Best 2.0 computer speakers under $300 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 25 Old 01-27-2016, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Best 2.0 computer speakers under $300

I need some new computer speakers and i want something as far into the audiophile range as possible.

I will say that i'm not interested in anything that doesnt have a volume know on the front.
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post #2 of 25 Old 01-27-2016, 03:48 PM
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So you're exclusively interested in active speakers? Not willing to consider cheap amp + passives? Not a big deal either way, just gives more options.
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post #3 of 25 Old 01-27-2016, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by t1337Dude View Post
So you're exclusively interested in active speakers? Not willing to consider cheap amp + passives? Not a big deal either way, just gives more options.

Yes, strictly active speakers. Thanks.
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post #4 of 25 Old 01-27-2016, 04:18 PM
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post #5 of 25 Old 01-27-2016, 06:27 PM
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Emotiva sells a big volume control knob that can be used with any 2-channel speaker system for $50. I'd rather have something like that than having to do it from the front of a speaker. The 20% off sale ended on the Emotiva Airmotiv speakers, but they are currently having a clearance of refurbished items. I usually recommend the Airmotiv 4s or 5s but they will be about $100 more than the M-Audio or Audioengine stuff. Other active speakers to look at from Sweetwater are KRK and Behringer. The KRK Rokit 5 are front-ported if rear clearance is an issue. Those and the Emotiva Control Freak would be all that you need. Should be able to demo these if there is a Guitar Center nearby.

I have the Emotiva Stealth 6 studio monitors and have no desire for anything else.

Denon AVR X7200WA, Emotiva XPR-5, Emotiva XPA-7, Sony XBR 85" X900F, Oppo UDP-203, Roku Ultra.
DefTech BP7000SC (L/R), CLR3000 (C), SM55 (FH), UIW BPZ/A (SB), UIW 75 (TM).
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PC 2.1 setup. Emotiva Stealth 6, SVS SB16-Ultra sub, Emotiva DC-1 DAC.
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post #6 of 25 Old 01-27-2016, 06:58 PM
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JBL LSR305 can be had for about $260 a pair.
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post #7 of 25 Old 02-03-2016, 11:42 AM
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I recently got the Audioengine A2+ and after a little bit of a break in period love them.
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post #8 of 25 Old 02-03-2016, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajun_Mike View Post
I will say that i'm not interested in anything that doesnt have a volume know on the front.
The JBL LSR305 doesn't have a volume knob in the front, but it's probably the best you're going to get for under $300, by a wide margin---it's better to control the volume through your computer, in any case.
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post #9 of 25 Old 02-03-2016, 01:41 PM
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Samson Resolv series....have the SE5 myself. Great for music and movies when we're on the computer.

http://www.samsontech.com/samson/pro...nitors/resolv/

I got mine at a guitar shop....
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post #10 of 25 Old 02-03-2016, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
The JBL LSR305 doesn't have a volume knob in the front, but it's probably the best you're going to get for under $300, by a wide margin---it's better to control the volume through your computer, in any case.
That's certainly debatable. Volume control exclusively through PC can get pretty inconvenient. Primarily being unable to adjust volume during movies or games is one big problem, but another is that the way Windows handles volume can be finicky. For example, after restarting my PC, often my PC's volume would reset to full, causing my ears to get painfully blasted on many occasions. After dealing with volume control through my PC for a few years, I was very glad to have a separate way to control my volume.
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post #11 of 25 Old 05-22-2016, 08:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
The JBL LSR305 doesn't have a volume knob in the front, but it's probably the best you're going to get for under $300, by a wide margin---it's better to control the volume through your computer, in any case.
No, it's not. I am at desktop and work from home. I get phone calls and the quickest way for me to turn down volume when phone rings or just to turn it up or down period is to reach for a knob rather than having to fumble with mouse and click on speaker icon on screen.
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post #12 of 25 Old 05-22-2016, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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any other new options since i posted this back in January?
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post #13 of 25 Old 05-22-2016, 08:42 AM
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Well, this is $100 above your budget:
http://www.nhthifi.com/products/1065...c-series#specs

Actually, given your budget the most sensible thing would be to get a close-to-full-range pair of bookshelves with a T-amp.

Specifically, these speakers, which have usable bass down to 34Hz:
http://philharmonicaudio.com/aa.html

Powered by this:
http://www.amazon.com/SMSL-50Wx2-TDA...rds=smsl+t-amp

Yes, a few extra wires will be required but the final result is likely to sound much better for the same money.

The extra benefit is that if the amp fails in a few years, you just buy a new one instead of being stuck with a pair of $300 paperweights.

And of course, the 4.7 x 1.5 x 3.4" amp gives you the physical volume knob up front that you want so much.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #14 of 25 Old 05-22-2016, 11:31 AM
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I feel that you might get better value hunting for a deal on some used bookshelf speakers and then pairing it with a small class t/d desktop amp.
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post #15 of 25 Old 05-22-2016, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zorba922 View Post
... Specifically, these speakers, which have usable bass down to 34Hz:
http://philharmonicaudio.com/aa.html ...
Wow, I hadn't seen these before - great price point for Philharmonica Audio quality. I very tempted to get a pair just to try them out as surrounds or maybe use them in another room.

I'm thinking the new Andrew Jones ELAC's have a competitor in that price range now
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post #16 of 25 Old 05-23-2016, 03:29 PM
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Swans M200 – just do it. A bargain for the price. Google for some reviews. Bigger woofer than the Audioengine A2, not to mention larger cabinet, means better bass. Couple the Swans with an 8”or 10” sub and you have an awesome system.

https://www.chanemusiccinema.com/mul...stics/m200mkii

Regards,
Wayne A. Pflughaupt
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post #17 of 25 Old 05-23-2016, 03:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajun_Mike View Post
No, it's not. I am at desktop and work from home. I get phone calls and the quickest way for me to turn down volume when phone rings or just to turn it up or down period is to reach for a knob rather than having to fumble with mouse and click on speaker icon on screen.
Keyboard shortcut to mute the volume. Or this: https://emotiva.com/products/electronics/control-freak
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post #18 of 25 Old 05-23-2016, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Manic1! View Post
Keyboard shortcut to mute the volume. Or this: https://emotiva.com/products/electronics/control-freak

Powered studio monitors from brands like Behringer or JBL with a 6 to 8 inch driver would be your best bet in imho.
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post #19 of 25 Old 05-23-2016, 07:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg4vfx View Post
Wow, I hadn't seen these before - great price point for Philharmonica Audio quality. I very tempted to get a pair just to try them out as surrounds or maybe use them in another room.

I'm thinking the new Andrew Jones ELAC's have a competitor in that price range now
If I had to choose between those two I'd probably get the Phils, even though the ELACs have a nicer looking cabinet.

~ Are you a "geek hobbyist" obsessed with squeezing out that last 5-10% improvement? The economy will thank you...especially the Chinese one. Or are you more of a get-set-and-forget "casual user" who simply wants to increase your enjoyment of movies, TV and gaming? Relax, HT isn't rocket science, nor does it have to cost an arm and a leg---especially if you ignore the aforementioned vocal minority. And remember to smile...it's just a silly hobby, after all. :)
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post #20 of 25 Old 05-23-2016, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cajun_Mike View Post
No, it's not. I am at desktop and work from home. I get phone calls and the quickest way for me to turn down volume when phone rings or just to turn it up or down period is to reach for a knob rather than having to fumble with mouse and click on speaker icon on screen.
You really should get a keyboard with media keys. It's much quicker changing the volume with a volume dial on your keyboard than trying to reach over to the speaker to change the volume or to fumble with a remote of some kind.
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post #21 of 25 Old 05-24-2016, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astrallite View Post
You really should get a keyboard with media keys. It's much quicker changing the volume with a volume dial on your keyboard than trying to reach over to the speaker to change the volume or to fumble with a remote of some kind.
+1. I was about to suggest that just before I read it! They have a mute button that's easily pressed.

Also, I'd +1 about the JBL305's. Others outside of this forum have raved about them.
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post #22 of 25 Old 05-24-2016, 10:39 AM
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I was in the same boat as you. I wanted a cheap pair of active speakers without a sub. The JBL LSR305 is the best under 300. You can try a local music store like a guitar center and demo the popular brands for yourself. I thought the Yamaha HS7 or HS8 were also good, but waaaay more expensive. You need a sub with the HS5. I think you get better bang for your buck for passive speakers, assuming you already have an amp.
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post #23 of 25 Old 05-24-2016, 11:04 AM
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I've been blown away by the sound my LSR305s produce

I've used them with my computer (with an amp as pre-amp), with my Yamaha MOXF (direct) and in my Home Cinema setup in living room at high volumes

and in all cases they sound superb can't recommend high enough

I would have thought if volume an issue from computer you could buy some cheap pre-amp, be it usb, DAC or whatever with a volume control on it - for not much money
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post #24 of 25 Old 05-24-2016, 01:53 PM
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for reference, I am not blown away by my 305s. I think they're great for the price but get outclassed by speakers that are more expensive. They are a little sibilant and the mids/upper mids are slightly less forward. Nothing about them sounds natural, I never forget I'm listening to speakers. The tweeter is definitely the weakest point in my opinion. Definitely great for "monitoring" if you do any mixing because the signature is very clear. Might not be as enjoyable as those Chanes listed above depending on what you're using them for. They can also get pretty loud and have good bass for a cheap speaker, which is nice!
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post #25 of 25 Old 05-25-2016, 09:09 PM
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Active speakers?!! NOOOOOO!!

Looks like I'll be having nightmares tonight. *Shudders*
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