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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, All-


As the thread title says, I'm looking for suggestions in "good quality" powered PC speakers. I have not been thrilled by the typical "multi-media" or "PC speakers" I see lining the shelves of the Big Box retailers.


To narrow down what I'm looking for:


-- Speakers are actually for my son's PC. He lives in a college dorm, and there is not a lot of space (about 12x20 ft room for two).


-- Speakers have to be self-powered, and accept line-level analog input. For reasons of cost, space, and "hassle factor", a separate amplifier or power amp is not very practical.


-- Looking for stereo pair (L+R) only, not multi-channel/ surround. Ability to add a (very) small sub-woofer later would be nice but not essential.


-- Speakers have to be compact. I'm thinking along the lines of a 5-6" driver maximum size.


-- Decent frequency response from maybe around 100 Hz to maybe 15 kHz, without exagerated boominess or thumpiness. A bit lower bass might be nice but not critical (maybe add a small subwooofer later on ...)


-- My son is a good classical & acoustical guitarist, although he's not a super-picky CD listener. He does listen to a lot of pre-recorded guitar music on his PC, and he may try some amateur (not Pro quality) recording & playback. He also enjoys listening to various jazz genres.


-- Budget for 2 speakers: $300 or under is preferred, although I could go up to $400 if I really had to (famous last words ...)



I've noticed a lot of the speakers that fit into this category are the so-called "near field studio monitors" from Yamaha, M-Audio, and a bunch of other brands I'm not familiar with.


What exactly is "near field", and why are so many studio monitors "near field"? Could that also mean highly directional or poor dispersion, with crummy sound if your head moves off the "ideal" spot?


A practical downside of these 'studio monitors" seems to be the frequent use of exposed drivers (no grilles). In a college dorm environment, this makes me very nervous -- occasional semi-rough handling is to be expected.


Am I being too quick to dismiss "ordinary" PC speaker systems? It may seem I have talked myself into a small studio monitor, but this may not be the best idea (or would it?).


I have listened the M-Audio 5" speakers and was pleasantly surprised, but it was not on music I was familar with.


Thx for any advice.
 

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Klipsch Pro Media 2.1's. best you can find and at a great price. You will get the sub and the 2 satellites. I have the 4.1 setup on my PC and they are phenominal. They win award after award by PC mags and I can solidly recommend them.
 

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I bought the swann200 from ********** wow what great sound and build for 200 dollars. Even the volume knobs feel solid. They are about 14 inches high and have a built in amp. Beautiful wood sides look very elegant. good luck
 

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I have a pair of the M-Audio 8 models, and they seem to be good quality. They don't go super low, but they wouldn't at that size. They are nice and flat across the frequency range that they can realistically be expected to reproduce.


They are near field speakers, and seem to lean more toward the 'accurate' side of the equation than the 'smooth' side, though they have definitely mellowed with break-in. But harsh content sounds harsh, which I prefer to everything sounding soft. And I think that this is appropriate for their designed role as studio speakers.


I can't unfortunately compare them very well to anything else, since I've not had any other near field powered speakers to compare them too.
 

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If you're looking for bang for the buck, you definitely should consider Logitech Z Series speakers. You can get the Z560's (4 channels + subwoofer) at Amazon for approx. $115 (w/ rebate) -- if you do an online search for reviews on this, you'll see that they are awesome speakers regardless of price.


Regards

BB
 

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Alright... For sound cards, you should look into the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, or if you can wait, get him that new M-Audio card. From a "pure multimedia" standpoint, there isn't a whole lot... the Monsoon PlanarMedia 14 is coming out soon (see the press release at www.3dsoundsurge.com ), and that should be decent... but what you REALLY want, if your son will have the desk space for it, is the Diva Swan M-200 from www.**********
 

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I also own the M200s and highly recommend them. IMO, they have better clarity and imaging vs. Klipsch promedia and other competition. Finish and components (binding posts, volume knobs, etc.) are exceptional for this price point. The only drawback is that they lack bass response (which can be fixed with a crossover and subwoofer).
 

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If you haven't totally rejected PC speakers from consideration, look at the Monsoon models. They are really remarkable sounding, due to their planer design. Really no comparison to the Klipsch and other brands in this class, if clarity is your primary goal. You can take some of the money you saved and put it back into a better sound card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Lots of positives for the Diva Swan M200's -- some other 3rd party reviews cite their "accuracy" which is really what I think my son would prefer, given his musical tastes.


The M200 *is* BIG for a "desktop" speaker, though ... might have to rig up wall mounting or similar, if I went with M200's ...


The Monsoons also seem intriguing. It appears they use a smaller, more efficient version of the technology used in in the Magneplanar brand speakers...


Keep the other comments coming in ! :)
 

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I'll put my voice in with the choir. If I were looking, my two top choices would be the M200 and Monsoon. Jamo used to have a nice one, that listed at around $400-$500/pr and was closed out at $200/pr, but I believe those are all gone.


Tom B.
 

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Remember, Monsoon just came out with a new model that no one has seen yet.... all we know is they just got the new ones shipped in to the US distributor (or at least one of them...), and that it is called the PlanarMedia 14...


I dont know how (or if) it will stand up to the M-200's... if you have the desk space, get the M-200's. :) :)
 

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Ya, that was before about five different models came and whooped the BA4800's... :) :)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by bb80301
consider Logitech Z Series speakers. You can get the Z560's
I have a set of the Logitech Z-560 speakers. At 400W for a 4.1 setup, they may be overkill for what you're looking for - but they are awesome. They have incredible detail (reveal things my living-room Infinities can barely illuminate), and have impressed several friends so they they all went out and bought the same set.


In keeping with their family, they also offer the lower-end Logitech Z-340 , an entry-level 33-watt 2.1 setup (that I have on my wife's PC).


Their newest "big-boy, king of the block" setup is the Logitech z-680 , a 450-watt THX 5.1 setup that has Dolby Digital, DTS, 4 inputs and a remote control... everything you need for a mini home-theater.
 

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That Logitech z-680 looks like a damn good package; I was planning on getting the Klipsch THX 5.1 setup. but I am going to check out that z-680 ststem first.
 

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"Ya, that was before about five different models came and whooped the BA4800's"


Boston Acoustics are not designed for the thump thump boom boom crowd. They are very musical and very natural sounding, with superb imaging.


The BA4800's use BA's small satellites. You can get a whole set for around $125 (?), so obviously they will not be the best of the best. The MediaTheaters are a big step up from that. Listen to them using a Sound Blaster Audigy and you would know how good they are. Will have to find them used though
 

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Yes, I mean whooped the BA4800 in sound quality... *grins* like the Monsoon MM-2000? Or the Boston Acoustics BA7800, or the Videologic Sirocco Crossfire... and many things have whooped the SB Audigy, like the Audigy 2, the Turtle Beach Santa Cruz, the Hercules Game Theater XP..
 
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