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Best PC Surround Sound Systems

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by TIGR, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. TIGR

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    I own a couple sets of Logitech Z-5500s, have owned Klipsch and Creative in the past. I hear people talk about connecting PCs to Home Theater systems and about how much better the quality is. A lot of PC owners out there are confused by this, thinking they're limited to "computer" speaker systems; wondering how to choose wisely and whether there will be some difficulty in connecting PC and HT gear.

    So on the HT front, can some people in the know suggest good alternatives to the well-known and popular PC surround sound setups from Creative, Logitech, etc. and clarify anything that those who have only used "computer" speakers should know before buying? 5.1, 7.1, whatever.

    What would you choose, given a $300 budget to buy a surround sound system for gaming, movies, music, etc.? We're talking both SPL and SQ here.

    I'm also curious about Z-5500 vs. the Gigaworks S750 if someone has experience with both.
     
  2. TIGR

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    Quick bump while I ask: any feedback on the idea of using Klipsch ProMedia 4.1 satellites with a Z-5500 setup? The Klipsch satellites are rated at 60w RMS whereas the Logitech satellites they would be replaced are 62w RMS. Not sure how well they would blend with the Z-5500 sub. I don't use the center channel satellite with the Z-5500 at the moment.

    The ProMedia's sub is blown and I felt the Klipsch satellites (with separate horn tweeter and midrange speaker) sounded better, so just curious....
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  3. valtopps

    valtopps

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    the Klipsch is one of the best sounding computer speakers i ever heard. im using boston acoustic computer speakers 5.1 system i like too. but if you want to use your stereo system you need a good sound card and use a rca cable, digital cable or fiber optic cable depending what you have for a output on your card to connect to your reciever. its that simple.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  4. cdawall where the hell are my stars

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    get a HTIB with a optical input and run that for around $300 you can get a half decent one from yamaha or someone.
     
  5. majestic12

    majestic12

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    TIGR says thanks.
  6. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    z5500 blur the line nicely between PC speaker and home cinema
     
  7. sweeper

    sweeper New Member

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    For $300 it's going to be a tight budget to get a nice PC/HT experience. I've never bought a HT Receiver and speakers in a 'SET'. I go with a good receiver with good reviews and good 'THD','RMS'. Clean sound. Next I pick out my speakers. Obviously the front you want the 'left/right' to handle your mid range, 'center' to take care of the voices (clear, crisp), 'sub' to handle the mid/deep bass, surround to handle noise. Alot of people mistake the rear speakers as anything but speakers to handle background noise. If set up correctly they don't need to be large at all. Just a clean set with nice 'THD' and good reviews. If you are going to use the receiver for your PC, TV, Home Theater, Radio then spend the time getting it right the first go around. I've never purchased online. I like to hear what I'm buying both the receiver and speakers. Same goes with TV's. If you like to see what you are spending your cash on then you'll probably want to hear what you're spending your cash on. ;)
     
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  8. TIGR

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    Truth be told, one of my favorite settings on the Z-5500s is Stereo X2, which just plays the same thing through the rears as what's being played through the front speakers. Audiophiles talk about where particular parts of music are "supposed" to be coming from and how it "should" sound like it does at concerts, with sound coming from the front and fill or nothing from behind.

    Well, I think most live concerts sound like crap—which is understandable, as they're in large environments which simply cannot be acoustically controlled as precisely as can a smaller room in one's home, with specific placement of speakers and listener, proper balance of acoustically absorbent/reflective surfaces, and carefully considered room dimensions and angles.

    I'm not opining that there's anything wrong with wanting your speakers to mimic the sound of a live concert—to each his own. I just prefer, personally, to be surrounded by my audio in a balanced fashion (front to rear). To me, the best sound comes from having the same speakers front and rear, and at the same angles and distances from the listening position. Maybe that will change over the time and maybe I'm the only one who prefers it that way, but for now ... that's what I like (and to their credit or discredit, the Z-5500s deliver).

    Just to throw that out there.
     
  9. caleb

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    Ive seen sleek looking harman sets which have pretty small speakers + a decent 25cm sub. But I think its outside the budget you mentioned ( but maybe in US its possible to get something like that)
     
  10. TIGR

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    Maybe $300 is too low—the only reason I chose that number is that I have, time and again, seen HT enthusiasts belittle systems like the Z-5500 and say there are much better alternatives in HT audio for the same price. Do you think there are, or are systems like Klipsch ProMedia 5.1s, Logitech Z-5500s, and Creative Gigaworks S750s worthy choices?
     
  11. CJCerny

    CJCerny

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    Cheap Onkyo HTIB is not a bad choice for $300. I have experience with both PC speaker systems and multi-thousand dollar home theaters. Generally, PC speakers will get the job done, especially if they have a way to converting 2.0 sources to 5.1. You can spend a lot more money on a fancy setup, but the improvements start to taper off at a certain point.

    Personally, I think the best bang for the buck is a HT receiver with auto room correction (like Audessy) and the Energy Take 5 speaker system. That's about a $500 setup.
     
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  12. majestic12

    majestic12

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    I like the z-5500's but would have no practical use for them. The klipsch pro media 5.1 setup is nice as well but i haven't seen that for sale in a while. the two-watt difference between the setups in negligable at best, so trying the klipsch speakers with the logitech sub could be worth giving a try. there shouldn't be any damage in doing it.

    on the other end, most receivers have a wide assortment of sound field options like stereo to all speakers, dolby digital, dts, and pro-logic II, etc. -I like pro-logic II the best for music as it converts the stereo into a decent surround field. The best benefit to the HTIB or receiver/component setup is the availability of more inputs. My last setup had my computer, tv, dvd player, video game consoles, satellite, all hooked up with no issues. if you're only going to hook your computer up to it though, it may not be worth the investment. how often do you take your equipment to its limits? i always overspent on my audio gear to buy equipment i might fully utilize perhaps once or twice. if the klipsch speakers can do the job with the logitech sub well enough, you just saved a few hundred bucks!
     
  13. Paulieg

    Paulieg The Mad Moderator Staff Member

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    This is exactly why the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers are still my favorite PC speakers ever. Clear, crisp and balanced sound.
     
  14. newmodder New Member

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    i ran my kn8 sli mobo to my yamaha 600w home theater once with an optical cable and cranked it up whil playing BF2, it sounded awesome, felt like i was right there in the battle, bullets whizzing by my head.
     
  15. sweeper

    sweeper New Member

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    Looking at the speaker setup's I like the z-5500's. Sharp looking and looks like very good setup and adjustable to the users setup or how ever they like to have them. For a PC setup, they look rock solid.

    I was just stating that for my HT I use a totally different setup than my PC. On my PC I'm still using my Creative Labs 5100 series I bought "new" several years ago. They provide what I need. Right now since I don't have alot of room where my PC currently is, I just have 2 desktop speakers and the Sub. I have the other speakers on a shelf in my closet. ;)
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2010
  16. DavidV

    DavidV New Member

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    I have Logitech with 7.1 and it sounds fantastic.
     
  17. Frick

    Frick Fishfaced Nincompoop

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    I would get an old busted reciever (like a Marantz or something) fix that, and stereo speakers. I have not heard any computer speakers that can match a proper stereo setup.
     
  18. TIGR

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    Frick—just curious, have you heard the Z-5500s/Klipsch ProMedia/Gigaworks S750s?
     
  19. richjordan255

    richjordan255 New Member

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    i have the logitech 5300 had em 3 years they cost £100 i love them, so good for the price n even now not much beats them
     
  20. AsRock

    AsRock TPU addict

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    Sorry but no were near unless you involve price \ performance ( unless it's the whole pacage). And when i went to listion to some z5500 although in their defense they were not setup right but the bass sounded wooden from the sub which only cheaply made ones do due to the wood used.

    A decent HT + speakers are going cost you some ($500) and if you buy a HT with bundled speakers there's a great chance the speakers will be cheap.

    You could how ever buy a HT system with speakers then if you wanted replace the speakers over time.

    Few options
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...066&cm_re=home_theater-_-82-290-066-_-Product
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...281&cm_re=home_theater-_-82-105-281-_-Product

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...198&cm_re=home_theater-_-82-115-198-_-Product

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...140&cm_re=home_theater-_-82-120-140-_-Product



    What i ended up doing was to buy a complete HT and buy some replacment speakers later which was about 3 years later.
     
  21. cdawall where the hell are my stars

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    i have and most HTiB sound alot better even the cheaper ones made by phillips and RCA.

    if you could step your budget up about $100 (maybe less this is a BBY link) you could beat out any of the current speaker setups mentioned

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Yamaha ...stem/9258625.p?id=1218070095121&skuId=9258625

    i personally love yamaha speakers and the setup i posted only has one big complaint no HDMI audio which doesn't matter to much for PC or PS3 you can just run optical or 5.1 direct in.
     
  22. TIGR

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    cdawall, I'm not looking to replace my setup; I'm just wondering how HT setups compare to the Z-5500s at the $300 price point.
     
  23. cdawall where the hell are my stars

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    HT would be a nice upgrade but the Z-5500's are nice PC speaker. just small for my taste but i have a full blown HT.

    hk AVR347
    2x yamaha 3 way bookshelves F L/R
    1x yamaha 2 way center
    4x insignia 2 way bookshelves R L/R RR L/R
    small 50w sub since i'm in a dorm
     
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  24. valtopps

    valtopps

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    :roll: do you realy think $300.00 can buy 5 speakers , sub, also a reciever and sould good?
    lmao. your buying bottem of the line stuff at that price.
     
  25. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    i got my z55's for $320 :)
     

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