2.1 speaker recommendations

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rich99
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2.1 speaker recommendations

Post by rich99 » Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:36 am

Yeah, I know it's the opposite of 'silence' but I figure many silent HTPC's are going to have speakers, and I'm after some recommendations. I want to buy some 2.1 speakers for my HTPC. Not after spending loads, something mid-range, but speakers aren't something that you see reviewed very often so I'm not sure where to start. Both creative & logitech seem to be big players, but even there prices range from £20 to £130 and it's hard to know where the sweet spot is & what would be overkill. It'll be for TV/movies & music.

Thanks!

mouse
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Post by mouse » Fri Feb 02, 2007 8:43 am

Hey rich99

I have the logitech z2300 speakers. I absolutely love them!! They are about $100-120 depending on where you look. The sounds from the satelites is crisp and clear, and the sub can really pound if that is what you are looking for. The sub is quite large...something like 11w x 11h x 15d. To me that was not a problem...but it is something too consider. They come with a nice little wired remote. Both the remote and the satelites have a pretty good cord length...if that is important at all. I can measure exactly what they are if you would like.

binary visions
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Post by binary visions » Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:28 am

I did a lot of poking around because my girlfriend's brother wanted a 2.1 set, so I picked him up a set of these for Christmas:

http://www.buy.com/prod/Logitech_X230_P ... 89804.html

Logitech X230. I got him the white boxed OEM set but you can get the retail set for ten bucks more. Very impressive for the price. You can, of course, do better if you want to spend more, but I think that right there is the sweet spot on a budget. Sound was very good and I really liked how compact the whole setup was - the subwoofer was small and could be tucked out of the way.

The Z2300 is a nicer set of speakers, especially if bass is your thing, but you pay 3-4 times as much for them. Plus, as was noted, the subwoofer is huge, potentially a concern if you've got a small office space. I don't concern myself much with super high quality computer speakers, so something like the X230 is perfect for me (I have a similarly priced set of Altec Lansings but I like the Logitechs better). If I want nice sound, I'll run it into my amp and even cheap "real" speakers will blow away 90% of self-powered speakers for the computer.

nightmorph
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Post by nightmorph » Fri Feb 02, 2007 9:59 am

binary visions wrote:[. . .]
I'll second the recommendation for the X230. I bought a set of these from NewEgg for about $30, and they sound great! The subwoofer is almost a little too powerful. ;)

These speakers definitely hit the sweet spot; they sound every bit as good as pricier speakers in the $100+ range.

Redzo
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Post by Redzo » Fri Feb 02, 2007 10:37 am

logitech z2300 are really good sounding speakers. Great clarity and rytm and not to forget a realy nice sounding base.

rich99
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Post by rich99 » Fri Feb 02, 2007 11:16 am

Excellent, thanks for the recommendations - from the sound of it I might go for the logitechs, I'll look for some more detailed info now!

Le_Gritche
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Post by Le_Gritche » Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:03 pm

nightmorph wrote:I'll second the recommendation for the X230. I bought a set of these from NewEgg for about $30, and they sound great! The subwoofer is almost a little too powerful. ;)

These speakers definitely hit the sweet spot; they sound every bit as good as pricier speakers in the $100+ range.
Exactly my thoughts, I bought the X230 a year ago, after they won a review of 40 euros to 100 euros 2.1 sound systems.
They got the best rating of the bunch, thanks to their sound quality.
They only lack a remote, but it depends if you need one or not.
The subwoofer is indeed too powerful, but that's not a problem as you can set its volume, mine is set between the 2nd and 3rd of the 9 levels.

Rich99, I don't know if you read French, but anyway here is the link to the index of the article and you can also download a very useful pdf summary of the testing as published in the paper 01net magazine, the link is here, just click on "cliquez ici". They explain how they weighed every aspects in the final rating and what are every tested system caracteristics.

rich99
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Post by rich99 » Fri Feb 02, 2007 12:24 pm

Yeah, I've just been reading various reviews around the web & the X-230's come out top in nearly all of them. Decision made!!

sitalchauhan
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Post by sitalchauhan » Fri Feb 02, 2007 2:28 pm

I have got the Logitech X-530 (Same as the X-230 but 5.1 instead of 2.1) and they are simply amazing for the price. You cannot beat them without spending a lot more.
You will not be dissapointed :D

EDIT: Just noticed that they have listed the Logitech X-240 and they are going to be available in April US and May Europe:
http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/produ ... NTID=13005

They will be the newer version replacing the logitech X-230's and the RRP will be $49.99 (whihc converts to about £27 but I bet they will be about £40 in uk). I would suggest waiting if you are not in too much of a rush, but if you need some now definately get the X-230's.
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ShadowVlican
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Post by ShadowVlican » Fri Feb 02, 2007 3:54 pm

z2300 are way better than the x230, there's simply no comparison

there are tons of multimedia speakers out there, but these logitechs are easy to find and give zero headaches

don't tread into audiophile products like me, they kill your wallet and raise your expectations so now i can't stand listening to any multimedia speakers....

cyberspyder
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Post by cyberspyder » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:01 pm

ShadowVlican wrote:z2300 are way better than the x230, there's simply no comparison

there are tons of multimedia speakers out there, but these logitechs are easy to find and give zero headaches

don't tread into audiophile products like me, they kill your wallet and raise your expectations so now i can't stand listening to any multimedia speakers....
How about the Klipsch Promedia GMX2.1? I have a set with an X-Fi card, and they sound AMAZING.

Brendan

nici
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Post by nici » Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:04 pm

If you mostly listen to MP3s the logitechs are perfect. They are not too revealing so normal MP3s sound better on them than on hifi gear, the sub in the Z models is also quite punchy for what it is. I've had a pair of Z-2200 for four years i think, i dont do any serious listening on them but they are very nice for the price :) In my opinion they are better than the X. I would'nt say the sub is "huge", it's larger than most computer speakers have though. Dual 18"s is huge :P

ShadowVlican
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Post by ShadowVlican » Fri Feb 02, 2007 6:46 pm

the Klipsch ProMedia GMX A-2.1 i'd say are a step above the Logitechs

iFi would be the ultimate multimedia speakers

no audiophile uses dual 18" subs, though i must say that would be HUGE

cyberspyder
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Post by cyberspyder » Fri Feb 02, 2007 7:32 pm

ShadowVlican wrote:the Klipsch ProMedia GMX A-2.1 i'd say are a step above the Logitechs

iFi would be the ultimate multimedia speakers

no audiophile uses dual 18" subs, though i must say that would be HUGE
True, 10" would be enough to shake the drywall off, let alone 18". BTW, when choosing speakers, make sure they have tweeters in the satellites. Oh, and also, make sure when you're setting up the woofer to face the bass port towards a wall (directly touching it). This creates the 'thumps' and 'shakes'. Also, unless you have hard flooring (ie. NOT carpet), get yourself a decent set of speaker feet.

Brendan

Nino_fs
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Post by Nino_fs » Tue Feb 06, 2007 10:30 am

I have a set of 2.1 creative speakers. It doesn't look like creative makes them anymore but they cost about $40 and I have been very happy with the sound.

The highs and mids seem to come out very nice from the satelites and the I never run the sub above 40% because it is just too much and everyone in the house can here it. At 60%+ and a only 40% volume the I can feel the bass.

At times I have been playing games and I thought the sound of a bird chirping in the game was actually a bird outside my window. The game was using the 3d sound technology and the speakers did a good enough job to actually make me look out the window for the bird.

But my best advice would be to head over to best buy or a place like that where they have the wall of speakers set up and just start testing them. Set them all the about the same volume level and bass level and just flip through them. You should be able to find a brand and style you like then you can get something online which is similar.
Last edited by Nino_fs on Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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nici
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Post by nici » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:06 am

It's bass. BASS. Kind of like witch and which, they are pronounced the same way but mean totally different things. im tired.

vincentfox
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Post by vincentfox » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:12 am

cyberspyder wrote:Oh, and also, make sure when you're setting up the woofer to face the bass port towards a wall (directly touching it). This creates the 'thumps' and 'shakes'. Also, unless you have hard flooring (ie. NOT carpet), get yourself a decent set of speaker feet.
Ummm, n00b question here, by "port" do you mean the speaker grill on the front of the bass unit? Or wasn't there a smaller opening on one side? Hmmm, have to go look at my setup tonight. Could you expand on this any or give a link to more info?
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sitalchauhan
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Post by sitalchauhan » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:25 am

The port hole is the smaller hole that allows air to move in and out of the speaker box.
I actually think he meant that he faces the actual cone grill towards a wall to make the walls shake. However, in my opinion thismakes the bass sound way too boomy. You can try either and see which you like best.
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roadie
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Post by roadie » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:12 pm

If I were buying a new set of 2.1 speakers for my computer, I'd get some from the same manufacturer of my hi-fi speakers, Acoustic Energy. I'd put money on these being the best in their price range:

http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/Produc ... Aego_M.asp
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Nino_fs
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Post by Nino_fs » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:37 pm

nici wrote:It's bass. BASS. Kind of like witch and which, they are pronounced the same way but mean totally different things. im tired.
Please calm down :)

I tell you one spelling mistake and you get jumped on. I didn't even realise I spelled it wrong guess I should try and be less than half asleep when I post. :D
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mellon
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Post by mellon » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:44 pm

I'll be bying the Aego M set for my bedroom Squeezebox setup, hopefully it'll be a good purchase. At least it has gotten a good review: http://www.trustedreviews.com/multimedi ... peakers/p1

cyberspyder
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Post by cyberspyder » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:51 pm

sitalchauhan wrote:The port hole is the smaller hole that allows air to move in and out of the speaker box.
I actually think he meant that he faces the actual cone grill towards a wall to make the walls shake. However, in my opinion thismakes the bass sound way too boomy. You can try either and see which you like best.
Prob is right...bandpasses rock. good guide, u always want subs near corners or wall. i have my computer sub in the corner and its great sounding. its always a good idea to have the port facing diagnolly to the wall, so the sound waves go to the wall but dont get trapt between the sub and wall, as ull loose thump.

if you have multiple subs, always put them facing the same directtion, otherwise if you put them going opposite they will cancel eachother out and there wont be much boom, only rattle. problem is, that most computer subs are made to take up little space, so companys make the boxes small, but actually if you build your own box it can sound much better, if u have the right equipment you can build a killer box with some good 3/4" wood and pvc tubing.

subs are my thing, so i can help, specially with HT subs


EDIT:Also, i forgot...the harder the surface the better boom you do get, but if its a peice of tile on a carpet that doesnt work as well as a actual tile floor thats mounted to the foundation, as thats what will shake. if you dont have tile, u can always use the spikes that alot of subs and highend floor standing speakers have that will go to the bottom of the carpet and insulation so they get more bass response from the hard floor underneath

autoboy
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Post by autoboy » Tue Feb 06, 2007 12:53 pm

Please don't position the bass port against the wall. The port needs at least an inch or two to breathe. You can corner load (place it in a corner of the room) the sub to get more SPL (loudness) and more low end (more room shake) but many find that a corner loaded sub is too boomy. If voices are hard to hear than you should turn down the sub and or take it out of the corner.

I like Audioholics reviews because they are a no bullsh*t website just like SPCR. They don't have too many computer speaker reviews but they are a good place to learn about audio and how to set it up. Beware...audio is a much more expensive hobby than silent computers but these guys cut through the crap and recomend some really good budget stuff.

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Post by ~El~Jefe~ » Tue Feb 06, 2007 8:59 pm

Kilpsch 2.1, not the shiney silvery types, the black solid rectangle ones. cannot be beat for price. amazing midrange voice and a base box that weighs like 15 lbs and is tightly crafted.

stopped me from buying a real 1500 dollar system so far.

cyberspyder
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Post by cyberspyder » Tue Feb 06, 2007 9:09 pm

~El~Jefe~ wrote:Kilpsch 2.1, not the shiney silvery types, the black solid rectangle ones. cannot be beat for price. amazing midrange voice and a base box that weighs like 15 lbs and is tightly crafted.

stopped me from buying a real 1500 dollar system so far.
The silvery ones are just as good and are $10 cheaper, so I'll get that over the standard Promedias.

Brendan

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