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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Computer Speakers: Best Bang for your buck

Computer Speakers: Best Bang for your buck
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MacinTommy
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Feb 2, 2009, 11:38 PM
 
I've been in the market for a good but not too expensive set of 2.1 speakers for my iMac. My price limit is no more than $200 and I want them to possibly match the colors of the black/aluminum iMac. Any suggestions are welcome. Thanks in advance.
     
SpaceMonkey
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Feb 3, 2009, 12:00 AM
 
Are you using them primarily for music, or also for a lot of movies and games?

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MacinTommy  (op)
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Feb 3, 2009, 12:13 AM
 
Mostly music with the occasional movie.
     
Luca Rescigno
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Feb 3, 2009, 12:18 AM
 
Logitech Z-2300 or Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 (not the ProMedia GMX-A, which suck). Both are THX-certified speakers, very powerful, great sound. Both can be had refurbished for ~$100 shipped from eBay. The Z-2300s match the iMac a bit better (the ProMedias are all black).

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hookem2oo7
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Feb 3, 2009, 01:02 AM
 
No idea if these are any good or not, but there's a deal at http://thingfling.com that might be what you're looking for. Saw your post and it reminded me of it.
     
S_J
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Feb 4, 2009, 05:28 AM
 
Harman Kardon Soundsticks - best sound for price imo.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Feb 4, 2009, 07:12 AM
 
^ Seconded.

The Soundsticks are excellent value for money, for a satellite speaker system. They don't suffer as much from the lack of mid-range as other satellites.
     
tooki
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Feb 4, 2009, 08:39 AM
 
Huh? You can get better-sounding speakers than the SoundSticks for 1/2 the price.

They're in no way bad speakers, but they're in no way the best speaker for the price. Not even close. You're paying a LOT for the design.
     
S_J
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Feb 4, 2009, 08:50 AM
 
True design is naturally a part of it, and the soundsticks look beautiful. I know that most audiophiles couldn't care less what their speakers look like, but for the average consumer it makes a difference. But from audio quality/build quality/design/value perspective, they're the best of the mainstream consumer speakers imo.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Feb 4, 2009, 10:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by tooki View Post
Huh? You can get better-sounding speakers than the SoundSticks for 1/2 the price.
Possibly.

You can spend twice as much and more on a set of Bose Companions, though, and get much worse-sounding speakers.
     
Luca Rescigno
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Feb 4, 2009, 11:43 AM
 
Soundsticks cost the same as the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1s but they don't sound nearly as good.

Here's another little comparison: the Soundsticks are a 40W set, while the ProMedias are a 200W, THX-certified set.

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OreoCookie
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Feb 4, 2009, 12:21 PM
 
The wattage is not really important, especially for near-field speakers.
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Spheric Harlot
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Feb 4, 2009, 12:38 PM
 
The wattage also says absolutely nothing about what the maximum volume will be that still allows the speakers to sound *good* (as opposed to completely distorted).

Rated wattage is 95% marketing garbage.
     
Luca Rescigno
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Feb 4, 2009, 01:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Rated wattage is 95% marketing garbage.
And appearance isn't?

I am no audiophile; all I know is that, unlike typical small computer speakers, my ProMedias actually sound decent when they're turned up pretty high and I can use them to listen to music when I'm somewhere other than directly in front of them.

The Soundsticks are probably fine but they are still just flimsy little desktop speakers in the end. There are lots of systems out there that cost the same or even less and offer so much more.
( Last edited by Luca Rescigno; Feb 4, 2009 at 01:46 PM. )

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SpaceMonkey
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Feb 4, 2009, 02:10 PM
 
On the other hand, if you are mostly sitting directly in front of your computer, headphones probably give you your best bang for the buck in sound quality for $200.

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Spheric Harlot
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Feb 4, 2009, 06:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Luca Rescigno View Post
And appearance isn't?
You may note that I talked only about sound quality in my post above.

Despite that, though: Huh?

The appearance of objects surrounding yourself in daily life seems somewhat more important than some completely arbitrary number that bears only relative, if any, meaning, and even then, will only signify the load your speakers are able to accept (not reproduce) ONCE before blowing sky-high...

I dunno - your money makes it your call, but equating that with good design seems ... stupid.


And yes, all I've read about the Klipsch indicates that they're quite lacking in the mid-range (incidentally, where guitars and voice ranges lie), which makes all their wattage prowess all the more meaningless.

The SoundSticks are anything BUT flimsy. You've obviously neither seen nor heard them.
( Last edited by Spheric Harlot; Feb 4, 2009 at 06:35 PM. )
     
S_J
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Feb 5, 2009, 05:55 AM
 
Again I agree with Spheric. Soundsticks are pretty robust little things. And I also agree that design is far more important that a wattage rating that may not mean much, as it all comes down to how the speakers are implemented.
     
MacinTommy  (op)
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Feb 6, 2009, 08:05 PM
 
I bought the Logitech Z-2300 and they sound great! A lot of BOOM and very clear at a high volume.
     
Ted L. Nancy
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Feb 8, 2009, 11:34 AM
 
I realize you already made your purchase, but for future seekers, I would go Edirol MA-15D. You can purchase the sub of your choice separately and connect it to them. I would listen to them by themselves first, however. You may decide a sub is not needed.
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