Best multimedia speaker?

sAmBaL BeLaCaN

macrumors member
Original poster
Sep 6, 2004
Auckland CBD, New Zealand
Hi guys,

I'm planning to buy a speaker set for my eMac. But I am very confused to seek which one is the best.

So far, I have searched a number of them, and here what they have come up in my "best of list" :

1. Harman Kardon Soundstick II
2. JBL Creature II
3. Klipsch ProMedia 5.1
4. Klipsch ProMedia GMX 5.1
5. Altec Lansing FX 6021
6. Altec Lansing VS 4121
7. Altec Lansing MX 5021 (TX certified)
8. Logitech Z5500 (has a Dolby, DTS, THX hardware processor)
9. Logitech Z680 (has a Dolby, DTS, and THX hardware processor)

Although ther are some more expensive set such as:
1. Bose Companion3
2. Creative Gigaworks S750 (THX certified)

The reason why I have chose those lists,because I'm a fan for movies DVD most of the times and I still have this VLC media player 0.7.2 which can be played a DTS playback (not the VLC 0.8.2) plus, I own a M-Audio USB Sonica Theatre which can be plug up to 7.1 channel speakers.

I did have a Zalman Theatre6 5.1 discrete headphone and it was very dissapointed.

At some point I like to listen an mp3 or aac from iTunes. Are they good enough to be playback using this syrround speaker?

Or do I just need to buy a 2.1 channel speaker (like Soundstick II) and processed virtually surround by M-Audio Sonica software to watch DVD?

Please help me on this....thanx..!

PS. Price is a little bit concern. So far, Logitech Z5500 are the maximum price I could handle to buy. For 2.1 channel, Soundstick II's price is reasonable.



May 26, 2004
Randy's House
The Harmon Kardons.

I play movies on my ACD all the time, and the sound out of the soundticks is just incredible.

I've heard good things about the JBL's too, but they are just not my idea of stylish.


macrumors 601
Oct 21, 2004
Just got the Soundsticks II package over the weekend. Used them for a class presentation this morning-library sized classroom with 40 students. Several comments on how "good" the sound was and questions on what and where i got them. The sub really went down and got after the video segments I included. Very pleased with it.


macrumors 6502a
Apr 22, 2004
San Diego, CA
I'm very pleased with my JBL Creature II speakers. People all the time come into my room and wonder how such small speakers can give such good sound. I haven't gotten a chance to try out the Soundsticks II to compare, but the JBL Creature II speakers are really great, especially for the size and price.


macrumors 601
Oct 21, 2004
sAmBaL BeLaCaN said:
Why there are no suggestions from surround speaker enthusiasts?

By the way, what is the difference between the Soundstick and Soundstick II ?
$$$ probably is one reason. Soundsticks II (US$ 169 at CompUSA) has a plug and play with a standard audio out connection. The Soundsticks I had USB connection. I don't know about the improvements with the sub woofer or sticks but they put out good sound.

Rod Rod

macrumors 68020
Sep 21, 2003
Las Vegas, NV
sAmBaL BeLaCaN said:
Why there are no suggestions from surround speaker enthusiasts?

By the way, what is the difference between the Soundstick and Soundstick II ?
I recommend against the Klipsch GMX D-5.1. At first I liked mine, but soon afterwards I noticed a pronounced hiss when they're playing "silence." I did a little web research and found that Klipsch has set the gain up in the hardware (meaning there is no way to adjust the gain) so this hiss is a permanent problem. According to users who complained to the company, Klipsch blamed Apple's optical audio outs, calling them "dirty," and as it turns out, it's not Apple's optical audio out but the permanently set gain-up in the Klipsch which is the problem.

The difference between the Soundsticks and Soundsticks II is the former plugs into USB and the latter plugs into mini-stereo (3.5mm).

To the original poster: I highly recommend that you get a refurbished or gently used iSub. You should spend less than $50 shipped on it. It will make your eMac's built-in speakers shine, and this solution takes up less space than the others.

p.s. the subwoofer that's included with the Soundsticks is not an iSub, although many people erroneously call it that and it resembles the iSub.


macrumors 6502
Jan 19, 2005
Creative Gigaworks S750 (THX certified)

those look like awesome speakers. i've been looking at those recently, but does anyone have them or have actually listened to them? definetly thinkin bout gettin those. for my desktop pc. (before the yelling starts i'm waitin till March to order my first mac, 17" pb)


macrumors regular
Feb 1, 2005
I just bought the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 system today after much internal debate and searching of these threads. I got it down to a choice between the Klipsch, the Logitech 2300's and the Altec Lansing fx6021's. The Logitechs sounded really good and the price was right ($129) but I thought they looked cheap and I didn't like the control module. The Altec Lansings look good and seem pretty nice but even though they cost the most ($219) they sounded the worst by far really tinny sounding treble and not much midrange. I have to say the Klipsch sound absolutely incredible and while they're not as beautiful as some of the others they do look like well made speakers. I highly recommend them (even though I've only owned them for 10 hours or so). The price wasn't bad either ($149). At the store they were set up next to the Bose Companion 3 system that cost $100 more and they sound way nicer.

Good Luck


macrumors 68030
Dec 8, 2003
I stand behind the klipsch promedia 5.1s (also THX certified, but all these things have a relatively low THX certification.)


macrumors 604
Jan 20, 2005
THX doesn't apply electronics or even speaker design so much as to room acoustics. The THX banner has been way over-abused.


macrumors 68000
Jan 16, 2004
i've said it before and i will say it again - the JBL Creatures all the way!

they look good, sound good and also they are made by the same people who make the Haarmon Kardon Soundsticks but for like half the price! :cool:

enough said! :)


macrumors 68020
Dec 9, 2004
How about "none of the above"? I asked about surround speakers on the Inside Mac Games site (having had the Logitech Z680s and then sold them). The name Onkyo came up, and I ended up with a set of Onkyo HT-S570 5.1 speakers. Onkyo had a sale a few weeks ago, $210 for a refurbished set including free shipping, so the cost was a little less than the Z680s for better quality. (Plus the free shipping was same-day, at least in my case. Don't believe I've ever gotten the item BEFORE I got the email shipping notification before.) This set has a separate receiver, so it's more "home theater" than "multimedia", but it works out fine for me (it's still plug'n'play, just with more options if you ever need them) and I'm quite happy with the set.



macrumors newbie
Mar 4, 2005
Soundsticks or Altec Lansing FX6021???

I've had a set of soundsticks before and they sounded pretty damn good to me for what I wanted, itnes and a bit of garageband. Anyone able to tell me what they think of the FX6021 from Altec Lansing? thanks in advance.
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