Likes Likes:  0
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 31

Thread: Computer Speakers

  1. #1
    Senior Member nefigah's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    302
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Computer Speakers

    I will start by saying that I don't think this question will qualify as "hi-fi" any more than you do, my discerning amigos. But as this is the most hardware-related subforum, I thought it should go here.

    I recently got an HD monitor and Blu-Ray drive for my computer, and I'd like to raise the quality of the sound a bit to be on par with the awesome HD opera I've started collecting. I know computer speakers in general won't compete with a real system, but I don't have a lot of money or space or technical knowhow. I would just like to raise the bar from the generic $30 ones I'm using at the moment.

    Does anyone know of any that would be acceptable for classical music? I'm not
    concerned at all with surround sound or subwoofers or anything like that, and in fact would prefer just the 2 speakers.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Elgarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    2,141
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I can't help, because I'm in the same situation as you are - I don't do any 'proper' listening on my computer (and if I do, it's on headphones). But I'd just like to register my interest in any answers you get!

  3. #3
    Administrator Krummhorn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Southwestern USA
    Posts
    4,889
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I upgraded my PC speakers last year to the Logitech X-240 system. There are two desktop speakers and a subwoofer that really compliments the two modest desktop units. Although not anywhere comparable to my home audio setup, they do deliver a nice clean sound with enough bass (adjustable) so that I can enjoy pipe organ mp3's and the like.

    I paid around $40 (USD) at Best Buy at the time. Saw them on Amazon for ~$48 recently.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Mark Harwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Isle of Arran, Scotland.
    Posts
    284
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Logitech X-230 is a 2.1 system that's plenty good enough for the computer. Mine cost £45. The bass is heavy, but the model below it has no sub and that sounds fine too. It's a good brand, there's no great need to look further.
    "Music is a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is."
    - Malcolm Arnold.

  5. #5
    Senior Member SalieriIsInnocent's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Vagabond
    Posts
    697
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Well, I own an old Bose computer set up. I prefer wearing my $9.00 RCA ear-buds to it. My Sharp floor model stereo is just amazing, way better than Bose, but overall, I prefer headphones, mostly ear-buds. You hear a lot more with headphones. It depends on what you want. I am covered in audio equipment and I record music as well. Headphones are really the way to go (It is a mistake to pay $100 for those noise canceling ones, cheap ones do great if you are lucky)

    Seeing as you are a fellow U.S. citizen, go to a Rent A Center and try out what speakers they have.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Mark Harwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Isle of Arran, Scotland.
    Posts
    284
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Harwood View Post
    Logitech X-230 is a 2.1 system that's plenty good enough for the computer. Mine cost £45. The bass is heavy, but the model below it has no sub and that sounds fine too. It's a good brand, there's no great need to look further.
    An update, if I may.
    The X-230 is listed at £45, but mine was £32-ish from Amazon. It's great for rock, pop & electronica. For Baroque chamber music it's dire. In general, if you want a big sound it's really good, but if you wish to hear what acoustic instruments sound like you'll get a lot closer if you spend around £90 on a 2.0 system.
    Salieri has a point. 'Phones or buds are cost-effective in this application.
    "Music is a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is."
    - Malcolm Arnold.

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    33
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    You might consider looking into some powered monitor speakers found in the musicians catalogs like Sweetwater or MusiciansFriend. Alesis, Mackie, and JBL are among some names to consider who make excellent speakers at reasonable prices. Coupled with a good quality outboard audio interface, like an EMu 0202 for example, and you can get excellent sound indeed. Prices range from about $100 per pair, to thousands. As a purist, I appreciate that these have none of the equalization or pseudo "surround sound" processing of speakers designed for computer or gaming use.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ignis Fatuus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    134
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by qualityaudio View Post
    You might consider looking into some powered monitor speakers found in the musicians catalogs like Sweetwater or MusiciansFriend. Alesis, Mackie, and JBL are among some names to consider who make excellent speakers at reasonable prices. Coupled with a good quality outboard audio interface, like an EMu 0202 for example, and you can get excellent sound indeed. Prices range from about $100 per pair, to thousands. As a purist, I appreciate that these have none of the equalization or pseudo "surround sound" processing of speakers designed for computer or gaming use.
    I'm not sure moniters are quite the thing for the actual enjoyment of music

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    33
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ignis Fatuus View Post
    I'm not sure moniters are quite the thing for the actual enjoyment of music
    May I ask why you say that and what you would suggest instead?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mark Harwood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Isle of Arran, Scotland.
    Posts
    284
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ignis Fatuus View Post
    I'm not sure moniters are quite the thing for the actual enjoyment of music
    Monitors are made for a specific purpose, ie. revealing detail during mastering. They tend to work best at a certain distance from the listener. M-Audio Studiophile make monitors, along with 'speakers for computers; their AV 40 is highly reviewed and would have been my choice but for its chunky footprint.
    I bought the Creative Gigaworks T40 series II for listening to Classical DVDs on the TV.
    If we're really serious about sound quality from the computer, we need an expensive soundcard too. Then we're getting into the realms of hi-fi prices.
    But for an inexpensive upgrade to weedy computer 'speakers, the Logitech X-230 is impressive.
    "Music is a social act of communication among people, a gesture of friendship, the strongest there is."
    - Malcolm Arnold.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Ignis Fatuus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Posts
    134
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by qualityaudio View Post
    May I ask why you say that and what you would suggest instead?
    First off, moniters are designed to focus the sound at where you are sitting - imagine an equilateral triangle with you and the 2 moniters as the corners. If you sit anywhere else, you will not be hearing the intended sound. Consumer speakers on the other hand, are design to fill the room.

    Moniters are designed to be an honest and true representation of the sound, not necessarily an enjoyable representation. Mixing engineers use moniters to create the sounds (and test on normal speakers) but I don't know anyone who uses moniters to enjoy music.

    Additional, there is no point in using expensive and accurate moniters unless you treat the room so that reflections don't occur (causing boosts and dips in the frequency spectrum).

    EDIT: Oh, looks like Mark beat me to it!

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    628
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by qualityaudio View Post
    You might consider looking into some powered monitor speakers found in the musicians catalogs like Sweetwater or MusiciansFriend. Alesis, Mackie, and JBL are among some names to consider who make excellent speakers at reasonable prices. Coupled with a good quality outboard audio interface, like an EMu 0202 for example, and you can get excellent sound indeed. Prices range from about $100 per pair, to thousands. As a purist, I appreciate that these have none of the equalization or pseudo "surround sound" processing of speakers designed for computer or gaming use.
    The obvious problem with all this is that it involves pushing the cost up beyond the budget envisaged. It gets even worse once you start adding in your recommended "good quality outboard audio interface". The best solution seems to be a pair of cheapo Logitech 2.1 speakers, as already recommended. Take a CD along to a retailer and try out a few models. In my opinion, the sound is awful but that's all you get at that price level. There's no midrange, and it's a sharp treble sound with a hefty boomy and bass. But there you go ... you pays yer money etc.

  13. #13
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    33
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    I agree with all of the above. The OP wanted a solution for his computer system which I assume means that he would be sitting at a desk to enjoy music. In that case having a small "sweet spot" would not be a problem. Besides, speakers designed for computer use would have this same limitation. He also didn't want a subwoofer which the Logitechs have, and was willing to spend more than $30, the Logitech's price range. The solution I suggested could be as low as $100 without an outboard sound card and IMO offer higher performance capabilities than comparably priced computer speakers. That someone would recommend something they consider to be "awful" to somone else who is looking to "raise the quality of the sound a bit to be on par with the awesome HD opera I've started collecting" is surprising. An "honest and true representation of sound" is my number one criteria when choosing audio components, and I've known more than a few audiophiles who've used studio monitors in their systems. Without going into separate components, again the OP's preference, I still think that powered monitors are a viable option for someone looking for better sound from their computers.
    Last edited by qualityaudio; Dec-09-2009 at 15:35.

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    628
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by qualityaudio View Post
    .. Coupled with a good quality outboard audio interface, like an EMu 0202 for example, and you can get excellent sound indeed. .
    I forgot to add that this seems to be an expensive additional item for which there may be a cheaper alternative in the form of a semi-decent sound card like a Creative Labs Audigy SE. This card (costing circa $30) would more than match the capabilities of anything like Logitech powered speakers, and would likely be a big improvement on the standard card fitted in most PCs. Most standard PC sound cards are poor, and the Creative Labs card will greatly clean up the sound. It's also worth spending a few more $ on a pair of decent quality 3mm-rca jacks, rather than put up with the junk quality interconnects which are normally supplied "free".

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    33
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis View Post
    I forgot to add that this seems to be an expensive additional item for which there may be a cheaper alternative in the form of a semi-decent sound card like a Creative Labs Audigy SE. This card (costing circa $30) would more than match the capabilities of anything like Logitech powered speakers, and would likely be a big improvement on the standard card fitted in most PCs. Most standard PC sound cards are poor, and the Creative Labs card will greatly clean up the sound. It's also worth spending a few more $ on a pair of decent quality 3mm-rca jacks, rather than put up with the junk quality interconnects which are normally supplied "free".
    Having been an audio consultant for many years, I've been trained to listen to the customer and I think my suggestions are more in line with the OP's requirements. Personally, if I were spending probably three hundred bucks on an HD monitor and BluRay drive, and probably another fifty getting someone to install it (remember the OP said he was technically challenged), and my goal was to "raise the quality of the sound a bit to be on par with the awesome HD opera I've started collecting" from the generic $30 speakers I'm using now, I wouldn't waste my money on another $30 set of speakers which you've described as "awful", and a $30 sound card to replace one which is not at that point the weak link in the sound chain. Not when for only forty bucks more you can get much better speakers than the Logitechs. The Alesis M1, for example sell for about $100 a pair ($200 MSRP), have a USB interface and built in D/A converter so no new sound card is needed, and have gotten very good reviews:

    "Capable of delivering a solid, detailed sound with good tonal balance and excellent imaging. The silk tweeters were crisp and detailed, but without the aggressive edge that often accompanies metal tweeters, and the bass end felt substantial, while still being well-defined and tightly controlled." -- Sound On Sound

    I'd be interested to know what the OP decides.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •