Budget 5.1 speaker advice???

May 7, 2018
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Hi,

I'd love to get advice and input on improving my budget home theater set-up.

Basics: Living room is small (18x12) and house has no insulation (i.e., sound travels easily to nearby neighbors). Currently, I have a budget value TV (Vizio 50" 4k), Apple TV 4th gen, Panasonic blu-ray, and Denon AVR-791 that runs to really old Magnavox 5.1 "all-in-one-in-a-box" speakers. The speakers were from a 2002 set and are compact (approx. 6"x4"x4"). The center channel is approximately 12"x4"x4" and the subwoofer is maybe 75w.

I need tiny/compact speakers that work well for music (rock, folk, jazz, electronic), tv, and movies (e.g., Monoprice 10565 or Energy Take 5.1).

Currently, I'm considering (in no particular order): 1) Purchasing a Monoprice 10565 5.1 system almost-new for $100 + $30 speaker wire; 2) Purchasing a new Monoprice 10565 5.1 system (including speaker wire) for $170; 3) Purchasing a used Bose Acoustimass 6 Series II for $200, 4) Doing nothing (i.e., saving money for something else).

Thanks in advance to anyone who might be willing to provide suggestions. I'm intrigued by CNET's positive review of the sound quality for the Monoprice system but I recognize that it's a budget unit. Their review of the Bose Acoustimass system was relatively positive but seemed to be negatively influenced by the high original price (i.e., high price doesn't match performance). I'm also wondering if it would be best to simply custom build piece-by-piece. Again, thanks to anyone who might be willing to provide input.

 
I am not a fan of Bose and the Monoprice might be a small upgrade but I would want to make a bigger improvement.
Given your limited budget I would suggest you do your upgrade in stages. Maybe something like these
https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/Speakers/Pioneer+Speakers
Get the a pair of the bookshelf speakers and the matching center to start. You can continue to use the old satellites as surround speakers. Better speakers will improve the clarity and detail so it will sound good at lower volume. The Pioneer subs would not be my choice since they may be bandpass woofers or have down firing woofers. An entry level Polk would be better,
If you go used you want the three front speakers to match so they work together correctly.
 
I am not a fan of Bose and the Monoprice might be a small upgrade but I would want to make a bigger improvement.
Given your limited budget I would suggest you do your upgrade in stages. Maybe something like these
https://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Home/Speakers/Pioneer+Speakers
Get the a pair of the bookshelf speakers and the matching center to start. You can continue to use the old satellites as surround speakers. Better speakers will improve the clarity and detail so it will sound good at lower volume. The Pioneer subs would not be my choice since they may be bandpass woofers or have down firing woofers. An entry level Polk would be better,
If you go used you want the three front speakers to match so they work together correctly.
 

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