Help choosing speakers/audio system for laptop

BobbyG40

Commendable
Jul 25, 2016
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Hi,I was looking into buying a pair of speakers to plug my laptop into but am completely lost as I am not very technically minded(getting on aswell),
I would be using the set-up for two things:
1.Listening to Music
2.Using instead of a Guitar Amp to play along with songs and guitar modelling amp software

I have been reading up on audio but am still completely baffled and confused.
The very first set I looked at was the Logitech z623 but after some further reading I thought that maybe these types of systems are intended more for gamers and not geared towards listening to music.
I then started looking into studio monitors and found a set called M-Audio BX5 D2 that are around the price of my budget.
I am looking for a set-up that will be loud enough for my bedroom but with good quality Bass,Mids and treble.
When I was reading about the z623 someone was asking how to improve the quality and was suggested to buy a DAC such as the HRT MicroStreamer which got me wondering if I would need a DAC aswell?
Is it possible to add a subwoofer for Bass and an Amp for volume in future aswell etc.?
If anyone could give me some advice that would be great as I am really lost.





 
If that equipment fits you budget you should be fine.
If you could find a used integrated amplifier rather the the SMSL you would get better sound quality.
I would also consider a Schitt DAC
http://schiit.com/
I think it would sound better.
The Wharfedales are a good deal at the closeout price.
 

Ironsounds

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Jul 31, 2011
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Hello... Typically the audio chip on the MB is a "software" chip... meaning it will use your CPU for audio processing.
An external "hardware" DAC, DAW interface, will do all the processing on those chips... leaving the CPU for other tasks... also extended Audio WAV file FREQ/BIT levels can be achieved. These will also have High and Low "impedance inputs (Guitar/MIC) and also a MIDI input for adding Keyboards. They also offer a low Latency of send and receive DATA channels to the Hardrive and inputs, using ASIO drivers for them.

There are many DVD/CD/Albums mixed using something as small as these... http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/HS5?adpos=1o1&creative=54989476081&device=c&matchtype=&network=g&gclid=CKjM2fyUjs4CFUFahgod_kkHAQ

These have Amps built into them for the low level signal from your DAW interface... their are many types and price range... the point is you will need a Speaker AMP/receiver and Headphones to get comfortable playback and recording levels.

 

BobbyG40

Commendable
Jul 25, 2016
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1,510
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Unfortunately most of that went over my head.....I won't be doing any recording with my guitar.
When you say the point is you will need a Speaker AMP/receiver and Headphones to get comfortable playback and recording levels.
Are you talking about a connection for my guitar to my pc such as a stealthplug/toneport?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
i'll break it down simply:

pc speakers sound worse than studio monitors or hifi/theater speakers. period. pc speakers tend to be more boomy and include more speakers or a sub for a cheaper price but quality only goes so high. a good pair of studio monitors/hifi/theater speakers will give you higher quality sound but may also cost a bit more.

speakers are available both powered (ac plug, no need for amplification) or unpowered [passive] (needs amplifier). monitors tend towards powered while hifi tends towards passive. depending on your needs one or the other may be suitable however getting powered is an easier hookup for simple 2.0 setups. some also include multiple inputs for sources.

do you need a dac? maybe. if you have poor onboard audio then you may certainly notice a difference in audio quality when using one. if you have decent onboard then you may not. this could be a soundcard or an external unit meant for monitors or headphones or even a unit designed for mixing such as an audio interface.

soundcard- good if you use headphones, headset, analog output devices. good if you need quality inputs not just outputs.
external- good for headphones, stereo speakers without need for inputs
mixer/interface- good if you use xlr or professional level equipment. many include manual mixing knobs and input/outputs. great for things like home bands and similar.

my suggstions?

powered speakers like the cr3/cr4, av30/av40, rokkit5, a2+

if you want a dac, i'm thinking an interface may be good if you use xlr or need mixing capability. otherwise if all you need is an analog input for guitar then an internal would work or you could hook right up to the speakers.

you will not get benefit of using a dac for analog inputs.. just for digital (meaning from pc you will but from analog output such as guitar you will not)
 

BobbyG40

Commendable
Jul 25, 2016
4
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1,510
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thanks....a pair of active studio monitors it is then
I'm not sure how good the quality is for my on-board audio but was thinking about purchasing a behringer uca202 in order to get my guitar connected to the PC.
 

Ironsounds

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Jul 31, 2011
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Hello... the "behringer uca202" does not have a 1/4" input... OR an adaptor would be needed... I'm not fan of adaptors for this audio (guitar) connections. This kind of device would be great for "tape/turntable" connections... the product was designed those types of inputs (line level).

1) can you find one with a 1/4" guitar cable input for easier use and no adaptors needed?
2) find one with a input "Volume control knob" for the preamp... controlling the input volumes before the DAC will be needed... if you start using pedals/stomp BOX/? with your guitar. OR you will run into "Over loading' or "Low signal" conditions into the DAC's and Software.

Behringer, M-audio, Focusrite, Presonus makes a lot of these Low cost entry DAW speakers/headphones/Guitar/MIC DACs... "Guitar Center" is a common store that sell and "DEMO" a lot of these items... Do you have "Guitar center" near you? or the local Music store will typically have these items on display.

This looks like the Behringer Low cost entry unit for Guitar/Mic DAW interface http://www.guitarcenter.com/Behringer/U-Phoria-UM2.gc
 

BobbyG40

Commendable
Jul 25, 2016
4
0
1,510
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Hi,I decided to purchase a stealthplug to get the guitar connected to the PC...so that solves one problem.
I have been searching the web and watching some youtube videos and thought about using an amp and hi-fi speakers.
Can you tell me if this is good idea and would it work?

laptop>
SMSL M3 Audio USB DAC Decoder>
SMSL SA-50 2x50W D-AMP TDA7492 Hi-Fi Stereo Amplifier>
Wharfedale 9.0 Speakers


 
If that equipment fits you budget you should be fine.
If you could find a used integrated amplifier rather the the SMSL you would get better sound quality.
I would also consider a Schitt DAC
http://schiit.com/
I think it would sound better.
The Wharfedales are a good deal at the closeout price.
 

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