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Best 5.1 speaker setup for gaming rig/consoles

Discussion in 'Audio, Video & Home Theater' started by Am*, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Am*

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    About 3mx3m, excluding the space taken by my bed. The speakers will be surrounding my office chair & desk.
  2. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    don't even bother with 5.1 speakers.
  3. Am*

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    I plan on changing places in 4 months time. Either way, I'm still going for a 5.1 setup.
  4. Dent1

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    Sure.

    I thought so, when you said "Gonna trawl" it was a give away.



    Those speakers are terrible. £100 won't get you much.

    I might be able to find you a non HD receiver for around £100 and two pairs of bookshelf speakers for £100. I doubt you'll have enough money for a subwoofer and centre speaker. But you can add that later. Don't be tempted to get a hometheatre in a box, the speakers they come with are often below mediocre.


    Edit:

    Get this receiver today! Onkyo XSR309 £100

    http://www.richersounds.com/product/av-receivers/onkyo/txsr309/onky-txsr309-blk

    It's been reduced massively. I bought mine last year for almost £300 :| - It supports all the HD standards (Dolby Digital True HD and DTS Masters) not that you'll need it. But it's the cheapest you'll find a big brand HD receiver.

    As for speakers. Get 1 pair of Wharfedale Diamond £49.99 and mix and match it with the Wharfedale CR30.4 floorstanding speakers. Brings you slightly over budget but it's the best combo. To stay on budget get 2 pairs of Wharfedale Diamond and you are dead on £200.


    http://www.richersounds.com/product/bookshelf-speakers/wharfedale/diamond-9.0/whar-9.0-blk
    http://www.richersounds.com/product/floorstanders/wharfedale/cr30.4/whar-cr30.4-blk


    If you are hesitant, you could get the receiver + Floorstanding speakers. Test it out for a week or so. Then add the bookshelf speakers if you are impress what you are hearing thus far.


    £200+ isn't expensive. I'd say £200-300 is the sweet spot for normal people. There are audiophones whom spend £2k on a receiver, and will drop 5k on speakers. They'll even spend £100 on a HDMI cable.

    The difference is also build quality. Most home theatres in a boxes are plastic, bookshelf speakers are wooden, sometimes the finest English oak. Average satellite for a HTIB is about 300g, whereas a bookshelf speaker weighs about 1Kg-5Kg. HTIB satelite usually have only 1x small 3.5" woofer so it struggles on low frequencies. Bookshelf will have a typically have at least 1x 10" woofer and bass reflex ports so it can reproduce low frequencies better. Also HTIB satellites don't often have tweeters so the high frequencies suffer and distort. Also with bookshelf speakers, the cables can be changed to higher grade copper.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  5. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    your room is too small. come back when you got a bigger one or go with headphones.
  6. Am*

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    If those speakers are that bad, my expectations are pretty low as it is. If the theatre in a box for £100 can match them, it's good enough for me. If it can beat them, I'll be over the moon. I can't bring myself to spend more than £200 for the whole set though, no matter how good they are. The only things I see separating the expensive £200+ sets from budget sub-£100 setups are inputs and RMS ratings and I don't plan to have them anywhere near maximum volume (just loud enough for me to game on and hear everything happening around me in-game).
  7. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    might be able to get a pair of KRK Rokit 5 for £200-£225
  8. Dent1

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    Onkyo TX-SR309 5.1 AV Receiver £100

    [yt]26aRAm6hL-w[/yt]

    This is the CR30.1 Model. Just to give you an idea of the size as its similar to the CR30.4 which I recommended earlier £99



    Wharfedale Diamond 9.0 £49

    [yt]zzFyl-sTXwE[/yt]

    Centre speaker is missing - but can be added later. Subwoofer is optional as the floorstanding speakers can produce good low frequencies already.


    I agree. You need a big room for 5.1 otherwise stick with 2.0 - in which case receiver + floorstanding is the best 2.0 configuration

    Think the OP is moving to a bigger house soon, so hopefully it can accommodate 5.1 well.



    Edit:

    OP is in the UK, the cheapest I can find the Logitech Z906 is £290 which is more than what I spec'd above. Frankly, Logitech Z906 couldn't compete with the Whafedales in terms of audio quality or build quality either and would lack the input/outputs and features of the Onkyo receiver too.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/products/logitech-z906-51-surround-sound-speakers-500w-rms
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
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  9. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    when you put large speakers in a small untreated room you run into problems with standing waves, reflections and comb filtering.

    in english.. booming bass, reverb and a terrible image.
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  10. Protagonist

    Protagonist

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    Well since you insist on a 5.1, and if you don't mind stretching your budget then Logitech Z906 will do what you want @ $340
    Logitech Z906 500W 5.1 Speakers
  11. Phusius

    Phusius New Member

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    Bumblebee is an audio Goddess. Bow before her.

    Btw Bumblebee I still haven't made up my mind :p
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  12. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    KRK also sells a 10" active subwoofer that you can buy later on

    http://www.amazon.co_uk/dp/B001QWEWFA/?tag=tec053-21

    you can daisy chain everything together. all you need to do is connect your source (digital-analog-converter, sound card, CD Player, iPod, etc.)
  13. Am*

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    Is there any way to get speakers that sound as well but in a much smaller form factor? Also that receiver has a zillion connections I'd never, ever use -- is there anything similar at say a third of a cost, with just some optical inputs and analog outputs?

    Also I've looked into the Z906 before, and they seem to have a lot of negative reviews from ex-Z5500 owners saying it's inferior to its predecessor, and the Z5500 was cheaper (I remember it being under £200)...definitely not going anywhere near the Z906 at that price.

    I suspected that. Hence why I'd like to go with much smaller speakers. What about these?
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2013
  14. cdawall where the hell are my stars

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    That should be fine for what you want if you ever want more the receiver can push a bigger set of speakers.
  15. Dent1

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    Third of the cost. No, because we are looking at entry level receivers here. This is the starting price of AV equipment. It's natural that you won't need all the connections at first. But over time you'll start to utilise them. i.e. In the future you might buy multiple consoles' you don't want to have to keep unplugging and fiddling. You might buy a Freeview box or subscribe to Sky whom broadcast in Dolby Digital etc.




    Agreed, its overpriced. The z-5500 isn't really good on paper either outside the realms of PC speakers.

    As cdawall said, it would do what you want. Your requirements are not ambitious so anything will suffice you.

    In terms of value for money it isn't great. The receiver is pretty old and has no support for DTS HD or True HD, no front panel connnections, no USB connections, so you can't charge your Ipod or playback or sync it conveniently.

    Speakers are terrible. Like no better than PC speakers. Each satellite only weights 400g. Those woofers must be tiny. The Wharfedales, weight 4.2Kg each! That speak volumes in terms of build quality.

    For the sake of saving £21, I can't justify that HTIB compared to what I recommended.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  16. Am*

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    So if that set is bad value at £180 quid, do I need to look back at those Pioneer SHS100 speakers for better value for money, and save the rest for a better receiver later on? I haven't got my consoles yet, and my PC's sound card wouldn't need an AV receiver. My main concern right now is my PC. Should I just get a sub-£100 5.1 set for now and forget the receiver and/or better speakers until I upgrade later on down the line? If so, what's the best sub-£100 5.1 set I can buy? I wouldn't feel right spending over £200 on something of which I have no knowledge of value of or have anything better to compare to. Until I spend some time with a cheaper set, that is. At the same time, I don't want to buy a crap set that would want me to return them on arrival, so any suggestions on what a decent sub-£100 set 5.1 looks like and any features I specifically need to look for?
  17. Dent1

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    http://www.richersounds.com/product/speaker-packages/pioneer/s-hs100/pion-shs100

    Richer Sounds are doing Pioneer SHS100 for £99 as a promotion but it's missing the receiver. There is nothing sub £100. HTIB start at around £150-250. HTIB Speakers are often around the same specification and build quality across the board, the price variations for HTIB is the receiver which has +1 or -1 feature and/or connection. The speakers on the Yamaha YHT196 are on the same level as the Pioneer SHS100.

    It's not that the Yamaha YHT196 is a rip off, it's the typical price I'd expect. It just isn't value for money compared to buying separate components.


    If you were to buy the Pioneer SHS100 and Onkyo receiver together (£200). It would be better value than Yamaha YHT196 (£179) as you'll benefit from a much better and modern receiver (and you'll have a center speaker and subwoofer unlike the seperates I quoted for £200). But ultimately sound quality would be better if you buy away from a package speaker set.



    You've got the Creative Recon 3D Fatal1ty? It supports Dolby Digital Live. The main benefit of that feature is to encode 5.1 signals to Dolby Digital 5.1 for your receiver to decode. It's in your best interest to connect your PC to your AV receiver!
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  18. Am*

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    Almost all of the PC games I use don't seem to care about Dolby Digital. Only thing I see in the options is the number of channels they can utilise. So I still can't understand why I'd need a receiver when the sound card can output the raw sound directly from analog outputs.

    But as far as speakers go, are the Pioneers as good as it gets for a £100 5.1 speakers set?
  19. Dent1

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    But it's supported on the sly. If you look at the back of the box of any modern PC game e.g. BF3, Assassins Creed series you'll see the Dolby Digital logo. But when you go into the audio option there is no Dolby Digital option. This is because game developers don't want to pay for a Dolby license. So what they've done is given the game five separate audio channels, so when Dolby Digital Live is enabled in the soundcard's driver it converts and encodes PCM 5.1 into Dolby Digital 5.1 ready for the AV receiver to decode. This way they bypass the licensing issues. Pretty much all games today have 5 audio channels or more.


    It's the same concept with consoles, Xbox has a encoder chip built into its audio card which works similar to Dolby Digital Live, and it essentially detects the five audio channels and encodes it to Dolby Digital for the receiver to decode. The Dolby soundtrack was never present on the disc at all despite the logo on the back!



    Analogue can not output Dolby or DTS.

    Also in some cases, if you run across a game, mp3 or video which was recorded in stereo and you've got 5.1 speakers you'll have 3 redundant speakers. Whereas a receiver you can up mix it to Prologic 5.1 or DTS NEO 5.1.


    For HTIB, yes its as good as it gets. But the Pioneers are just speakers. You still need a receiver.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
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  20. Am*

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    Thanks. I'll buy those Pioneers until the Onkyo receiver comes back in stock, or until I see a better one for the money. I appreciate the help, fella.
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
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  21. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    I still wouldn't buy the Pioneers. in the UK rooms are much smaller. 9x9 is like a childs bedroom in the US.

    active monitors and speakers (PC) are designed for listening at close distances typically 3 feet this is called a close-field or near-field. the sound reaches your ears with minimal room acoustics.

    if you want surround sound that bad buy the Logitech Z906.
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  22. Dent1

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    The Z906 cost £290.

    The the pioneer speakers + Onkyo receiver is £200 (More inputs/outputs, features, HD audio standards, integrated FM Radio, and he can upgrade the speakers later)

    TBH I'm not sold on the Pioneer speakers either, but Logitech would be my last choice. OP seems reluctant to buy bookshelf, floorstading or active monitor.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  23. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    I don't like Logitech speakers either but the room is very important and determines how well the speakers perform.
  24. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    Personally I felt the x530s were pretty good, but no longer produced.
  25. BumbleBee

    BumbleBee

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    what are you comparing them to?

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