Connecting 5.1 Speakers to PC, Need Receiver?

Lucky01

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Oct 2, 2012
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Hello:

I am looking to upgrade my 2.0 PC speaker system to 5.1 surround sound. What is the best way to go about this? Do I need a receiver? What speakers are sufficient? Which cables need to be purchased? For reference, my room is less than 150 square feet. My computer build can be found here: http://pcpartpicker.com/p/GcsP4D

Limited space prohibits large speakers. Any advice would be great.

Thank you for your time.
 

turbopixel

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May 18, 2015
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I can recommend your Edifier speakers. They are considered similiar in features to Logitech, but have higher quality and price. I was thinking of getting a home theater system to my pc, but decided on the Edifier S760D 5.1. This setup is huge, really huge! And you don't need digital inputs I think. How much is your budget (I would say 350,-- $)? I never read about the Energy 5.1 Take Classic before, but it looks similiar to the Edifier and Logitech units at this price point. I read some reviews:
> https://www.google.com/search?q=Energy+5.1+Take

"
The Energy Take Classic 5.1 is the best budget speaker system we've reviewed, earning our Editors' Choice Award with its outstanding sound quality and exquisite looks
"
> http://www.cnet.com/products/energy-take-classic-5-1/

"
Stellar sound quality for the price. Surprisingly seamless transition between subwoofer and satellites.
"
> http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405955,00.asp

"
This is one of the best home theater speaker systems on the market today. If you get a chance, don't pass on this home theater system.
"
> http://home-audio.toptenreviews.com/home-theater-speakers/energy-take-classic-review.html

It get good reviews. Relatively to others its small, sound is good, price is ok. This setup is not new, I think from 2009, but a good system is good even 10 years later. I have no doubt on this system. (I SOUND like a marketing guy.^^)

 

Gingerbread

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You don't need additional cables nor you need a receiver. Your motherboard has several 3.5mm jacks for audio cables, 5.1 speakers come with 3 of those, 1 for front speakers, 1 for rear speakers, 1 for sub + middle speaker. Only thing you might need are extension cables for your rear speakers, if you plan on putting them in the back of the room, but even then, 5.1 systems come with really long rear speaker cables, and even if they don't 3.5mm male to female extension cables are really cheap. When it comes to speakers, depends on budget and where you are buying from.
 

Lucky01

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Do you have any speaker recommendations? I was thinking about something like:
Energy 5.1 Take Classic Home Theater System (Set of Six, Black)
 

Gingerbread

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Well, not really, I'm using logitech myself, decent speakers. Do the job. However movies don't really go 5.1 only things ive found with reliable 5.1 are games, and I prefer playing games with headphones. However those, with that price tag and those specs seem like a good choice, just make sure you can really utilize them.
 

turbopixel

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May 18, 2015
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I can recommend your Edifier speakers. They are considered similiar in features to Logitech, but have higher quality and price. I was thinking of getting a home theater system to my pc, but decided on the Edifier S760D 5.1. This setup is huge, really huge! And you don't need digital inputs I think. How much is your budget (I would say 350,-- $)? I never read about the Energy 5.1 Take Classic before, but it looks similiar to the Edifier and Logitech units at this price point. I read some reviews:
> https://www.google.com/search?q=Energy+5.1+Take

"
The Energy Take Classic 5.1 is the best budget speaker system we've reviewed, earning our Editors' Choice Award with its outstanding sound quality and exquisite looks
"
> http://www.cnet.com/products/energy-take-classic-5-1/

"
Stellar sound quality for the price. Surprisingly seamless transition between subwoofer and satellites.
"
> http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2405955,00.asp

"
This is one of the best home theater speaker systems on the market today. If you get a chance, don't pass on this home theater system.
"
> http://home-audio.toptenreviews.com/home-theater-speakers/energy-take-classic-review.html

It get good reviews. Relatively to others its small, sound is good, price is ok. This setup is not new, I think from 2009, but a good system is good even 10 years later. I have no doubt on this system. (I SOUND like a marketing guy.^^)

 

Lucky01

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Oct 2, 2012
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Thanks for finding those reviews, turbopixel. Just to verify, if I purchase the Energy Take Classic 5.1, I can connect the speakers directly to the back of my computer? The speakers will work with 3.5 mm jacks?
 

turbopixel

Estimable
May 18, 2015
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I am no expert, but found out that everything marketed as a "Home Theater System" needs a receiver/avr. If you want a simple 5.1 setup for your pc without receiver, then you should look for 5.1 pc speaker.

I can recommend you Edifier S760D 5.1. If you want it cheaper, the predecessor Edifier S550 ENCORE 5.1 without digital inputs could be an alternative, which is almost the same. If you do, be prepared, they are REALLY HUGE! I wouldn't get a Logitech, they aren't that good in sound quality compared to Edifier, after all what I read.
 

Lucky01

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Thanks, guys! You've been great. Can any of you recommend a suitable receiver for the 5.1 Energy Take? This is uncharted territory for me. I gather I'm supposed to hook up the receiver to the computer via an SPDIF cable? What features do I need to look for in a receiver? Do I need a receiver as full of postprocessing capabilities as I would if I were connecting the receiver to a standard television?

Thank you all, again. Your responses have been thoroughly helpful.
 

turbopixel

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SPDIF does only 2 channel. If you want 5.1 through spdif (digital), then you need in example DTS Connect for live encoding, which the operating system, motherboard or soundcard and the receiver have to support. And then it is questionable if it sounds better or same then analogue inputs.
 

Lucky01

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Oct 2, 2012
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OS: Windows 10

Prospective Receiver: Yamaha RX-V379BL 5.1-Channel A/V Receiver with Bluetooth
http://usa.yamaha.com/products/audio-visual/av-receivers-amps/rx/rx-v379_black_u/

Onboard soundcard: ALC892
http://www.realtek.com.tw/products/productsView.aspx?Langid=1&PFid=28&Level=5&Conn=4&ProdID=284

It looks like the sound card supports DTS Connect:
The ALC892 supports host audio from the Intel chipsets, and also from any other HDA compatible audio controller. With various software utilities like environment sound emulation, multiple-band and independent software equalizer, dynamic range compressor and expander, optional Dolby PCEE program, SRS TruSurround HD, SRS Premium Sound, Fortemedia SAM, Creative Host Audio, Synopsys Sonic Focus, DTS Surround Sensation | UltraPC, and DTS Connect licenses, the ALC892 offers the highest sound quality, providing an excellent entertainment package and game experience for PC users.
I'm not sure about the receiver, though. Do you have any idea how I would go about connecting the receiver to my computer? Here is a picture of the back of the receiver, from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-RX-V379BL-5-1-Channel-Receiver-Bluetooth/dp/B00V5VJ3TM?SubscriptionId=AKIAJM4NKIQGABP2PIRA&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B00V5VJ3TM&tag=thewire6-20&ascsubtag=WC23349 (it is the third picture down, on the left.) Can I use HDMI, somehow?

Thank you very much, turbopixel. I appreciate your responses and the replies by ien2222 and Gingerbread.
 

turbopixel

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May 18, 2015
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@Lucky01
Unluckily here ends my knowledge. I don't have a receiver and can't help further than asking the right questions. As I know, HDMI supports video and audio 5.1 without DTS Connect, but I really don't know. Hope someone else can say more on this.
 

ien2222

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Hey there,

Sorry for the late response, a very unexpected trip came up and just got back in yesterday.

If you are running HDMI to your monitor, then you'd simply run it through the Yamaha first. There's more than likely a passthrough input when in standby and that would be the one you'd want to use, that way you don't always need to have it on to use your computer. I haven't worked with Yamaha AVR's so you'll need to look in the manual to see for sure, and which input it is (though I'd suspect it's HDMI 1).

However, it you are running higher resolutions than 1080p, just looking at the back of the AVR it appears that only HDMI 4 input supports HDMI 2.0 so you may have to use that regardless. However, there may be a menu option that will select what input it happens on.

If you need help with the manual, just let me know and I'll get it downloaded and take a look at it.
 
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