Computer speaker Recommendations?

SonofKalas

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Dec 4, 2014
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Hi I'm looking for a recommendation on some computer speakers that meet the following requirements.

2.0 or 2.1

on par in sound quality with my headset (Hyper X Cloud II)

people who are familiar with that headset should know how great it sounds. I'm looking for something External but just as good sounding. I don't need any special features, All it has to do is output from my tv (3.5 mm stereo jack) no other features aside from the aforementioned sound quality are required, so try to recommend ones that are as low in price as possible without crossing that audio quality thresh hold.
 

ien2222

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I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your expectations are probably unrealistic.

It takes a lot for an audio system to be as good in sound quality as a competent set of cans. Usually on more AV oriented sites if someone mentions as good a quality as headphones, they get suggestions that start in the thousands and end well into the ten thousands. It's just that much easier to do with headphones than an a loudspeaker setup.

For example, the best I can think of right now (without going too big or expensive) would be to get a MiniDSP 2x4 + UMIK-1 mic (~$180) and using REW software (free), quality 2-channel amp...say Emotiva mini-X a-100 ($150), Philharmonic Audio's BMR-Philharmonitors ($1450), and Hsu Research's VFT-2 MK4 subwoofer ($560) for a total of ~$2340 (not including any shipping charges).

This will get you close sound quality wise, anything less and you really start having to make some compromises be it low end extension, smooth frequency response, off-axis FR, etc. This setup, however, won't give you reference level's if that really matters any (it'll still get rather stupid loud though) and there is a leaning curve to using REW and the MiniDSP.

I doubt this is what you were going for though. Without a budget, it'll be hard to give you solid suggestions and we can only guess at various price points.

Another setup would be just the miniDSP 2x4 (~$110) with manual adjustments by ear, a pair of KEF X300a's ($600) or NHT SuperPower 2.1's ($400), and Hsu's STF-2 sub ($360). Total is $1070 with the KEF or $890 with the NHT's.

You could just go with the KEF or NHT's.

But if you are looking at say Logitech, Corsair, Klipsch Promedia, or something like that, you'll be sadly disappointed if you compare them to your headset.
 

SonofKalas

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I see, Thank you for your input.
 

ien2222

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No problem.

But don't get me wrong, even the "PC" setups are usually leaps and bounds better than your average TV speakers and one thing headphones can't give you is that tactile feeling of mid-bass thump or low end rumble.

What is your budget roughly?
 

SonofKalas

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300 ish

 

ien2222

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Hey,

Sorry for the late reply, was at the parents house with the laptop that apparently had less battery life than I thought.

So, $300ish. I think one of the best ways to go would be to get the Philharmonic BR-1 Affordable Accuracy Monitors ($195) with the Emotiva mini-X a-100 amp ($149).

The AA speaker is a pretty darn good speaker, don't let the price fool you as it can easily compete with speakers that are twice the price or more. It's a modified speaker using the BR-1 kit from Parts Express, specifically a superior crossover is installed over the one that comes with the kit.

I've chosen this particular speaker for a couple of reasons, first it uses quality drivers in a well produced box and with the modified crossover is a very accurate sub-$500 speaker. Secondly, this speaker goes low. It's flat to 48Hz with usable output that can reach into the 30's. It's very hard to find a speaker with these two qualities under $400.

The downside to this speaker is that it's not very sensitive which means it takes more power to play as the same volume as a speaker that has a higher rating. This is why I'm keeping the Emotiva amp as a suggestion. Usually with other speakers I'd make a suggestion about using a smaller T-amp that doesn't take up that much space, but unfortunately with the AA's you'll most likely need a bit more power than that.

The Emotiva will supply far more usable power than your standard 50w T-amp, but still has a smaller form factor. At 8.5" x 3.125" x 15" it's about half the size of a standard AVR.

Together you're looking at $345 before shipping, since you are giving me a little leeway. And if later on you decide you want to add to this system it's a bit more flexible than a 2.1 PC system.
 

SonofKalas

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Where can I find these?
 

ien2222

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The Philharmonic AA's are internet direct, if you are interested in them you can email them at info@philharmonicaudio.com and if you have further questions regarding them they'll help you out too.

Emotiva does have some partners: https://emotiva.com/our-partners not sure if any are near you, otherwise you can order directly from them also.
 

SonofKalas

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sorry if I'm a noob to this. is the amp necessary? does it affect quality or just volume? I don't tend to listen to things loud anyway. I don't know much about how the audio tech works, im more a software junkie

 

ien2222

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Heh, no worries, happy to answer questions.

Yes, an amp is necessary, I haven't seen a TV yet that actually contains an amp for external speakers. What the TV outputs is line level voltage and if you hook up a pair of passive speakers you'll get very little output. A decent amp won't affect the sound quality if it's being used within it's specifications.

Now, where that amp is located, depends on what you get. With my suggestion, we are using passive speakers with an external amp; the Emotiva. However you can get powered monitors where the amp is built into the speakers, the above KEF X300a and NHT Superpower 2.1's are examples of that and with regular pc speakers that amp is usually located inside the "sub".

With a budget of $300, you can get something like the JBL LSR308 powered monitors which would be a good choice for you too. With these, and some other powered speakers you'll have to watch the inputs. In this case the JBL's only take XLR and balanced 1/4" TRS so you'll need to get an 3.5mm to XLR or balanced TRS adapter instead of RCA.

The JBL's you can find in a variety of places, Guitar Center is usually the best place to look, but other music shops that deal with electronics are a good place to look also.
 

Jeff Mongillo

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Mar 15, 2014
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You might consider getting a sound bar. Depending on your TV (What kind of TV and what other interfaces does it have?) I got a decent Philips brand 2.1 Soundbar from Wally World for like $40, but there are LOADS of big and small box stores nowadays that carry Sound Bars for anywhere from $25 to $350. For true, brite, throaty sound like you would get from the Cloud Headset, I would recommend looking at Sound Bars by Sony, Denon or JBL. Most sound bars will offer you a choice of interfaces as well. I use an Optical Cable for mine and the sound is ACES! (I think the optical cable cost me around $6 or $7 for 40" length)
 

SonofKalas

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Dec 4, 2014
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thank you all for your advice. It has been most helpful. I have now selected A logitech speaker set. thanks for your help
 
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