Stereo Speaker System For Gaming PC

coolitic

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May 10, 2012
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I am building a new pc very soon and I just need to figure out what speaker system to get. I am currently on an alienware m17x r3 which uses klipsch speakers (and are surprisingly good for a laptop), and I have been checking a few speaker systems, namely ones from logitech, cyber acoustics, and creative. Also, is there really much benefit to using a subwoofer? Unless it's considerably important I wouldn't want it to take up the space underneath my desk.

My budget is $80 maximum.
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
yes, there are benefits to using a subwoofer. almost all pc speaker systems use satellite sized speakers (small) which lack the ability to recreate low end bass. a subwoofer fills in this gap by providing low end extension.

you have 4 options on that budget:

-2.0 pc speakers. perhaps the nicest sounding ones are the t20/t40 from creative however they lack bass. good for people with limited space and who arent bothered by a lack of bass whether to keep vibrations from travelling through walls in shared housing or preference.

-2.1 pc speakers. similar to 2.0 but with a small subwoofer for bass extension. the logitech sets like the z323 or z523 are sufficient and decent quality for budget though tend towards more boomy bass sounds. the creative creature iii and soundsticks (though the sticks are above budget) are a bit more refined.

-2.0 powered hifi speakers. i cannot recall any sub $100 units off the top of my head but you may certainly be able to find some self powered bookshelves for $100 or lower either new or used if you look. the nice feature about self powered speakers is that you do not require an amplifier although the negatives are that you are highly limited by models.

-2.0 unpowered speakers with an amp. this gives you a bit more choice over self powered units as more models are available to choose from. a good start would be this list http://www.audiorumble.com/best-bookshelf-speakers/under-100/ paired up with a cheap amplifier. the lepai 2020a+ is often used on some of the easier to drive and cheaper models although it is well worth investing in a much better amplifier.

generally hifi and home theater equipment is going to sound quite a bit better than pc speakers although generally has higher cost investment as well. its entirely possible to build a hifi set for under $100 using some budget bookshelf speakers and budget amplifier however and is worth looking at. bookshelf speakers are able to extend deeper into low end bass so as long as deep bass is not required they can, depending on models and amplifiers power to handle the speakers, handle bass response fairly well.

pc speakers are commonly available and everything is contained in one box which makes them the easier option, at the expense of being only adequate. although it is true some of the nicer sounding ones arent half bad at all - just not up to the level of hifi/theater speakers.

if you had more of a budget, there are of course other options including using better quality theater speakers (this is the route i use myself... i have a full set of klipsch speakers).
 

coolitic

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May 10, 2012
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Is the CA-3602 a good speaker system? (should at least be better than my laptop's klipsch speakers)

Also, down to what frequency do most 2.0 speaker systems go?
 

ssddx

Glorious
Moderator
there is a sure difference with what you get for only $40 vs spending $80. of course that depends on how picky you are about audio quality.

i wouldnt call the set you listed good, but if you arent picky about sound quality they may be adequate. the z313 would compete with them though might have a bit more bass response. generally for entry level sound for people only looking for audio i recommend the z313 as a cheapest option. its not great, but not terrible for the price.

as far as how low 2.0 sets go - that depends on the speakers. you would want to check the specs. generally your smaller speakers will only handle treble and mids well with very little bass extension so they will sound bass light. your larger (hifi/theater) bookshelf sized speakers can handle more. not low enough that subwoofer is replaced but low enough that you may not feel you need one.
 

coolitic

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May 10, 2012
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When very high audio quality is needed I usually just use my TB Z Seven headset. As for speakers, I just want something to bring my games to life without it sounding weird at all and would be fine if I don't hear much below 80 hz (I assume 2.0 systems can go that low right?). I have also changed my mind and decided I could go with any speaker system up to $150.

I just need some decent speakers and bass levels are a secondary-priority.
 

ien2222

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Mar 28, 2010
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I'll chip in the Swan M10's
http://www.chanemusiccinema.com/M10

Not sure if it's for you though, the "sub" needs to be placed on the desk or thereabouts, it doesn't work that great underneath.

For that matter, unless you really know what you are doing, you should never put a sub under the desk...maybe off to the side on the floor or something like that where it's more open and not boxed in.

Otherwise there's the M-Audio MV40's which are active monitors.
 
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