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Home theather speakers <$500

post #1 of 95
Thread Starter 
I want a the best that kind of money can buy, custom or a set, if a set "home theater in a box", I would preffer if it didnt have a dvd build in. Because soon blue ray, and HD-dvd are going to take over, and i was planing on buying a dvd burner anyways.

I am considering something like this now:
http://www.circuitcity.com/ccd/produ...!1158849047078
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Onkyo...oductDetail.do
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16836121120
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16836121133

What custom setup could I get for under $500?, I am a newb at this, so please post links and stuff.

also, it would be nice if it was white or silver, because our walls are white, but thats not a big deal.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 95
personally, i would purchase none of those, as i don't think they're any good.

if i had your budget, i would stick to 2-channel. i'd rather listen to movies with a pair of quality speakers than with 5 crappy speakers just to have surround sound.

you can get a really decent pair of budget speakers for 500 bucks, why not do that and save up to buy surround speakers later?
post #3 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by VicAjax
personally, i would purchase none of those, as i don't think they're any good.

if i had your budget, i would stick to 2-channel. i'd rather listen to movies with a pair of quality speakers than with 5 crappy speakers just to have surround sound.

you can get a really decent pair of budget speakers for 500 bucks, why not do that and save up to buy surround speakers later?
Thanks, it mainly goin to be used for movies and not music thou. And the reason I am buying 5.1 speakers, is that the room has really bad accustics and the sound from the tv gives an echo, and you cant understand what people are saying.
post #4 of 95
I got a a 2 speaker system just for music and a 5.1 for movies. My 5.1 is a sony system with dvd. I got it off craigslist. To be honest, even though my 2 speaker system cost 10 times my 5.1 system, i'd still watch movies with the 5.1 setup.

A warning though, you can't put the satelites too near you. If you do, you'll hear some hiss. Just check craigslist for good deals.
post #5 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by nabwong
I got a a 2 speaker system just for music and a 5.1 for movies. My 5.1 is a sony system with dvd. I got it off craigslist. To be honest, even though my 2 speaker system cost 10 times my 5.1 system, i'd still watch movies with the 5.1 setup.

A warning though, you can't put the satelites too near you. If you do, you'll hear some hiss. Just check craigslist for good deals.
thanks, but nobody recomended me any speakers yet, the living room is big like 500 square feet, and the tv is in the corner.
post #6 of 95
That's because it's not likely for you to get anything decent for that price. Entry level bookshelves typically start around $200+tax+ship a pair. You want 5 of those and a subwoofer, and an entry level subwoofer worth its salt usually starts between $300-400 alone. Otherwise, you're looking for a lot of compromises.

How serious are you about listening critically? The computer speakers probably can't fill your room efficiently.

For my money, and noncritical listening, just movies and tv, I'd go for a set of polk R30 or R50 floorstanders when they're on sale at Fry's and 2 pairs of their R15 bookshelves. Then add an entry level subwoofer from Hsu Research or SVS or something, if you can find it used. In my HT, I don't even use a sub and I think it's fine unless you're very demanding - and you can't be for this money.
post #7 of 95
If you must have a 5.1 speaker system, this will be my suggestion....

Go to audioadvisor.com. Check out demo models of Athena Technolgies' AS-B1.2 bookshelf speakers, which are usually under $100.00/pair. Buy 2 pairs as front and back L/R speakers. Then watch out for demo models of the matching center-channel and a Athena Technologies powered sub. Probably under $500.00 and change for everything, including shipping and full factory warranty.

And it will sound more than decent for music as well.

Oh, IMHO, HD-DVD and Blu-ray will most likely flop.
post #8 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ooheadsoo
That's because it's not likely for you to get anything decent for that price. Entry level bookshelves typically start around $200+tax+ship a pair. You want 5 of those and a subwoofer, and an entry level subwoofer worth its salt usually starts between $300-400 alone. Otherwise, you're looking for a lot of compromises.

How serious are you about listening critically? The computer speakers probably can't fill your room efficiently.

For my money, and noncritical listening, just movies and tv, I'd go for a set of polk R30 or R50 floorstanders when they're on sale at Fry's and 2 pairs of their R15 bookshelves. Then add an entry level subwoofer from Hsu Research or SVS or something, if you can find it used. In my HT, I don't even use a sub and I think it's fine unless you're very demanding - and you can't be for this money.
You are forgeting an amp, I am not very serious about music, but I want it to sound very good for an avarage person. So what set would you recomend? Is either of those "oknyo" sets any good?

very helfull post btw, thank you very much
post #9 of 95
You need an amp, too? Well, forget the subwoofer then. Shoot for the R50 when they're on sale at Fry's, and same for the R15 bookshelves. Pick up a cheap JVC receiver unless you can find something cheaper used. I'm using a cheap JVC that my friend got on clearance for $80 and it's fine - really great, never lets me down. If you can't wait for a sale, you might have to shell out 2-3x that much, so there goes your subwoofer budget. I guess you'll need speaker cable too, and that'll probably set you back $40-50 even at radio shack unless you get 18ga. or higher, which you don't really want.

The speakers are always the weak link in all those sets. And sometimes the remote control sucks horribly, as well.
post #10 of 95
Couldn't he just get 3 pairs of the cheap Insignia's at Best Buy and some subwoofer from there as well and pick up that Insignia 6 ch. amp too.

Amp $200
Sub $100-150
Spkrs $150

$450-500. Okay the setup is far from the best, but it fits the budget. To be honest, I've only heard the Insignias at BB in stereo and I thought it was okay.
post #11 of 95
Oh yeah, I forgot about the insignias - that might work. The floorstanding polks will eliminate need for stands for at least two of the speakers, however, and if he gets the R50, will probably have less distortion because of the dual woofers. A $100-150 sub will really get you nowhere fast unless you like boomy midbass. The insignias might be a good choice instead of the polks, and they offer modding opportunities. You will need to figure out how to get stands for them, though, and that won't be cheap.
post #12 of 95
Thread Starter 
thanks for all the replys, does anybody know anything about the onkyo ones I listed in the first post?
post #13 of 95
I did comment about those htibs in general. Here's another way to put it - small speakers have a small chance of sounding good.
post #14 of 95
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ooheadsoo
I did comment about those htibs in general. Here's another way to put it - small speakers have a small chance of sounding good.
they dont seem that small...
post #15 of 95
http://www.hsustore.com/vt12.html
http://www.accessories4less.com/cgi-bin/item/ONKHTR330S

You can get the above system for just over $600 with the HSU stf-1 sub. HSU makes some of the best subs for the money. They sell internet direct. This system will blow any of those Htib's away.

Or you can go with 3 pairs of the Insignia's and the Hsu stf-1 sub, and you can save even more if you catch the INsig's on sale for $35/pair!

Here's a review I wrote of the INsigs:
**REVIEW**

I picked up a pair of these last night, hooked them up and gave them a whirl. I didn't know what to think when I took them out of the box. The picture on the box really doesn't do these babies justice. The don't look like a pair of REL concerta series, but they aren't as awful as I thought they would look. They have a black woodgrain cabinet, and the front is a black lacquer finish.

Their measurements are H-13.5" W-9" D-10.5". They aren't heavy at all, They weigh at least a couple of pounds lighter than my Paradigm Mini Monitors. I hooked them up in the same space as my Mini Monitors, on top of 14" foam cubes and a set of Auralex Mopads to angle the speakers up.

When I first turned them on I didn't know what to expect. I started out with my favorite female vocalist, Jill Scott "Beatifully Human". Her voice is a true test of the midrange of any speaker. She has a beautifully smooth voice and can hit just about any note. I was surprised by the accuracy of these $50 bookshelf speakers. They had a very non-fatiguing top end, which is what I look for in any speaker, and sounded a little better once I turned the treble down a bit from the setting on my reference speakers. Most cheap speakers take good music and make it sound terrible, but these speakers didn't do that at all. They aren't as good as a $400 speaker, but they can at least sit in the same room. It is amazing what they can do for their price.

I then moved on to Anthony Hamilton "Ain't Nobody Worryin", which is my true speaker auditioning CD. He blends gospel, classic R&B, Hip Hop,blues, Reggae, and neo-soul, which pretty much runs the gammit of what I listen to. This CD is where I started to hear the not so good parts of these speakers. They have an indistict soundstage, and a slightly depressed midrange. I cannot pinpoint instruments on the stage as I can with my reference speakers. The instruments seem to blend in with each other. The kickdrum in the midbass section was rather punchy, but they handled the bass guitar notes pretty well, especially when aided by my SVS PB10-isd. On one of the Anthony Hamilton tracks, there is an electric guitar and organ playing similtaneously, and the instruments seemed to blend in with each other. My only other complaint is that they didn't handle being played at high volumes too well, even with being crossed at 90 hz and set to small. With my reference speakers, I can go pretty loud without the sound being uncomfortable with those same settings. They do get up there, but they start to show their price before other moderately priced speakers.

My wife walked into the room as I was listening to these speakers, and immediately commented that she could hear a difference. Her comment that with our speakers, she feels like she is at the concert, whereas these speakers sounded like we were listening to a good pair of speakers at home. I had to remind her that these babies are only $50, and she understood.

I don't think these speakers will be available for too much longer, because KEF or Raddient (whomever makes the speakers) will run out of spare parts, or Best Buy will realize that they can probably get $200/pair for these. Either way, I wouldn't use these as speakers in my main system, which is pretty decent, but I would definitely use them in a secondary system, or as a main system if I was still in college.

I would say they are just as good if not better than a pair of Paradigm Atoms, but not as good as a pair of Paradigm Titans. Honestly, they are a steal!
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