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Low-Budget Computer Speakers

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Good Folk of AVS, I come seeking knowledge.

I need stereo computer speakers. Very very small computer speakers. Cheap ones (preferably under $100, would go up to $200 for sound quality).

I'm temporarily in a very compact living situation, and my computer setup has moved from a spacious desk to a small cart. I have about 1-inch on each side of my monitor, so I'm trying to find speakers that will fit underneath or in front. 3" tall to fit under, or 4" to sit in front and not block the screen. I'd prefer 3", but that seems darned near impossible to find. I can work with either passive or powered.

I love quality sound, and a clean, clear soundstage... but these will not be for a critical listening setup. They will be for computer games and videos, primarily. Near-field, of course, in a small room at low-to-moderate volume levels. I'm not too worried about bass extension, but I would like it to at least be able to reach down to 90Hz or so before wussing out. Down to a realistic 55Hz or so with a mini sub would be awesome (as opposed to the very generous manufacturer's claims). I have room for a separate subwoofer on the bottom shelf, up to about a 1-foot cube.

I have an old Logitech Z4 setup at work (CNet review here) -- I loved it when I first bought it, but since I've rediscovered the world of moderate quality audio, I find them to be a huge let-down. There's a valley in the frequency response curve between the satellites and the sub-woofer, and they don't have the best clarity in the world. I built a quickie setup out of some 6x9 pre-fab carpeted boxes and Rockford Fosgate car speakers... they sound ok (better than the Z4 setup), but are WAY too big to fit on my computer stand. If all else fails, I'll bring them into work and take the Z4 set home (they'll fit if I lay them horizontally), but I'm really hoping that in the last 10 years, someone has come out with a compact, economical QUALITY compact sound system!

I was very interested in the various mini monitors (Audioengine, M-Audio, etc.) but they all seem to start about 5" wide x 7" tall. Even the little BIC AMERICA DV-32s are 5x7. Are the new Logitech multimedia speaker sets any good? How about Klipsch and Creative?

Thanks for the advice and insights!
post #2 of 5
Heya,

Can you use speakers stands, or wall mount or something? The size you're describing sounds like you might as well not even use speakers. Maybe consider a pair of headphones.

Very best,
post #3 of 5
+1 to a good pair of headphones. Tiny speakers will produce very thin sound, and - because of the very high crossover required - any sub you include in the set-up will be very "localize-able".
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have the headphone angle covered... A pair of high-impedance cans and a beefy solid-state amp take care of me quite well when I want to crank it up and/or get some serious listening in. Unfortunately, I hate wearing headphones for more than an hour or two (and that's the super-comfy ones). Just looking for something that won't make me groan when I need to let my ears air out.

Nope, I can't use stands... the cart is on wheels and needs to be able to roll frown.gif. I looked for some sort of clamp-on shelf, but can't find anything in the right size (clamp-size OR shelf-size).
Edited by Justinicus - 2/19/13 at 1:31pm
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justinicus View Post

I have the headphone angle covered... A pair of high-impedance cans and a beefy solid-state amp take care of me quite well when I want to crank it up and/or get some serious listening in. Unfortunately, I hate wearing headphones for more than an hour or two (and that's the super-comfy ones). Just looking for something that won't make me groan when I need to let my ears air out.

Nope, I can't use stands... the cart is on wheels and needs to be able to roll frown.gif. I looked for some sort of clamp-on shelf, but can't find anything in the right size (clamp-size OR shelf-size).

Get creative.

Increase that desktop size with a simple piece of cabinet wood or something. Wood-glue it down. Put everything on top of it. Instant real-estate gain. Gain the few inches you need. Then get some M-Audio AV30's or the BIC equivalent.

Very best,
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