Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

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Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:04 am

Hi guys,

I would like to be able to get a set of speakers (two is fine), from my PC, playing in my livingroom, where my computer is currently in my bedroom. Sending the wiring to that location is not a problem, but I'm not sure how it will be possible to do this, or if I even can do this.

Basically what I'm looking for is just a second set of speakers to play the exact same thing that would be coming out of the main computer speakers, while not necessarily having the main speakers on at the same time. So an A and a B selection that would both play the same thing. Just so that I can play music coming from my PC in my living room area.

What would be the best way to go about doing this?

Thanks.
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:37 am

IMO use a 2 channel integrated stereo amp in the bedroom that can run four speakers in quadraphonic with a 3.5mm jack to phono 'Y' cable plugged into your sound card. Run the speaker cables from there to wherever you want them. You can plug the phono cable to any line level input on the amp, just not phono if it has it. Just add some speakers of your choice (and that are sensitive enough for your amp to run four of) and you'll have decent sound.

Not the cheapest solution, but I'd say one of the best sounding ones.
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Fri Jul 17, 2009 5:47 am

You should experiment with wireless speaker sets as well, if you find any.
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Fri Jul 17, 2009 11:32 pm

Richie_G, could you furthur explain what you said and possibly provide me with links to the supplies I would need in order to make it so. So long as it is not absurdly expensive, price is not really a problem. This is something I have wanted to do for a while now, so if it works, I'm willing to shell out some cash.

Thanks.
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Sat Jul 18, 2009 12:04 am

SurfinBird wrote:Richie_G, could you furthur explain what you said and possibly provide me with links to the supplies I would need in order to make it so. So long as it is not absurdly expensive, price is not really a problem. This is something I have wanted to do for a while now, so if it works, I'm willing to shell out some cash.

Significant cash and quadraphonic capability not even required. Just go on Craigslist and look for someone selling a stereo receiver (or better) that has at least two sets of speaker outputs, usually designated "A" and "B" and having selector switches on the front to enable/disable the speaker pairs. You might also be able to get a passable pair of speakers the same way. Then one pair of speakers goes in the bedroom, the second pair goes in the living room, and the selector switches will let you turn on only one, or both, of the sets.

The only limitation is that receivers which support this configuration will require both sets of speakers to have an 8 Ohm rating when configured this way, since the speakers run in parallel and the amplifier only "sees" 4 Ohm on the output.
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Sat Jul 18, 2009 2:10 am

It depends on how the living room speakers need to be wired. First start with a 3.5mm splitter: http://cgi.ebay.com/3-5mm-Headphones-Ea ... 0372377453

Then if the speakers in the other room are computer speakers then get a 3.5mm extension cable or a 3.5mm to rca female cable (that would allow you to run a long RCA wire). Have you decided on the type of speakers you going to use? There are hi-quality self power speakers available.
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:32 am

Yep scrub the quadraphonic, I was thinking of something else. You just need an amp with two sets of speaker output (A,B, A+B) as Iudi says.

Edit: I would happily give you links if I had any, but I'm not based in the US or Canada and am not entirely familiar with the options you have available to you. Again, as Iudi says, craigslist for a decent second-hand amp and some speakers will probably be the best bet. It's easy to spend far more than necessary on hi-fi separates, and considering you'll be using your PC as the source (and analogue at that) I would not be too fussy. Remember to check impedence settings (most home speakers are 8Ω anyway) as we both mentioned. Depending on what your soundcard is, you may find that to be your next target for upgrading.

I'll add to this if I find any more info.
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:46 pm

Could someone list me all the components I would need to start this project. I've had a read through the posts, and while they make sense to me, I am essentially illiterate in the area of hi-fi audio (if that's even what one would call this). I've really never owned a true stereo system, so I don't know a lot about speaker wiring/ohms, receivers/amps etc.

Basically, I want to be able to play music in either my bedroom or livingroom, or both, but not always both. I am perfectly happy keeping my standard computer speakers for the computer if I can. And to the living room I really only need two speakers as well. Probably about 80 feet of wiring though to the furthest speaker from my computer.

If you all need anymore info just let me know.
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Wed Jul 22, 2009 11:55 pm

And if possible I would like to have ceiling corner mounted speakers like such in this picture, preferably as small as possible while still being able to fill an apartment living room with a fairly decent amount of sound:

Image
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Thu Jul 23, 2009 3:33 am

SurfinBird wrote:And if possible I would like to have ceiling corner mounted speakers like such in this picture, preferably as small as possible while still being able to fill an apartment living room with a fairly decent amount of sound:

[picture]

You can fill a room with a fairly decent amount of distortion that way. It's better to at least lower the speakers to a middle level (equally far from the floor and ceiling) if you do insist on walls/corners.
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Thu Jul 23, 2009 6:02 am

Meadows wrote:You can fill a room with a fairly decent amount of distortion that way. It's better to at least lower the speakers to a middle level (equally far from the floor and ceiling) if you do insist on walls/corners.


Just to expand: generally if speakers are rear ported (reflex ports that allow equal pressure to be maintained inside the cabinet [improve low frequency efficiency]) they want some breathing space, though when they are that small, having them placed in corners can help reinforce bass. While it's true that if they are too high you will lose some definition, it's better to have them placed high than low - higher frequencies tend to be absorbed too readily by furniture, carpet / rugs etc. Ideally you want the tweeter (the small speaker that reproduces the high frequencies) at ear level when in the listening position.

Ok assuming as you imply that you want to go the separates route:

How many square meters is the room you’ll be placing speakers in? The dimensions will influence the size of the speakers you’ll need to adequately fill the room with sound.
What kind of music do you usually listen to? This can also determine what kind of speakers may work best for you.

As far as speaker cable goes: a quick bit of Google-fu gets me Belkin PureAV High Performance Speaker Cable, 100ft which looks fine to me at a reasonable price (I have different options over here). It’s in USD but that’s easier for me to relate to, and I imagine you can get that in Canada right? Anyway, don’t go spending too much on cable, around that price should be fine.

That leaves for the 3.5mm to twin phono connector type which you can get from more or less any electrical retail store, this is what it looks like:

Image

Again, don’t spend an obscene amount on it, but I would recommend spending a little as this does make a significant difference. That and the cheap ones have a tendency to break and degrade far too easily.

The amp you’d need has already been discussed (A,B, A+B, impedence ratings) the only other things to point out are that you’re after RMS(root mean square [some say real music sound]) wattage ratings and not PMPO (peak music power).

Anywhere from 30 to 75 watts for bookshelf speakers should be sufficient, but if unsure then just check the ratings on the speakers you are getting or have to get an idea – most if not all competent manufacturers will provide all the information necessary on the back of the speaker, failing that just look them up on ze net. If in doubt about quality (particularly if you intend to buy second-hand) stick to brand names such as Sony or Yamaha etc. It goes without saying that if you can audition any gear before buying then do so.

I’m not a hi-fi expert, an enthusiast maybe. There are a number of guides on the internet though admittedly most are aimed at multi channel setups now. What you propose is a relatively straight forward stereo system, so don’t be deterred, if this is your first go at hi-fi you will be pleasantly surprised!
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:40 am

Richie_G wrote:As far as speaker cable goes: a quick bit of Google-fu gets me Belkin PureAV High Performance Speaker Cable, 100ft which looks fine to me at a reasonable price (I have different options over here). It’s in USD but that’s easier for me to relate to, and I imagine you can get that in Canada right? Anyway, don’t go spending too much on cable, around that price should be fine.

That's roughly $0.49/foot for wire that is basically 16-gauge lampcord with fancy marketing. The one advantage the Belkin wire does have is the CL3 rating for code compliant in-wall use, but if he doesn't need that, bulk wire from a hardware store reel may be more in the range of $0.25/foot.

The main thing is to either solder a gold-plated terminator on the end, or else cut the speaker wire in lengths that are two or three feet longer than needed so that the cable can be cut back 2-3 inches and restripped every year or so if it shows signs of blueish or blackish oxidation. Bare stranded copper cable will have a tendency to oxidize over time, aggravated by high ambient humidities (if present).
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:42 pm

I thought I re-posted here, but evidentally did not.

I am still looking to do this, and have a few more things I am unclear on.

-Will I be able to keep my computer speakers for my PC, or will I now need 2 sets of bookshelf speakers, one set for the PC, and one for the living room?
-Will I need a new soundcard. I have a built in Realtek soundcard on an Asus motherboard.
-My living room is 4.5x4.5m, and I listen to all types of music, but nothing at annoy-your-neighbor's volume level. I don't feel like I need anything monstrous to fill the room.
-I will need to send the speaker wires through the floorboard heaters to get them into the living room, is regular speaker wire OK?
-Is a 2-channel stereo receiver what I should be looking for? This is generally what I can find in stores around town. Does this mean it allows for an A + B speaker arrangement?

That should cover it! Sorry for all the questions :)

Thanks tho!
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:38 pm

SurfinBird wrote:-Will I be able to keep my computer speakers for my PC, or will I now need 2 sets of bookshelf speakers, one set for the PC, and one for the living room?
-Will I need a new soundcard. I have a built in Realtek soundcard on an Asus motherboard.

Either option works. If you keep the computer speakers, just connect a Y-splitter to the soundcard output and feed one output to your existing computer speakers and one output to the stereo receiver. For this option, you can put the receiver in the living room and not worry about the A+B outputs. Otherwise, buy two sets of speakers, eliminate the computer speakers, and use one pair in your bedroom and one pair in your living room.

-My living room is 4.5x4.5m, and I listen to all types of music, but nothing at annoy-your-neighbor's volume level. I don't feel like I need anything monstrous to fill the room.

Just try it and see how it works out. Rooms vary enormously in acoustic performance depending on ceiling height, type and pile of carpet, other textiles and type (upholstered furniture, curtains, wall hangings, etc.), furniture arrangement, and so forth. If the bookshelf speakers are inadequate, you may get better results with a smallish pair of floor speakers mounted on 1m-high stands (or similar).

-I will need to send the speaker wires through the floorboard heaters to get them into the living room, is regular speaker wire OK?

Danger, Will Robinson. What kind of heater? Electric, steam, or hot water? The cable will have a temperature rating that cannot be disregarded or you will end up with melted cable (and possibly other problems if the heaters are electric).

-Is a 2-channel stereo receiver what I should be looking for? This is generally what I can find in stores around town. Does this mean it allows for an A + B speaker arrangement?

Look for the feature to be explicitly described in the marketing materials, or check the output jacks on the back. If it has two sets of selectable outputs, it will have two sets of output jacks on the back side (one red+black pushtab, screwjack, or equivalent interface per speaker, per channel).
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:35 pm

The heater is a hot water heater. I'll check the speaker cables before buying to make sure they will be ok.

This is the receiver I am looking at getting:

http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0665000FS10124149&catid=10573

it should be ok?

Anything special I need to keep in mind about bookshelf speakers to match the receiver? I plan to keep my computer speakers as are by use of a Y splitter cable as you recommended.

Thanks!
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Wed Aug 05, 2009 9:31 pm

If I were to put the receiver in the living room, therefore about 40 feet from the computer, what sort of cable would I need for this? I have a Y-splitter coming out of the computer right now, but decided I would rather have the receiver in the living room than by the PC.

Thanks.

EDIT:

Is this what I would need for this?

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications ... &CatId=767

Can I just discard the video plug?
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Re: Getting speakers from my PC into my living room?

Postposted on Thu Aug 13, 2009 4:39 am

Did you get something installed? What were the results?
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