Recommendations for a new Computer speaker system. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:05 PM - Thread Starter
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hey guys,

Thinking its time to finally upgrade my computer speakers to something a little nicer.

Currently I have a labtec planar magnetic speaker system with a connected subwoofer. The subwoofer has kinda gotten loose and the sub rattles unless I turn it upside down.

I have been looking at a lot of these new two channel speaker systems that a lot of the higher end audio brands are coming out with such as Paradigm, Monitor Audio, Audio Engine, etc. The other option would be to build one with a stereo receiver with two speakers and an external sub.

What are everyones thoughts? Any recommendations?
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post #2 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:21 PM
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Personally, I use a Klipsch ProMedia 2.1, which is $130 at Best Buy. I like them because they have a sub, but don't take up a lot of room either, but still rock out hard all things considered. I usually keep mine at 30% with the levels at 100% in Windows. I considered going the stereo receiver route, and I'm glad I didn't. Granted, I'm also in a dorm.

 

I know this might be on the low-end of what you're looking for, but I personally really like mine. If you're near a Best Buy go in and try them out. Hopefully someone else hasn't ruined the display model...

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post #3 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:26 PM
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I usually recommend powered/active speakers for a 2.1 computer setup since space is usually a premium on a computer desk.

I'd also take a look at Adam, Genelec, Behringer, and KRK.

My 2.1 PC setup consists of a pair of Emotiva Airmotiv 5 speakers, SVS SB-1000 subwoofer, and an Emotiva DC-1 USB DAC. This setup will set you back about $1500. My previous speaker system was a pair of Acoustic Research Powered Partner AV-570 that I used for 17 YEARS. I still have those speakers and use them when I set up at a portable location. I tried pretty-much all of the dedicated computer speakers ( Creative, Klipsch, Logitech, Altec-Lansing ) but kept going back to the AR AV-570 until I heard the Emotiva speakers. I'd probably compare the Emotiva to the Adam speakers since they have a similar driver arrangement but back-ported instead of front-ported. Emotiva updated their Airmotiv 4 and 5 with a more industrial look but the actual performance is similar to the older style.

Technically, you really don't need a DAC, especially if you have a dedicated sound card, but I added one so I could have multiple outputs and USB Class 2 audio support. I build Small Form Factor systems and having a dedicated sound card is generally a luxury.

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post #4 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:29 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jevans64 View Post

I usually recommend powered/active speakers for a 2.1 computer setup since space is usually a premium on a computer desk.

I'd also take a look at Adam, Genelec, Behringer, and KRK.

My 2.1 PC setup consists of a pair of Emotiva Airmotiv 5 speakers, SVS SB-1000 subwoofer, and an Emotiva DC-1 USB DAC. This setup will set you back about $1500. My previous speaker system was a pair of Acoustic Research Powered Partner AV-570 that I used for 17 YEARS. I still have those speakers and use them when I set up at a portable location. I tried pretty-much all of the dedicated computer speakers ( Creative, Klipsch, Logitech, Altec-Lansing ) but kept going back to the AR AV-570 until I heard the Emotiva speakers. I'd probably compare the Emotiva to the Adam speakers since they have a similar driver arrangement but back-ported instead of front-ported. Emotiva updated their Airmotiv 4 and 5 with a more industrial look but the actual performance is similar to the older style.

Technically, you really don't need a DAC, especially if you have a dedicated sound card, but I added one so I could have multiple outputs and USB Class 2 audio support. I build Small Form Factor systems and having a dedicated sound card is generally a luxury.
The thing I dont get about the powered speakers that Ive looked at, is HOW do you hook up a subwoofer?
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post #5 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Acousticality View Post

The thing I dont get about the powered speakers that Ive looked at, is HOW do you hook up a subwoofer?
One made for computers will connect to the speaker line out of the computer and will have an output jack that the main speakers plug into.

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post #6 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Bill Fitzmaurice View Post

One made for computers will connect to the speaker line out of the computer and will have an output jack that the main speakers plug into.
No No No, I get that, thats how much current set up is. I mean with these new 2 channel powered setups that brands like Adam and Paradigm and such are coming out with. Those are 2.0 setups, how do you hook a sub to those?
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post #7 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:34 PM
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The thing I dont get about the powered speakers that Ive looked at, is HOW do you hook up a subwoofer?

Plenty of ways. You could use the onboard " subwoofer out " that is on most decent motherboards these days. The SVS subwoofers have a passthrough -- you'd run L/R audio to the sub then run cables to the speakers. They have a selectable crossover that you can tune to your liking. Since I have the DAC, I use the L/R RCA analog to go to the SVS sub and use the XLR to go to the speakers. Only thing I'm doing is keeping the signal digital right up to the DAC and then using the SVS crossed at 80 Hz.

I really find that a subwoofer isn't needed for most music unless it is Rap or Electronica. The Airmotiv 5 outputs plenty of bass when listening to Rock and Classical.

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post #8 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Acousticality View Post

The subwoofer has kinda gotten loose and the sub rattles unless I turn it upside down.

You should fix that. If it's a loose port, easy to do. And if the driver is loose, that's not going to be good when it works it's way completely loose. eek.gif
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Plenty of ways. You could use the onboard " subwoofer out " that is on most decent motherboards these days.

That is problematic with Windows audio unless things have changed with Windows 8. The subwoofer output is designed to be used with multichannel. So when you implement it with a 2.1 setup, it does not work correctly if there is a multichannel source.

I recommend looking into SVS Audio subs. They have an 80hz high pass filter on their left/right channel pass through outputs, making it easy to integrate the sub and speakers.

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post #9 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

You should fix that. If it's a loose port, easy to do. And if the driver is loose, that's not going to be good when it works it's way completely loose. eek.gif
That is problematic with Windows audio unless things have changed with Windows 8. The subwoofer output is designed to be used with multichannel. So when you implement it with a 2.1 setup, it does not work correctly if there is a multichannel source.

I recommend looking into SVS Audio subs. They have an 80hz high pass filter on their left/right channel pass through outputs, making it easy to integrate the sub and speakers.
So what? I would just run the audio from the back of the computer to the sub, and then from the sub to the speakers? How do you power the speakers?
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post #10 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145 View Post

You should fix that. If it's a loose port, easy to do. And if the driver is loose, that's not going to be good when it works it's way completely loose. eek.gif
That is problematic with Windows audio unless things have changed with Windows 8. The subwoofer output is designed to be used with multichannel. So when you implement it with a 2.1 setup, it does not work correctly if there is a multichannel source.

I recommend looking into SVS Audio subs. They have an 80hz high pass filter on their left/right channel pass through outputs, making it easy to integrate the sub and speakers.

Agreed. And is why all my machines still run Win 7 or Linux. I also have an SVS sub, but I choose to go through the DAC. I just have whatever software package I'm using combine the LFE with the L&R audio.

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post #11 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:50 PM - Thread Starter
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post #12 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Acousticality View Post

So what? I would just run the audio from the back of the computer to the sub, and then from the sub to the speakers? How do you power the speakers?

You were talking about powered speakers in your original post and were wondering in post #4 how to do it???

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post #13 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:53 PM
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So what? I would just run the audio from the back of the computer to the sub, and then from the sub to the speakers? How do you power the speakers?

From there you would just run to an external amp OR powered speakers. Dayton makes some very small amps and Emotiva has their mini-X a100 with volume control on the front panel.

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post #14 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:54 PM - Thread Starter
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You were talking about powered speakers in your original post and were wondering in post #4 how to do it???
So what? I hook the powered speakers up to the back of the sub?
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post #15 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:56 PM
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So what? I hook the powered speakers up to the back of the sub?

Exactly.

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post #17 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 04:59 PM
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Junk. Minimum would be the Dayton 50w x 2 Class-T amp and a pair of speakers to match the output. You'll be disappointed with the 15w x 2 that amp outputs.

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post #18 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 05:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Junk. Minimum would be the Dayton 50w x 2 Class-T amp and a pair of speakers to match the output. You'll be disappointed with the 15w x 2 that amp outputs.
The amp would be thrown away. The TEAC Amp would drive.
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post #19 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 05:01 PM
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If you don't mind running a 2.0 setup using a sat/sub combo there's the Swan M50W's
http://hiviusa.com/shop/mulitmedia-speakers/swan-m50w/
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post #20 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
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If you don't mind running a 2.0 setup using a sat/sub combo there's the Swan M50W's
http://hiviusa.com/shop/mulitmedia-speakers/swan-m50w/
What does this mean? If you have a sub how is it a 2.0 setup?
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post #21 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 05:04 PM - Thread Starter
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If you don't mind running a 2.0 setup using a sat/sub combo there's the Swan M50W's
http://hiviusa.com/shop/mulitmedia-speakers/swan-m50w/
Ive never read anything these Swans, nowhere in any 2 channel setup rankings lists.

http://www.audiostream.com/category/desktop-component-reviews
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post #22 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 05:04 PM
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It's just L/R hookups to the sub, it takes the low end and gives the rest to the sats. There isn't a specific sub input for LFE
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post #23 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 05:05 PM - Thread Starter
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It's just L/R hookups to the sub, it takes the low end and gives the rest to the sats. There isn't a specific sub input for LFE
Sounds kind of ass backwards.
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post #24 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 05:07 PM
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The amp would be thrown away. The TEAC Amp would drive.

If you are going to go that route with the Teac, I would just get a pair of Polk Monitor 35b or 45b and pair that with the SVS SB-1000 or PB-1000. I prefer a sealed sub for my setup because I want tighter bass instead of lower bass.

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post #25 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
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If you are going to go that route with the Teac, I would just get a pair of Polk Monitor 35b or 45b and pair that with the SVS SB-1000 or PB-1000. I prefer a sealed sub for my setup because I want tighter bass instead of lower bass.
Any better recommendations for a driving source under $300?
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Sounds kind of ass backwards.

Given it's multimedia speakers it doesn't necessarily need to be 2.1. Having them as 2.0 gives them more flexibility, for instance, you can plug anything with a 3.5mm jack into it and have it play.
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post #27 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 05:12 PM
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Any better recommendations for a driving source under $300?

If you need a DAC, too, this Teac is a nice compact desktop unit: http://www.amazon.com/Teac-AH01-S-Stereo-Amplifier-Converter/dp/B00647G78M/

If you want more of a no frills power amp, the SHERBOURN PA 2-50 is the same amp section as the well known Emotiva mini-x (same parent company). It has a volume control and two analog inputs, so a little more functionality than just having a power amp.

For a stereo receiver, the Onkyo TX-8050.

Otherwise, entry level AVRs on sale can be your best bet.

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post #28 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 05:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Given it's multimedia speakers it doesn't necessarily need to be 2.1. Having them as 2.0 gives them more flexibility, for instance, you can plug anything with a 3.5mm jack into it and have it play.
I'd rather have something that sounds good...
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post #29 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 05:18 PM
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If you need a DAC, too, this Teac is a nice compact desktop unit: http://www.amazon.com/Teac-AH01-S-Stereo-Amplifier-Converter/dp/B00647G78M/

That Teac looks like a nice combo amplifier and DAC and it has subwoofer out as well. That won't limit you to getting the SVS subwoofer and maybe using any existing powered sub you might have sitting around.

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post #30 of 38 Old 03-10-2014, 05:19 PM
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I'd rather have something that sounds good...

Do a search on them, they sound good.

It's more of a convenience thing. I was simply listing another option.
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