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Best computer speaker for me?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Im looking for a good set computer speaker for both music listening and gaming, but mostly for music. There's one thing I absolutely want; good mids. I was considering the audioengine A5 but the mids are overshadowed by the bass and are not present, I want present mids! My budget is 500 dollars... Also, do computer speakers benefit from amps or DAC's? I also want a good amount of bass, but not enough to interfere with the mids.


Edited by daniel521 - 9/12/12 at 7:54pm
post #2 of 13

2.0 Speaker Compilation : Best for $500

post #3 of 13

Xombie11 in his review doesn't know what he is talking about.  He was right on the Audioengine A5 speakers being a little muddy but he is wrong about the A2 speakers.  The A2's have virtually flat frequency response. If you don't hear enough treble then either raise the treble a bit or lower the bass and mids a bit instead of bitchin'......  They are the monitors, not some cheap speakers with biased highs or lows. 

 

Anyways, out of those choices I would recommend Audioengine A2 speakers.  They have stellar mid and highs.  You should not expect too much on bass due to the woofer driver size limitation. But it certainly has pretty good bass considering their size.  I know some will find this hilarious or have doubts about it but the A2's to me are considered "audiophile-grade" speakers.

 

The reason being is that after pairing them with a musical sub (SVS SB12-NSD 12") and with good tweaks / adjustments the sound is just jaw dropping.  The sub took care of the lows (down to 23 hz) and upto mid/low bass (270 hz) and the A2's taking on the mids to highs. The strongest key on the A2's is the "hard bass" they provide, something that can't be produced by subwoofers.  And the A2's have very good detail.  The subwoofer gain had to be lowered so it won't overshadow the tiny A2 speakers output.  The only downside is that you don't want to turn it up too much, as it can cause distortion.  But at low to mid volumes it sounds awesome.

 

And to answer your question, yes these speakers work well with the external DAC's too.

 

 

So, the A2 speakers can be treated as basic desktop speakers for average Joe. It can also be treated as "professional speakers" for the musicians / professionals.

 

The beauty is that the 2.75" carbon kevlar woofer on the A2 act as mid range speaker and not a woofer.  This can be managed by utilizing the output control on the speakers and subwoofer, as well as equalizer settings in the sound card.  I have Asus Xonar DX7.1 sound card.


Edited by goodolcheez - 9/13/12 at 1:29pm
post #4 of 13

Oh and it's normal for A2 speakers to beat the bigger brother A5 speakers because of the better mid range and treble.  And it's not the output, but is the quality of the sound, which is real good.

 

Just remember.... "Quality over Quanity (or in this case, volume)".


Edited by goodolcheez - 9/13/12 at 10:44am
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodolcheez View Post

Oh and it's normal for A2 speakers to beat the bigger brother A5 speakers because of the better mid range and treble.  And it's not the output, but is the quality of the sound, which is real good.

 

Just remember.... "Quality over Quanity (or in this case, volume)".

I like to listen at high volumes, but the speaker will be right next to me while I'm siting on my desk so I don't think I will have to turn up the volume that much, will it still distort?

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

I like to listen at high volumes, but the speaker will be right next to me while I'm siting on my desk so I don't think I will have to turn up the volume that much, will it still distort?


No it won't be a problem at all in that case.  You also get better result with nearfield listening with this pair..   But I now listen far away as it is setup in my living room with the sub.  The A2's won't be loud enough for parties but is certainly loud enough for desktop or even living room use if setup right.

post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodolcheez View Post


No it won't be a problem at all in that case.  You also get better result with nearfield listening with this pair..   But I now listen far away as it is setup in my living room with the sub.  The A2's won't be loud enough for parties but is certainly loud enough for desktop or even living room use if setup right.

At 200 dollars it seems like a steal!

post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by goodolcheez View Post

Oh and it's normal for A2 speakers to beat the bigger brother A5 speakers because of the better mid range and treble.  And it's not the output, but is the quality of the sound, which is real good.

 

Just remember.... "Quality over Quanity (or in this case, volume)".

 

Are you saying this from actual side by side comparison or from hearsay, I'm guessing the latter.

 

Because I chose the A5 over the A2 (when compared directly against each other) because of the 'quality AND quantity'. A2's have a noticeable midbass hump which is much less prevalent (but still there) on the A5. Reason is simple, you have a 2.75" woofer vs. a 5" trying  to compensate.  Treble is comparable on both speakers, both are pleasant.  A5's have better bass but that goes back to the woofer sizes. This is not to say that the A2's are a bad sounding speaker (they're still very good), I just preferred the A5's

 

One thing I will agree with is if you're just using them for yourself to listen to music, A2's are a good choice.  If you have friends over and need something louder, A5's would be the better choice.

 

Other options that weren't in that thread I linked are the Emotiva airmotiv 5's (449) or if you can stretch your budget to $800, KEF is releasing some 'computer speakers' that are going to catch a good buzz in the trades.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by mtkversion View Post

 

Are you saying this from actual side by side comparison or from hearsay, I'm guessing the latter.

 

Because I chose the A5 over the A2 (when compared directly against each other) because of the 'quality AND quantity'. A2's have a noticeable midbass hump which is much less prevalent (but still there) on the A5. Reason is simple, you have a 2.75" woofer vs. a 5" trying  to compensate.  Treble is comparable on both speakers, both are pleasant.  A5's have better bass but that goes back to the woofer sizes. This is not to say that the A2's are a bad sounding speaker (they're still very good), I just preferred the A5's

 

One thing I will agree with is if you're just using them for yourself to listen to music, A2's are a good choice.  If you have friends over and need something louder, A5's would be the better choice.

 

Other options that weren't in that thread I linked are the Emotiva airmotiv 5's (449) or if you can stretch your budget to $800, KEF is releasing some 'computer speakers' that are going to catch a good buzz in the trades.

No I didn't compare them directly side by side but I have heard A5's before.  I didn't specifically say A5 has poor quality sound nor built poorly.  The problem is the A5's bass driver is too large for the tweeter.  With larger driver as this it will throw off "balance".  That's why you hear more bass but less mid range and treble.  A2 on the other hand the woofer works as a mid-range driver.  And I wouldn't necessarily call mid bass hump, more like hard bass is the better word.

 

Like I said, the A2 is more balanced for midrange and treble.  A5 is not so balanced.

 

I would definitely choose A2 over the A5.

 

But if I need more output, I will just opt for something like a pair of Dynaudio BM5A + Mid/High-end external DAC..... like Benchmark DAC-1.


Edited by goodolcheez - 9/14/12 at 7:21am
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by daniel521 View Post

At 200 dollars it seems like a steal!


Yes, $200 is underpriced for the A2.  I hear people claiming it's worth every penny....  A guy recommended me saying this when I was shopping for a pair of desktop speakers, and he was right.  At $200 mark there are no other speakers that match this in terms of "sound quality"

post #11 of 13

Great source of info/input/tips from really knowledgeble peeps  for buying speakers based on SQ:

http://www.avsforum.com/f/89/speakers

post #12 of 13

Have you looked at powered studio monitors instead of computer speakers? Yamaha, Mackie, KRK, Alesis, Behringer, and Tannoy are some brands to look at. You maybe able to demo them in a musical instrument store. Given these are designed to mix music, I would imagine you would find some with strong mids and they will likely get loud if you need them to. 

post #13 of 13

If you end up getting powered speakers, get the Asus Xonar DX or D1 sound card (used $50) the DAC chip is the CS4398.

 

Check Craigslist for a used receiver with 2.0 speakers, you might find a good value for $200-$300.

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