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Computer Sound System

Spkrdctr

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Ok, I am counting on you guys (lots of you) to give me some advice on some fantastic awesome sounding midlevel computer sound systems. I have never had speakers and a sub hooked up to a computer before. My current speaker (now broken) is a JBL Flip 5. I would consider it rated as poor/unsatisfactory for sound. Ok, really poor. So what is a good mid fi maybe around $300? system will knock my socks off with lots of deep bass and overall high quality sound? Is there anything for $300 that will do it? Do I need to step up to $500? If this was 2 channel or especially a surround system I would be very knowledgeable, but for computers? I have not got a clue. Also, I do not need very high volume. Just good and loud but not anything over 90db max. Thanks for your help! Also, if anyone knows about a company offering in home listening to try them out, that would be nice too.

Ok, lets hear those recommendations!
 
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Walter

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If I were looking to buy something for a desk, I would likely get the Adam T5V and call it a day.

https://www.audiosciencereview.com/forum/index.php?threads/adam-t5v-review-studio-monitor.18122/
That's a very good recommendation, but I'm assuming the OP does not have a DAC other than the one in his computer. So by the time he adds a Topping D10S, Schiit Modi 3+, etc. he's up to $500. He won't have a subwoofer but depending on the type of music he listens to, he quite possibly does not need one with the bass those Adams put out. And I think this would definitely qualify as hi-fi, not mid-fi.

In keeping with the original request, maybe the Edifier R1700BTs for $180 or the Swans D1010MKII for $140, plus an Elac SUB1010 if he can find one in stock anywhere. It was selling for $120 a month ago when Amazon had them in stock. I'm assuming he's in the USA. Except for (presumably) deeper bass, this system will certainly not sound as good as the T5Vs, but it will be substantially cheaper and I doubt he can find substantially better sound for the price. And he has free returns if he buys from Amazon, so he can have his in-home audition.
 
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Spkrdctr

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I appreciate the info. I will check out all three of the options! Thanks!
 

frogmeat69

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THESE are supposed to be alright, and the speakers HERE I own, decent sounding for not a lot of cash. Only problem is the volume knob gets scratchy and needs cleaning every now and then.
 

Walter

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...maybe the Edifier R1700BTs for $180 or the Swans D1010MKII for $140, plus an Elac SUB1010 if he can find one in stock anywhere. It was selling for $120 a month ago when Amazon had them in stock. I'm assuming he's in the USA.
My apologies, I added the Swans as an afterthought, completely forgetting why I had chosen the exact Edifier pair that I did. The Swans have neither a built-in DAC or a subwoofer output, so they would not work.

THESE are supposed to be alright, and the speakers HERE I own, decent sounding for not a lot of cash. Only problem is the volume knob gets scratchy and needs cleaning every now and then.
I've never heard the Klipsch. I have heard the Logitech, and I currently have a set of the lower model Z323 in use as computer speakers myself, simply because someone gave them to me. Either are quite good for the money, especially the Z623, but they definitely sound like "computer speakers." I'm not sure I would describe either as mid-fi, but that is just my opinion. I'd personally take any of the R series Edifiers (disclaimer, I've only heard three of the models and there are like a dozen) in the $100-$150 range over the similarly priced Logitechs, but bass is not a priority for me. If someone bought one of the Ts models that have the sub output, they could add a sub later if they decided it was necessary, but then you are looking at doubling the price of the Z623. Edifier also makes some 2.1 systems, but just like their S series, they seem badly overpriced in the USA--30% or more over what I can buy them for here in Southeast Asia. I also have no idea how good they are, but if they have a problem, it will most likely be due to excessive mid to upper bass from what I have read, so that may not bother the OP. Both the Logitechs and Edifiers have free returns from Amazon, so one could always start with the cheapest option then return it if it did not meet their standards.
 

JWAmerica

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Ignore recommendations for complicated systems built from a half a dozen discrete devices. Just buy a used AVR or stereo receiver for $100-150 and spend the rest on speakers. You won't be able to swing a subwoofer on a $300 budget, but you could add a powered sub down the road for $200 if you get a receiver with a subwoofer out channel. The receiver has the DAC and all of the other shit people will say you need. At your budget, spend very little on electronics and put as much as you can toward speakers. Again, buy used if you can. No sense spending $200 on new speakers when you could get $600 speakers used for $200.
 

JWAmerica

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See if you can pick up some used Chane bookshelf speakers on ebay. They're a good value new, used they're a steal.
 

Walter

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Ignore recommendations for complicated systems built from a half a dozen discrete devices. Just buy a used AVR or stereo receiver for $100-150 and spend the rest on speakers. You won't be able to swing a subwoofer on a $300 budget, but you could add a powered sub down the road for $200 if you get a receiver with a subwoofer out channel. The receiver has the DAC and all of the other shit people will say you need. At your budget, spend very little on electronics and put as much as you can toward speakers. Again, buy used if you can. No sense spending $200 on new speakers when you could get $600 speakers used for $200.
See if you can pick up some used Chane bookshelf speakers on ebay. They're a good value new, used they're a steal.
I believe the OP is looking for computer speakers for his desk. He indicates that he is already knowledgeable about conventional audio systems. While a receiver and passive speakers COULD be used, they are far from optimal for this type of setup. I've never heard Chane speakers, but the ones Amir recently reviewed did very poorly.
 

frogmeat69

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I've never heard the Klipsch. I have heard the Logitech, and I currently have a set of the lower model Z323 in use as computer speakers myself, simply because someone gave them to me. Either are quite good for the money, especially the Z623, but they definitely sound like "computer speakers." I'm not sure I would describe either as mid-fi, but that is just my opinion.

Yeah, but compared to what OP was using before, a small blue tooth speaker, they would be a step up for not a huge investment.
And my friend had the Z323, the Z623 are much better.
 

Walter

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Yeah, but compared to what OP was using before, a small blue tooth speaker, they would be a step up for not a huge investment.
And my friend had the Z323, the Z623 are much better.
I agree on both points. The Z623 in particular would be a huge step up. It is definitely a better value as far as sound quality for money than the Z323, as well. When I wrote "start with the cheapest option, " I meant the Z623 or a similarly priced Edifier, not the Z323.
 

SMc

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Wait for the upcoming Amazon Basics Active speaker review!
 

ThatM1key

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Ignore recommendations for complicated systems built from a half a dozen discrete devices. Just buy a used AVR or stereo receiver for $100-150 and spend the rest on speakers. You won't be able to swing a subwoofer on a $300 budget, but you could add a powered sub down the road for $200 if you get a receiver with a subwoofer out channel. The receiver has the DAC and all of the other shit people will say you need. At your budget, spend very little on electronics and put as much as you can toward speakers. Again, buy used if you can. No sense spending $200 on new speakers when you could get $600 speakers used for $200.

I'll throw in my 2 cents on used AV Receivers. If I didn't have a lot of money but still cared about audio, I would get a HDMI AV Receiver. Go total digital and try not to use your computers 3.5mm output. Although some HDMI receivers if they detect silence (Only on HDMI inputs), will cut the sound, which is annoying because some like Onkyo's have a relay click. If your computer has a Coaxial/Optical output, your receiver options have grown. Its pretty easy to find a good quality used cheap HDMI AV receiver (As quality standards have gone up over the years.) but finding a good old school (late 1990s to mid 2000s) optical/coaxial AV receiver is pretty damn hard unless you manage to find a high one of that era. If you want to get a used HDMI AV receiver, I would recommend a 7.1 one, 5.1s usually have striped features and even power output but usually there okay in terms of sound. If your going for optical/coaxial AV receivers, go for 7.1 & 6.1, there is a lot of 5.1 ones on the market but most of them are really bad.

Do NOT go for Logitech speakers, they all are overpriced hot garbage (used & new). Very Terrible sound and you can't build off of them. Not even a Topping D90 can save a damn Logitech system.

For used speakers (on a tight budget), I would get a pair of Polk RTi6's. Clean sound and good bass. Usually you can get a pair for $100 to $150. If you are lucky, you can get a used pair of Elac debut 2.0 b6.2's for $150 to $200.

Example setup: Sony STR-DN1000 ($150) + Polk RTi6's ($150)
 

Walter

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Wait for the upcoming Amazon Basics Active speaker review!
I'd like to see that. Do you know if that was made for them by Edifier? It looks a lot like the S series.
 

Walter

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I'll throw in my 2 cents on used AV Receivers. If I didn't have a lot of money but still cared about audio, I would get a HDMI AV Receiver. Go total digital and try not to use your computers 3.5mm output. Although some HDMI receivers if they detect silence (Only on HDMI inputs), will cut the sound, which is annoying because some like Onkyo's have a relay click. If your computer has a Coaxial/Optical output, your receiver options have grown. Its pretty easy to find a good quality used cheap HDMI AV receiver (As quality standards have gone up over the years.) but finding a good old school (late 1990s to mid 2000s) optical/coaxial AV receiver is pretty damn hard unless you manage to find a high one of that era. If you want to get a used HDMI AV receiver, I would recommend a 7.1 one, 5.1s usually have striped features and even power output but usually there okay in terms of sound. If your going for optical/coaxial AV receivers, go for 7.1 & 6.1, there is a lot of 5.1 ones on the market but most of them are really bad.

Do NOT go for Logitech speakers, they all are overpriced hot garbage (used & new). Very Terrible sound and you can't build off of them. Not even a Topping D90 can save a damn Logitech system.

For used speakers (on a tight budget), I would get a pair of Polk RTi6's. Clean sound and good bass. Usually you can get a pair for $100 to $150. If you are lucky, you can get a used pair of Elac debut 2.0 b6.2's for $150 to $200.

Example setup: Sony STR-DN1000 ($150) + Polk RTi6's ($150)
For desktop computer speakers? And have you ever actually heard the Z623? It sounds nothing like the cheap pieces of crap they used to, and probably still do, sell.
 

abdo123

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With regard to 'office speakers' they should have very little vertical dispersion so you wouldn't have a lot of sound reflecting off the office itslef and into your ears.

Coaxials are great at this, anything from Kali or KEF would work great, which ever model is within your budget.
 

ThatM1key

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For desktop computer speakers? And have you ever actually heard the Z623? It sounds nothing like the cheap pieces of crap they used to, and probably still do, sell.
I heard those speakers before, they are terrible. Only made to be loud like cheap old KLH (1990s era) speakers. If I was that tight on money and wanted new quality active speakers, I would buy the Edifier R1280T's instead.
 
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Walter

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If I was that tight on money and wanted new quality active speakers, I would buy the Edifier R1280T's instead.
Pretty much what I wrote a couple of times above, although you can move a model or two up in the Edifier range while keeping around the cost of the Z623. However, I don't think the Z623 sound bad unless the 'sub' is turned up too high, so I guess we just have different opinions on those.
 

Tom C

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The recommendations for used AVR confuse me. I guess you get a power amp inside it, and can use passive speakers. If you want multichannel surround HTPC then yes, makes sense. For my own desktop PC system, I went for two-channel stereo. I’d go with a Topping, JDS Labs or similar DAC new for maybe $150 or so, and powered desktop monitors. Nice offerings are available from Adam, Yamaha, JBL, Genelec, Neumann and others. If you choose carefully, you can get a speaker pair and DAC for maybe $400 or $500 total and add a small, used sub now or later.
 
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