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Need 2.0 speakers - bit of an odd requirement

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 

Hi guys,

 I'd like your help in buying 2.0 speakers. I went through the relevant threads, but my requirement being a bit odd, I thought of posting a fresh question (please let me know if this isn't the right sub-forum).

 

So here's the deal: my budget is max $100-120, and I'm looking for 2.0 speakers (not 2.1) that I want to use with the following (and here comes the odd part):

 

1. Paired with an mp3 player (such as the Sansa Clip which I own) - PRIMARY use

2. Paired with my laptop OR my Toshiba LCD TV - secondary use

 

I haven't quite decided if I want to buy two sets of speakers, but for now, let's assume I'll buy only one pair, and for use with (1) primarily. And it's not 2.1 since I don't have much space.

 

Here are my initial selections:

 

1. Bose Companion 2 series 2 ($99)

2. Creative T40 ($100)

3. Creative T20 ($80)

 

Sound signature wise, I'm looking for something "fun" to listen to. I know I'm being noob-ish, but I LOVE my Koss KSC75 portable headphones, and would love something that sounds similar - perhaps with a little more bass, but definitely without sacrificing highs/mids (can't stand speakers with bad highs).

 

Also, can someone tell me where I can audition Creative and other speakers in Manhattan (are there Creative 'stores')?

 

Thanks a ton in advance! smily_headphones1.gif

post #2 of 19
Some assorted thoughts:

- I don't see why this is an odd requirement, the two sources are easily connected either with a switch (NOT. A. SPLITTER.) or if you get a set of speakers that have two inputs (I know most of the Bose systems have a "primary" input on the back, and an "aux" input on the front that will over-ride that, for connecting some other device).

- Most Creative branded speakers I've heard are pretty meh sounding imho; I prefer Bose, Altec Lansing (but haven't heard any of the newer ones) and some of (but not all) the Logitech PC speakers (and of course Monsoon, but I doubt those are made anymore) - at least within your budget range. I'd probably get the Bose speakers based on that (and you get their 30 day trial if you dislike them).

- How is the TV hooked up to whatever feeds it, and what kinds of outputs does it have? It may present some interesting complications of it's own.

Finally, why do you want to primarily source from a portable, and not your computer? (I'm assuming the portable sources from your computer at some point, right?).
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for your reply obobskivitch, I added the Creatives in the list since the T40 seems well regarded, and the Bose ones are bashed a bit. I can demo the Bose at their Manhattan store, but not the Creatives. 

 

Ah, and I forgot to mention, I stay in a different country where such speakers are unavailable/ much more expensive - so I'm carrying these back home (i.e. can't return after trial etc).

 

My TV has a "headphone output" jack, which I've currently fed into my older el-cheapo Creative SBS speakers (they're crap, but even crappier is the TV sound without it - absolutely zero bass). 

 

Yes, I want to primary source from my mp3 player (I just copy over songs from my computer/laptop once in a while, and don't listen to online/streaming much). So, I'm assuming that the Sansa clip have enough power to "drive" 2.0 speakers (since the 2.0 speakers have their own power anyway, driving shouldn't be an issue as they are with full headphones etc - I think, - I might be wrong!).

post #4 of 19
With multimedia speakers you can basically get away with everything you're describing, just adjust the volume on the source device to a reasonable level and then adjust the volume during use with the speakers themselves. smily_headphones1.gif
post #5 of 19

I have the T20. They're OK sounding; nothing to write home about once you've had a listen to some really great headphones and setups (e.g. good Beyers and Senns), but they do the job. Both the T20 and T40 have dual inputs--main one in the back of the speakers, and then Aux In from the front of the Right speaker. I suspect the Aux isn't as clean an input as the main, but whatever. Very possible placebo effect at play.

 

2 things I will mention about the T20:

-- Ensure you have enough depth on your desktop for them. Many photos depict how slim they are from the front, but it wasn't until they arrived that I realised these things are "long". Also ensure you have room above the speakers, because the bass port is on the top of each speaker and fires upwards.

-- Treble and Bass knobs offer subtle adjustment. On that note, the bass often overshadows the rest of the sound spectrum when I use the T20s as desktop speakers; it's probably less of an issue if you sit further back. Absolutely no complaints about the quantity of bass though--I can feel it rumble stuff below the table, despite the bass ports being upward-firing.

post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks Eric. Being a budgetophile, the best I've heard are the Koss's and the Senn PMX 60's - so no really high end stuff. 

 

Yes, I do have sufficient depth, and the bass ports firing upwards is a bit of a boon since my TV is at eye level, and the speakers placed a level below - so the bass positioning should be perfect. However you're saying that the bass overshadows highs/mids? Hmm... 

 

Any other recommendations in this budget, anyone? I will audition the Bose ones over the next fortnight sometime, but wanted to know if I'm missing some obvious known great speakers for that budget.

post #7 of 19
I would caution you on comparing headphones to speakers - this isn't to say one is massively better, but they will sound a lot different in practice. Have you looked at Logitech's 2.0 speakers? My cousin picked up a set a few years ago on Black Friday and honestly for ~$50 they are not bad at all. Fairly compact, but I couldn't tell you the model # (sorry) - they look similar to the other speakers you're considering though.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 

Ah, thanks Obob.. would be great if you could tell me the model number. Though the problem is that the availability of year old models. X140 has decent reviews, and is only ~$28 - http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-970264-0403-X-140-2-0-Speakers/dp/B000IF4788/ref=sr_1_4?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1341808409&sr=1-4&keywords=logitech+z4 ... hmm

 

If I had sufficient room in my suitcase, I might have gone for the Audioengine A2s .. though out of my budget. :(

post #9 of 19
Those actually might be them! But I remember the surrounds being yellow instead of grey; so perhaps not quite. redface.gif
post #10 of 19

Hmm how long in gonna be in the USA? Up to $120 no need to go with PC/Multimedia stuff tongue_smile.gif

 

Perhaps TP-22 amp with 2 RCA inputs (selectable) $89

http://www.houseofdap.com/topping-tp22-t-amp-tk2050-tc2000-tp2050-digital-amplifier.html

 

Dayton B652 $30

http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-652


Edited by trog - 7/9/12 at 6:58pm
post #11 of 19

Picked up some Cerwin Vega XD3 mini monitors today at Best Buy for $99.00 and so far they are sounding pretty incredible with a very crystal clear balanced sound. They are performing quite well with music, games and movies bringing out all sorts of subtle details. Its almost as if before i wasnt hearing all the dialogue when it came to movies. I have them hooked up directly to my pc and they are my first non-passive self powered speakers. Am really impressed with their full sound which can really go loud. They beat my Polk Tsi100 i paid $219.00 hands down.

 

Here are some review links-

 

http://www.techreaction.net/2012/01/26/review-cerwin-vega-xd3-desktop-speakers/

 

http://www.pcper.com/reviews/General-Tech/Cerwin-Vega-XD3-Powered-Desktop-Speaker-Review

 

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Cerwin+Vega+-+2.0+Powered+Desktop+Speaker+(2-Piece)/2631008.p?id=1218341074734&skuId=2631008&st=cerwin vega d3x&cp=1&lp=2

post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the replies guys. Sorry to bump this thread, but I just saw this thread on head-fi: http://www.head-fi.org/t/611333/sandisk-sansa-clipzip-is-not-good-for-speakers

 

It seems that my mp3 player in question, the sansa clip zip CANNOT drive speakers? I'm a bit confused - arent these speakers self powered, and hence shouldn't the headphone output of the sansa clip be equal to the task?

post #13 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by quadmaniac View Post

Thanks for the replies guys. Sorry to bump this thread, but I just saw this thread on head-fi: http://www.head-fi.org/t/611333/sandisk-sansa-clipzip-is-not-good-for-speakers

 

It seems that my mp3 player in question, the sansa clip zip CANNOT drive speakers? I'm a bit confused - arent these speakers self powered, and hence shouldn't the headphone output of the sansa clip be equal to the task?

 

The last poster in that thread agrees with what you said--the speakers discussed are powered. I would argue that the first 2 people who replied don't know what they're talking about.

post #14 of 19
Thread Starter 

Thanks guys. Trog's suggestion about a full fledged amp and speakers is interesting, the only issue being the ability to carry it back from the US. I won't have that much space in my luggage, despite business class wink_face.gif

post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to update - had a fun time auditioning a few speakers. Updating with my observations if this helps someone down the road.

 

1. Bose Companion 2 (auditioned at - Bose store, Rockefeller Centre, NYC, J&R Music World, NYC)

 

When I heard these first, they were paired to a Samsung laptop with Spotify on. The playback (I tested with "Whistle - Flo Rida") was pretty impressive. Good mids/highs and a decent amount of bass. Then, when I paired with my Clip Zip, the volume level dropped a lot, and I had to crank the player + speaker volume to high levels, but the quality still seemed good.

 

Today at J&R, I felt the same speakers were a bit muddy compared to the others I heard. I donno if my ears are to blame :-). Overall I think these are good speakers, but should cost around $60-70.

 

2. Bose Companion 20 (Bose store)

 

Louder, more punchy bass, bit more clarity than the C2 - even more impressive, but don't justify the $250 price tag. 

 

3. Logitech X140 (J&R)

 

Loud, but thats about it. Quite muddy, bad detail, bass is existent, but - not sure how to describe it, kinda boomy. Not impressive, though for $29, not too bad either. If someone wants to pump up their LCD tv volume, these are a good buy.

 

4. JBL Creature ||| (J&R)

 

Pretty good! Sharp treble (maybe a bit too bright, but can be controlled by the Treble knob) and decent bass from the woofer unit. Very good buy for ~$75 - but the negative reviews concerning long term reliability on Amazon are what put me off here.

 

5. JBL Jembe (J&R)

 

My biggest surprise of the lot. Quirky design, but extremely good performance considering their price (around $60). They're pretty small (like heavy small-ish coffee mugs) but pack quite a punch. Good bass from such small units, and sharp mids/highs. These do distort very slightly at high volumes, but not too much. Overall, I found these the best value per dollar.

 

6. AudioEngine A2 (J&R)

 

At first sight, OMG - are these so small? They're quite smaller than I expected. The guy at the store played a CD and the music playback was pleasing. I would say that I expected more, from their $199 price tag and all the hype. Maybe they are true flat-response and maybe they are audiophile material, but my ears didn't find them fun at all. I tried with my mp3 player, and the volume output was EXTREMELY low, definitely needed an amp. I turned up to max, and the result was okay, but nothing mind blowing.

 

I will visit BHPhotoVideo tomorrow. Fun times :-)


Edited by quadmaniac - 8/4/12 at 6:19pm
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