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Major Sparky
Jun 19, 2011, 12:09 PM
Hello, I've just bought a new MBP and can't wait until it gets here. While I wait I thought I'd get some advice on stuff that I was thinking about getting for my Mac.

I'm going to be a college student next year and will be living in a dorm. The dorms at my campus don't have wifi but do have two "internet connections" in each dorm room. So I'd have to run an Ethernet cable from the wall to my MBP. Seeing as there will only be two of these connections, and I'll need internet access for my MBP, iTouch, xbox, wii, and whatever my roommate brings, I was thinking it'd be smarter to hook a router up to the wall connection.

I was looking at the Airport express, but I've heard mixed reviews. It's also $100, which seems expensive considering there are much cheaper routers. So what router should I get, or is the Airport Express the way to go? By the way, my college has a T-1 internet connection if that matters.


Besides a router I was also looking into getting some speakers for my MBP. I'd like to keep it as much under $100 as possible. I'll be doing some recording so I need something that will be decent for playback of my recorded stuff.

Thanks for the help!



blevins321
Jun 19, 2011, 12:57 PM
Just a bit of notice with college dorms. More than likely any router that you plug into the network connection will be blocked. You also might get in trouble for this. Typically enterprise networks block any non-provided networking equipment from accessing the network (i.e. routers). Check with your university before you buy anything. Unfortunately, you might be SOL in regards to other devices being plugged in, or using wireless.

ukwildcat
Jun 19, 2011, 12:58 PM
Hello, I've just bought a new MBP and can't wait until it gets here. While I wait I thought I'd get some advice on stuff that I was thinking about getting for my Mac.

I'm going to be a college student next year and will be living in a dorm. The dorms at my campus don't have wifi but do have two "internet connections" in each dorm room. So I'd have to run an Ethernet cable from the wall to my MBP. Seeing as there will only be two of these connections, and I'll need internet access for my MBP, iTouch, xbox, wii, and whatever my roommate brings, I was thinking it'd be smarter to hook a router up to the wall connection.

I was looking at the Airport express, but I've heard mixed reviews. It's also $100, which seems expensive considering there are much cheaper routers. So what router should I get, or is the Airport Express the way to go? By the way, my college has a T-1 internet connection if that matters.


Besides a router I was also looking into getting some speakers for my MBP. I'd like to keep it as much under $100 as possible. I'll be doing some recording so I need something that will be decent for playback of my recorded stuff.

Thanks for the help!

No advice on the speaker, but I love my Airport Express. However, if you will be connecting to it from a common area, you might want to consider something with a bit more range like the Airport Extreme.

sine-nomine
Jun 19, 2011, 01:57 PM
I haven't heard of many good speakers for under $100 (unless you lucked into some on sale, of course), but if you're willing to go up to about $150, there are several very good options.

M-Audio AV40s are almost always very highly praised, and were at the top of my list until I decided to get larger speakers and a separate amplifier. Some note the relative lack of bass, but what bass is there is usually said to be tight and musical rather than boomy and unrefined as with some computer speaker/sub combos.

The Harmon Kardon Soundsticks are usually also highly regarded by many on this forum. I personally found them to be very good for computer speakers, but not truly good, if you get me.

The Swan M10s also seem to be quite good, but they have this strange midwoofer that is best placed close to ear level, so you should take that into consideration.

If you're able to spend up to say $200, you should definitely consider the AudioEngine A2.

If you're interested in going the separates route, Parts Express has the Dayton B652 speakers bundled with the Dayton DTA-1 T-amp for around $60. Every review I've read says these are pretty kickass speakers for the price, and I'm planning on picking up a pair soon just to try them out. The amp seems to be of decent quality, too.

thegoldenmackid
Jun 19, 2011, 02:31 PM
I haven't heard of many good speakers for under $100 (unless you lucked into some on sale, of course), but if you're willing to go up to about $150, there are several very good options.

M-Audio AV40s are almost always very highly praised, and were at the top of my list until I decided to get larger speakers and a separate amplifier. Some note the relative lack of bass, but what bass is there is usually said to be tight and musical rather than boomy and unrefined as with some computer speaker/sub combos.

The Harmon Kardon Soundsticks are usually also highly regarded by many on this forum. I personally found them to be very good for computer speakers, but not truly good, if you get me.

The Swan M10s also seem to be quite good, but they have this strange midwoofer that is best placed close to ear level, so you should take that into consideration.

If you're able to spend up to say $200, you should definitely consider the AudioEngine A2.

If you're interested in going the separates route, Parts Express has the Dayton B652 speakers bundled with the Dayton DTA-1 T-amp for around $60. Every review I've read says these are pretty kickass speakers for the price, and I'm planning on picking up a pair soon just to try them out. The amp seems to be of decent quality, too.

I'll vouch for the Swans. Reality is most people will be perfectly fine with a lot of the computer speakers at $150. Remember, most of the above are monitors without a subwoofer, most seem to like a bit more bass than that.

Major Sparky
Jun 19, 2011, 04:06 PM
So do you think it would be cheaper to go the seperate route? I like the idea of having a seperate amp from my speakers. So I could upgrade parts individually.

And I seriously won't be able to set up a network in my dorm? Are there no ways around that?

sine-nomine
Jun 19, 2011, 04:18 PM
It could be cheaper at first with the setup I mentioned, but the upgrade bug bites hard, lol.

BTW, a commenter mentioned that the monitor setups may lack the bass some people seem to crave, so to start your upgrade-itis before you even buy anything, I feel I should mention that the Dayton APA150 is a very respectable amp and has subwoofer outs with a (defeatable) low-pass filter.

Major Sparky
Jun 19, 2011, 04:52 PM
As a guitar player always searching for the perfect tone, I am familiar with "upgrade-itis" or GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) as I usually call it, so that doesn't bother me at all.

Ok, I'll look into that amp.

Can anybody lend some insight on the dorm/router situation?

And if anybody has some good amp and speaker recommendations feel free to throw those out.