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(Good-ish) PC Speakers for +/-100€?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

Hi there,
First off, this is my first post, so I hope I'm not making any gaffes (if I do, please say so), and I'll try be as complete and detailed as possible.

 

So ok, I've been looking around for days now, and I'm trying to find something decent that I'm happy with, in the 100€-ish price range for PC speakers. Generally speaking, either a 2.0 or 2.1 setup would be preferable. Also, size does matter - I'd rather they be small than big (although I'm willing to adjust if the difference in sound is big enough). These two points are basically because I move a LOT (on average 1 or 2 times a year)...

 

- What am I looking for?
Type: 2.0 or 2.1 preferably (anything more than that will just end up staying unplugged as I can't be fscked to set it up because I move around too much).
Sound: I prefer quality over quantity (ie. I'd rather have half the watts & double the quality) - and I'm not a bass nut (which doesn't mean I can't appreciate a good bass line). Frankly, if I really feel like I need the volume/bass, I'll just go to the hifi in the living room. Also, I'd prefer something that gave some leeway soundstage-wise (ie. still sounds good 6ft away and/or 3ft to the left/right).
Aesthetics: size is an issue - the smaller, the better, although I'm willing to compromise to some extent in exchange for sound quality. This goes both in terms of desktop real estate (not much space among 3 laptops and a 24" monitor) and in general ( = fewer boxes when moving) If possible, looking good is a plus, but if I were to choose I'd go for sound above appearance (lets face it, they're gonna be stuck in my "office", which kinda looks like the aftermath of an earthquake in a storage cabinet)
Connectivity: 2x 3.5mm (1/8") and/or RCA (PC + aux). No wifi/bluetooth/NFC/etc. required. Headphone and/or optical welcome but not required.

 

- What will they be used for?
Mainly music with some light gaming & movies. Mostly on low volume (while working), occasionally mid-high.
Musically speaking I listen to pretty much everything - so anything from malawi mountain-tribe chants, classical, pop/rock/metal, electronic (D&B, trance, chillout, etc.), dub/reggae, jazz/blues, (gasp!) commercial pop-type-crap, and everything in between and beyond.
Game-wise, I tend to turn up the music/voices & down the SFX volume after the 50th explosion...
Movies, if it's the kind of movie that NEEDS 5.1+, I'll watch it on the couch (see comment before regarding bass about hifi in living room)

 

- Where do I live/need to get them?
Spain, but I'm willing to order them from other EU countries if the price doesn't go up too much. On a related note, because of where I live it's hard (if not impossible) to actually go out and "check them out"... not without spending at least 50% of the speaker price on gas (yay for deliveries!)... :blink:

 

Examples of what I've been looking at (incl. reference Amazon (Spain) prices I found), with some (possibly/probably incorrect) observations:

Harman Kardon Soundsticks III (129€) - good sound but lights up and has build quality issues
Logitech Z553 (76€) - decent sound, but a bit short on the upper end (max 17kHz)
Creative Gigaworks T40 (86€) - good sound, light on the bass. Limited soundstage.
Avid M-Audio Studiophile AV40 MKII (130€) - great sound @ mid/high volume, weak bass @ lower volume
Edifier Exclaim (110€ - amazon france) - good sound, light on the bass
Edifier Prisma/Predator (65/70€)
Behringer MS20 (132€) - basically, worse versions of the M-Audio AV40
Yamaha NX-50 (100€) - very good sound, but very low power & limited soundstage.

 

Of course any alternate ideas would be welcome (as well as any "steer clear of..." comments).

Anyhow, hope this covers everything... if there's anything else, feel free to point it out and I'll do my best to answer it.

 

Thanks in advance for any and all advice/assistance!

 

PS: Sorry about the long post...

post #2 of 3

I haven't heard them myself, but check out also MicroLab SOLO (4C, 6C,...) models, should be quite good in it's price category, performance similar to Edifier models.


Edited by blackie333 - 3/27/14 at 6:00am
post #3 of 3

I didn't notice whether you mention what you use at the moment or not.  But I'm going to go out on a limb here and suggest you give the Harman/Kardon HK206's a try.  Why?  Because you can usually get a pair for free or next-to-nothing.

 

I have used these extensively, on a computer desktop, in a large room hooked up to a smartphone, streaming web-radio, etc. and they just sound amazing for such a small pair of inexpensive speakers.  Plus, they have circuitry to keep you from blowing them up so for instance, I've turned them to max volume and they don't clip out or distort.  Of course if you try to pump some heavy infrasonic/subsonic frequencies through them then you may notice an anomaly at full volume, but not usually.

 

These are certainly not a pair of desktop monitors, but given I was able to turn these up loud enough that you have to turn them down to hear people in the room, I got them for $3, and they take a ton of abuse, it's worth giving them a try before you spend anything along the lines of 100€.

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