help needed best super budget audio system for under $80 - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 18 Old 02-19-2012, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
jclub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
New here and looking for some help. I have a 9' by 11' room. I am just looking to get the best sound I can get for under $80 total. I am looking at two systems on Amazon, an RCA RT151 for $59.99 that has 80 watts and is a 5.1 system with a built in amp. The other one is an Eagle Arion 2.1 ET-AR508LR-BK system with 70 watts RMS for $66.99 total. I'm also looking at a refurbished Vizio VSB200 Sound Bar on Newegg for $70 total. Would buying an amp and two bookshelf speakers be a better option than any of these? Right now my only audio sources are my projector which has two 5 watt built in speakers and pc speakers logitech s220 with 17 watts so I'm guessing any one of these options would be a big upgrade. I don't have the budget to spend more for a real home theater system right now so any advice on what my best option is would be appreciated.
jclub is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 18 Old 02-19-2012, 08:08 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Otto Pylot's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 7,616
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 260 Post(s)
Liked: 274
$80 for a system isn't going to buy much quality. Check out the return policy first and then just buy one and see how it sounds.
Otto Pylot is online now  
post #3 of 18 Old 02-20-2012, 08:21 AM
AVS Special Member
 
pokekevin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 5,071
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclub View Post

New here and looking for some help. I have a 9' by 11' room. I am just looking to get the best sound I can get for under $80 total. I am looking at two systems on Amazon, an RCA RT151 for $59.99 that has 80 watts and is a 5.1 system with a built in amp. The other one is an Eagle Arion 2.1 ET-AR508LR-BK system with 70 watts RMS for $66.99 total. I'm also looking at a refurbished Vizio VSB200 Sound Bar on Newegg for $70 total. Would buying an amp and two bookshelf speakers be a better option than any of these? Right now my only audio sources are my projector which has two 5 watt built in speakers and pc speakers logitech s220 with 17 watts so I'm guessing any one of these options would be a big upgrade. I don't have the budget to spend more for a real home theater system right now so any advice on what my best option is would be appreciated.

Can you add alittle more tobyour budget and get one of the cheaper htibs from onkyo and denon?

No subwoofer I've heard has been able to produce the bass I've experienced in the Corps!

Must..stop...buying...every bluray release...
pokekevin is offline  
post #4 of 18 Old 02-20-2012, 04:31 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
jclub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by pokekevin View Post

Can you add alittle more tobyour budget and get one of the cheaper htibs from onkyo and denon?

I really didn't want to go over $100 but I was looking at the Onkyo HT-S3400 for $250 but a lot of people have been giving it a 1 star rating on Amazon for dying within the first month. I'd rather not pay that much right now and just get something cheap for now as I'll be buying a real home theater system for $500+ in about two years when I get my own place. I was looking at the Monoprice 8247 5.1 Channel Home Theater Satellite Speakers & Subwoofer set. http://www.monoprice.com/products/pr...=2#description Would that be a good option and what would be the cheapest way to power them as I'd rather not spend another $150 on a receiver. Thanks for any help.
jclub is offline  
post #5 of 18 Old 02-20-2012, 07:19 PM
AVS Special Member
 
crazyrob425's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 6,506
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 199 Post(s)
Liked: 203
You'd be better off spending the $100 on nice head phones.

With absolute max of $100 you aren't getting much

Heck you will struggle to find a cheap 5.1 receiver for under $175
Pioneer VSX-521-k 5.1-Channel AV Receiver is $180
Yamaha RX-V371BL 5.1-Channel AV Receiver is $190
Sony STR-DH520 5.1 AV Receiver is $200

Buying something cheap now seems like a bright idea but you lose more money in the long run with the upgrades down the line
crazyrob425 is offline  
post #6 of 18 Old 02-20-2012, 10:21 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Otto Pylot's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 7,616
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 260 Post(s)
Liked: 274
$100 will buy you a nice set of headphones. That would be money well spent. FWIW, I have the Yamaha RX-V371 and have been very happy with it for our environment.
Otto Pylot is online now  
post #7 of 18 Old 02-21-2012, 01:02 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
jclub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
crazyrob425 & Otto Pylot thanks for the advise. I have a pair of headphones but prefer not to wear them when watching movies or sports. I'd appreciate it if anyone could take a look at these and tell me which one you think would be the best as all I'm looking for right now is something better than tv speakers and my logitech s220 speakers which I feel are pretty good. Here is everything I'm looking at as possibilities. Thanks.

RCA RT151 $59.99 http://www.amazon.com/RCA-RT151-Home...=1OY4XITUVL8XO

Eagle Arion 2.1 ET-AR508LR-BK $66.99 http://www.amazon.com/Eagle-Soundsta...=1OY4XITUVL8XO

Genius SP-HF1800A $58.99 http://www.amazon.com/Genius-SP-HF18...92690&sr=1-392

Sony SS-B1000 bookshelf speakers and Lepai Tripath Class-T Hi-Fi Audio Mini Amplifier $69.40 for both http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-B1000-.../ref=pd_cp_e_0
http://www.amazon.com/Lepai-Tripath-.../ref=pd_cp_e_1
jclub is offline  
post #8 of 18 Old 02-21-2012, 07:22 AM
Member
 
khankewycz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclub View Post

crazyrob425 & Otto Pylot thanks for the advise. I have a pair of headphones but prefer not to wear them when watching movies or sports. I'd appreciate it if anyone could take a look at these and tell me which one you think would be the best as all I'm looking for right now is something better than tv speakers and my logitech s220 speakers which I feel are pretty good. Here is everything I'm looking at as possibilities. Thanks.

RCA RT151 $59.99 http://www.amazon.com/RCA-RT151-Home...=1OY4XITUVL8XO

Eagle Arion 2.1 ET-AR508LR-BK $66.99 http://www.amazon.com/Eagle-Soundsta...=1OY4XITUVL8XO

Genius SP-HF1800A $58.99 http://www.amazon.com/Genius-SP-HF18...92690&sr=1-392

Sony SS-B1000 bookshelf speakers and Lepai Tripath Class-T Hi-Fi Audio Mini Amplifier $69.40 for both http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-B1000-.../ref=pd_cp_e_0
http://www.amazon.com/Lepai-Tripath-.../ref=pd_cp_e_1


Go with the last one IMO. You're not going to find much feedback on those under $80.00 complete home theater systems here as no one here will have tried them, frankly they won't be very good at all. The two speakers + an amp is a better choice to me as at least you're getting a better speaker. Alternatively if you don't want to do the sony bookshelfs you can even check craigslist and see if you can find some vintage fishers or something.

Additionally the monoprice 5.1 set would require an avr, and if you could swing the $200+ for both it wouldn't be a bad choice. But you can't. The two center 2.1/2.0 choices are really cheap multimedia speakers meant to give sound to computers so I wouldn't expect much from those either. Again I would buy the small amp and two sony(or dayton or monoprice or whoever..) bookshelfs or buy the amp and search craigslist for some cheap vintage floorstanding speakers.
khankewycz is offline  
post #9 of 18 Old 02-21-2012, 10:35 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Luisfc1972's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: los angeles, california
Posts: 1,035
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
Liked: 15
i bought a Pioneer HTS-GS1 for $90 shipped on buy.com a couple of years ago. best deal ever. i dont think they make them anymore but i have seen them still for sale new for under $200 using google. just read the reviews this thing rocks for the money spent.
Luisfc1972 is offline  
post #10 of 18 Old 02-21-2012, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
jclub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by khankewycz View Post

Go with the last one IMO. You're not going to find much feedback on those under $80.00 complete home theater systems here as no one here will have tried them, frankly they won't be very good at all. The two speakers + an amp is a better choice to me as at least you're getting a better speaker. Alternatively if you don't want to do the sony bookshelfs you can even check craigslist and see if you can find some vintage fishers or something.

Additionally the monoprice 5.1 set would require an avr, and if you could swing the $200+ for both it wouldn't be a bad choice. But you can't. The two center 2.1/2.0 choices are really cheap multimedia speakers meant to give sound to computers so I wouldn't expect much from those either. Again I would buy the small amp and two sony(or dayton or monoprice or whoever..) bookshelfs or buy the amp and search craigslist for some cheap vintage floorstanding speakers.

Thanks khankewycz, I think I'll go with the amp and bookshelf speakers or would I be better off with a center speaker instead of the bookshelf?
jclub is offline  
post #11 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 08:01 AM
Member
 
khankewycz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
It's not going to make a difference really. You're not running an audio video receiver so a center wouldn't be anymore efficent. The bookshelfs will be cheaper than a center channel. I don't know of any center channels in the $40 range like the bookshelfs that would be better. Cheapest "good" center I know is the BIC DV52CLR but that is about $60.00. After reading about that amp, there are people using it to suppliment their tv speakers so you should be just fine with that.

Neither way do I think the sound will blow you away. But either should give you a little better sound than tv speakers.
khankewycz is offline  
post #12 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 02:22 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
jclub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by khankewycz View Post

It's not going to make a difference really. You're not running an audio video receiver so a center wouldn't be anymore efficent. The bookshelfs will be cheaper than a center channel. I don't know of any center channels in the $40 range like the bookshelfs that would be better. Cheapest "good" center I know is the BIC DV52CLR but that is about $60.00. After reading about that amp, there are people using it to suppliment their tv speakers so you should be just fine with that.

Neither way do I think the sound will blow you away. But either should give you a little better sound than tv speakers.

I decided to spend a little more and am leaning towards the sony ss-b3000 bookshelf speakers for $71.42 on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-B3000-...=1OY4XITUVL8XO. Do you think I should get that, the Sony SS-CN5000 center speaker for $69.98 http://www.amazon.com/Sony-SS-CN5000...s_3236452011_1, or the Polk Audio CS1 Series II Center speaker which is on sale for $64.99 at Newegg? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...1&AID=10440897 I'm mainly going to be using this for movies with a little music. Which one do you think would work best with the ta2020 mini amp? Thanks and sorry for all of the questions.
jclub is offline  
post #13 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 05:19 PM
Member
 
khankewycz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
The polk cs1 center is astonishingly good. And that is a fantastic price. The sony's I don't think are bad but the sony center probably isn't as strong as the polk center.

Either is a good foundation to upgrade on in the future. Though the polk is probably more efficent and more respected here on the forum. And the whole polk line of speakers that center comes from is damn good. The sonys aren't a slouch either in their price range. They are a little cheaper but you get your moneys worth there as I've owned the floorstanders of that series. The sonys will probably have better bass with a larger woofer, but the polk center should be clearer on the highs. It is arguably the best sounding center channel speaker for $100 or less.

With either brand you should be able to build a nice budget theater.

Remember if you're running the center channel speaker it should be centered under or atop of your display/tv. So make sure you have room for that. And the polk centers, even the cs1 are damn big. Which I like but might be harder to work with.
khankewycz is offline  
post #14 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 05:38 PM
Member
 
khankewycz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
That mini amp probably is two channel at most so you could only run two speakers max. So the sony center with the bookshelfs together probably won't work for you right now. It's wattage is low but should run either speaker for now though you'll notice a difference when you step up to a real receiver, and like wise you'll yearn probably for at least lower bass notes with either one.

Again the polk center will have clearer highs probably, but the sony bookshelfs will probably have better bass. The sony 3000's will probably be richer and make you happier right now because a center on it's own is probably going to have more gaps in it's range.
khankewycz is offline  
post #15 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
jclub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Thanks for all the help, think I will go with the sony 3000s to start and look into the polk center for when I'm ready to start building my 5.1 system.
jclub is offline  
post #16 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 07:31 PM
AVS Special Member
 
crazyrob425's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 6,506
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 199 Post(s)
Liked: 203
Quote:
Originally Posted by jclub View Post

Thanks for all the help, think I will go with the sony 3000s to start and look into the polk center for when I'm ready to start building my 5.1 system.

FYI with the Polk CS1 center you want it to match your other speakers so it would be best paired with another Polk Monitor Series ii speaker.

Otherwise just go with the Sony center.
crazyrob425 is offline  
post #17 of 18 Old 02-22-2012, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
jclub's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyrob425 View Post

FYI with the Polk CS1 center you want it to match your other speakers so it would be best paired with another Polk Monitor Series ii speaker.

Otherwise just go with the Sony center.

Thanks for the info as I'm a noob to all of this.
jclub is offline  
post #18 of 18 Old 02-23-2012, 06:22 AM
Member
 
khankewycz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 153
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Yes if you get the sony bookshelves and want to go with the polks for your 5.1 setup you can easily repurpose them and your amp for a computer setup. Or you can stick with sonys if you like them and buy the center and two more sonys for new mains or rear surrounds and a sub. But as rob said the general rule is all 3 front speakers (center, left and right) in a setup should be of the same brand and series.
khankewycz is offline  
Reply Home Theater In A Box



Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off