Cheap good looking monitor speakers

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by kaboutertje, Aug 2, 2006.

  1. kaboutertje macrumors regular

    kaboutertje

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #1
    Ok I'm tired of my 5.1 set taking up so much space, and not being able to use it for my pc as it is positioned for watching dvd's. Now I don't want a big 3way speaker system so I was thinking of just attaching 2 monitor speakers near my display, that I could use for playing music/gaming.
    Now there are a lot of them but I'm looking for some cheap ones say around $150 a piece. And I heard I need a studio amp to power them or isn't this always true?

    And offcourse if they look nice, that's only better. Anyone got any ideas?
     
  2. gog macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 13, 2005
    Location:
    Jobs' kitchen cupboard.
    #2
    how about the harmon kardon soundsticks ii. the sound is surprisingly good for the size and they ooze style. no amp.
     
  3. kaboutertje thread starter macrumors regular

    kaboutertje

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #3
    Don't think they pack enough punch, I really do like their look though, so I am considering them :).

    Was thinking about these:

    KRK rokit 5
    http://www.krksys.com/v3/rokit_rp5.asp €199 a piece

    B&W lm1 (more design, but it's just for music so..)
    [​IMG]
    $175 a piece, had these in silver but never really got to using them, they would look good in white with my macbook I guess.

    Blue sky mediadesk
    [​IMG]
    They seem to be really good, seeing as a lot of professionals use them, but I really don't like the way they look. At $500 for the set they are also more expensive then the other speakers, but I believe you also get a build in amplifier for that price.
     
  4. thechris69 macrumors 6502

    thechris69

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    #4
    Go with the Logitech Z-2300 2.1 speaker... at 140$ canadian, these things pack a punch, each speaker is 40 watts, and the sub is 120, making for a total of 200 watts, and damn are these things nice!:cool:
     
  5. kaboutertje thread starter macrumors regular

    kaboutertje

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #5
    I got the z5500 right now and a z2300 seems like a downgrade too me :)
     
  6. nickkelbackk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    #6
    The JBL creature II speaker look amazing and you can get them from 50$-100$(apple store)
     
  7. kaboutertje thread starter macrumors regular

    kaboutertje

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #7
    They indeed look good, but I wanted to take it a step further, as in a seperate amplifier, and better speakers. Not saying the above mentioned speakers are bad, but I think I'm ready to spend more. Only requirement is that I don't want to get real big speakers, so the ones used in a 'cheap' studio are the ones I'm looking for I guess.

    For size comparison, I'm looking for speakers about the size used in these studio's:
    [​IMG]

    The roland ones in the picture beneath
    [​IMG]
     
  8. MrSmith macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2003
    #8
    Well, I started using a set last month and I'm very pleased indeed with the sound. The tweeters are very unobtrusive but look cool/interesting. The whole design is very cool, in fact (if looks are important). They pack a punch despite their size.
     
  9. thechris69 macrumors 6502

    thechris69

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2005
    #9
    Wats the total power of these speakers in watts? If you can the exact power for both speakers and sub would be much appreciated:D
     
  10. macattack5 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    #10
    yah the creatures are excellent and cheap! although the sattelites are small they are cool looking and have a neat light on the bottom. the bass is also superb with a nice clean sound, I have yet to hear it clip.
     
  11. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #11
    Watts tell you NOTHING.

    go here: www.ahumdingerofahifi.co.nr and go to page 3. Watch some of the videos there. That's a hifi I built, and it's all being done with 60 watts per channel, or if you look at it like this, 50 watts on the sub. I have an 80 watt Yamaha sub which doesn't sound anywhere near as good or give anywhere NEAR the same kind of volume/response.

    Sub/sat systems where the crossover frequency is anywhere over around 50 Hz is just unsatisfactory in my opinion!

    For monitor speakers, I use Samson Resolv50a speakers. They're active, so you don't need an external amp, and (for watt-obsessed geeks), they have 50 watt amps driving the mid/bass cones (on each side) and 25 watts powering the tweeters (on each side). They are bi-amped so the sound is much smoother at higher volumes. They also have active crossovers, which are placed before the amps, therefore only having to handle frequencies at a very low level. This means less distortion. Also, by building the amps and crossovers onto the speaker, the amps and speakers can be designed to make up for the shortcomings of the speakers/drive cones or the cabinet design/volume.

    They also have subsonic filters so you can't blow them up with bass rumble, and they play plenty loud enough anyway.

    I paid £250 for the pair, I think they are available cheaper now...

    [​IMG]
     
  12. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #12
    I noticed you said good looking after posting that.

    You won't really find much for $150 each....

    If you're willing to stretch (a lot), then for ~$700 a piece, you can get B&O's BeoLab 4s. They have all the advantages of the Samsons, but they look über cool, and they have digital B&O amps (which are used in almost every subwoofer out there, and a lot of top amplifier manufacturers are using them).

    [​IMG]
     
  13. MrSmith macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2003
    #13
    From Amazon:

    Subwoofer 24 watts at 10%, speakers 8 watts per satellite at 10%
    Frequency Response of 50 to 20 kHz
    Signal-to-Noise radio greater than 80 dB

    Whatever that mean...
     
  14. LeeTom macrumors 68000

    LeeTom

    Joined:
    May 31, 2004
    #14
    I work in a hi-fi store, and for the money, Acoustic Energy AegisEVO1 speakers are great.
    http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/Product_range/Aegis_series/Aegis_evo_1.asp

    They are about $350US for the pair, and you could get a cheap used 2-channel integrated amp from Yamaha, Denon, Sony or the likes to power them for now.

    And down the road get a solid integrated from the likes of Rega or Arcam.

    Also recommended in that price range:
    Wharfedale Diamond 9.1's
    Tannoy Mercury F 2's

    note, i'm a fan of monitor-style speakers!
     
  15. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #15
    I'm guessing 10% means 10% distortion, which really is appalling. Most modern day amps have a distortion rating of less than 0.01%, and speakers generally add around 3-4% distortion.

    That basically means they have very poor dynamics. They would squash the difference between loud and quiet sounds.


    I'm not bashing the Creatures, they are great computer speakers, but playing sound from computer games is about as far as they'll go faithfully.


    If you really are serious about listening to music while MacRumorsing (coz that's the only use computers have), then get some proper nice big speakers. Even go for some hifi speakers if you need to.

    I now use B&W DM303s as my hifi speakers. They are amazing for the price (£180 for the pair). Drive them with a NAD C300 (available dirt cheap) and you've got yourself a fantastic little hifi setup...
     
  16. Wince99 macrumors newbie

    Wince99

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2005
    Location:
    Montreal
    #16
    I bought a pair of nEar 05 Experience by ESI and for 300 CAN$ I can't complain: full bass and clear hi. If you want to have a really good sound, you should plug them to an external sound card (I have a Inspire from Presonus, which you can buy for around 200$). The advantage to have a good external sound card are that you get better conversion from digital sound to analog sound and that you get less noise comming from the computer electronics since it's external.

    You also should notice that the room in which you are and the way you place your speakers also have a great impact.

    anyway, my 50 cents
     
  17. MrSmith macrumors 68040

    MrSmith

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2003
    #17
    Well, I guess if you wanted top notch sound you wouldn't buy speakers to play your 192kbps MP3s in the first place. The OP is looking for computer speakers:

    In that context I think a lot of people using the JBLs would happily recommend them. No?
     
  18. kaboutertje thread starter macrumors regular

    kaboutertje

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #18
    I wasn't planning on taking a step back from my z5500 set, but maybe I'll go for the HK soundsticks if I can't find good looking monitor speakers.
    Or maybe the apple HIFI, would that be any good for a pc speaker? It looks good if you ask me :). And it's portable which is really nice.
     
  19. bah-bah'd macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    #19
    Tapco makes the killer studio monitors you seek...

    M-audio, behringer & tapco make killer 'low-end' studio monitors... Look for a set of Active Monitors, as those are powered with internal amplifiers. I have a pair of M-Audio Studiopro 4 which I got for $120 for the pair, but they are not exactly 'pro.' They do have good instrument representation at lower volumes, but definately don't pump that much without mudding up/distorting at higher volumes. If you have a ~$300 budget, look for a DJ store or some other place that sells studio equipment.

    You can get a pair of Tapco S5's for about that price, min advertisement price is set at 350 though, so you will have to call or go into a store to get your haggle on. Tapcos are made by Mackie & I love the S5s and the S8s. You really cannot do any better at that price point.

    Comperable m-audio & behringer monitors will cost more. Anyone with Alesis, Edirol, KRK and Samson will be jealous of the sound you got & people with Warfdales & Mackies will be impressed, but not tell you cuz they want their way more expensive speakers to always be the ones people talk about...
     
  20. kaboutertje thread starter macrumors regular

    kaboutertje

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2006
    Location:
    Amsterdam, Netherlands
    #20
    Just saw the tapco s5, but they costed €400 roughly $450, maybe I can find them cheaper somewhere else. But I can attach these directly too my pc, without a amp?
    And what about the apple hi-fi, I really like the look and I could easily carry it around for when I have a party in the other room :)
     

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