2.1/2.0 Speakers on Budget: Swan M10's or any other speakers (vs) Klipsch ProMedia 2.1/M-Audio AV 40/etc
Jul 30, 2012 at 10:13 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 14

hehsy5sy5

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So I'm looking for nice 2.1/2.0 speakers on a budget($100-150 most preferable) for gaming, music, and movies. Of course, I went through numerous threads and forums before coming back to head-fi to ask my question. From those threads/forums/reviews, I was originally leaning toward the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 and the M-Audio AV40.
 
But then, after further research, they both have very crucial "deal breakers" that turn me off them. First, the recent Klipsch ProMedia 2.1(from the last 2 years to now) seems to have lots of problems with quality, as a lot of them are just frying within a few months or the amplifier no longer working all of a sudden. Some people on this very forum said they no longer recommend the Klipsch as of recent since there has been a good amount of reports of this speaker failing. Their old ones seems to have good reviews, with many people saying they last for years after buying them like 5+ year ago, but the recent ones seem to have lots of problems and comments of people saying their quality has continually dropped through the years, and that the new ones are unreliable in terms of quality, although the sound is still great. And a lot of people saying they're cheaply built.
 
On the other hand, it seems the M-Audio AV40 are not known for their quality either, and seems to be noted for their poor quality. People say they just sometimes fry randomly. Another big "deal breaker" for me for the M-Audio AV40 is I heard the left speaker gets quite hot(especially against the walls), and that it shouldn't be on all the time if you're not using it. Also seems that this is one of the reasons why these speakers fry in a few months as well. That's a big problem for me since I usually leave my speakers on at a decently high volume 24/7, and they're usually against a wall, and I don't want to deal with the speakers frying because of that.
 
From there, I found the Swan M10's. They look great, seems to sound good(a lot of people seem to prefer them even to the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1), and doesn't seem to have any issues of the speakers getting hot and frying or just dying after a few months like the 2 speakers I just talked about. I was just wondering if there are any "deal breakers" or problems with the Swan M10's, if you agree with me that I should get this speaker, and tell me if I missed anything on this speaker's pro/cons.  Are there any 2.0/2.1 speakers in this range($100-150) that you might recommend over this? I read about the Audioengines (Audioengine A2) but they're stretching my budget and doesn't seem to be "clear cut" better than the speakers I mentioned, and I also heard they need stands or something to make them sound good.
 
My biggest concern is the Swan M10's isn't very popular(at least compared to the Klipsche/M-Audio, which gets recommendations and reviews everywhere, and lots of videos on youtube reviewing it and they have hundreds of amazon and newegg reviews, while I only seen a few Swan M10 reviews and only seen it recommended on Mac forums), as Swan M10 doesn't seem to have enough feedback/reviews, so I don't know if this is actually a legit and good sound system that casual users acknowledge as "good sounding" like the Klipsche or M-Audio speakers or if it's just something that a few audiophiles rave about, well, because it's a "audiophile product/company". Not to be insulting, cause while the Swan M10 seems to be good and recommended everywhere, most people seem to brush it off/not take it seriously and not end up getting it and gets the 2 other speakers I mentioned above, or sometimes it's not even mentioned along with those speakers.
 
Also how about bookshelf speakers for my computer? Like the Dayton Audio B652 Bookshelf Speaker Pair+ Dayton Audio DTA-1 Amplifier? Or LP-2020A Lepai amplifier paired the Sony SSB3000? I don't really get how it works though, apparently if you get bookshelf speakers you need a amp with it to use it for your computer? Is it better than these 2.0/2.1 speaker systems?
 
Thanks if you can answer any of these questions! I appreciate it.
 
Jul 30, 2012 at 10:41 AM Post #2 of 14

PurpleAngel

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Try the websites Techbargins and Bountii for finding stuff (like computer speakers) on sale.
Also check Craigslist for used.
 
Jul 30, 2012 at 1:24 PM Post #3 of 14

trog

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I had made an international sharing thread about low budget PC Audio stuff and peeps actually feedback a pair of Dayton B652s and Lepai TA2020 actually besting the far pricier AV40s so with a healthy $150 i would agree with PurpleAngel for used audio of if brand new:
 
Pioneer BS21 $49.99 with promo code/free ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117405
 
Topping TP-22 T-Amp $89
http://www.houseofdap.com/topping-tp22-t-amp-tk2050-tc2000-tp2050-digital-amplifier.html
 
Jul 30, 2012 at 1:27 PM Post #4 of 14

tzjin

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Agree. Typically passives with an amp will outperform active speakers at a similar pricepoint. As stated above, buying some used speakers would be even better. Most bookshelves should pair fine even with the cheap Lepai TA2020.
 
Jul 30, 2012 at 1:39 PM Post #5 of 14

hehsy5sy5

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Agree. Typically passives with an amp will outperform active speakers at a similar pricepoint. As stated above, buying some used speakers would be even better. Most bookshelves should pair fine even with the cheap Lepai TA2020.

Okay thanks. Now I'm looking to get a passive with a amp, but do I need anything else? I'm not really much of a audiophile, just want a decent pair of speakers for gaming, music, and movies for my computer. I read something about sound cards and DAC or w/e for passives but I'm not sure at all. I'm hoping all I need is a amp and a pair of passives and I can hook it up to my computer and that's it. I don't use ebay or craiglist, so used or new, I would prefer trusted vendors like amazon, newegg, etc and I'm looking to buy online. I'm probably going with new since it's less of a hassle for me.
 
If I'm going this route, can you guys recommend some more amplifier+ passive speaker "bundles"(not really bundles but I'm planning on buying them together) that total from $100-150? I don't really know a single thing about amplifiers or passive speakers, or about any of this in general, so it's hard for me to judge which amplifier+ speakers to get. And cause 2.0/2.1 active speakers seem to be pretty mediocre no matter where I look, and with few options(mostly logitech/the speakers I mentioned/harman kardon soundsticks) and I don't really like any of them.
 
 
Quote:
I had made an international sharing thread about low budget PC Audio stuff and peeps actually feedback a pair of Dayton B652s and Lepai TA2020 actually besting the far pricier AV40s so with a healthy $150 i would agree with PurpleAngel for used audio of if brand new:
 
Pioneer BS21 $49.99 with promo code/free ship
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117405
 
Topping TP-22 T-Amp $89
http://www.houseofdap.com/topping-tp22-t-amp-tk2050-tc2000-tp2050-digital-amplifier.html

 
Is this the best speaker+ amp combo $100-150 can buy? Or is there more options? Thanks.
 
Jul 30, 2012 at 1:53 PM Post #7 of 14

tzjin

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Quote:
Okay thanks. Now I'm looking to get a passive with a amp, but do I need anything else? I'm not really much of a audiophile, just want a decent pair of speakers for gaming, music, and movies for my computer. I read something about sound cards and DAC or w/e for passives but I'm not sure at all. I'm hoping all I need is a amp and a pair of passives and I can hook it up to my computer and that's it. I don't use ebay or craiglist, so used or new, I would prefer trusted vendors like amazon, newegg, etc and I'm looking to buy online. I'm probably going with new since it's less of a hassle for me.

 
I honestly think the Lepai will suffice as an amp for anything in your price range. As for speakers under $200, just go with Amazon reviews. If you ever bump your budget up, you should check AVSforums for more speaker advice. The Cambridge S30 is extremely popular at around $220.
 
The Lepai has 3.5mm input, so just run the included cable from your computer into it. A DAC pretty much functions as an external soundcard. If you have the money, either one of these will improve sound quality a bit, but probably not as much as new speakers. You also may need to buy some speaker wire, but that can be had cheap from pretty much any hardware store.
 
Jul 30, 2012 at 2:08 PM Post #8 of 14

hehsy5sy5

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I honestly think the Lepai will suffice as an amp for anything in your price range. As for speakers under $200, just go with Amazon reviews. If you ever bump your budget up, you should check AVSforums for more speaker advice. The Cambridge S30 is extremely popular at around $220.
 
The Lepai has 3.5mm input, so just run the included cable from your computer into it. A DAC pretty much functions as an external soundcard. If you have the money, either one of these will improve sound quality a bit, but probably not as much as new speakers. You also may need to buy some speaker wire, but that can be had cheap from pretty much any hardware store.

Okay thanks. I'm probably going with a Lepai+ a pair of speakers then. Is it worth getting better speakers than the $30 dayton? I'm going for the best bang for buck, if it's gonna make a big difference I'll be willing to pay a bit more for the next "level" in speakers. One of my concerns is that the sound will sound "raw" using bookshelf speakers, especially when I watch movies and stuff...is that just a useless concern and will it function perfectly fine just like normal speakers, like when I watch youtube/netflix/movies will it sound "normal"? Sorry I'm asking these stupid questions, I'm quite a amateur at this. Also, what do you need speakerwire for?
 
Jul 30, 2012 at 2:17 PM Post #9 of 14

tzjin

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Raw?
 
Honestly, the there will be amazing speakers the higher you go, but pairs that cost $100 will make you very happy as long as you don't hear the more expensive sets
tongue.gif

 
You plug one end of the wire into the amp, and the other into the back of the speaker. It's pretty simple once you see it in person. I think the Parts Express sells the Lepai with included speaker wire, but don't quote me on that.
 
Jul 30, 2012 at 2:26 PM Post #10 of 14

hehsy5sy5

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Quote:
Raw?
 
Honestly, the there will be amazing speakers the higher you go, but pairs that cost $100 will make you very happy as long as you don't hear the more expensive sets
tongue.gif

 
You plug one end of the wire into the amp, and the other into the back of the speaker. It's pretty simple once you see it in person. I think the Parts Express sells the Lepai with included speaker wire, but don't quote me on that.

Alright thanks a bunch!
 
One last thing, I'm thinking about getting this bundle for now, when it restocks, since it's cheap and so I can use this while save up money for one really nice set in the future. What do you think? And do I need to buy speaker wire separately if I get this bundle?:
 
http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=300-650&FTR=dayton%20audio%20dta-1%20t-amp
 
Unless you think the Pioneer BS21 and the Lepai LP 2020A+ will be better for just a bit more. Do I need speakerwires for this too?:
 
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16882117405
http://www.amazon.com/LP-2020A-Lepai-Tripath-Class-T-Amplifier/dp/B0049P6OTI/ref=pd_cp_e_3
 
Jul 30, 2012 at 4:40 PM Post #12 of 14

guttormgray

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Quote:
So I'm looking for nice 2.1/2.0 speakers on a budget($100-150 most preferable) for gaming, music, and movies. Of course, I went through numerous threads and forums before coming back to head-fi to ask my question. From those threads/forums/reviews, I was originally leaning toward the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 and the M-Audio AV40.
 
But then, after further research, they both have very crucial "deal breakers" that turn me off them. First, the recent Klipsch ProMedia 2.1(from the last 2 years to now) seems to have lots of problems with quality, as a lot of them are just frying within a few months or the amplifier no longer working all of a sudden. Some people on this very forum said they no longer recommend the Klipsch as of recent since there has been a good amount of reports of this speaker failing. Their old ones seems to have good reviews, with many people saying they last for years after buying them like 5+ year ago, but the recent ones seem to have lots of problems and comments of people saying their quality has continually dropped through the years, and that the new ones are unreliable in terms of quality, although the sound is still great. And a lot of people saying they're cheaply built.
 
On the other hand, it seems the M-Audio AV40 are not known for their quality either, and seems to be noted for their poor quality. People say they just sometimes fry randomly. Another big "deal breaker" for me for the M-Audio AV40 is I heard the left speaker gets quite hot(especially against the walls), and that it shouldn't be on all the time if you're not using it. Also seems that this is one of the reasons why these speakers fry in a few months as well. That's a big problem for me since I usually leave my speakers on at a decently high volume 24/7, and they're usually against a wall, and I don't want to deal with the speakers frying because of that.
 
From there, I found the Swan M10's. They look great, seems to sound good(a lot of people seem to prefer them even to the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1), and doesn't seem to have any issues of the speakers getting hot and frying or just dying after a few months like the 2 speakers I just talked about. I was just wondering if there are any "deal breakers" or problems with the Swan M10's, if you agree with me that I should get this speaker, and tell me if I missed anything on this speaker's pro/cons.  Are there any 2.0/2.1 speakers in this range($100-150) that you might recommend over this? I read about the Audioengines (Audioengine A2) but they're stretching my budget and doesn't seem to be "clear cut" better than the speakers I mentioned, and I also heard they need stands or something to make them sound good.
 
My biggest concern is the Swan M10's isn't very popular(at least compared to the Klipsche/M-Audio, which gets recommendations and reviews everywhere, and lots of videos on youtube reviewing it and they have hundreds of amazon and newegg reviews, while I only seen a few Swan M10 reviews and only seen it recommended on Mac forums), as Swan M10 doesn't seem to have enough feedback/reviews, so I don't know if this is actually a legit and good sound system that casual users acknowledge as "good sounding" like the Klipsche or M-Audio speakers or if it's just something that a few audiophiles rave about, well, because it's a "audiophile product/company". Not to be insulting, cause while the Swan M10 seems to be good and recommended everywhere, most people seem to brush it off/not take it seriously and not end up getting it and gets the 2 other speakers I mentioned above, or sometimes it's not even mentioned along with those speakers.
 
Also how about bookshelf speakers for my computer? Like the Dayton Audio B652 Bookshelf Speaker Pair+ Dayton Audio DTA-1 Amplifier? Or LP-2020A Lepai amplifier paired the Sony SSB3000? I don't really get how it works though, apparently if you get bookshelf speakers you need a amp with it to use it for your computer? Is it better than these 2.0/2.1 speaker systems?
 
Thanks if you can answer any of these questions! I appreciate it.

Hey, saw your thread and thought I'd give my two cents.  I'm not an audiophile, so my suggestion is just based on my experience with the Swan M10's.  I upgraded to the M10's from a Logitech 5.1 desktop setup, and was very pleased with the results.  The M10's have a nice, clear sound and, I think, a really good soundstage.  The speakers come with everything you need to set them up, they are self-powered and will plug right into your computer.  
 
Jul 30, 2012 at 5:06 PM Post #13 of 14

PurpleAngel

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Quote:
Okay thanks. Now I'm looking to get a passive with a amp, but do I need anything else? I'm not really much of a audiophile, just want a decent pair of speakers for gaming, music, and movies for my computer. I read something about sound cards and DAC or w/e for passives but I'm not sure at all. I'm hoping all I need is a amp and a pair of passives and I can hook it up to my computer and that's it. I don't use ebay or craiglist, so used or new, I would prefer trusted vendors like amazon, newegg, etc and I'm looking to buy online. I'm probably going with new since it's less of a hassle for me.
 
If I'm going this route, can you guys recommend some more amplifier+ passive speaker "bundles"(not really bundles but I'm planning on buying them together) that total from $100-150? I don't really know a single thing about amplifiers or passive speakers, or about any of this in general, so it's hard for me to judge which amplifier+ speakers to get. And cause 2.0/2.1 active speakers seem to be pretty mediocre no matter where I look, and with few options(mostly logitech/the speakers I mentioned/harman kardon soundsticks) and I don't really like any of them.

If your currently using on-board audio, you might think about getting the Asus Xonar DG sound card, $16 after mail in rebate
Comes with a better DAC then your motherboard's.
 
Jul 30, 2012 at 5:25 PM Post #14 of 14

NAWilson9

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I was in your exact position last week. I picked up the Promedia's and was disappointed. I got a set of the AV40's and they sounded much better than the Pro media's. Much fuller sound and more detail. To me, the Promedia's sounded harsh with boomy, uncontrolled bass. I was fairly happy with the AV40's, though they lacked in the bass department. I was looking online the same night I purchased the AV40's and I saw that the same set of monitors, the BX5 D2's, that I saw at Guitar Center that day for $299 where being sold for $183 on Amazon. So I stopped by Guitar Center the next day and had them price match them. Guitar Center also gives you 10% of the difference in price off so I walked out of there paying $181 or so (10% tax here). As expected, the BX5 D2's blow the AV40's out of the water. They are clearer, more neutral sounding, have deeper bass extension, and simply more bass. So with all that said, I would recommend the BX5 D2's. I know that it is a bit out of you're price range of $100-$150, but I figured that I would share since I was in the same position last week.
 
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/816174-REG/M_Audio_9900_65174_00_BX5a_Deluxe_v2_5.html
 

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