Which speakers should I get to get the most out of my soundcard?

Andrixo

Estimable
Nov 13, 2014
14
0
4,560
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I am using a soundblaster zx with an ASUS rampage IV motherboard, I have seen that many speakers including Hi-Fi systems that have bluetooth which I don't want because I won't be using the sound card and I need speakers that use 3.5mm audio. I am currently looking at the Audioengine A5+ speakers based on reviews but I am not sure which ones to get and I and open to suggestions. My budget would be £400.
 
you already have a soundblaster zx. while its not as good of a dac as the dx has, its mid level so not terrible. a dac like a schiit modi is certainly an upgrade for 2.0 audio but the question of "if your ears can hear it" must be raised. some people can not notice it, while others think its night and day. its the "how much of an audiophile are you" million dollar question.

wharfdales are passive.. instead of a dac for them you would want a receiver (basically thats a dac+amp in one box). you could just use an amplifier, but the cost of decent power amplifiers is high so a stereo receiver is often the cheaper choice.

you can use a dac with any powered speakers such as i listed above. or, anything on this list id say http://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/21-of-the-best-affordable-monitor-speakers-570959 though i'm not familiar with them all.
 

dudmont

Estimable
Feb 23, 2015
38
0
4,610
6
well, I'm not familiar with the speakers you're looking at. I have a set of logitech z506(relatively low power 5.1 system), they're quite good, just not high wattage. If you live in a place that allows you crank it up to 11, then logitech sell a higher end 5.1 system, the Z906, that's in your price range.
I have the same soundcard as you, and these speakers are a breeze to hook up. literally a 10 minute job, including positioning the speakers.
 

Andrixo

Estimable
Nov 13, 2014
14
0
4,560
0


That sounds like an idea, just for your information, I am currently using the creative T20's and want an upgrade in sound quality since these are quite cheap.
 

dudmont

Estimable
Feb 23, 2015
38
0
4,610
6


Before the z506s I have, I had some old Cambridge Soundworks 5.1 speakers(now creative), these(z506) guys are vastly superior. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend the z506 for people whose only interest is pc sound usage. If you're looking for your pc to be the center of an entertainment system(movies, games, hi-fi audio) for large room/house, then I think the z906 would probably be your best bet.
 

Andrixo

Estimable
Nov 13, 2014
14
0
4,560
0



The only issue is that I am not a a huge fan of surround sound, I would just prefer to have two speakers and maybe a subwoofer.
 
you dont want a z506 or z906. while they arent bad for pc speakers they are boomy and bloated and cannot compare to good hifi. for the price of the z906, you might as well have went with a energy 5.1 take classic + receiver for a bit more cash. the z506 is good value, but you said you dont want 5.1 so you would be better getting a smaller set.

the audioengine speakers are not bad however are VERY Picky about placement to sound good. they are also a bit overpriced IMO.

for that budget you could go either passive speakers with an amplifier (such as a pair of wharfdale diamond 10's with an amp) or a pair of powered speakers (such as av30/av40, cr3/cr4, swan hivi, etc). i would definitely suggest hifi over pc speakers ... HUGE difference.

i'm using a set of klipsch myself. i upgraded from an x540 years ago (older equivalent of a z506)

2.0 satellite or small bookshelf speakers may lack a bit of bass.
2.0 medium or larger bookshelf speakers will have fair bass.
if you want more bass response, get a powered subwoofer.
 
you already have a soundblaster zx. while its not as good of a dac as the dx has, its mid level so not terrible. a dac like a schiit modi is certainly an upgrade for 2.0 audio but the question of "if your ears can hear it" must be raised. some people can not notice it, while others think its night and day. its the "how much of an audiophile are you" million dollar question.

wharfdales are passive.. instead of a dac for them you would want a receiver (basically thats a dac+amp in one box). you could just use an amplifier, but the cost of decent power amplifiers is high so a stereo receiver is often the cheaper choice.

you can use a dac with any powered speakers such as i listed above. or, anything on this list id say http://www.musicradar.com/news/tech/21-of-the-best-affordable-monitor-speakers-570959 though i'm not familiar with them all.
 

dudmont

Estimable
Feb 23, 2015
38
0
4,610
6


Thanks for stepping into this thread, firstly. I'm not a true audiophile. While I like good sound, I'm not sure I can tell the difference between great and good. Yes, I think vinyl sounds richer than a cd(I can tell the difference), I'm not good enough eared to really make heads or tales of the stuff, in regards to hi-fi audio.
Here's my thing, if you can't hear the difference, then why spend a boatload on the gear?
It's nice to find someone on this forum who really know this stuff. How come I've never come across you before? Are you the Forrest Gump from the scene when he finishes his runnin? "Wait, he's going to say something."
 
@dudmont

i generally hang out in peripherals/home audio/home theater so if you frequent those sections you will have seen me.

i'm not an audiophile either, but having come from the pc speakers club into the hifi world i can say a bit about both worlds. i can certainly hear the difference between bad equipment and good equipment, poor recordings and good recordings and similar but i'm not going to nitpick two good amps apart.

there are a few others on the forum who know their stuff as well. i'm certainly not the only one here.
 
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