whats the best computer audio ($under 300)
Mar 17, 2008 at 2:56 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 31


New Head-Fier
Mar 17, 2008
Hey all,

This looks like a good place to post up for some help needed on buying a new computer audio system, budget is about $300.

Well, My Klipsch Promedia 2.1 system died last night. Actually just the subwoofer hosed out. It was a good system, and lasted 8 years. No need to be critical - I got a lot of good times with it. I took it all to the Goodwill this morning, someone will be stoked to find it since the speakers at least still worked.

I've been researching buying something new ALL day pretty much, and Im dissapointed to see so much CRAP out there that is so highly rated. I think I might avoid getting another plug and play computer speaker set up, just because I read many negative reviews of even the highly rated stuff, (logitech, klipsch)

I just now ran into this sonic impact T-amp thingy...holy moses that looks like a peach of a buy. So maybe I can get a sonic impact T-amp 2, and pair it with some decent affordable speakers, but ....uh OH...it won't power a subwoofer? &*&%$#!!!

Forget it then...I NEED a Subwoofer...!

OK, back to the drawing board...

you know the question: HELP!


Mar 17, 2008 at 3:08 AM Post #2 of 31
For under $300, you may find that the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 still offers the best value. It may be difficult to find anything that beats them for that amount of money, since you'll need an amplifier, two speakers, and a subwoofer.
Mar 17, 2008 at 3:56 AM Post #3 of 31
Hi, I am in the same boat as you, but it will be my first computer setup and my budget is $200 for everything. I saw Swan m10 at The Audio Insider - Home loudspeaker systems and reviews for $109 plus shipping. Bestbuy has klipsch prodmedia 2.1 for sale at $120. I am wondering whether I should have a active speaker or T-amp plus bookshelf. Any suggestions about good bookshelf under $150?
Mar 17, 2008 at 4:03 AM Post #4 of 31

Originally Posted by andychen /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Any suggestions about good bookshelf under $150?

None that would be likely to compare with a similarly-priced 2.1 system.
Mar 17, 2008 at 4:11 AM Post #5 of 31
Thanks for your quick reply. Do you know which one is better? swan m10 or Klipsch 2.1? I heard swan m200 is much better than Klipsch 2.1, but not sure about m10.


Originally Posted by infinitesymphony /img/forum/go_quote.gif
None that would be likely to compare with a similarly-priced 2.1 system.

Mar 17, 2008 at 6:11 AM Post #6 of 31
I have a friend who has owned both the M10s and the M200s. He loved the M200s, but really disliked the M10s. Not to mention the weird ergonomics of having the volume knob on the subwoofer...

I haven't heard the M10s because he returned them before I had the chance, but I'd guess that the ProMedia 2.1s are better.
Mar 18, 2008 at 3:28 AM Post #8 of 31
thanks for the response and dialog - still working at sorting this one out. Im the type that will spend a week researching before I buy anything. Yes, the Klipsch are hard to beat! But having already owned them for 8 years, I kinda want something new and shiny, you know, just to try something different (don't ask me for relationship advice

So those Axioms look pretty hot BTW, but will also cost a good $500 w/sub. OUCH quality is expensive no? DROOL...

Hmmm...damn those Klipschs. 8 years old and still kicking ass, good job.

Oh yeah, and have you seen the Razer Mako system for $400, interestingly expensive and innovative...

Im still shooting for my budget, but drooling over the axioms...

Mar 18, 2008 at 6:25 AM Post #11 of 31
Sorry if I'm hijacking this thread, but I've been thinking about the same topic, as I'm in the same boat, but maybe this question could also help the OP out. My brother has logitech z-2300s - I love the bass quantity, but not quality - it gets muddied up quite a bit and isn't of the best quality for music. I have even considered going for the z-5500's for the amount of bass, and it says that the bass is distortion free (of course the manufacturer says that though, right?). What's a good sub that would go with 2.0 or 2.1 speakers that has enough "oomph"? I'm new to this and could spare some money for speakers first and sub later, as long as it's worth it. I'll be looking at this thread for a good 2.0/2.1 system to start with, but I ultimately want a sub, too.

I would have gone with the logitech z-5500's, but as the OP has stated there is a lot of crap out there that is highly rated (I've seen these speakers good for movies and computer games, but people say they're not good for music). If I can get something better than these, I'm willing to do that, even for a few extra bucks.

I also need a subwoofer like the OP, and want good quality music, at least for the best money can buy, for not so much money, that can be used from a computer. Thanks.
Mar 18, 2008 at 5:10 PM Post #12 of 31
It's really funny to hear people recommending a computer 2.1 system over a pair of bookshelfs because the computer sound system has a "subwoofer." Those "subwoofers" are barely woofers. Many bookshelves will play much cleaner and lower than those 2.1 systems. Also, almost every component on those 2.1 systems is proprietary, so you can't upgrade easily.

I love the t-amp with a pair of bookshelf speakers - I think it's a great option. It would be nice to be able to add a sub to the system later, but it is a bit difficult with the t-amp. There are options - using a separate pre-amp to control volume, finding a sub that will work with the t-amp's bridged output, or using a box that strips low level sub output from the t-amp's high level outputs - but they options are more difficult than with some amps.

If you have an 0404, I believe you could use that low level output into a sub, and out to the t-amp. The 0404 lets you control volume, right?

There are good deals on Infinity Primus p140, p150 and p160 speakers right now. The 150s are about $100 pair shipped on Amazon - maybe less if you want to go through the ebay factory auctions. I just ordered a pair of p140s to play with.
Mar 18, 2008 at 5:12 PM Post #13 of 31
I would avoid the T-amp if at all possible. I'm rather hypocritical here using one myself, but I've been through three of them and they are not dependable, and frankly, not that great. They drive my Klipsch B3's pretty well, but the problem is that once you crank up the volume enough, the sound quality goes south really fast. I have to say it, but the amp sounds best at low to mid-level volume levels. Try putting anything high signal through it (some of my organ music for example) and it clips.

Snag a pair of Promedia 4.1's if you can. I've owned the 2.1's and the 4.1's, and the subwoofer on the 4.1's is much, much beefier and digs a lot deeper (part of which is due to the upgraded amp module in relation to the 2.1, the BASH amplifier). You won't be let down. I just disconnected the rear satellites when I gave them to my dad for use on his computer and if you cornerload the sub and put a decent sound card behind them (EMU 0404 please), you have a pretty respectable PC speaker system.
Mar 18, 2008 at 11:04 PM Post #15 of 31
How about some AudioEngines.

I have decided that I am going to get a receiver and some Aperion intimus 4B bookshelves. Since aperion has the 30 trial with free shipping both ways, hot diggy dog. How are you guys hooking up receiver to your PC.
1. Receiver - RCA - 3.5 - soundcard
2. Receiver -RCA - 3.5 - Amp DAC
3. Something like this Xitel Precision Audio Technology
What would give you the best sound

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