Below 100$ 5.1 Surround Speaker Recommendation

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by iPlm, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. iPlm macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2004
    Hi there,

    I want to ask for some recommendations for a 5.1 surround speaker system which costs below 100$ and is good. For example the Creative Inspire T5900, Logitech X-530 and also I'm thinking of this system - Ozaki EM939 (Ozaki EM939) , which I think would also be available for less than 100$. Please tell me what you think. :)
  2. Brother Michael macrumors 6502a

    Brother Michael

    Apr 14, 2004
    I was looking at getting a set of Logitech X-530's myself. They sound pretty decent, not a bad price either.

    But eBay usually has the Z-640 for dirt cheap.

    (I really would like Z-560 though)

    For just about 100 on the money there is the Logitech X-620 They seem ok.

    Sorry to sound like such a Logitech poster-boy here, but I don't know a whole lot about speakers and sound technology, I just know some friends who have Logitech speakers and they sound really nice.

  3. iPlm thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2004
    Well, in my country we don't have eBay and Z-640 here cost ~140$ :) I like logitech, they seem to make quality stuff, but also I like this model of Ozaki, it looks nice, it has a remote and is more powerful than the others I think. They will be in the store on 20 December, so I'll check them out and they need to be heard after all.
  4. jadam macrumors 6502a


    Jan 23, 2002
    The Logitech X-530's are a rather decent speaker system.
  5. jimsowden macrumors 68000


    Sep 6, 2003
  6. Leareth macrumors 68000


    Nov 11, 2004
    Altec Lansing 251
    really good speakers for the $75 CDN I paid for them
    nice crisp sound, deep bass and pretty loud too,
    I use them as speakers for my iPod, got rid of my stereo...
  7. unfaded macrumors 6502

    Dec 12, 2002
    Seattle, WA
  8. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Jul 23, 2003
    Austin, Texas
    Toms Hardware has a review for 5.1 surround sound systems on the cheap. Maybe this'll help you out.
  9. topicolo macrumors 68000


    Jun 4, 2002
    Ottawa, ON
    Is there any way to support 5.1 surround on a mac (ie. does creative still make a mac version of the soundblaster?)
  10. iPlm thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 17, 2004
    So what you're saying is? There are a lot good speaker systems for less than 100$, unfortunately I can't spend more.

    I found them in a store here and they cost around 115$, strange, as the other logitech's and creative's are 80-90$.

    I've read the review at Tom's Hardware and I did help me, it's because of it I'm thinking of Logitech's X-530 and Creative's T5900 :)

    As for the mac version of Sound Blaster, it would be nice to have it. If there were mac drivers, but I don't know if there are. I think Apple should work on improving the sound options on the Macs.

    Anyway, thank for the help guys :)
  11. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Reading the specifications

    If you go to the Ozaki site, the specifications they give are useless in determining the power of this system.

    Read specifications with a critical eye. The Ozaki page makes a good (bad) example.

    The amplifier power is stated without distortion figures or measurement method.
    - The normal measurement method for amplifier output power is RMS (Root Mean Square). Sleazy sellers use "Peak Music Power" or don't qualify their measurements at all, and advertise imaginary figures double or higher than the actual RMS output. I have just seen an ad for "800 Watt speakers" for $17. #^&!ng liars.

    Any high fidelity components will also state at what distortion level the power is achieved at. Under 0.5% is desirable. Good stereos are under 0.05%. There's no point in listening to a "high power" amplifier if the sound comes out 10% distorted like shouting through a megaphone.

    They advertise "Driver Power", like "Speaker Power" or "Power Handling" this is completely meaningless. It is simply the amount of power it takes before the speaker self-destructs. Has nothing to do with the sound produced.
    - Speaker efficiency would be a useful statistic, but is rarely included. It is a measure of how loud the sound you get from one watt of input, measured at a specific distance. A typical measurement might be 88 dB at 1 Watt at 1 meter.

    The Signal to Noise ratio of 65 dB is pretty poor. You want a S/N of 75 dB or higher. This is the measurement of the difference between the loudest sound the system can produce and the noise and hiss that it generates. A low S/N ratio means that you will have audible hiss and grunge behind quiet passages of music.

    The frequency range is stated as 150 Hz to 20 KHz. Without a +/- qualification, this is meaningless. The output could be 25 dB below "flat" at 20 KHz and 150 Hz and the statement would still be true. You're looking for a frequency range stated with +/- 3 dB or less, meaning that the output does not vary more than three decibels from perfect accuracy throughout the range.

    And they're claiming only 150 Hz as the lower frequency response -- that means that these speakers will be missing the entire bottom two octaves of bass!! (40 Hz to 160 Hz - The lowest string on a 4 string bass guitar is 41 Hz, lowest note on an 88 key piano is 27.5 Hz). Good bookshelf speakers will have usable output down to 50 - 60 Hz, larger speakers and subwoofer-equipped systems should go down to about 40 Hz +/- 3 dB.

    The one real review in Engish I found on this brand of speakers commented that the main control unit broke down early, and that these failures were common.

    We wouldn't believe someone advertising a 35 GHz G5 machine -- because we know the technology and can spot the lie. We shouldn't be misled by companies advertising phony stats in other equipment, either.


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