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Old July 13, 2010, 11:55 AM
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Default Basic 5.1 or high-end 2.1? Need an audiophile's advice...

Hey guys, I'm looking at upgrading my current 2.1 speaker set. I'm currently running Altec Lansing ATP3's. I know they're fairly out-dated, but they've treated me exceptionally well thus far. They have crystal clear sound for their range, and a fairly full sounding sub. All this being said, I'm looking for an upgrade.

First off, I should say I'm not looking at spending $300 or anything. I really want to keep it with a reasonable range. (under $150 if at all possible) I want to find something with full, rich, clear sound. They will be used for gaming and music. And I'm looking at the option of digital input, as I've heard it's very much worth switching to. However, I'm also interested in trying out a 5.1 system for gaming.

The two sets I've been looking at so far are:

a) Edifier S330D 2.1 - $129.99
I've heard nothing but good things about these speakers, and every review I've read says they are some of the best 2.1 speakers out there. The inclusion of digital input makes them especially tempting.

b) Logitech X-540 5.1 - Price Match - $89.99
A cheap way to get in to 5.1 sound for gaming. They still use analog input, but they have decent reviews for gaming. My biggest concern here is how they would sound for music.

I should also mention that I'm using on board sound at the moment. (890GX MB) This may change when I build a new system, but I doubt it. I've never had trouble with on-board sound, and I really don't see the benefit to getting a sound card.

Also, I'm not locked in to these two choices by any means. They're just the best 'budget friendly' choices I've found so far. If you have any other suggestions, let me know; as well as where a good place to order them would be. Please consider that I'm in the Vancouver area, and shopping through NCIX means I can pick them up and save the shipping. Unless there's a deal on shipping somewhere out of the area, I'd prefer to stay local.
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Old July 13, 2010, 12:30 PM
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I would go with the 2.1 setup. I switched from 5.1 to a good set of headphones and I don't miss a thing.
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Old July 13, 2010, 12:59 PM
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A decent 5.1 headset averages $200+ though. So I'm not sure that's the right solution for me. I have a Razer Carcharias, and it works for what I need. But I really prefer not to be encumbered by a headset unless I'm on vent.
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Old July 13, 2010, 01:07 PM
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I have and will always go logitech for pc speakers. Z series has great power and bass. You might want to look it the Z-2300s or save some more and get the Z-5500s when they go on sale for 200-250. You won't be sorry.
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Old July 13, 2010, 01:17 PM
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I was looking at the Z-2300's Future Shop not long ago. They certainly sounded decent, so I may have to give more thought in to that. However the Z-5500's are a no-go for sure. Even on sale, that's way more than I want to spend on a 5.1 system. And I live in a basement suite, and can't come close to pushing those speakers to the volume they would excel at.
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Old July 13, 2010, 01:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caldezar View Post
A decent 5.1 headset averages $200+ though. So I'm not sure that's the right solution for me. I have a Razer Carcharias, and it works for what I need. But I really prefer not to be encumbered by a headset unless I'm on vent.
Where did I say anything about a 5.1 headset? I said I went to headphones, but they are not a headset and they are definitely not 5.1. The point I was trying to make is that sound quality trumps surround.
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Old July 13, 2010, 02:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zero82z View Post
The point I was trying to make is that sound quality trumps surround.
That's true I suppose. I don't play enough online FPS's for surround to make that big a difference, and I'm not sure how many games really support it to it's fullest. More food for thought...
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Old July 13, 2010, 03:04 PM
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You would probably be happier with a set of good 2.1s if you primarily listen to music. I would suggest looking into M-Audio AV40s, as I've had some good experience with those speakers.
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Old July 13, 2010, 03:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krajee View Post
You would probably be happier with a set of good 2.1s if you primarily listen to music. I would suggest looking into M-Audio AV40s, as I've had some good experience with those speakers.
I've looked in to M-Audio a bit. Besides those being 2.0, not 2.1, I think the speakers themselves have too big a footprint for me. I don't have a tiny desk, but I don't like it to be over crowded either.
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Old July 13, 2010, 03:20 PM
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Hi Caldezar. I have a 7.1 surround receiver hooked up to my tv, PC, PS3,... If you're not pushing the system a good 5.1 won't sound terrible. The only time that I've been disappointed with a set of speakers was getting low cost units. As CMetaphor says, Logitech makes decent systems at reasonable prices. Perhaps if you wait just a bit longer to fill the piggybank and get a mid to high end 5.1 you'll be quite pleased. Not everyone likes surround but for gaming and watching movies I think it's great. Movie theaters use surround, perhaps too loud sometimes, but a great sound. If you were looking for a surround sound receiver I would've offered my 7.1 Sony. I bought a good one, high end went on sale a month later, went that route. Should probably add it to my BST thread. Enjoy it, I know I do.


Edit: My cousin says to tell you to go surround. He comes over to my place to COD and says it's much better with surround.
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