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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

First off, you guys are awesome.  I don't know much about audio and lurking on these forums was a huge help when I was setting up my living room.  But now I have a question about my PC speaker setup and I can't seem to find an answer by searching.

 

I've got a kinda odd setup at the moment.  I have Audioengine A5+ speakers on my computer with the Audioengine AS8 powered subwoofer, all connected to my computer's headphone port.  Meanwhile my sister was using the Audioengine A2s on her PC.  Well she sold her computer and I snatched those speakers.  I hooked them up to my computer so now I have a "4.1" setup (although if I understand correctly it is technically quadraphonic).

 

My question is:  Is there any way to "cheaply" (in my case, sub $200) expand to a 5.1 setup?  My problem is that all of these speakers are powered.  I was thinking that I could disconnect my woofer from my A5s and combine it with a powered center speaker via a 3.55mm Y-Splitter and plug it into my sound card's Center/Subwoofer port.

 

So I'd have my A5s for fronts, A2s for surrounds, and my AS8 + Center.  Would this setup work like I think it would?  I have a Xonar U7 sound card, if that's relevant.

 

If I'm on the right track then my next request would be for recommendations of powered center speakers that would fit with my Audioengines.  I'd really like something small/slim, sound quality is of course important but it's a center so I don't necessarily think it needs to be on the same level as my A5s.  I was even considering getting some sort of sound bar, simply for space/appearance, if I could find one that would work with my setup.

 

Any help is much appreciated.  If I'm way off base and have betrayed my ignorance of all things audio please speak slowly and use small words.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanark19  /t/1520307/expanding-to-5-1-help-needed-looking-for-powered-center#post_24422264


First off, you guys are awesome.  I don't know much about audio and lurking on these forums was a huge help when I was setting up my living room.  But now I have a question about my PC speaker setup and I can't seem to find an answer by searching.


I've got a kinda odd setup at the moment.  I have Audioengine A5+ speakers on my computer with the Audioengine AS8 powered subwoofer, all connected to my computer's headphone port.  Meanwhile my sister was using the Audioengine A2s on her PC.  Well she sold her computer and I snatched those speakers.  I hooked them up to my computer so now I have a "4.1" setup (although if I understand correctly it is technically quadraphonic).


My question is:  Is there any way to "cheaply" (in my case, sub $200) expand to a 5.1 setup?  My problem is that all of these speakers are powered.  I was thinking that I could disconnect my woofer from my A5s and combine it with a powered center speaker via a 3.55mm Y-Splitter and plug it into my sound card's Center/Subwoofer port.


So I'd have my A5s for fronts, A2s for surrounds, and my AS8 + Center.  Would this setup work like I think it would?  I have a Xonar U7 sound card, if that's relevant.


If I'm on the right track then my next request would be for recommendations of powered center speakers that would fit with my Audioengines.  I'd really like something small/slim, sound quality is of course important but it's a center so I don't necessarily think it needs to be on the same level as my A5s.  I was even considering getting some sort of sound bar, simply for space/appearance, if I could find one that would work with my setup.


Any help is much appreciated.  If I'm way off base and have betrayed my ignorance of all things audio please speak slowly and use small words.

Why do you feel you need a center? Since this is a computer setup you likely have one seating position, in which case the A5's will do a good job of creating a phantom center effect. How is everything currently placed on your desk? I don't know of any powered center speakers, you would likeley have to buy another set of A5's and use one as the center. The front three speakers should be identical or from the same series in order to provide proper imaging, commonly referred to as timbre matching.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Well, maybe I don't.  The quad setup I've got going on right now sounds great for music, and the few games I've played on it so far sound fine.  I'm just worried that games/movies won't sound right without a true 5.1 setup.  Also, I figure the way I have the subwoofer connected through the A5s isn't ideal compared to having it actually connected to my center/sub out port.  As I understand it that means that my surround sound isn't getting the same subwoofer effect as my stereo speakers.

 

I'm beginning to realize that the route I'm trying to go may be more trouble than its worth, I'm just concerned with how music/games will sound on a quadraphonic setup, since they seem to be much more rare than 5.1.  For instance many games have a 5.1 option in audio settings, but I can't say I've ever seen a quad option.  For those games, it seems like I'd be stuck playing in stereo.

 

As for placement I've got my A5s on my desk, about 8 ft apart, and my surrounds are on stands to either side.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanark19  /t/1520307/expanding-to-5-1-help-needed-looking-for-powered-center#post_24422533


Well, maybe I don't.  The quad setup I've got going on right now sounds great for music, and the few games I've played on it so far sound fine.  I'm just worried that games/movies won't sound right without a true 5.1 setup.

A "true 5.1" setup would definitely sound better because you get to take advantage of all the audio channels for creating a better surround experience, but it involves having a good timbre match for the front soundstage. The way to achieve that is to use three of the exact same speakers in the front, or a center channel created by the manufacturer to match, neither of which is an option since you have the A5+. Using a poorly timbre matched center channel might result in worse audio quality than no center channel at all.


Instead of a soundbar, you could sell your A5+ and buy powered studio monitors that are sold as each. Then you could have three the same, assuming you have the means to work a vertical speaker as a center channel into your setup (many speakers are not meant to be turned on their side).


Otherwise, might be time to think about making the transition to home theater equipment: a receiver and passive speakers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by cel4145  /t/1520307/expanding-to-5-1-help-needed-looking-for-powered-center#post_24422744


Otherwise, might be time to think about making the transition to home theater equipment: a receiver and passive speakers.
 

Probably more money than I'm looking to spend right now, but it's an option I'll keep in mind for the future.  I guess there's no way to use powered equipment like my A5/A2/AS8 with a receiver?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lanark19  /t/1520307/expanding-to-5-1-help-needed-looking-for-powered-center#post_24422950


Probably more money than I'm looking to spend right now, but it's an option I'll keep in mind for the future.  I guess there's no way to use powered equipment like my A5/A2/AS8 with a receiver?

It would cost you too much money.


Line outs for multichannel are now only available on higher end AVRs because the very, very large majority of people don't need that feature. You could look on the used market.
 
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