How to connect powered speakers and a powered subwoofer to my computer?

dj41490

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Feb 11, 2013
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Hi, I'm planning to buy a pair of JBL 305 powered speakers and I already have a Polk Audio PSW10 powered subwoofer. I'm clueless on how to connect them to my computer. My old speakers have a subwoofer out jack that I can connect them with a subwoofer cable. However, the JBL 305 and the subwoofer only has input and no output jacks. Can I just buy a 3.5 mm TRS to Dual 1/4 in TS cable like this one https://www.amazon.ca/Hosa-CMP159-Stereo-Breakout-10-Feet/dp/B005HGM1D6/ref=pd_bxgy_267_img_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=V5EGNFG2CGXXP18VG1GS Dual 1/4 TS end to the JBL 305s and the 3.5 mm to my motherboard's green audio jack? Then buy a 3.5mm to dual-Male RCA Cable like this one https://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-3-5mm-2-Male-Adapter-Cable/dp/B01D5H8KO2/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1513749138&sr=1-3&keywords=3.5mm+Stereo+Audio+Male+to+Dual+RCA+Male the dual-male RCA to my subwoofer and the 3.5 mm end to my motherboard's orange audio jack? Will this work? Thank you in advance. It would be nice if I do not have to get an amp or audio interface.
 

madmatt30

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1. You shouldn't be able to buy the jbl 305's singly , theyre a package as one contains the amplifier & controls, the other is just a non powered speaker.

2 - The mb42x are not worth the extra over the mb42 IF you're going to be using that sub all the time & set it up properly so that only mid range & high frequencies go through the front left/right.
The 42x has a proper low frequency crossover that only enhances the bottom end.

3 - You're running a sub , you dont need the elac's mate , great full range bookshelves - they'll be wasted on that amp with a sub.Theyre also big & (imo) fairly ugly.

4.wont work , the klipsch are non powered - you'd still need a real amp with those.

5. Loads more options but it depends on availability.

Assuming these are for pc use , & assuming you'll always have that sub running then Ill still say the micca mb42 & either of the amps I listed - the ad18 offers bluetooth & more output (which Im honestly not sure you need).

Wire them - usb to smsl amp from pc - as it has its own high quality dac built in

Left right speaker out to speaker level inputs on sub, left right speaker level outputs to micca speakers & use the crossover control on the sub to set it up properly.

Little extra speaker cabling this way but the results are worth it & its the 'correct' way to run a sub/small speaker setup.


Dont know the specifics of your room or layout but that little setup is capable of filling a fairly reasonable (20x10 foot) room with sound easily.

If the bookshelves are to sit on a desk fairly close to your sitting position I doubt youll be running above 25% volume.

& yes they're the cheapest option I know & you can drop your whole budget & 'on paper' at least itll be higher spec and/or better quality.
In the real world though it'll be wasted money because you won't get any benefit from it.

 

dj41490

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Feb 11, 2013
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Thanks for the fast response =D. Side question, will getting an AMP or external DAC improve sound quality? If so is there any recommendation that's under $100? What about getting a dedicated sound card e.g. Sound Blaster Z https://www.amazon.ca/Blaster-Performance-Headphone-Forming-Microphone/dp/B009ISU33E will this have a significance difference compare to my onboard sound card (Realtek ALC892)?
 

dj41490

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Feb 11, 2013
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Ha! I noticed that after a bit more research. Active speakers already have built-in amps and by connecting an external amp it might actually fry them. I've been eyeing on the Fiio E10K https://www.amazon.ca/FiiO-Olympus-Headphone-Amplifier-Black/dp/B00LP3AMC2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1513861867&sr=8-1&keywords=e10k as it has a sub out port. How does this compare to the modi 2?
 

jwcrellin

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Dec 3, 2016
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I went the usb dac route to get rca to my 7.1 receiver. I also had to wire in a ground loop isolater to get rid of some interference whine. I think it would have been cheaper and easier in the end to get a new motherboard with optical audio out, lol.
 

madmatt30

Honorable


I thikn once you start looking at adding a DAC into the equation & upping the budget there are better options around that the JBL's in the first place. personally.

https://www.amazon.ca/Portable-Audio-Power-Amplifier-Controller/dp/B01GZWILD4/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1513926530&sr=1-4&keywords=smsl+q5+pro

https://www.amazon.ca/Bluetooth-Amplifier-SMSL-Subwoofer-Digital/dp/B076JHPPDM/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1513926694&sr=1-3&keywords=smsl+ad18

Both those little smsl's are bang on audio quality mini dac amps with subwoofer outputs & low pass filtering built in.

I would personally say as you already own that polk sub one of those paired with a pair of non-powered mini bookshelf speakers will offer you a better experience as well as having the capability of easily running extra equipment on them.
You'll have a far more adaptable multi-purpose setup than the JBL's with their solitary source input.

https://www.amazon.ca/Micca-MB42-Bookshelf-Speakers-Tweeter/dp/B009IUIV4A/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1513927288&sr=1-4&keywords=sony%2Bbookshelf%2Bspeaker&th=1

Stick a pair of those little micca's in the mix & you have yourself a great little setup for around $200.



 

dj41490

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Feb 11, 2013
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I'm picking JBL 305s because they are on sale at the moment for $99 USD (~$126 CAD) each. I came across the SMSL Q5 Pro as well https://www.amazon.ca/SMSL-Q5-Pro-silver-Component/dp/B017W139EI/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1513981967&sr=8-3&keywords=SMSL+Q5+Pro (What is the difference compare to mini? Just the size?) and was thinking about pairing it with ELAC B6 which is on sale now at best buy for $299 CAD (~$235 USD) a pair. However, I will be using these for my computer and the ELAC B6 seems too big for my room and I heard that JBL 305 are better near field.

Is Micca MB42 on par with JBL 305? Would you still consider the Miccas or pay (427-232) $195 CAD extra for a pair of JBL 305s?

So right now my budget is around $500 CAD and my options are:
1. JBL 305s ($252 CAD a pair + $65 CAD Shipping) with E10K $110 CAD= $427 CAD
2. Micca MB42 $82 CAD a pair + SMSL Q5 Pro $150 CAD/ Pro Mini $120 CAD = $232 CAD/ $202 CAD
3. Micca MB42X $130 CAD a pair + SMSL Q5 Pro $150 CAD/ Pro Mini $120 CAD = $280 CAD/ $250 CAD
3. ELAC B6 $299 CAD a pair + SMSL Q5 Pro $150 CAD/ Pro Mini $120 CAD = $449 CAD / $419 CAD
4. Klipsch R-15M $300 CAD a pair + E10K $110 CAD= $410 CAD
5. Signature Series HiFi $260 CAD a pair + SMSL Q5 Pro $150 CAD/ Pro Mini $120 CAD = $410 CAD / $380 CAD
6. Better options that I don't know of

P.S.You guys are awesome for being helpful! Also, I found out ELAC Debut B5 are on sale too but with the same price as the B6s.
 

madmatt30

Honorable
1. You shouldn't be able to buy the jbl 305's singly , theyre a package as one contains the amplifier & controls, the other is just a non powered speaker.

2 - The mb42x are not worth the extra over the mb42 IF you're going to be using that sub all the time & set it up properly so that only mid range & high frequencies go through the front left/right.
The 42x has a proper low frequency crossover that only enhances the bottom end.

3 - You're running a sub , you dont need the elac's mate , great full range bookshelves - they'll be wasted on that amp with a sub.Theyre also big & (imo) fairly ugly.

4.wont work , the klipsch are non powered - you'd still need a real amp with those.

5. Loads more options but it depends on availability.

Assuming these are for pc use , & assuming you'll always have that sub running then Ill still say the micca mb42 & either of the amps I listed - the ad18 offers bluetooth & more output (which Im honestly not sure you need).

Wire them - usb to smsl amp from pc - as it has its own high quality dac built in

Left right speaker out to speaker level inputs on sub, left right speaker level outputs to micca speakers & use the crossover control on the sub to set it up properly.

Little extra speaker cabling this way but the results are worth it & its the 'correct' way to run a sub/small speaker setup.


Dont know the specifics of your room or layout but that little setup is capable of filling a fairly reasonable (20x10 foot) room with sound easily.

If the bookshelves are to sit on a desk fairly close to your sitting position I doubt youll be running above 25% volume.

& yes they're the cheapest option I know & you can drop your whole budget & 'on paper' at least itll be higher spec and/or better quality.
In the real world though it'll be wasted money because you won't get any benefit from it.

 

dj41490

Honorable
Feb 11, 2013
6
0
10,510
0


Thank you very much man! Your feedback was really helpful and detailed, the only thing I don't quite understand is your response to my first statement regarding the JBL 305s. Did you mean I can't buy 2 JBL 305s with 500 CAD?
 

dj41490

Honorable
Feb 11, 2013
6
0
10,510
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Ahhh no problem mate! Thanks for being so helpful once again. I'm going for the JBL 305s and Fiio E10K, $198 USD for a pair is already a sick deal for me, they are selling $220 CAD ($173 USD) each here in Canada. Have a wonderful Christmas mate :)
 
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