Budget speaker test: Dayton B652, Monoprice 8250, Sony B1000 tested with REW software and Dayton UMM-6 mic - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 46 Old 02-11-2014, 05:27 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been trying to read some tutorials about how to best use REW software, so I'm still not sure I'm doing these tests completely correctly.

 

http://averagejoeaudiophile.blogspot.com/

 

Test Equipment and set up

  • Laptop with Behringer UCA202 DAC for output.
  • Dayton UMM-6 USB Mic
  • Sony STR DH130 2.0 receiver @ 40 setting of volume
  • Medium Bedroom 2.0 set up with Mic at seating position at about ear level, pointed at line of site toward the center of speaker placement.
  • Graphs are showing 1/6 octave smoothing

From my understanding of this combination I don't need to calibrate the sound card because I'm not using a sound card and the mic connected via USB and not XLR.

With this combination I also have not been able to figure out if I can/have to match levels. I may have to run these tests again, if I'm not doing something correct.

I believe you can see that there are some inherent room harmonics at play in the larger peaks and valleys in the frequency response here.

All 3 speakers have peaks at @ ~125 hz and again at about 1-1.25 khz and 8 khz

After seeing these graphs, it makes my listening impressions make more sense in a technical perspective. The Monoprices sounded very loud in the vocal range, and could be very over powering at times, that seems to make sense with the huge bump in the 100-200 hz range and again at 300.

The HUGE drop is high end frequency response by the Sony's seems to verify my opinion the the Sony's are very muddled and lacking A LOT of anything in the upper registers.

Another interesting happening was after I replaced the Daytons on their stands in what I thought was pretty much their original placement and the response after ~2k hz began to change pretty significantly as far as the graph shows. I'm not sure how much difference it would make for me in daily listening though.

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post #2 of 46 Old 02-21-2014, 04:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Update and test on the Sony B1000

 

 

http://averagejoeaudiophile.blogspot.com/2014/02/sony-ss-b1000-bookshelf-speaker.html

 

 

I would appreciate anyone's feedback on better ways or methods to test speakers. I still have a massive amount to learn and understand about understanding speaker performance from a technical pov.

 

 

Sony B1000 bookshelf speaker disassembly

 

http://imgur.com/a/FF0TC

 

I bought this bookshelf about a month ago with the intent to tests and compare it along with some other budget speakers (Dayton B652, Monoprice 8250, Infinity Primus P153). I wasn't really interested in posting anything in depth on it because after even a quick ABX against the Dayton, it was clear the Sony B1000 was not a very capable speaker. 

 

However it has recently been featured on WOOT

 

http://tech.woot.com/offers/your-choice-of-sony-speakers

 

and on a few audio/HT posts on Reddit so I wanted to give my Average Joe input. To be short, this speaker sucks for $68.00 at Walmart it cost. It sucks at any sale price you can find it.

 

The hump between 80hz and 180hz has been common in all the speakers I've tested. I'm thinking its some sort of room resonance, or possibly characteristic of the cheap speakers. I will have a better understanding when I'm able to test the Primus 153 and Def Tech 350's I have. And in this respect it is not all that dissimilar from the popular Dayton B652. In my original listening comparison I noticed that all the highs just seemed to vanish. When I began the frequency response test it became very obvious as to why. There is a 5-10db drop starting at ~1.25khz and continuing until 6khz.. Thats huge! Now thankfully there isn't any huge peaks in higher registers that would make this speakers especially tiring to the ears.

 

You could probably EQ away some of this and find a better middle ground but for me it wasn't worth the experimenting.

On the plus side, they are constructed very well. Better materials than the Dayton's or Monoprice's as far as the enclosure is made. So they at least look OK.

 

The graph is an average of 4 measurements taken of the speaker. 1) Mic ~5 inches from speaker, pointed straight on and along the center plane of the speaker.  2) Mic ~3 feet from the speaker, pointed straight on and along the center plane of the speaker. 3) & 4) ~ 3 feet from the speaker and 25 degrees to the left or right pointed straight on and along the center plane of the speaker

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post #3 of 46 Old 02-21-2014, 04:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AverageJoeAudio View Post

The hump between 80hz and 180hz has been common in all the speakers I've tested. I'm thinking its some sort of room resonance, or possibly characteristic of the cheap speakers. I will have a better understanding when I'm able to test the Primus 153 and Def Tech 350's I have. And in this respect it is not all that dissimilar from the popular Dayton B652. In my original listening comparison I noticed that all the highs just seemed to vanish. When I began the frequency response test it became very obvious as to why. There is a 5-10db drop starting at ~1.25khz and continuing until 6khz.. Thats huge! Now thankfully there isn't any huge peaks in higher registers that would make this speakers especially tiring to the ears.

You could probably EQ away some of this and find a better middle ground but for me it wasn't worth the experimenting.
On the plus side, they are constructed very well. Better materials than the Dayton's or Monoprice's as far as the enclosure is made. So they at least look OK.

It is a mystery to me why you would toy, with the bottom of the barrel entry level speakers.smile.gif
They have a bump between 80 and 180 hz, to give a false perception of bass. > They use
real cheap tweeters with poor resolution - and a high pass capacitor will not help it - the
filter is there to protect the tweeter. > The Dayton ha been measured in pro-reviews, and
showed around a -6 db drop in the lower treble

Something like the Infinity 153, is something you should really start with. The Infinity is in a
different league over them bottom speakers. Also, the Definitive is even better. > They will
have a nice crossover network in them, and will measure much different.

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post #4 of 46 Old 02-21-2014, 04:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Why not play with cheap speakers?

 

Everyone starts somewhere and not everyone can afford or sees a reason to pay 200+ dollars for a pair of speakers. There aren't really any resources on the ups on downs of budget/cheap speakers. There are some really great resources on reddit that have helped me in the past and I just want to learn and give back a little bit.

 

But like I said this particular speaker has been on some sales lately so I'm sure there are plenty of new people out there who have bought them.

 

Anything that helps build the knowledge base and bring people in to the hobby; and help get people the best products that match their budget and priorities is my goal. 

 

I'm excited to test out my Def Techs and Infinitys soon. Also looking at a few other $50-$100 sets to review and play around with.

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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post

It is a mystery to me why you would toy, with the bottom of the barrel entry level speakers.smile.gif

I was going to give him a hard time about getting excited testing speakers that cost less than the measurement microphone wink.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by AverageJoeAudio View Post

Why not play with cheap speakers?

No reason at all. smile.gif

Get some cheap subs to do some testing too!

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Originally Posted by AverageJoeAudio View Post

Why not play with cheap speakers?
Everyone starts somewhere and not everyone can afford or sees a reason to pay 200+ dollars for a pair of speakers.

That is why we on the forums recommend speakers like the Pioneer, JBL ES20, Klipsch Synergy,
and the Insignia new bookshelf, NXG Pro 4.1, and the new Micca bookshelf speakers. The speakers
will have some crossover networks in their design.

Continue to have fun!

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post #7 of 46 Old 02-21-2014, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

I was going to give him a hard time about getting excited testing speakers that cost less than the measurement microphone wink.gif
No reason at all. smile.gif

Get some cheap subs to do some testing too!

I have been inside these cheapy, cheap speakers - for a few dollars more,
there is a nice difference

Also, one can also play/test some Monoprice and Dayton subs - and even
some cheaper Bic subs.smile.gif

Pioneer BS22 network
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4tnLwLSDU_Y/UlNg9UMMauI/AAAAAAAAAGE/hEOg2hqF40o/s1600/sp-bs22-lr-08.jpg

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post #8 of 46 Old 02-21-2014, 06:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by zieglj01 View Post


That is why we on the forums recommend speakers like the Pioneer, JBL ES20, Klipsch Synergy, and the Insignia new
bookshelf, NXG Pro 4.1, and the new Micca bookshelf speakers > the speakers will have some crossover networks in
their design.

Continue to have fun!

 

Thanks!

 

The Pioneers and Micca and Insgnia's are exact motivation behind my new found money pit and time wasters. They are budget and cheap speakers that actually sound pretty good too.

 

The new Micca mb42x and MTX 5i are two cheap speakers I want to mess around with. The Pioneers have been tested and reviewed a million times by people that have a million times more experience than me so those things are pretty well covered. 

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Originally Posted by AverageJoeAudio View Post

Thanks!
The new Micca mb42x and MTX 5i are two cheap speakers I want to mess around with. The Pioneers have been tested and reviewed a million time by people that have a million times more experience than me so those things are pretty well covered. 

The MTX will be near the bottom of the cheap - you will be fortunate if you find more
than a high-pass capacitor. I have owned and opened an MTX cheapy before - and the
sound signature will be some-what poor, I would aim higher than that cheap speaker.

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post #10 of 46 Old 02-22-2014, 08:06 AM
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Would love to see Pioneer SP-BS22's or the Polk Monitor 30's/35b's or Cambridge S30's or Bic DV-62's. To see what slightly more money gets you
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post #11 of 46 Old 04-25-2014, 07:22 PM
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Which one of these is the best budget speakers?
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post #12 of 46 Old 04-25-2014, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Which one of these is the best budget speakers?

 

Of these the Dayton B652 was very much the better speaker. I can't recommend the Monoprice for anything but a garage speaker. The Sony might be ok with some significant room correction via REW.

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post #13 of 46 Old 04-25-2014, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by yesitsmario View Post

Which one of these is the best budget speakers?
Interesting discussion, but "None of the above" is the answer that question.

Also, the correlation of the measurements does suggest there are issues. But it's good of you to try to experiment and test.
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I completely disagree, it's a short sighted and narrow minded position. And does nothing to forward our hobby.

You have to take a persons budget constraints into consideration. Without doing so meaningful suggestions become difficult to make.

Of these 3 speakers, the Dayton is the objectively better speaker. At it's price point it's nearly universally praised. Is it a good as a speaker in say the $200 range? I don't know and that is not the point of this thread nor was it the point of the question just asked.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AverageJoeAudio View Post

I completely disagree, it's a short sighted and narrow minded position. And does nothing to forward our hobby.

You have to take a persons budget constraints into consideration. Without doing so meaningful suggestions become difficult to make.

What do you do with these cheap speakers that you are testing - I can not believe that the
companies are sending them out for a review. Do you really keep any of them?

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post #16 of 46 Old 04-25-2014, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesitsmario View Post

Which one of these is the best budget speakers?

No one can speak for your ears, and/or guarantee you anything. If I had to buy a cheap
cheapy speaker, then I would look at the new Best Buy Insignia speaker. They sell for
around $69 a pair and have a 5 part crossover in it > This one was not simply just put
together and placed out there, just to sell and make some money.
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/5-1-4-2-way-bookshelf-speakers-pair/8959098.p?id=1218957873370&skuId=8959098&st=bookshelf%20speakers&cp=1&lp=5

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post #17 of 46 Old 04-25-2014, 08:32 PM
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Of these the Dayton B652 was very much the better speaker. I can't recommend the Monoprice for anything but a garage speaker. The Sony might be ok with some significant room correction via REW.

Ya, I was leaning towards the B652, about $36 on Amazon right now.
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post #18 of 46 Old 04-25-2014, 08:45 PM
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I completely disagree, it's a short sighted and narrow minded position. And does nothing to forward our hobby.

You have to take a persons budget constraints into consideration. Without doing so meaningful suggestions become difficult to make.

Of these 3 speakers, the Dayton is the objectively better speaker. At it's price point it's nearly universally praised. Is it a good as a speaker in say the $200 range? I don't know and that is not the point of this thread nor was it the point of the question just asked.
You might consider that you don't really know much about "our hobby" yet, or where people are coming from around here.

You're not doing anyone any favors by setting the maximum budget at $40 or whatever. For all but a handful of people, $100 will work and they can get something they might actually keep for a while.

So really, the answer is none of these three speakers. There are better budget options. Buying one of these would be ... short sighted.

Spend a few days reading the recent threads around here about budget speakers.
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Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

You might consider that you don't really know much about "our hobby" yet, or where people are coming from around here.

You're not doing anyone any favors by setting the maximum budget at $40 or whatever. For all but a handful of people, $100 will work and they can get something they might actually keep for a while.

So really, the answer is none of these three speakers. There are better budget options. Buying one of these would be ... short sighted.

There are more people in this world for whom $100 would be a very large sum of money for speakers than there are those for whom it is not, even though most of them probably won't be coming to this website. And here in the US, where certainly the majority would be shifted the other way, I still know plenty of people for whom $100 would be too much money to spend. I'm perfectly happy with AverageJoeAudio wanting to make his and my hobby more inclusive by discovering the best ~$40 speaker value that would allow more people to enjoy music.

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post #20 of 46 Old 04-25-2014, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm on mobile so hopefully this is quoting correctly.

For me it's about having fun and giving back to the community. I started researching good budget and entry level speakers for a theater system of my own and learned that there really wasn't anything as far as more technical or comparative reviews go on most cheap/budget/entry level speakers.

I personally settled in the Infinity Primus line for my needs and budget thanks to Frys sales and I'm very happy. For step up and true entry level equipment, I also have some Def Tech, Pinnacle, and B&W entry level speakers I'm working on comparative reviews for.

I'm still learning a lot and think my understanding of audio is improving as I go. But if you have nothing of worth to add because this price point is below you or what you deem worthwhile then your opinion and input doesn't matter.

Leave this to us cheap folks who have to stick to a budget or those who don't want to spend a bunch of money.

But I have enough expendable income to play with, review and give my average Joe opinion on some of the same speakers I was looking into when I started.

As far as what I do with them, I've given most away to friends and family who are looking for garage speakers or who are just thankful for having an upgrade from their TVs built in speakers.
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Originally Posted by AverageJoeAudio View Post

I'm on mobile so hopefully this is quoting correctly.

For me it's about having fun and giving back to the community. I started researching good budget and entry level speakers for a theater system of my own and learned that there really wasn't anything as far as more technical or comparative reviews go on most cheap/budget/entry level speakers.

I personally settled in the Infinity Primus line for my needs and budget thanks to Frys sales and I'm very happy. For step up and true entry level equipment, I also have some Def Tech, Pinnacle, and B&W entry level speakers I'm working on comparative reviews for.

I'm still learning a lot and think my understanding of audio is improving as I go. But if you have nothing of worth to add because this price point is below you or what you deem worthwhile then your opinion and input doesn't matter.

Leave this to us cheap folks who have to stick to a budget or those who don't want to spend a bunch of money.

But I have enough expendable income to play with, review and give my average Joe opinion on some of the same speakers I was looking into when I started.

As far as what I do with them, I've given most away to friends and family who are looking for garage speakers or who are just thankful for having an upgrade from their TVs built in speakers.

I'm one of those who just wants a cheap upgrade from my bedroom TV speakers smile.gif. Planning on pairing the B652s with a LP-2020A+ Lepai amp.
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post #22 of 46 Old 04-25-2014, 11:44 PM
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I would suggest that you put the speaker(s) outside and measure with the mic at 6" from each driver. That will allow you to get the output of the speaker at different frequencies without the room modes. You'll have to sum the outputs of the drivers to obtain the overall frequency response. Unfortunately, I suspect that, as has been mentioned, they all have a frequency response bump in the mid-bass to make up for the fact that they all have crappy real bass.
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This might be of interest. It seems a new manufacturer is making the b652 and theyve gone downhill.
When did you buy yours AverageJoe?
http://www.reddit.com/r/audiophile/comments/1bckzx/stop_buying_the_dayton_b652s/

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This might be of interest. It seems a new manufacturer is making the b652 and theyve gone downhill.
When did you buy yours AverageJoe?
http://www.reddit.com/r/audiophile/comments/1bckzx/stop_buying_the_dayton_b652s/

They have supposedly gone back up hill since then. That was over a year ago. See http://www.head-fi.org/t/671861/dayton-audio-b652-revision

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post #25 of 46 Old 04-26-2014, 12:56 AM
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Hey Joe, good for you!  This looks like fun, and most American's can't afford one set of nice speaker's let alone several pairs to play around with.  And if someone who wants to spend 50 or 100 bucks on some cheap speakers can't find any info and this pops up on google, you could be helping strangers.  I like what you're doing, even if it doesn't pertain to 95% of the people on here.  And doing this now very may well help you model higher end models later.  Keep at it, and dial it in. 

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post #26 of 46 Old 04-26-2014, 04:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AverageJoeAudio View Post

I'm on mobile so hopefully this is quoting correctly.

For me it's about having fun and giving back to the community. I started researching good budget and entry level speakers for a theater system of my own and learned that there really wasn't anything as far as more technical or comparative reviews go on most cheap/budget/entry level speakers.

I personally settled in the Infinity Primus line for my needs and budget thanks to Frys sales and I'm very happy. For step up and true entry level equipment, I also have some Def Tech, Pinnacle, and B&W entry level speakers I'm working on comparative reviews for.

I'm still learning a lot and think my understanding of audio is improving as I go. But if you have nothing of worth to add because this price point is below you or what you deem worthwhile then your opinion and input doesn't matter.

Leave this to us cheap folks who have to stick to a budget or those who don't want to spend a bunch of money.

But I have enough expendable income to play with, review and give my average Joe opinion on some of the same speakers I was looking into when I started.

As far as what I do with them, I've given most away to friends and family who are looking for garage speakers or who are just thankful for having an upgrade from their TVs built in speakers.
If you had a clue, you'd know I'm one of the biggest proponents on this forum of people buying speakers to fit their budget, of getting a first set of speakers and listening to music and enjoying that.

After the first $80-120 someone spends, the improvements to sound quality go way down for the additional money spent. But from $40 to $80 or $100, there's still a big improvement in sound quality in terms of dollars invested. We've had hundreds of people walk through the door here, and there are only about two of them for who could afford to spend $40 but not $80 on speakers.

I know what it's like to have to work to earn a dollar. And I'd still give my sister, or the cleaning lady, or the kid behind the counter at McDonalds the same advice: there are better speakers to buy than the three listed here.

Giving bad advice isn't "giving back to the community." The test is whether you're providing good info, and you're not.
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post #27 of 46 Old 04-26-2014, 04:33 AM
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Originally Posted by AverageJoeAudio View Post

For me it's about having fun and giving back to the community. I started researching good budget and entry level speakers for a theater system of my own and learned that there really wasn't anything as far as more technical or comparative reviews go on most cheap/budget/entry level speakers.

I'm still learning a lot and think my understanding of audio is improving as I go. But if you have nothing of worth to add because this price point is below you or what you deem worthwhile then your opinion and input doesn't matter.

As far as what I do with them, I've given most away to friends and family who are looking for garage speakers or who are just thankful for having an upgrade from their TVs built in speakers.

Well, it also still looks like a self promotion for your other website

Who can guarantee the best $40 or $50 speaker - and what is the definition
of the best so-called speaker in this range? It is still subjective. At least there
is some type of info for a few to look at.

If you are having fun then continue to do so - however, it is nice that you
have giving some people a free speaker.

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post #28 of 46 Old 04-26-2014, 04:36 AM
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There are more people in this world for whom $100 would be a very large sum of money for speakers than there are those for whom it is not, even though most of them probably won't be coming to this website. And here in the US, where certainly the majority would be shifted the other way, I still know plenty of people for whom $100 would be too much money to spend. I'm perfectly happy with AverageJoeAudio wanting to make his and my hobby more inclusive by discovering the best ~$40 speaker value that would allow more people to enjoy music.
cel, go ahead and grind your axe with me, because you're like that, but the fact is there are still better $50, $60 or $80 speakers to be had than these three.

And the discussion shows the problem. This just doesn't answer the question of "Which of these is the best budget speaker?", and letting people think it does is the problem.
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post #29 of 46 Old 04-26-2014, 04:51 AM
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but the fact is there are still better $50, $60 or $80 speakers to be had than these three.

I for one would be looking over at AC4L (and maybe Newegg), before looking
at these cheapy speakers. >> I have also scored some nice deals from Ebay
from under $80. If you know how to fish, you can catch something.

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post #30 of 46 Old 04-26-2014, 07:55 AM
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Originally Posted by buzzy_ View Post

cel, go ahead and grind your axe with me, because you're like that, but the fact is there are still better $50, $60 or $80 speakers to be had than these three.

And the discussion shows the problem. This just doesn't answer the question of "Which of these is the best budget speaker?", and letting people think it does is the problem.

Everything is not about you, buzzy. I posted my position in support of him well before you joined this thread. And the fact that there are more expensive speakers that are better and that I would encourage people to buy the more expensive ones, still doesn't change my position.

Heck. One of these three speakers and a Lepai would be better than any of the computer multimedia speakers in that price range. LOL

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