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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
5.1 computer speaker advice needed

Hi. My PC has seen a huge upgrade in the past week or so, including a new motherboard with onboard 5.1 audio. I’d like something to complement this spiffy beefed up system, something that lacks the typical “computer speaker†shortcomings. I’ve heard good things about the Monsoon MH-505. Klipsh’s 5.1 package looks nice also. Sound quality is most important to me, but nothing with receivers and whatnot (as that requires much, much more money). What’s the best 5.1 package in the PC realm? Also, I’d appreciate links to some reviews.


Thank you very much
 

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I have the Klipsch Promedia 5.1 speakers. I knew good speakers were important to the overal experience when it comes to games, movies, etc. but I didn't know how good the experience could be until I got mine. Best $340 I ever spent.


It's my understanding that the best speakers you can get are the Klipsch Promedia 5.1's, the high end logitech ones (which might be the Z-680's that are the highest, I'm not familiar with their numbering system), and the high end MegaWorks speakers made by creative (not the Inspire brand, they are lower end). For me, I felt like I needed the most powerful subwoofer possible (the shag carpeting I have absorbes a lot of the thump) which at the time I bought mine, the klipsch offered the most powerful one. I don't know the exact specs of the other 2 brands, but they shouldn't be too hard to find at their respective websites.
 

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I just got the Logitech z-680 5.1 THX speakers. They sound good and filled my same requirement of not wanting a reciever. I choose them since I could find them for a much better price then the Klipsch speakers which are also very good.


Now I am just waiting on my X1 and I'll be all set.

Alex
 

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Here is a question. Why would you not buy a home theater in a box solution like the Kenwood HTB-503?? It is about $300 after shipping and has a receiver 5 speakers and a powered woofer!


This is the route I am thinking of going. I have heard the htb-502 and I would be hard pressed to hear the sound quality difference in the speakers of a computer THX set and the HTB set. I would even venture to guess the HTB setup could crank out higher volumes with less distortion.


Not intending to offend anyone, this is just my personal opinion but THX certification for PC speakers seems to me to be just an overpriced perk. When compared to a real set of speakers like Non-THX certified Paradigm home theater speakers they pale in comparison. This is kind of like THX certifying a VHS cassette. Why bother? Again, just my opinion.
 

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The Klipsch Promedia series is quite good. I have been using the

older Promedia 4.1 for the last couple of years.


If you really want to go to town, I suggest taking a look at

Eminent Technology's LFT-11. They are mini push-pull planar

panels an come in the 4.1 configuration specifically designed

for near field (aka desktop) use.


I have a set LFT-11s custom made to my specifications.


I read somewhere that the Monsoons were based on designs licensed from Eminent Technology.
 

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My room size is 7 m * by 2. 5m and the area which the 5.1 channel speakers is going to be placed is a area of 3.5 by 2.5 m


I am getting a P4pE with on board sound max card

1) Utilizing either analog, (best for audio), optical or digital coaxial (best for DVD movies)

2) Most people, I would reckon inputting them onto an AV receiver


QN 3) I wanted to see if I could connect it directly to 5.1 multimedia speakers



A) For 5.1 DVD Playback , I THOUGHT OUTPUTTING This WAY INTO OPTical or digital coaxial would yield much better sound than analog . can somebody enlighten me why is tom hardware review mentioning that Megaworks 550 5.1 has better quality than the Prologic z 680 that takes in the optical and digital co-axial but not Mega works ?


a) The only speakers I found with the above optical and digital co-axial inputs is Klipsch promedia GMX D 5.1 that costs US 700US. OR IS THE PROLOGIC z680 (400 US) as comparable in quality ?


b) IF Prologic has the best quality, is there much incremental value to pay 50 US more for the traditional combination .


a Yamaha 430 /Marantz 4300 receiver with a respectable set of 5.1 speakers & subwoofer such as Yamaha’s NSP 230.




5) Moreover, If I am not mistaken, I would have to get a certain software like theatre tek 2 to decode DTS, and DD (AC3) whereas a receiver can do
 

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"A) For 5.1 DVD Playback , I THOUGHT OUTPUTTING This WAY INTO OPTical or digital coaxial would yield much better sound than analog."


That's not necessarily true. There's no inherant reason why decoding externally via receiver or external decoder will sound better than decoding in the htpc and then sending it out via analog. The reason many people like doing it digitally is because they like, trust, & need to integrate with their existing audio equipment; there's dedicated audio equipment for all price ranges and needs, 1 cord vs 6 cords, etc... But just because a signal is decoded on the computer and sent out for amplification via analog doesn't necessarily mean it is inferior to a signal that is decoded by an external decoder.


"5) Moreover, If I am not mistaken, I would have to get a certain software like theatre tek 2 to decode DTS, and DD (AC3) whereas a receiver can do"


If you are sending the movie audio out digitally for decoding, then it should not be decoded beforehand - all your software needs to do for the movie audio is have the ability to do 'S/PDIF passthrough'. If you go with analog connections, then yes, your software needs to decode the DD/DTS.


Incidentally, I had a chance once to listen to a HTPC setup for playing DVDs via analog with Mackie active speakers/subwoofer monitor speakers (HR824 / HRS150) and it was very impressive!
 

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I would really like to use the Klipsch Promedia 5.1 speakers, as I've read many testimonials, that speak highly of their sound quality. But for my situation, 5 speakers (unless they are wireless) are out of the question. Due to a severe logistics problem with locating the 2 rear channel speakers.


With that said: Has anyone tried the Bose LifeStyle computer speakers? I am thinking for simulated surround sound this might be the best that I can do. Until such time there are quality wireless speaker systems, available at an affordable price ($400$600.)
 

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One thing to keep in mind if playing games, when you output the sound to an external box that you buy to decode DD or DTS, you will lose sound from the rear speakers. If you plug your speakers directly into your soundcard it will change the 2 speaker sound of the game into 4 speakers. So if games are being played, the only way to keep sound coming out of the rear speakers is to find a solution that encodes to DD or something like that before sound is passed out of the computer. Just something to keep in mind. Obviously the easiest thing to do is to simply use the analog connections on the soundcard in the first place.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Sherbona
"A)

"5) Moreover, If I am not mistaken, I would have to get a certain software like theatre tek 2 to decode DTS, and DD (AC3) whereas a receiver can do"


If you are sending the movie audio out digitally for decoding, then it should not be decoded beforehand - all your software needs to do for the movie audio is have the ability to do 'S/PDIF passthrough'. If you go with analog connections, then yes, your software needs to decode the DD/DTS.


Incidentally, I had a chance once to listen to a HTPC setup for playing DVDs via analog with Mackie active speakers/subwoofer monitor speakers (HR824 / HRS150) and it was very impressive!
Where can I find info on this theatre tek 2 program?
 

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check www.thatertek.com. there is no version 2, just version 1.5.


personally, I don't mind the receiver. but then again, I use my computer as my main tuner, so that I get the HD. it's pretty fun to be able to use the keyboard/mouse while lounging on the couch.
 

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Sneetch,
Quote:
Here is a question. Why would you not buy a home theater in a box solution like the Kenwood HTB-503?? It is about $300 after shipping and has a receiver 5 speakers and a powered woofer!
I rather buy my system one piece at a time then buying an all in one unit. Most home theator setups have dvd, receiver and speakers. While that may be better it isn't as fun or interesting for me. I plan on all my sources being from my htpc and sent out to my projector and speakers. So I don't really see the need for a reciever. Have you heard the 500 watt 5.1 speakers? They sound quite good and pack a good punch.


I got my speakers for $275 so budget is a big concern for me. I looked online and found the system you are talking for closer to the $400 range. But it did look like a very good product.


Alex
 

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i've heard both the klipsch and the logitechs, and even the new gmx klipsch promedias


i liked all 3, but felt that the gmx's werent on par withthe original promedias, and i think the logitec 560's are the best value in cpmputer speakers, but once you go 5.1 the logitech 680's are closer to tehprice of teh comparable klipsch but still cheaper by a good amount of money


i'd go with the logitech 680's because the sub is bigger and more powerful with proformance being similiar, and the nice control pod of the logitecs that has thelcd display which is great
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I’ve learned that the Monsoon MH-505 is an analog system and my outputs are digital SPDIF. Can someone list the digital options I have? I’ve read lots and lots of good things about Videologic’s stuff, and most of it is from a while ago, so perhaps they’ve dropped in price. I do NOT want the budgety knock-offy newer Pure Digital/Videologic stuff I’ve read about (ZXR-500, etc.). I’ll be using the system for DVDs, music and games, in descending order. Though I want something well rounded and not specific to one use. Which of the Videologic lines fulfills this? Which of any digital setup fulfills this?

http://www.dabs.com/products/prod-se...d=asc&stab=ref


I see they have a lot of Videologic stuff… is there any place to get Videologic in the States though? What’s my best/cheapest bet (not just for Videologic, but for all the given digital recommendations)?



Any help is extremely appreciated.


Thanks
 

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I have the Klipsch 4.1 Promedias. They sound pretty dang good for what I spent on them. My only complaint is that the bass crossover is a bit too high, on the order of 100-120 Hz or so. This makes the bass quite directional, and so it limits the flexibility of placement for the sub.


I have no idea if this has been overcome by the 5.1 system. I suspect not, as the satellite speakers are reportedly the reason it has to cross over at such a high freq.


Gerald
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I found a place selling Videologic's DigiTheater 5.1 DTS for $300. There is one thing though... no headphone output. Is there any workaround for this? It's pretty much the only thing holding me back... unless there's anything else I need to know about the system?
 
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