Best computer speakers for $200~300?
Mar 9, 2006 at 11:59 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 72

RichardCory

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Or possibly even up to $400 at the very highest. I was thinking about getting the Swans M200 as soon as either Newegg or TheAudioInsider gets them back in stock. But if there is anything better I could get for $100~200 more, I would be interested in hearing other people's opinions.

I don't have any sort of amplifier, all of my music is in mp3 format at 192kbps or higher (I can't get my music any better than this for reasons which should be obvious), and I have an Echo Indigo sound card. Speakers need to be 2.0 or 2.1. Thanks.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 3:21 AM Post #2 of 72

cotdt

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If you've searched these threads, the general consensus is that computer speakers should be ditched in favor of bookshelf speakers with a dedicated amplifier. I highly agree with this idea. You may want to consider a set of low-cost B&W speakers and a 100W Tripath or maybe a chip amp.

And mp3 is fine. A little less dynamics but good speakers and amp are way more important for sound quality.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 5:31 AM Post #5 of 72

cotdt

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hey familyman, don't recommend those speakers! they have a poly cone. all the poly coned speakers i've heard has that characteristic poly sound and lacks the clarity that paper or metal coned speakers have.

look for:
1)relatively flat frequency response. however, companies often lie.
2)high xmax woofer. 6mm is considered good for a 2-way.
3)paper, kevlar, glass fiber, or metal coned woofer. Preferably 7" or 8" diameter. The larger cones usually give better bass output, but not always. poly cones are to be avoided.
4)crossover points. for a 2-way bookshelf, the lower the crossover point the better it sounds, due to better off-axis response. while there are many well-respected speakers that use high crossover points, people have shown that lowering the crossover point improved the sound furthur.
5)port location. if it's ported then the back is a better location in my experience than the front. when the port is at the front, the midrange and higher frequencies leak out at you. this is bad because these are delayed 10 to 30 ms and is basically an echo.
6)many other factors, i won't list here because the manufacturer won't tell you them anyway.
7)good reviews. people must agree that they are good, some speakers are a love-hate thing, and they are to be avoided. prefer universally well-liked speakers over highly debated speakers.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 5:38 AM Post #6 of 72

cotdt

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Amp recommendation: any high-powered amp (around 100W) using Tripath or a chip amp. These tend to be cheap (around $100) and sound great. Avoid the often-recommended Sonic Impact T-Amp, it won't drive a 2-way bookshelf (efficiency 82-86 dB/W) to decent levels. It claims 30W, but measurements say they output only 5W into typical 8ohm speakers. In general, however many watts an amp is rated, just divide by two.

Also, most people here would tell you to save more money and get something good the first time around. Your budget is a bit limited if you are looking for audiophile quality.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 6:04 AM Post #8 of 72

cotdt

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For the speakers, a good pair of B&W bookshelfs are $350. Save the rest for the amplifier, and you're in business! The newer ClassD amplifiers are very good, and very cheap for their quality. You'll have to look around though. I don't know much about commercial amps because I build my own. However, I have auditioned a lot of high-end speakers to compare to the speakers I built myself. The B&W's are the only ones that can come close under $1000. You can add a subwoofer at any time for more bass output and deeper extension.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 7:34 AM Post #9 of 72

familyman

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Quote:

Originally Posted by cotdt
If you've searched these threads, the general consensus is that computer speakers should be ditched in favor of bookshelf speakers with a dedicated amplifier. I highly agree with this idea. You may want to consider a set of low-cost B&W speakers and a 100W Tripath or maybe a chip amp.

And mp3 is fine. A little less dynamics but good speakers and amp are way more important for sound quality.



Quote:

Originally Posted by cotdt
hey familyman, don't recommend those speakers! they have a poly cone. all the poly coned speakers i've heard has that characteristic poly sound and lacks the clarity that paper or metal coned speakers have.

look for:
1)relatively flat frequency response. however, companies often lie.
2)high xmax woofer. 6mm is considered good for a 2-way.
3)paper, kevlar, glass fiber, or metal coned woofer. Preferably 7" or 8" diameter. The larger cones usually give better bass output, but not always. poly cones are to be avoided.
4)crossover points. for a 2-way bookshelf, the lower the crossover point the better it sounds, due to better off-axis response. while there are many well-respected speakers that use high crossover points, people have shown that lowering the crossover point improved the sound furthur.
5)port location. if it's ported then the back is a better location in my experience than the front. when the port is at the front, the midrange and higher frequencies leak out at you. this is bad because these are delayed 10 to 30 ms and is basically an echo.
6)many other factors, i won't list here because the manufacturer won't tell you them anyway.
7)good reviews. people must agree that they are good, some speakers are a love-hate thing, and they are to be avoided. prefer universally well-liked speakers over highly debated speakers.



Quote:

Originally Posted by cotdt
Amp recommendation: any high-powered amp (around 100W) using Tripath or a chip amp. These tend to be cheap (around $100) and sound great. Avoid the often-recommended Sonic Impact T-Amp, it won't drive a 2-way bookshelf (efficiency 82-86 dB/W) to decent levels. It claims 30W, but measurements say they output only 5W into typical 8ohm speakers. In general, however many watts an amp is rated, just divide by two.

Also, most people here would tell you to save more money and get something good the first time around. Your budget is a bit limited if you are looking for audiophile quality.



Quote:

Originally Posted by cotdt
For the speakers, a good pair of B&W bookshelfs are $350. Save the rest for the amplifier, and you're in business! The newer ClassD amplifiers are very good, and very cheap for their quality. You'll have to look around though. I don't know much about commercial amps because I build my own. However, I have auditioned a lot of high-end speakers to compare to the speakers I built myself. The B&W's are the only ones that can come close under $1000. You can add a subwoofer at any time for more bass output and deeper extension.


YEAH YEAH LETS PUT HIS WALLET ON A SPEAR AND BURN IT!!!! CAN WE PLEASE!!!!!
wink.gif

 
Mar 10, 2006 at 9:28 AM Post #10 of 72

RichardCory

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I'm looking around the internet, but it's hard for me to find B&W speakers that are what I'm looking for. There is, however, one store on the island I live on that sells B&W speakers.

I think this might be good:

http://www.audioreview.com/mfr/b-and...2_4290crx.aspx

4.6 out of 5.0 stars, from 50 reviews. Does this seem like a good deal for around $350? I don't know how much the store here is going to charge, so I'll have to ask them about it tomorrow.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 5:00 PM Post #11 of 72

cotdt

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HAHA that's a funny pic. But hey it's head-fi, it's what we do!

Hi richard, that's a nice speaker. It should sound very good except the bass is not high-output. It's enough for most people, and you could always add a sub later on.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 5:27 PM Post #12 of 72

familyman

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Quote:

Originally Posted by RichardCory
I'm looking around the internet, but it's hard for me to find B&W speakers that are what I'm looking for. There is, however, one store on the island I live on that sells B&W speakers.

I think this might be good:

http://www.audioreview.com/mfr/b-and...2_4290crx.aspx

4.6 out of 5.0 stars, from 50 reviews. Does this seem like a good deal for around $350? I don't know how much the store here is going to charge, so I'll have to ask them about it tomorrow.



eww those would make ugly comp speakers IMO, but i bet they do sound amazing!
tongue.gif
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 6:22 PM Post #13 of 72

NotJeffBuckley

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Quote:

Originally Posted by familyman
you might wanna give these bad boys a try.... they look AWSOME!
http://www.audiomidi.com/Truth-B2031...ir--P3119.aspx



These are my "computer speakers," paired with a B2092A active sub, and they're absolutely astounding for the price. Not a match for a $3000 setup, but I'd pit them against a $1500 one with confidence. I am amazed at their quality - Behringer's usual shovelware policy does not hold here.

Edit: I, too, have noticed that most poly-coned speakers have a laziness to them, but I kid you not when I tell you that these do not share that commonality. They're exceptionally tight for bass reflex speakers.
 
Mar 10, 2006 at 6:31 PM Post #14 of 72

BlindTiger

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Has anyone heard anything from the Usher line?
I like the S-520, especially those glossy finishes. They would look nice as computer speakers.
 

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