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mikepenn
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The best computer speakers are ???

I've been looking for a powered 2.1 setup for my G5.

Yiangos
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

I've got a really good (to my ears at least) set of 2.1 speakers on my computer.Altec Lansing FX6021 and they are nice looking too.

mikepenn
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

Thanks for the input. I'll add these to the list with Klipsch 2.1's

Buddha
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

I use Infinity Intermezzo 2.6 speakers and have been happy.

But!

There's some buzz at another site (Audio Asylum in the Planar Speaker forum) about these babies...

Cheap Speakers!

They may be perfect for affordable computer associated use!

Check out the thread at the Asylum, too.

lemonizer
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

Ebay...

Why not search for some cheap speakers and a cheap integrated amp?

I'm sure for <$200 you could get yourself a nice sounding mid-fi setup that will trounce all the creative labs style crap.

Just make sure the speakers are shielded or if not keep them away from a CRT or your hard disks!

jazzfan
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???


Quote:
Ebay...

Why not search for some cheap speakers and a cheap integrated amp?

I'm sure for <$200 you could get yourself a nice sounding mid-fi setup that will trounce all the creative labs style crap.

Just make sure the speakers are shielded or if not keep them away from a CRT or your hard disks!

This is a good idea but you failed to give Mike specific details as to exactly what you mean, after all he may be just a novice and have no idea what you are talking about. I'll lend a hand and fill in with some very basic definitions.

Integrated Amp: a one piece unit which takes the place of a preamplifier and power amplifier. These units typically have multiple inputs, volume controls, balance controls and speaker outputs. Some feature tape loops and tone controls and there are even some newer ones which have subwoofer out connections.

Cheap speakers: I guess the name kinda says it all unless he's referring to those people one often sees orating for free on the street corner However I would think that a small pair of two way (tweeter and woofer) bookshelf speakers would do the job quite nicely.

Setup: One would take the output of the computer's soundcard and plug it into the line level inputs of the integrated amp. It's as simple as that. The good thing about this solution is that you could just get the amp and speakers now and then add a subwoofer at a later date.

Buddha
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

Dang, I forgot to mention my old speakers that are now on the kids' computer:

Monsoon flat panels are darn cheap and I really like them!

Seriously worth an audition!

stereophillips
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

This is actually the subject of my next eNewsletter, so I'll be watching folks' responses here with great interest.

I was kinda thinking about tackling it on three levels: An actual made-for-computers near-field system that I like a great deal, the tried-and-true used-gear/upgrade-made-redundent route (a la Buddha's daughter), and a more radical computer system solution from the prosumer world.

All three are legitimate approaches, and all three are solutions I've lived with and enjoyed.

Not that I've tried the Monsoons, which sound perfect for my new office remodel project, where I'm planning on floating my Apple Cinema monitor above my desk. Curse you, Buddha for leading me into temptation!

(Although. my long-suffering wife can attest that I am very easily led -- and more than capable of finding it on my own.)

Windzilla
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

I second the monsoons

I bought a pair for my brother for christmas a few years back. they were some of the best all in one desktop computer speakers I have heard.

another suggestion, depending on what you want to buy is some powered studio monitors. you can get some from you many larger music shops and they are designed with nearfield listening and magnetic shielding in mind. I am not formiliar with studio monitors, but I believe Fostex makes a respectable line with prices starting below 200$.

good luck

nastir
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

I just got a pair of the Swan S200a's (new and improved design over their older M200's)...
http://www.swanspeaker.com/product/htm/view.asp?id=256

I'm using them with a Squeezebox3 driving them in a secondary audio room... very sweet!

PaleBlueEgo
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

Acoustic Energy Aego M - $199 at cccrane.com or audioadvisor.com. These are superb-sounding, extremely well-built tiny sats with a medium-sized sub that works best on the floor under the desk. These are the successors to the excellent Aego2 system that has drawn rave reviews. Stereophile loved the Aego2 even at $600. You really can't go wrong for the price.

prudentman
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

I believe these are the cat's meow of computer speakers, albeit steep in price for a computer system. (now $995.00, I could have bought them at the SF Audio show a number of years back for $400.00!) The questions perhaps worth asking are: where do I spend most of my time?, Can I really appreciate the music while multi-tasking and then is it worth the money?, How about some headphones while I'm sitting at my computer?. I'll stop there. Maybe I should commit myself to an asylum!

http://www.xhifi.com/

uofmtiger
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

I have the Logitech z-680s, but I would opt for a T-amp or Super T-amp combined with the Best Buy Insignias or Radio Shack Presidians if I was in the market now.

I have tested the Super T-amp and a pair of used Pinnacle PN5+ speakers in place of my z-680s and the sound for music was much better with the T-amp setup.

Liquid3D
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

I've found an interesting alternative. I am disabled and as a result haven't a penny to spend on Audiophile hardware. You can imagine how I miis hearing Joni Mitchell and the Cow Boy Junkies as I was fortunate enough to hear and have many systems pass through my hands such as the old Krell Stereo 250W driving Apogee Stages, Audible Illusions, Magus, Cary and even old Futtermans driving everything from Magneplanars to Proacs. Anyway I've been volunteering my time as a techincal writer under the username above at www.madshrimps.be and do have companies send me PC related hardware. I traded some stuff and was looking at Studio Monitors since they were intended to be neuteral but less costly then Audiophile home speakers. I found the better Studio Mini-monitors such as Samsom Resolve, Alesis, M-Audio, and the beloved KRK Rokit

Buddha
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

Yup, them there Sound Engines are the bomb for the money!

I've had a chance to give them a long, and sometimes abusive listen at a friend's house, and they held up wonderfully.

Finally got around to taking a pic of my computer.

I use the stock disc drives and Media Player to feed input to the Marantz integrated, and then it powers the Infinities.

I am absolutely paralyzed with regard to what to do with the signal before it hits the integrated.

There's chips, cards, I don't know what all I need to buy.

I need a "Computer Hi Fi for Dummies" book.

So, here it is:

mjalazard
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

Buddha, who's the babe at the upper right with the hat and a smile?

Buddha
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

Oh, her.

Only the most perfect and wonderful and tolerant and every other positive attribute person ever invented.

However: Whenever I look at that pic, all I can think is, "Too much hat."

In fact, I think that's her "Dances With Wolves" name.

Oh, well, if that's her only fault, at least I have "Dances With Brass Poll" to make up for it.

struts
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

I use Bose Companions ,which at $99 a pair (2.0 - no sub) are fine for non-critical listening. For critical listening I just pop on the cans.

However I was interested to read about the forthcoming Dynaudio MC15s in the CES show report . Mind you, for $1299 a pair I would expect them to sound good!

jaybob
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

i use a cambridge soundworks microworks with an Audigy sound card

Jim Tavegia
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

I think this whole topic has changed with the Squeezebox and the like. If we are talking about our music being served differently (music servers rather than a dedicated CD player) then the same criteria should still stand for audiophiles as it should for any he-man rig.

If we are talking about compromises due to desk space or adjacent cubical compatability (work?) that is another issue. I think Jeff Wong does it right here with his super headphone rigs and his AKG 701's, or what ever pair of great cans he is into at that moment.

Jeff has commented how listener fatigue is an issue from time to time. This is not because he does not have great equipment, because he does. After a while I just have to take off my Grados as they kill my ears and have to go to my lesser Sony 7506's for a while. The Sony's are a totally different presentation.

I do not own any Class A Stereophile rated speakers, but those now would have to be considered as possibly the best "computer" speakers as music delivery is changing. This is the one Darwin could have gotten right! Music servers have and will change everything over the next 10 years. Hopefully it will not be some codec from Fraunhofer or Lame driving it all (MP3).

I think that I would prefer either some full rannge speakers or a great pair of monitors, no less than say the Epos 3's or the B&W 303's at $300 a pair and a decent inexpensive JBL 12" sub for $299 from J and R in NYC. That should rock your world.

I have gone through some cheap desktop speakers as my wife uses a cheap Altec Lansing set with a sorry sub on her computer. I had the output of that going into our home theater rig into Triangle Comets, but since she did not appreciate them I have reclaimed them in the main Living Room system. I move the Pioneer Elite HT rig to my rec room and will do 5.1 down there. Sound does matter to me...and you of course.

My old re-worked 25 year old 3-way AR 58's with a 12" serve my computer system and I could not settle for less now. How swell could a pair of B&W 603's be, or the also recently reviewed Monitor Audio 6's. This would be where I would have to begin in 2007 with audiophile "computer" sound.

Ernest Burden
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

I enjoy music wherever I hear it, even on less-than-ideal equipement. And I spend unhealthy amounts of time here at my computer in my studio where I have two or three other computers on all the time. I do not consider this a good place to exercise my audiophile tendencies. The workstations have several fans each (laptop doesn't, and it has tiny but great-sounding Harmon/Kardon speakers) so there's a constant noise from those. And, while I'm here I'm working (or typing a post like this) and not really paying full attention to the music. I don't want awful, but what I do for a break from work when my family is out of the house is go downstairs and play some music on my stereo as loud as I feel like. The computer just isn't the place to expect good audio. The 'transport' is a plastic drive in a vibrating box full of EM noise, the 'amp' a chip on a card. The 'cables' are dental floss. The speakers sit on either side of a massive electromagnet. And as often as not, I'm listening to internet radio at 128/mp3. So how good could it be?

I have a pair of Harmon/Kardon PC speakers and they sound nice (volume in annoying push-button increments) but this isn't the place for high-end expectations.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

I understand the issue of a 50-60db noise floor od the PC, but still with a decent sound card and shipset the sound isn not that bad. I do not need to make it worse by compromising the rest of the system.

Audio_newb
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

Clearly in the low hundreds there are three good ways to go about setting up a computer speaker system. The computer speaker route (probably from a respectable name like Klipsch), the powered mini monitor route (I'm less familiar with brands here, but I know the pro audio world has some nice choices here), and the mini setup route consisting of your garden variety amp and speakers.

When I was looking to upgrade my system I did a lot of research and found a lot of great choices, but ultimately I think there are almost no comparisons done between these three classes. Within the classes for sure, but not between. My final solution was to go from a full surround system from logitech (quite respectable sound) to a piecemeal system consisting of a Super T-amp and a pair of axiom M3's. I love my system and would recommend it or something like it (you might consider the trends TA-10 for the amp and epos or paradigm bookshelfs as well). I started with a pretty decent m-audio soundcard, so I felt ok using the analog out, although this is the next upgrade for me. I felt that going this route enabled future tweaks and upgrades, and in all probability this system will eventually make it into my kitchen paired with a Sonos or squeezebox.

Having dispensed with my recommendation, and since Wes said he would be reading these, I would like to put in a request. My next upgrade, and the basis for future upgrades to come would be a decent external DAC with USB inputs. Since the Benchmark DAC1 was just upgraded to include USB, PS Audio just released their Digital Link III with USB, and Bel Canto also released both an integrated with a USB input and a DAC with USB, I would love to see some sort of USB audio shootout. I know shootouts are hard to wrangle and make some people sad in the end, but I think they are the best way to differentiate components, and since it is nearly impossible to hear these (especially companies that sell direct) next to each other, we as consumers count on you guys to do some of the legwork for us. Hope I'm not being too greedy and look forward to your take on all of this.

stevennsimon
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

I use Epos 3's for near field listening (computer + airport express + old Adcom gear), but am intrigued by Dynaudio's entrance into the active (powered) mini-monitor arena. I think they make great speakers and am looking forward to auditioning them. The downside is that they are fairly expensive, over $1K.
Best
S

Elk
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

There are many excellent active near field monitors that would work well connected a PC. There are too many to list; a search for "active monitor" will get you going - there are lots of reviews and other resources.

art_revel
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

Hello all,

I am looking to purchase a set of speakers for my notebook as the ones on the MacBook Pro are not good enough for me. I am new to the Audiophile world but not to audio, having worked with theatre audio equipment many times in the past.

I am not afraid to spend some money, I am looking for quality, not price. I would like a reasonably portable system, especially a 2.0 set with the amplifier built in, but may settle for 2.1 system, depending on the size.

So far I am considering the Bose companion series 2 or perhaps 3, or the Klipsch Pro Media Ultra. I have done a little research and both Bose and Klipsch have good reviews.

Any other suggestions would be appreciated, as well as comments from owners of other speakers.

dorokusai
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

I run a dedicated rig from my computer sound card ala a NAD 325BEE and some old school KEF C15. I'm a near field/headphone junkie and it works out quite well. As mentioned previously, a self-amplified loudspeakers is a cool idea and I may venture into that at some point. The all-in-one fashion of audio gets better every year.

I don't critically listen at my computer so absolutes aren't really a big deal at that point. Even then, the 2CH is for fun. There's nothing like a great monitor, floorstanders are predictable.

Regards,
Mark
Polk Audio CS

ROBSCIX
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Re: The best computer speakers are ???

When I am asked the "PC" speaker question. I always remind the person that a soundcard has line-level outputs so is more then capable of being hooked to a receiver or amplifier. Bypass the PC speaker route and go for some monitors or a component system. I am sure most have a recevier or amplifier in the back room that can fill the slot...

Good luck on your speaker hunt.

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