Suggestions Wanted
May 25, 2012 at 8:49 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 6

JKnox11

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Hey guys, I built my own desktop a couple months ago but I haven't bought speakers or a sound card for it yet. I've been doing research on some of the products out there but I haven't made any concrete decisions. I was hoping that if I explained what I want in a sound system and gave my price range you guys might be able to give me some suggestions on what to buy.
 
From what I can tell from other forums, computer audio products seem to fall into two different categories. It seems that some systems are geared towards people that primarily listen to music, while others are geared towards gamers. My problem is that I do both. I'm looking for a set of speakers that can play music at a high quality while also being more than serviceable when gaming (mainly for survival horror, if it matters). I'm also looking to get a sound card, but am unsure what to get as most of the high-dollar ones seem to be marked towards headphone users. While I'll probably get a nice set of headphones down the road sometime, right now I'm more focused on getting a good speaker system up and running. For speakers and a sound card I'm looking at spending around $500, but I could be talked into spending a little more if the quality of the suggested products were to justify the additional cost. Thanks a lot, any help is appreciated.
 
Edit: Here's one of the speakers I was looking at: http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=7134886&Sku=C13-1250
 
May 26, 2012 at 1:00 AM Post #2 of 6

obobskivich

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Haven't heard or heard about those Corsairs - multimedia speakers in general have waned in popularity in recent years. The popular picks today are near-field monitors designed for home recording studios; like those from M-Audio. Personally I still enjoy multimedia speakers, but I don't consider them geared for critical listening or anything like that.

I would suggest getting a soundcard that's got the "headphone amp" feature built-in, like the Recon3D, Xonar STX, Titanium HD, or Claro Halo. It'll also be suitable for driving stereo (or more) channels out into a speaker system. So that leaves you with options down the line. The card will eat $100-$200 of your budget, and then you're up for speakers with what's left. I'd suggest going to Guitar Center or similar and auditioning a variety of active speakers, and seeing if some computer/electronics store near you has multimedia speakers out on display (I remember Circuit City and CompUSA used to do this); pick whatever sounds bestest to you.

One thing to note with near-field monitors - adding a subwoofer may or may not be painful depending on what limitations the monitors themselves bring to the table, and what your budget is able to handle. I'm not saying the subwoofers included with multimedia speakers are explicitly better than separates, or that multimedia speakers are inherently full-range compared to a pair of good near-fields, but it's something to consider.

Finally, if you want to use speakers for gaming, and have the space and cash, a surround sound set-up can be a lot of fun.
 
May 26, 2012 at 1:13 AM Post #3 of 6

ZeroDrift

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For games I really enjoyed surround sound as it really makes the games come to life.  My old Klipsch Promedia 5.1 system was used in a similar manner as what you described and it did the job very well for many years, yet suffered from a failing BASH amp like so many others. 
 
The A5 from Audioengine are pretty decent for the money, yet I must say I feel their quality control isn't great as the two sets I've owned are vastly different from each other.  At this point I wouldn't highly recommend them, but will say they are great for what they are.
 
May 26, 2012 at 1:53 PM Post #4 of 6

JKnox11

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Thanks for the replies. I ordered the Xonar STX since I've read from a couple places that its a good audiophile/gaming card. New all I need is the speakers. Since you both suggested going surround sound I came close to ordering the Logitech Z906 5.1 speakers, but I'm hesitant because reviews say that its too bass-heavy and has washed-out mids. Does anyone have an opinion on these speakers, or have another suggestion?
 
Thanks again
 
May 27, 2012 at 1:50 AM Post #5 of 6

ZeroDrift

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Some tuning and placement goes a long ways here.  With my old setup I had to move the sub around to make it sound ideal.  When in the corner it was too base heavy, which was solved by moving a few feet away from the corner and a foot away from the wall to help cancel out some of the standing waves from over lapping. Much of the tuning can be done with an EQ as well.
 
Those speakers should do very nicely.  I was going to advise those at first, but I don't have any personal experience with them.  They should not fail you as those types of speakers were direct rivals to my old Klipsch speakers.
 
 
May 27, 2012 at 6:28 AM Post #6 of 6

trog

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If u love your music avoid PC/Multimedia 5.1s that have that cheap, muddy sound at all costs 
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