I've been lurking around trying to figure out what sub to buy for a few weeks. I have some idea of what I want, but there were a few questions I had that I wasn't able to answer.
Quick bio: I was looking for 'computer speakers' but instead ended up with a lepai202a+ and pioneer bs22. Am very happy with that and won't be upgrading in the near future. I am looking for a sub for just a little extra oomph in the lower register. I've never had a real sub before except some tiny (smaller than my current speakers) logitech, so I'm under the impression that anything will wow me.
- Budget: ~300 MAX (stretching hard), preferably under 150..
- Medium size room 20x15 or so, but does that matter if i'm sitting next to it?
- 33% gaming, 33% tv/movies, 33% music (in background, i don't critically listen). I also usually listen to low-normal levels (no high vol).
- Is there such thing as a subwoofer with a control pod that I can put on my desk? (not too much of a big deal, shouldn't be so lazy)
- My understanding that I would be connecting this setup by having speaker wire from the lepai go to the high level input on the sub, and then from sub to each speaker. Is it possible to use the speakers without the sub (ie. sub off), or is it just the obvious turn volume all the way down.
- Having no plans to upgrade for a while, does it make sense to even buy a sub say 200-300 thats 2-3x as expensive as my speakers. I've never had a real sub and the 'best' sub I've heard was from a friends logitech z2300, so I wonder if I would notice a big difference between 100-150$ sub and 200-300$.
- I also have my speakers on for ~4 hours a day in one stretch(with stuff playing on/off). Is it bad for the sub to be on auto, and turn on/off multiple times in an evening? Would it be better to just set it to on for a few hours while i use it? This kind of ties in to Q2, as well
- Slightly unrelated, is it okay for me to switch the inputs to the lepai while it is on (connected to speaker/sub)? I mute my computer and then switch to ps3, and vice versa so there's no input at the time.
In the <150 range, I feel like the dayton1200 is pretty highly recommended, but stretching ~300, I see the pl-200, BAS-500, and a few others to name a few. I was thinking about getting the dayton but I keep seeing reviews on how 'bad' and 'throw-away' something is and to just 'stretch' another 200$. This seems to be a vicious cycle though so IDK.
Given that this is for a computer setup, for someone who's never owned a sub, and listens at lower volume, would you suggest the dayton/other budget sub, or just jump for a more expensive one.
That was longer than anticipated, but thanks for reading
If your buying a small sub, try putting it if possible behind the monitor, it makes the gaming experience more exciting. My heart jumps everytime I get shot with a shotgun in Counter strike. Plus the close distance makes up for its size.
1. None, But since its close enough, you can easily adjust the volume / power on switch . Some subs offer remote, but not at the price point of $300
2. Yes, You can also just use another set of speaker wire from the lepai to the subwoofer. Make sure you get a subwoofer with speaker level inputs
3. Can't comment on this, but a subwoofer would always be the biggest speaker in your setup and it includes a an amplifier., so normally it cost a bit more.... but not always
4. no issues with it being on Auto on and being used for long hours
5. If using the SWITCH on the amp, it should be ok, but when switching/removing cables, Sub should be OFF
Rule of "thump", buy the most expensive sub you can afford and you wont regret it and you would not suffer from the dreaded "What if" scenario.
The Polk PSW505 is an excellent sub for the price and has the speaker level inputs and outputs you are looking for. Currently on sale through today at Newegg, but still might be near that price afterwards (check Amazon, too).
Your questions are answered: Speaker FAQ
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You need to look used or close out and get something that was normally $550- $700 range and buy it on clearance or used for your price range. A perfect example of this was the sale on the Jamo sub 650 at vanns. It was a sealed sub for $250 but had solid frequency response done to 20hz. It was not a powerhouse loud sub - but you aren't looking for that.
There is a great classified section on this forum. Take a peek in there and buy something used that represented a higher value when new, or watch the hot deals section. I personally can't really recommend anything ported that is tuned in the 30hz range. There is just too much content missing on modern media, games, and movies. For example: I watched this video I made for another AVSforum member question on my logitech computer speakers with subwoofer and I couldn't even hear ANY of the notes I was trying to show off in my video demo. Unacceptable ---- Pitiful in fact! How could I show someone what it feels like to have the low frequencies when they can't reproduce the low frequencies? Also in having a really nice home theater system when I'm using my computer speaker setup - it's a totally different lessor experience - to the point that songs sound difference, and I tend to throw on my Sennheiser headphones because at least then I can hear the bottom octave or two that is otherwise completely missing.
The logitech sub you have heard will do loud (actually surprisingly loud). but is boomy and tuned very high --- it definitely won't do low. I want nothing to do with subs like that anymore.
something like one of these is 25% more $ than your stated budget and sub suggestions thrown out ---- but WORLDS better!
or this diy setup - drivers
with these boxes
with this amp - and some boosting applied using the DSP.
if staying under $300 is a must - you might consider something like this - at least it'll be solid into the mid 20's. (still not my preference because it is down so far by 20hz.)
I just found this for 200.00. eD A3-200, digs down to 18hz. Sounds like a bargain for 2 bills imo.
+1. The eD A2-300 is an awesome sub, and is what kind be addicted to subwoofage.
$200 is a great price, and if you check the eD thread, you can get support, if the amp breaks down, from a member there that used to repair all eD amps.