Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

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Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:24 pm

My speakers recently quite working. I had a 2.1 setup in the form of Creative I-Trigue L3800. I have had them since early 2006 and have loved them. However I have decided to simply go with a 2.0 setup under $200. I have looked at several options but I haven't had a chance to hear any of them with the exception of the Bose C2 companions. I have looked at the following options:

Hercules XPS 2.0
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6836193011
Creative Gigaworks T20 Series II
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6836116043
Bose Companion 2 Series II
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.a ... 6836166006
Audioengine A2
http://www.amazon.com/Audioengine-Premi ... oengine+a2
M-Audio Studiophile AV40
http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-Studiophi ... audio+av40

I have read really good reviews for The T20's and Audioengine A2's
Any help in this search or other suggestions would be welcomed!!!
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:34 pm

Everyone has different tastes but I'm very fond of using powered studio monitors for 2.0 PC sound.

The Audioengine A2 are very good monitors for their size, although they are a little small for my tastes. They are the speakers I would chose from your list, but only because your list doesn't include the M-Audio BX5's.

I guess it depends on availability and price which vary a lot by region - for me the BX5's would only be 10-20% more expensive than the A2's, making the choice a no-brainer.
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:23 pm

Spend some money. $100 speakers are just that, $100 speakers. You will not find nice sound in that range.
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:21 pm

Chrispy_ wrote:Everyone has different tastes but I'm very fond of using powered studio monitors for 2.0 PC sound.

The Audioengine A2 are very good monitors for their size, although they are a little small for my tastes. They are the speakers I would chose from your list, but only because your list doesn't include the M-Audio BX5's.

I guess it depends on availability and price which vary a lot by region - for me the BX5's would only be 10-20% more expensive than the A2's, making the choice a no-brainer.


I see. I looked them up for about $209 on Amazon. It looks like it could be a winner for me.

PenGun wrote:Spend some money. $100 speakers are just that, $100 speakers. You will not find nice sound in that range.


True. Considering my last set cost me just $70 in 2006 I saw no reason to break the bank on new speakers. I am however open to suggestions even beyond my pricepoint if you have one. I have even been looking at the Audioengine 5 which is currently double my original pricepoint. Again I am simply looking for alternatives and suggestions.
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:40 am

Do you have a nice sound card outputting the sound?

If you don't then I don't see the point in buying $400 speakers. Those A2's are supposed to be very good.
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 2:42 am

I really loved my Roland MA-15D. They don't get particularly low extension, but they represent bass very well and accurately despite that. Unfortunately they don't seem to be made anymore.

In my office at work I ended up getting some Behringer MS20's due to space constraints on my hutch under a cabinet. They also don't extend that low, but also don't seem as accurate in their representation. I think the MS40's may be better in that regard, just because they have more extension, but I can't really say. I've been very happy with both the MS20 and the MA-15D, and I can really only tell the difference listening side by side. Both are quite honest, but not annoyingly so, and easy to listen to.

I would definitely suggest going the low-end studio monitor route in your price range, and unless you have a nice sound card, I'd suggest getting something with optical in. The DAC on most of these low end monitors will typically be better than on cheap or integrated PC sound, but unfortunately it does limit the choices significantly.
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 9:42 am

Ethyriel wrote:I would definitely suggest going the low-end studio monitor route in your price range, and unless you have a nice sound card, I'd suggest getting something with optical in. The DAC on most of these low end monitors will typically be better than on cheap or integrated PC sound, but unfortunately it does limit the choices significantly.


In theory what you say is true, but the price of digital monitors is prohibitive!

I used to run a discrete soundcard for my M-Audio BX8's but actually when I was temporarily forced to go back to an onboard Realtek codec I was impressed how good they still sounded.
By far the biggest impact to sound quality in the sub $500 range is the speakers. Only once the speakers rise above uneven response curves found (so often) in the sub-$250 range do the differences between a cheap soundcard* and a quality one matter.

* - the issue with onboard sound is not usually the sound quality but the interference that the analogue outputs pick up from the motherboard. Some solutions are shielded better than others, unfortunately.

Oh, BX5's for $209? Wow - that's a good deal for speakers with a $400 list price; I normally see them selling for around $250. I figured that the BX5's are usually much cheaper than the Audioengine A5's but if you see those for less than $250, they're also excellent Studio monitors (I listened to them alongside the BX5's and some Onkyo's at a local shop - and then found a shop-soiled pair of BX8's on eBay for £150 less than expected).
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 10:41 am

Chrispy_ wrote:I used to run a discrete soundcard for my M-Audio BX8's but actually when I was temporarily forced to go back to an onboard Realtek codec I was impressed how good they still sounded.
By far the biggest impact to sound quality in the sub $500 range is the speakers. Only once the speakers rise above uneven response curves found (so often) in the sub-$250 range do the differences between a cheap soundcard* and a quality one matter.

Yup, always amuses me when people talk about buying expensive soundcards with fancy DACs and user-replaceable op-amps, when it isn't going to make a damn bit of difference due to the cheap speakers/headphones they're using.

That said, some aggressive EQing can often make even sub-$100 speakers sound halfway reasonable.

Chrispy_ wrote:* - the issue with onboard sound is not usually the sound quality but the interference that the analogue outputs pick up from the motherboard. Some solutions are shielded better than others, unfortunately.

Yes, fortunately the quality of onboard audio has improved tremendously over the years. Older (from ~10 years ago) mobos tended to have a laundry list of issues -- poor bass response, harsh high end, distortion from crappy DACs, tons of analog interference -- but those days are behind us now.

You do still find the occasional mobo that has analog interference issues, but even when it is present it is typically low enough that it is only audible through headphones with the gain cranked way up. Most analog interference problems on contemporary hardware turn out to be due to badly shielded front panel audio jacks/cables (i.e. a problem with the case, not the mobo), and can be solved by plugging into the rear panel jacks instead.

These days I tend to just stick with onboard unless I'm setting up a system where I will be recording from the line in jack (in which case I install my old Turtle Beach Santa Cruz or M-Audio Revolution).
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:15 pm

I have the M-Audio's. I dont use them much but they work. They aren't heavy on the Bass naturally but are nice. I got them when they were around 80-90 bucks, if I remember correctly.
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:36 pm

tanker27 wrote:I have the M-Audio's. I dont use them much but they work. They aren't heavy on the Bass naturally but are nice. I got them when they were around 80-90 bucks, if I remember correctly.

Anything that's designed to be a studio monitor will sound really light on the bass to people accustomed to typical computer 2.1s. Monitors are designed to have flat response, whereas most 2.1 computer speakers are designed to have loud, boomy bass because that's what sells.
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 3:32 pm

just brew it! wrote:Anything that's designed to be a studio monitor will sound really light on the bass to people accustomed to typical computer 2.1s. Monitors are designed to have flat response, whereas most 2.1 computer speakers are designed to have loud, boomy bass because that's what sells.


Yeah I figured as much. But as someone pointed out I am able to get nice sound out of them by customizing the EQ, even bass.
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:22 pm

I just bought some Siesta Lab BS1 passive speakers on eBay for $108, here http://www.ebay.com/itm/SIESTA-BS1-50W-5-Woofer-Hi-End-Bookshelf-Speaker-Pair-PUS-/261018868736. They're a non-ported design which is an uncommon choice, especially in a bookshelf speaker. I hope they don't totally suck. I intend to drive them with a Parasound Zamp which I've had for years but never actually used. I'll be using a TC Electronic Level Pilot as my volume control.
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 4:52 pm

A friend of mine at work has the Audioengine A2's. They sound good to me and have a small footprint. I have pretty much ruled out everything but the Audioengine A2's, A5+, M-Audio BX5, and I am seriously considering the SIESTA BS1 for the price. I have Creative X-FI Xtreme music in my desktop and Creative Recon in my laptop. I don't mind not having the booming bass so much.
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Sun Jan 13, 2013 7:49 pm

I got a set of Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 THX speakers about two months ago. I like them really well. Nice sound and the sub woofer can bounce you out of the room if your into that kind of thing. I wanted a set of 5.1 surround speakers but the only ones I could find for a PC were cheap Logitech or Creative junk.

The Klipsch run about $150.
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:35 am

Nation wrote:A friend of mine at work has the Audioengine A2's. They sound good to me and have a small footprint. I have pretty much ruled out everything but the Audioengine A2's, A5+, M-Audio BX5


Then you've got a good idea of what to expect from A5's and BX5's - you'll gain some fidelity at lower frequencies and they'll respond better to turning up the bass frequencies via EQ - but at the cost of a larger footprint and a few extra bucks.
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:43 am

Another vote for the Klipsch 2.1. They sound exceptional.
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:48 am

How much desktop space do you have to work with? You might want to consider going with passive bookshelves and a t-amp. This combo, for example:

Dayton Audio B652 6-1/2" 2-Way Bookshelf Speaker Pair
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Re: Help finding new 2.0 Speakers

Postposted on Mon Jan 14, 2013 12:44 pm

Thank you everyone for the help and suggestions. I just ordered the M-Audio BX5 D2 speakers this morning. I was Really tempted by the Audioengine A5+ but went with the BX5's because of price.

http://www.amazon.com/M-Audio-BX5-Studi ... -audio+bx5
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