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Computer speakers

Discussion in 'PC/Windows/Linux' started by Pa, Apr 6, 2007.

  1. Does anyone have a recommendation?

    With my HDTV card I find that my wife and I are watching cultural events from PBS and Discovery HD Theatre on the computer quite a bit. My old speakers (as well as the ones that came with my new Dell desktop) are execrable. Better get some better ones.
  2. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    Klipsch offers some good amp /speakers in the $500 range. Other than Bose, $500 will buy pretty good sound for what you are looking for from several vendors. (In my opinion, Bose overcharges for mediocre sound and I recommend you avoid them).
  3. The Bose set I bought for my computer do very well. I think they were about 300.00
  4. Thanks for the recommendations, John and Dave.

    John, on the Klipsch web site I see only three sets of computer speakers, the most expensive being $150. Am I missing something?
  5. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    The speaker that won the top award for computer speakers at the Consumer Electronics Show last year in Las Vegas (I attended the last 20+ years in a row - this is the 150,000 attended manufacturers and dealers only show) was Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 5.1. It was reduced from $500 to $350, where it became unprofitable to sell and has now been discontinued. Here is Klipsch's own words:

    In the past few years, the 5.1 computer speaker market has become saturated with lower price point models that we simply cannot compete with any longer. In order to hit those price points, we'd have to make a lot of sacrifices. Consumers want cheaper, so dealers want cheaper, and we won't make cheaper--that's not what we are about.

    Amy Unger

    If you are lucky enough to find the 5.1 ProMedia somewhere I recommend you snap it up. Klipsch built 5) 100 watt amps in the system. If not, listen to the sound and compare both high frequency and bass spl (sound pressure level) output. The best way to do this is to take your own favorite cd. Load it in a computer connected to the speakers and compare.

    Dave, as far as Bose, as long as you are happy, that is all that matters! Enjoy!
  6. John, it is interesting that I was reading the description of this system on the Klipsch web site as your reply was posted. That looks like what I want, so I'll start looking!
  7. Dave_Canada

    Dave_Canada Guest

    I was just going to post how much I like my Logitechs and their pricing.
    I had Harmen Karden sound sticks last year I find the logitechs a little richer sounding.
  8. Thanks, John. Looks like I would probably need a new sound card to take advantage of a 5.1 system. The spec sheet on my Dell XPS 410 just says "integrated audio".
  9. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    If you were nearby, I'd invite you over. I have 2) sets operating - with a twist. I removed the Klipsch sats and boxed them up. I kept the sub / 5.1 amp / remote pod, and connected 5) Infiniti Modulus (hghi end near field monitor $500 each). The Klipsch amp drives them beautifully. Then installed 8) Klipsch dedicated 100 watt subs. This is my computer sound.

    The Klipsch amps built in the Ultra 5.1 are indeed high end. The satellites are not. They are very good, but remember, you can replace the sat speakers with some you may have hanging around your home... I removed these 5) from my theatre, replacing them with Martin Logan Electrostatics (Martin Logan looks and sounds killer at the side of each row of theatre seats)! Rather than sell them, I moved them to the mac!

    Yes, the amps will power whatever you connect to it. The only thing computer speakers have as a defining character is this short list:

    1-small (not good)
    2-requires the 3.5mm jack for connecting to the sound card - they all have this
    3-economical - not good
    4-tweeters are weak or non existent - because computer sound is generally limited in range - so most will sound "O.K."
    5-non-magnetic - means sit them next to a tube type CRT monitor and you do not distort your picture. If you have a CRT, put the speakers 6" to a foot away and you solve this. LCDs monitors do not have this need. So... that is why you can add better sounding speakers. You are buying a converter, amp, and speakers. That is it. The higher quality, the better. You can consider theatre speakers if you want - I can help you with the connections to your sound card.

    Let me know if I can help you any further!
  10. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    Simple solution!! Creative makes a USB external 5.1 sound "box". I have one of those for a laptop. Just plug it in your USB - all amps and speakers connect to it!

    Go to this link and look for USB Sound Blaster. Easier and higher end sound than most sound cards

  11. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
  12. I'll help muddy the water a bit. I came across an Altec Lansing set of satellite speakers and subwoofer FX4021. They employ pushpull speakers in the sub woofer and yield an amazing bass. I used to use a Cambridge SW for computer, but this unit (sw + 2 front speakers..they do sell a corresponding unit with 5 surround units but it costs $250 list.) has, as I said phenominal bass.

    I bought two from a closing Compusa and saved about $50.00 The unit has a remote which allows you to alter the volume, treble, bass, a DSP mode (which simulates 5.1 very well) AND Loudness! When is the last time you heard of an amplifier including loudness? For those of you not old enough to remember looudness controls there is a phenomenon (I don't know the name) where the bass and treble fall off non-linearly as volume levels decrease. A loudness control permits you to enjoy low bass extension at lower listening levels.

    I put a unit in our master bedroom for my wife who uses that TV for her listening (I have the 100" projection system in the family room). Now she plays the TV at lower levels because the bass unit in the Altec Lansing unit had very clear treble and solid bass.

    A super performing PC s/w and speakers for medium sized LCD TVs!

  13. Thanks for all the info folks.

    Wasn't even considering speakers until this evening when my wife and I sat down to view an opera I had recorded from HD Discovery last week, and found that the sound was too bad to bother with.

    Now I have decided that 5.1 surround sound would be overkill for my purposes. The three candidates I am now considering are:

    Logitech Z-2300
    Klipsch Promedia 2.1
    Altec Lansing FX4021

    The Klipsch will produce 106dB SPL, the Altecs only 92dB. Can't find data on the Logitech. This is important to me as I am hard of hearing. And we have a big house on 12 acres in the woods, so disturbing the neighbors is not an issue.
  14. Hey Jim -

    I haven't compared the other systems mentioned, but I love my Bose setup (two satellites and a subwoofer) on my G5.

    It delivers very nice sound fidelity, huge dynamic range, and can get very loud (although I don't crank it since I use it at work for streaming audio).

    See you in a couple of months in Los Alamos,

  15. After reading the CNet Review of currently available (and some unavailable) computer speakers, I ordered the Logitech Z-2300 system.

    Thank you all for your input.
  16. gadgetguy11


    Nov 16, 2005
    Let us know how you like them, Jim. They should do you a great job!

    Can you place the sub in the corner of your room? You will get substantially more bass from a corner position (might require extension cables). You may unfortunately hear a "boomy" sound from reflections there, but there will definitely be much greater bass. I suggest you try it before you route the wires permanently.
  17. The Logitechs arrived Tuesday afternoon, much to my surprise.

    They are excellent, and should satisfy my needs very well.
  18. Update: they're wonderful

    The more I use these speakers the more impressed I am. Unbelievable for the price.

    Highly recommended. :smile:
  19. Robert


    Jul 24, 2005
    I have the Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 5.1. currently on Creative Labs Audigy Platinum EX sound card. I'm about to update the sound card for a new computer, but will continue with the ProMedia system...very pleased with the sound for computer applications.
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