Originally Posted by Evildude
So how do you guys buy speakers then? Would someone please explain to me what do many 'hobbyists" do as soon as they open a link to a product page?
Do they look at the photos and think how will the speaker match their home decor?
Do they look at numbers alone and if the speaker doesn't go as high or low in frequency range then is ruled as not good or inferior?
Or do they look at both photos and specs in order to make a decision keeping in mind the specs of the equipment they already have?
All of the above. While I've been doing this for a while now .... like decades..., I go to some extent by the reputation of the Speaker Makers.
Then I go by the application. For my application, which is primarily Movies and Music, I look for large speakers with big bass drivers and deep bass response. But that is not your situation.
You have a Computer Desktop, an AVR, and a good Subwoofer. So, you have to find some speakers that fit that circumstance. While I have large floorstanding on my main system, on my computer I have a 50w/ch Stereo Receiver and a couple of Polk Audio M10 speakers, which are normally about $100/pr
, but I got them on sale for $45/pr
plus shipping. Bass drivers are 5", and the Bass response is 64hz, which is fine for how I use them on my computer. (no Sub).
Each aspect narrows the field. Since the speaker you require are for a Computer Desktop, that eliminated floorstanding, and your budget of Max $250/pr
, cut the range of possibilities down further. Since you have a Subwoofer and AVR, the bass response of the Front speakers becomes less critical. Though don't let it get too high.
Also, though of very limited value, I use YouTube to get some vague sense of speakers I am interested in. Though keep in mind perhaps 1 out of 50 YouTube video is properly recorded. Typically they are recorded too loud which add all kinds of distortion. So you have to be able to weed out the crappy videos, and focus on the tolerable ones. For someone who simply can not get out and listen to speakers, YouTube is a resource, but it is a limited resource. But... it is better than nothing if you can weed out the bad videos.
So, application and budget are the first narrowing factors. Then we consider specs relative to what you are trying to accomplish. Then we consider the type of content you listen to. The recommendations for EDM or Heavy Metal would be a bit different than what we might recommend for Jazz, as an example.
Feedback on a specific product from forums like this are also valuable, as you can find people with direct experience, if not with the specific speakers you are considering, then at least with the brand.
I think a vast majority of the equipment and speakers I've bought have been mail-ordered unheard, but I do a lot of research before I buy. Generally, I've not had a single bad experience.
Also, bargain shopping. Frequently, I don't buy the best equipment, I buy the best bargain. $350/pr
speakers for $175/pr
is an exceptional bargain. My floorstanding speakers were $1000/pr
Retail, yet I paid $425/pr
with free shipping. I couldn't find a CD Player that I liked at a price that I could afford, so I ended up with a $450 Universal DVD Player for $150 direct from the Manufacturer. It does a fantastic job, and nothing else I could have bought for that amount of money can equal the player I have.
So, price and discounts can influence your choices.
Lastly, the construction of the speaker relative to general characteristics of that type of construction - Front Ported or Rear Ported - Metal Dome Tweeters or Silk Dome Tweeters - Driver material construction - and so on. As you have now found out, Horn Tweeter so have a unique sound, and when done right, it can sound very good, when done wrong ... not so much.
And ...yes... how the speaker looks matters. You are allowed to buy a speaker because it look cool, though you can't ignore the other factors.