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Speakers for College

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
I'm looking to buy some speakers for college. Bookshelf preferably as I don't have a ton of space. I was wondering what some good options might be? I've looked into the Polk rti series and was wondering if the rti a1 or a3 is a better fit. I'm also looking for a receiver or t-amp to use. This will be used to listen to 320 kbps music from Google music and watch TV. My budget is around $600. My budget is around $600.
Edited by LilVivi - 6/15/13 at 5:30am
post #2 of 36
I'm using an Indeed TA2021 t-amp with Ascend Acoustics CBM-170 SEs in my home office as my desktop computer setup. The Indeed works great in a bedroom or smaller room with speakers with higher sensitivity (sensitivity ratings indicate how loud a speaker can get given a specific amount of power). I would recommend looking for speakers that have an 89db sensitivity rating or higher to run with a t-amp. Here's a testimonial for the TA2021 which I think gives a good idea what to expect from it: http://t-amps.blogspot.com/2012/03/indeed-hifi-ta2021-25wx2-amp.html

If you want to hook up multiple sources (a TV, a computer, an Xbox), an AVR would be a much better choice than a t-amp. Plus you would get some extra power and have the option later of adding other speakers and a sub to have a 5.1 setup. Grab a factory refurbished/factory warrantied Onkyo or Denon from accessories4less.com. Or you could subscribe to Newegg's mailing list. They sometimes have entry level receivers at or below $200.

I'm not a Polk fan, but many people do like the RTi series. In addition to the Ascends I mentioned, you might look into Arx A1bs. Both the Ascends and Arx are Internet direct speaker companies. Very good deals as opposed to paying full MSRP for speakers commonly sold in brick and mortar stores because they don't have to factor a middleman into their prices. If you want to read more about them, you might start with this comparison review thread over at AVS: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1446006/ascend-acoustics-cbm-170-se-vs-arx-a1b.

Also, if this a dorm room setup where you will use the speakers nearfield while sitting at your computer, I would recommend avoiding overly bright speakers. They can be fatiguing for that kind of usage.
post #3 of 36

I haven't heard them myself but I have heard many very good things about the Audioengine 5+.   They can be had for $399 to $469 depending on the finish you want.  I have actually been considering these as a gift for my son for his dorm room.

post #4 of 36

Audioengine A5s are a pain to position properly because of the rear-ported design. They need quite a few inches behind the speakers for the bass to breath properly, and they're quite picky about what surface you put them on.

Otherwise you'll end up with boomy uncontrolled bass that isn't consistent depending on your location in the room.

 

But if you have a flexible space, they can sound really good. 

When I had them I found they sound really good about 2m+ away from where you're seated. Close up they're just a bit congested.

post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 
The audioengine speakers are powered right? I heard that passive speakers with a t-amp sound better per dollar spent.
post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 
Space might be an issue. It really depends on my roommate and what he brings. Also these won't be computer speakers. They will be for my TV and mp3 player.
Edited by LilVivi - 6/16/13 at 8:49am
post #7 of 36

While all loudspeakers are subject to placement and room acoustics, your comment/experience suggests that the Audioengines are even more subject to these influences.  This is good information.  Thanks, I will keep this in mind.
 

post #8 of 36
I think passive speakers and t-amp can provide an equal or better value. Sort of depends.
post #9 of 36
Thread Starter 

So would the Rti-A3 be limited in a smaller dorm. I can get a pair on Polk Direct Ebay for $285. I do have a pair of Bose Companion 2 series 2 speakers that I got as a gift. Should I wait and upgrade next year? Also is the DSWpro550wi good for $299?

post #10 of 36

They're not the best, but I would keep the bose for now. They'll certainly impress anyone that visits you.

Also they'll do a pretty good job for epic movies with the extra bass rumble. 

 

For music they'll sound quite good at low volumes (unfortunately that's not a joke to turn it down until you can't hear it biggrin.gif)

post #11 of 36
Thread Starter 

Should I buy the subwoofer for the bose? I will have Sennheiser Momentums for music, so movies the the far bigger deal. My main concern was the TV I was buying has god awful speakers.

post #12 of 36

Sub woofers are more a matter of taste than necessity. If you listen to a lot of electronic music or watch A LOT of movies, you may welcome the small luxury.

If however all you require is to understand the concurrent sounds and image, it's not necessary. 

post #13 of 36
Thread Starter 
I mean any real music listening I'll do with my momentums. Is there any specific reason I shouldn't get the speakers for college other than space? Or is there a different speaker you would recommend? Thanks for all the help by the way.
post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by GREQ View Post

They're not the best, but I would keep the bose for now. They'll certainly impress anyone that visits you.
Also they'll do a pretty good job for epic movies with the extra bass rumble. 

The Bose Companion 2 are $100 desktop multimedia speakers. They are certainly better than most TV speakers, but "impressive?" Not in the least, unless someone hasn't heard speakers that don't have tiny little drivers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LilVivi View Post

So would the Rti-A3 be limited in a smaller dorm. I can get a pair on Polk Direct Ebay for $285. I do have a pair of Bose Companion 2 series 2 speakers that I got as a gift. Should I wait and upgrade next year? Also is the DSWpro550wi good for $299?

The Bose Companion 2 are not anywhere near the same league as the Polk RTis. If you haven't opened the Bose Companion 2 and can return or sell them, put the money towards a good audio setup.

Do you need a wireless subwoofer? If not, there are better buys. You might want to consult the budget subwoofer discussion thread at AVS: http://www.avsforum.com/t/1396482/budget-subwoofers-discussions-opinions-and-questions-thread
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by goaliedad39 View Post

I haven't heard them myself but I have heard many very good things about the Audioengine 5+.   They can be had for $399 to $469 depending on the finish you want.  I have actually been considering these as a gift for my son for his dorm room.

Be sure to look into the Emotiva Airmotivs, and they are on sale right now. Of people who have heard both, I've been hearing preferences for the Emotivas. I've only heard the Airmotiv 4, not the larger driver model that would compete directly with the A5+, but it was pretty awesome for the price. Here's a CNET review: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-57367525-47/emotivas-astonishing-desktop-speaker/
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