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Chrispy_
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:44 am

If you want to de-clutter with a focus on better-quality audio, you should probably have a look at the smaller Audioengines that seem to be incredibly popular and decent quality.

Personally, if you're coming from a 5.1 system, I think you'll miss the subwoofer, so take a look at M-Audio - they do a kit that includes a sub (AV32.1) I've not heard the full kit but the AV32 studio monitors are above-average value/performance in their category and the sub with an IR remote ought to flesh out the lower range.

http://www.m-audio.com/products/view/av32.11

Presonus and Mackie are also good options for sub-5" monitors, but I don't think they come in a package with the sub, and you'll want a 4.5" or 5" 2.0 setup instead, which takes up a fair bit of desk space - something I figured you might not want to do from your OP.

I could recommend you a couple of awesome entry-level audiophile 2.1 options in Europe, but I haven't seen them listed in the US so I'll keep my mouth shut fingers still.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:23 pm

I just recently upgraded to the Klipsch R-15PM & R-10SW speakers and they sound far better than the Logitech Z-2300 and Corsair SP2500 2.1 systems I've had before. I would never look back at getting even premium "PC desktop speakers" again. However, you can tell that they aren't really meant for desktop use, as they sound a bit better when turned up and from farther away. I think if you are coming from a 5.1 system then you probably have more space and be able to position them in such a way that they sound even better.
Last edited by DeadOfKnight on Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:26 pm

As I noted on the previous page the trigger has been pulled. FWIW, the existing set is an ancient Logitech Z-640 5.1.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:33 pm

DeadOfKnight wrote:
I just recently upgraded to the Klipsch R-15PM & R-10SW speakers and they sound far better than the Logitech Z-2300 and Corsair SP2500 2.1 systems I've had before. I would never look back at getting even premium "PC desktop speakers" again. However, you can tell that they aren't really meant for desktop use, as they sound a bit better when turned up and at further range. I think if you are coming from a 5.1 system then you probably have more space and be able to position them in such a way that they sound even better.

To be fair here, you're talking about $350 monitors plus a $250 sub versus $200-300 2.1 systems from two companies that don't make audio gear as their primary focus. You shouldn't be surprised the Klipsch combination sounds better. Not even a little.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:44 pm

DancinJack wrote:
To be fair here, you're talking about $350 monitors plus a $250 sub versus $200-300 2.1 systems from two companies that don't make audio gear as their primary focus. You shouldn't be surprised the Klipsch combination sounds better. Not even a little.

I'm not surprised, I'm just wondering why it took me so long to do this. But the recommendation isn't just because they sound better than other speakers that are outclassed by them. They are also powered monitors that don't require any additional hardware to drive them. Simple to set up, simple to use, with plenty of input options including RCA, AUX, USB, and Bluetooth. They clearly had PC users in mind when designing these speakers, even though they sound nothing like any of the "PC speakers" I've used in the past.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:51 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
As I noted on the previous page the trigger has been pulled. FWIW, the existing set is an ancient Logitech Z-640 5.1.


Oops, missed that. I just spotted it float to the top of the frontpage hot threads list.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:57 pm

DeadOfKnight wrote:
But the recommendation isn't just because they sound better than other speakers that are outclassed by them. They are also powered monitors that don't require any additional hardware to drive them. Simple to set up, simple to use, with plenty of input options including RCA, AUX, USB, and Bluetooth. They clearly had PC users in mind when designing these speakers, even though they sound nothing like any of the "PC speakers" I've used in the past.

Pretty typical for a studio monitor. You don't want a bunch of discrete amps and cable clutter added to the mixing equipment and cable clutter you've already got, plus you might want to switch from your main output to an aux source for a quick listen of something else without jostling any of the mixing I/O.

Conveniently, that use case also adapts quite well to typical desktop PC setup.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:10 pm

ludi wrote:
DeadOfKnight wrote:
But the recommendation isn't just because they sound better than other speakers that are outclassed by them. They are also powered monitors that don't require any additional hardware to drive them. Simple to set up, simple to use, with plenty of input options including RCA, AUX, USB, and Bluetooth. They clearly had PC users in mind when designing these speakers, even though they sound nothing like any of the "PC speakers" I've used in the past.

Pretty typical for a studio monitor. You don't want a bunch of discrete amps and cable clutter added to the mixing equipment and cable clutter you've already got, plus you might want to switch from your main output to an aux source for a quick listen of something else without jostling any of the mixing I/O.

Conveniently, that use case also adapts quite well to typical desktop PC setup.

Was quite literally typing this response and saw the update. Damn you.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:32 pm

morphine wrote:
Captain Ned wrote:
Part of this is finally ditching the soundcard (Asus Xonar D1 in my case), as I've conceded I will never be a gamer and I care more about the music

Dude, I am a gamer and I've ditched dedicated soundcards ages ago. Other than fancy software tricks and 5.1/7.1 support (something that almost no interface does because WHY?!?!?!? but that's another story), there's really not much to distinguish a PC soundcard from anything else. Unless crap drivers are a desired feature.



I still use my Xonar, not reason not to. It's never bothered me, but I agree that any newer system I've built for friends I've just gone integrated.
 
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 4:56 pm

steelcity_ballin wrote:
I still use my Xonar, not reason not to. It's never bothered me, but I agree that any newer system I've built for friends I've just gone integrated.

I've had it with the driver issues. I try to run 24/7/365 and I can guarantee that within a week of reboot, the driver will lose its mind and one channel will go out. I've tried deletion/reinstall of the driver to no avail, the only fix is a reboot. Since I'm done with 5.1 (at least on my desktop), I'm done with the card and its dodgy drivers. The AQ Dragonfly Black that currently acts as DAC in my "real" office/field-portable system sounds great and will be moved to my home desktop to drive the new rig. The new AQ Dragonfly Red will take over the duties for the field rig (my cans are planar-magnetic and will appreciate the extra drive voltage from the Red) and, after assessment, just might allow me to toss up a piece of low-end audiophile kit (iCan Micro-iCan) on the BB.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:07 pm

My Xonar works fine under Linux. :wink:
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:10 pm

just brew it! wrote:
My Xonar works fine under Linux. :wink:

I'll bet the TBSC does as well (wanders off to rummage through deep junk storage).
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:20 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
I've had it with the driver issues. I try to run 24/7/365 and I can guarantee that within a week of reboot, the driver will lose its mind and one channel will go out. I've tried deletion/reinstall of the driver to no avail, the only fix is a reboot. Since I'm done with 5.1 (at least on my desktop), I'm done with the card and its dodgy drivers.

That's odd. I've had a XonarDG in my desktop for years, and a second one in the HTPC up until last spring's Kaby Lake rebuild, and never had that one happen. I was always using the Windows drivers, though, as the original Asus utility/driver package had the sort of functional flaws one would normally expect if, say, an alpha release of Adobe Acrobat escaped into the wild and attempted to install itself on a long-lost copy of Windows Me.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 5:24 pm

ooooh boys. You DON'T wanna get me started on Xonar driver issues. Because I've encountered those that you did, plus the ones related to recording, monitoring, and mixing. (I had a D2X, it was advertised as such, even came with DAW software and extra inputs.)
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:22 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
My Xonar works fine under Linux. :wink:

I'll bet the TBSC does as well (wanders off to rummage through deep junk storage).

I've got one of those somewhere too. But even with continued driver support on Linux the TBSC's time is ending as legacy PCI slots go away.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:25 pm

just brew it! wrote:
I've got one of those somewhere too. But even with continued driver support on Linux the TBSC's time is ending as legacy PCI slots go away.

Well, my Xonar is PCI too (D1).
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:28 pm

 
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:31 pm

End User wrote:

Strong in this one the RDF is.

Wake me when it gets a full instrumented test by Stereophile (yes, they do run instrumented tests on everything they review).
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:34 pm

Captain Ned wrote:
End User wrote:

Strong in this one the RDF is.

Wake me when it gets a full instrumented test by Stereophile (yes, they do run instrumented tests on everything they review).

Who the **** cares.
 
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:37 pm

End User wrote:

Hmm... $350 for one, and it's mono only (you can't have stereo even if you buy 2). I guess if you want stereo You're Using It Wrong. This is not a product that is designed to replace a 2.0 (or 2.1) setup.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:41 pm

just brew it! wrote:
End User wrote:

Hmm... $350 for one, and it's mono only (you can't have stereo even if you buy 2). I guess if you want stereo You're Using It Wrong. This is not a product that is designed to replace a 2.0 (or 2.1) setup.

HomePod's multi-room audio support via AirPlay 2 Is going to be a thing in the not to distant future.

I don’t give a **** about HomePod. I’m fully entrenched in the Sonos ecosystem. I’m just throwing it out there as a viable alternative.
 
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:47 pm

Except it's NOT a viable alternative for the use case being discussed here, for the reason I mentioned.

AFAICT it doesn't even have a wired input.

It's like recommending a circular saw to someone who asked for a recommendation on power drills.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:50 pm

just brew it! wrote:
Except it's NOT a viable alternative for the use case being discussed here, for the reason I mentioned.

AFAICT it doesn't even have a wired input.

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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:54 pm

So how, pray tell, should someone use them to replace their 2.1 PC speakers? All of the arrangements I can think of involve really hackish solutions involving multiple Bluetooth transmitters and custom splitter cables to route the left and right signals to the proper speaker.

This device is nearly orthogonal to the problem the OP is trying to solve.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:58 pm

Oh jeez, End User, you're so far out the left field that we need binoculars.

$700 for a stereo setup. That's a serious outlay. It's possible the sound quality is great, but there's no wired input, no easily-accessible knobs, requirement of two power plugs, and it's bound to be locked to the Apple ecosystem even if in a non-obvious way.

All of that intersects with "pair of good desktop speakers" in only the slightest way. Recommending a HomePod for this situation is like recommending a truck when one needs a minivan. They're both cars and they'll get one (well, two) people from A to B but that's where the similarities end.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:13 pm

Funny thing is, I tried to wade through the linked Reddit thread on the Homepod and midway through the review I looked at the contributor's supposedly "flat" frequency response graphs. I saw peaks and valleys exceeding 20dB in the range the OP was enthusing about and something like +/-6dB typical and thought, "something is wrong here." Then I read about a third of the way through the comments and saw the OP speculating how if Apple built one just a little larger, they could doubtless get down to 18Hz. That's when I knew something was wrong.

Then I read about halfway down through the comments, saw the post by edechamps (which the OP managed to avoid replying to, somehow), and thought "This guy actually gets it."

That device is basically a Beats Pill with a better DSP and Siri integration, along with (presumably) the usual Apple build quality and (definitely) a healthy dose of the Apple Tax. It is a very poor recommendation for the OP's use case and price range.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:24 pm

ludi wrote:
That device is basically a Beats Pill with a better DSP and Siri integration, along with (presumably) the usual Apple build quality and (definitely) a healthy dose of the Apple Tax. It is a very poor recommendation for the OP's use case and price range.

I know I'm generalizing but for Millennials and younger, frequencies over 100 Hz or so are a waste of amplifier power.
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:27 pm

ludi wrote:
That device is basically a Beats Pill with a better DSP and Siri integration, along with (presumably) the usual Apple build quality and (definitely) a healthy dose of the Apple Tax. It is a very poor recommendation for the OP's use case and price range.

Definitely this. That's not to say it isn't a nice product for what it is, either. Works great for its intended uses, disregarding Siri, which is completely awful compared to the other two major assistants.

I'll put my 2.0 speakers and DAC/AMP up against two HomePods any day (which together cost roughly the same as my setup).
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 7:38 pm

End User wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
Hmm... $350 for one, and it's mono only (you can't have stereo even if you buy 2). I guess if you want stereo You're Using It Wrong. This is not a product that is designed to replace a 2.0 (or 2.1) setup.

HomePod's multi-room audio support via AirPlay 2 Is going to be a thing in the not to distant future.

...and this is relevant how? Playing the same mono signal in the next room is not the same thing as stereo (in case you didn't realize this).

(I find it quite amusing that the person who turns up his nose at anything that isn't bleeding edge is advocating a return to monophonic sound... hey, End User, the 1950s called, they want their audio tech back! :lol:)
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Re: New desktop speaker recommendations

Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:02 pm

just brew it! wrote:
(I find it quite amusing that the person who turns up his nose at anything that isn't bleeding edge is advocating a return to monophonic sound... hey, End User, the 1950s called, they want their audio tech back! :lol:)

In that case, let's assume he's been sucked into a time loop and see how this plays out. Once he gets to the 1960s he'll discover this amazing new 3.5mm variant of the stereo TRS jack.
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