Windows 10: Desktop Audio: Old 5.1 Home Theater System vs. New Powers Speakers

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  1. Posts : 12
    Windows 10 Pro 64
       04 Feb 2016 #1

    Desktop Audio: Old 5.1 Home Theater System vs. New Powers Speakers


    Motherboard: Gigabyte z170n-wifi
    Stereo: Sony STR-K850P

    I'm down-sizing a bit and want to do away with my largish Sony receiver. I'm currently using it to drive a 3.1 setup. I'm okay with deleting the center channel, less okay with eliminating the powered sub. It just seems to me that small speakers usually need a sub to balance them out.

    At this point in my life, I only use my speakers when the family isn't around and even then I'm past the "crank it" phase. Yes, I typically listen at a reasonable volume. The majority of my game playing is done via headphones (Sony MDR-7506).

    I'd like to hear from users in a similar situation, as in what are you using and how do you like it? I am okay going with a 2 channel setup, but the speakers have to deliver a nice range. Am I looking for an animal that doesn't exist? Should I just stick with what is probably a 9-yr old receiver at this point? Truth be told, it's only crime is being too big (and yes, I get that a lot...)

    Anyhoo - thoughts welcome.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 3,033
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       04 Feb 2016 #2

    Welcome to Ten-Forums !

    What is your Sound Device on this Motherboard ?
    For me over years being a music lover i prefer quality sound and does not have to be loud also to enjoy, but when it can be it should sound good low or high.
    So this depends on Sound Device in your system to and at least for me. Using a Creative Sound Blaster ZxR 5.1 along with Logitech Z906.
    This card has capability to hook to external Amps or receivers, but i prefer good pair of PC speakers and 5.1 because i also like to watch occasional movies and it also enhances Music.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 12
    Windows 10 Pro 64
    Thread Starter
       04 Feb 2016 #3

    Mobo sports Realtek ALC1150 HD. It's 7.1 capable, optical out. Very nice onboard audio. Having said that, and maybe it's just me, the receiver sounds better (at least when using optical).

    I'm okay with going with the onboard setup, the question then becomes what kind of 2.1 system to go with. A buddy says I should take a serious look at Logitech options.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  4. Posts : 3,033
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       04 Feb 2016 #4

    Optical out will give you all channels, question is a receiver to have an optical input. I feel for me better to have PC speakers even though can save you money running it to a AV receiver. Logitech pretty good at PC speakers as not many brands out there, since you have capability on onboard card for more then 3.1 or stereo sound. Although discrete cards (slot card) will always produce better, as with Graphics cards.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 12
    Windows 10 Pro 64
    Thread Starter
       04 Feb 2016 #5

    I built a mini-ITX rig, the only full-size card on the system is my video card. So I'm stuck with the onboard audio, and that's cool.

    I've done some comparing and I kind of like Logitech Z906 (full surround, a receiver-type head-unit) or the bare-bones Z333 (2 speaks and a sub.)

    Z906 is $400.00 vs $80.00 for the Z333. I guess what I need to do is price out a small-size receiver and a pair of bookshelf speakers. I think I can find something for less than 400, but is it worth it in the end? I really don't have much desk space or privacy right now. That will change eventually, but not anytime soon.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 3,033
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       04 Feb 2016 #6

    I was only telling you what i have, by no means telling you to buy that. Those Logitech seem fine for $80.. I think being what you have, would not be worth spending that kind of money on speakers or a receiver. Can find 5.1 speakers for around the cost of those $80.00 Logitech, that way you will have use of 5.1 the integrated card provides.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    04 Feb 2016 #7

    loaba said: View Post
    Mobo sports Realtek ALC1150 HD. It's 7.1 capable, optical out. Very nice onboard audio. Having said that, and maybe it's just me, the receiver sounds better (at least when using optical).

    I'm okay with going with the onboard setup, the question then becomes what kind of 2.1 system to go with. A buddy says I should take a serious look at Logitech options.
    What's your budget? How much space do you have for speakers? How serious are you about sound quality?

    There's a bit of a range.

    These:

    Magnepan

    About $1500 for just the speakers. I mention these more or less as a joke, although with high-end audio, the sky is the limit. (I looked at an ad today for a 6' power cable that costs more than $10k US. You'd have to be an eccentric to buy one of those. An eccentric is defined as a nut case with money.)

    If you have less space, and less money ($500):

    Digital Hi-Fi Speakers - X300A - EGG - KEF United States

    The KEF Egg is a powered speaker, with a variety of inputs (Bluetooth, USB, toslink, analog). Two of those inputs don't use the soundcard. It's limited in bass, of course. You may wish to add a subwoofer (<$100 to infinity). One potential problem: the cable that connects the slave speaker to the master is 2m (78") long. It's permanently attached at the slave end, and the electrical connector at the other end is a small 4 pin one. (Proprietary?)

    For tiny speakers, these are popular ($250):

    A2+B Powered Desktop Speakers

    They also support a direct USB input, as well as analog. Adding a sub would be nice.

    None of the above are strictly computer speakers, but they are intended for use near the listener.

    In the computer speaker line, I listened to a Klipsch Promedia 2.1 ($150; I've seen them on sale for $127.). Its satellite speakers sounded pretty bad in the store, at least with the source sound BestBuy supplied. (The cheap Logitechs sitting next to them were considerably better.) They're fairly popular, though. Maybe there are a lot of bass lovers out there. Regardless, they are THX certified.

    If you want a THX system that is less expensive that the Logitech Z906, look at the Z623. ($120 at Amazon.) It's a 2.1 system, and if you want loud, there you have it. It lacks an optical input, but I think that's unimportant to most of us.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  8. Posts : 3,033
    Windows 10 Pro 64 bit
       04 Feb 2016 #8

    Well if you still want 5.1 PC speakers that utilize the jacks on integrated sound device, instead of using a Receiver or Amp, since you said have not much privacy or space.

    2 cheaper choices around your $80. and not too large for a desk.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...9SIA0ZX2C30853
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...0S6-004H-00006
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  9. Posts : 12
    Windows 10 Pro 64
    Thread Starter
       05 Feb 2016 #9

    jds63 said: View Post
    I was only telling you what i have, by no means telling you to buy that.
    No worries, man - it is very helpful to know what other folks are having success with.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  10. Posts : 12
    Windows 10 Pro 64
    Thread Starter
       05 Feb 2016 #10

    The A2+B's seem more like what I'm looking for, but then I'd have figure out how to integrate a sub. Shouldn't be too hard. Having said that, the Z506's seem like a great deal for the money.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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