, will I need a DAC and a AMP? What else will I need?
 

Dragonarmy

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Apr 20, 2017
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But it is a passive speaker, correct? So how do they come with amps?
Will a DAC improve sound quality for Dolby?
I read the Dolby website, it says I will need a A/V receiver. Will I need it? Or is it a substitute for the AMP and DAC?
Sorry for the questions! I am new to setting up surround speakers, let alone dolby atoms.
 

Dragonarmy

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Apr 20, 2017
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1. Got it.

2. I want passive speakers, so what is you recommendation?

3. Got it.

4. The DAC I have is the one that came with the ASUS ROG Rampage V Edition 10. Is it any good? If not, could you recommend me either a DAC and a amp, a digital amp or a DAC with integrated amp?

5. Got it.
 

Jan_26

Commendable
Jun 30, 2016
9
0
1,520
2
Okay. In that case let me give you advice I was given long time ago by a pro audio reviewer when I was in your situation: you need to hear it. While everyone will be able to tell $5000 audio setup plays better than $500 one, in same category there are differences based on audio you listen to and also on your own perception of sound - it's different for every person and we are not talking only about frequency range you are able to hear.

Every decent audio studio will provide you with hearing/testing session free of charge. For this session you should prepare following audio tracks (burn cd, take along), at worst case they'll have their own testing cd ready, but you should really compare with something you know:
1. You should know all the tracks well
2. You should get those tracks in best possible quality (Super audio cd/dvd, audio cd, going down to mp3 - bitrate itself is not 100% indicator of quality, better algorithms can make out more on same bitrate)
3. This mixed up audio cd should contain following:
a) spoken word - in this test you should check how _quiet_ you can set the system and still be able to clearly hear what is being said
b) classic music - no matter what, classic music, given it's usually thing of huge orchestra with many instruments, gives very good indication of overall system quality both when quiet and loud... In quiet play, you should compare how various instruments disappear when you reduce volume, in loud play, you should look on overall balance and how clearly and how well separated each block of instruments is.
c) guitar play/violin - colour of tones, with good setup you should be able to hear artist fingers touching the guitar neck
d) movie soundtrack - Ennio Morricone, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith etc. - those are really good and complex for the test
e) game soundtrack - what you usualy listen to when playing, pick one or more you know well
f) game sounds - if you play FPS all the time for example, various gun sounds, artillery etc.
g) voice singer, man or women, usually best trained voices are with famous opera singers (although many pple these days consider opera unhearable so... :) )
h) any well known music

Most important is how comfortable you feel listening to the music and overall impression you get. You should also take along your DAC and let them show you the difference (I don't know that one but as it 'came with' I suspect it won't be anything stellar).

A/V receivers are well... "sitting with one butt over many chairs"... it does many things but none really well. Most of all it likely won't have enough output power to feed correctly good passive speakers (tones will blend, low frequency basses would be dull).
If you hear bass sounds making "booom booom", skip it, it's a supermarket junk (but beware, many CDs have artificially added 'booom booom' since many teenagers think they are cool as long as it boooms enough. Properly bass you rather feel on your chest than hear in your ears. Well, that's not entirely exact... How to tell, you hear them but they don't put you in a closed ball. Good for this is sandworm calling scene from old Dune by David Lynch (it should massage your chest, but shouldn't do huuuuum huuuum sounds).

I don't know audio studios in Germany, I am sure you can find good ones that will make you a session, but in case it failed you can try with
http://www.studiospalicek.cz/ who are based in Ostrava, Czech republic (offer wide variety of speakers, amps, etc.)
or
https://www.xavian.cz/ who are based in Prague - they sell only their speakers but offer amps from various renowned hi-fi manufacturers. Usually in sets they built and tuned to fit together.
(both are validated to provide listening sessions on request, in worst case I can arrange a session for you at Xavian (it's not far from where I live), but better for you to get the session on your own)

And one warning at the end. Unless you are prepared to spend money, DO NOT go to that listening session, else you will be doomed since you'll know how this or that audio COULD sound on an 'entry audiophile' level.
 

Dragonarmy

Prominent
Apr 20, 2017
32
0
580
0


Thank you for the long review. I have to tell you that I live in a place where there are no audio studios where I live. My only options are amazon and newegg. That is why I just want two really nice bookshelf speakers and one center speaker (I am new to speakers so I am not picky, yet). And when I move back to the states I will then go to the audio studios and pick a new set.
 
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