Best possible music speakers for $200.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by TSE, May 16, 2011.

  1. TSE macrumors 68030

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    Jun 25, 2007
    Location:
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #1
    I am getting a completely new computer setup, and I want to get some new computer speakers.

    What are some great looking, but the best sounding, computer speakers for under $200? I would prefer 2.0, but I would also consider 2.1. Nothing over that! Too little room in my dorm! :p
     
  2. Born Again macrumors regular

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    May 12, 2011
    Location:
    Norcal
    #2
    get a receiver for the cheap and then buy some bookshelves
     
  3. imahawki macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 26, 2011
    #3
    Go look at some micro home studio monitors like M-Audio. They will sound better than your average "PC speakers" and have as much bass as many 2.1 units with tighter bass to boot.
     
  4. 8ate8 macrumors member

    8ate8

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    Nov 9, 2010
    Location:
    Central Jersey
    #4
    http://audioengineusa.com/

    I was at an electronics trade show in New York a couple years ago (I'm in the home theatre business) and got to go around a bunch of rooms looking at different products from different vendors. Came across Audio Engine. Never heard of them before the trade show, but was blown away by their demo. Two tiny little speakers producing great quality sound and a good amount of bass for their size. I ended up buying a pair of speakers to use for my own computer.

    I bought the A2, which is what I heard at the demo. They have a stereo RCA input, and also a headphone mini input if you'd like to hook up your MP3 player or anything else temporarily. The A5's are bigger, and also have a USB port for charging an ipod, or anything else really. They produce more bass due to the larger driver, but I was happy with the amount of bass I heard at the demo coming from the A2's.

    Audio Engine also has an excellent customer support system. After about a year or two of owning my A2's, the power supply crapped out. I sent them an email stating that my power supply went bad, and they responded quickly and simply just asked where I would like the new PS shipped to, no questions asked, free of charge.

    I got tired of crappy $20 PC speakers, so I spent the $200 on A2's and couldn't be happier.
     
  5. ThaDoggg macrumors 6502a

    ThaDoggg

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    Sep 26, 2010
    Location:
    Peterborough, Canada
    #5
    If you want 2.0 I would go either with the Audioengine A2 or the BX5a from M-Audio which with a bit of searching can be found for around $200. Both systems are of great quality and provide excellent sound.
     
  6. Trinite macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2010
    #6
    Just wanted to second (third) the Audioengines. A couple of months ago I got a pair of the A2s; they're amazingly good for such small speakers: really crisp and clear. Of course, the A5s are apparently even better - and if you want to spend a bit more, you can get them in bamboo, which is very pretty....
     
  7. TSE thread starter macrumors 68030

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    St. Paul, Minnesota
    #7
    Which is better, Tue m audios or audio engines?
     
  8. jdsmoooth macrumors member

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    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #8
    I have a pair of Harmon Kardon Sound Sticks. Great value at $135.
    Link HERE
     
  9. macman312 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 10, 2010
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia --> Cincinnati,OH
    #9
    These or a pair of book shelves or a microsystem
     
  10. imahawki macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 26, 2011
    #10
    I always assumed the HK's were form over function. Are the recommendations based on experience or reviews?
     
  11. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

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    Nov 25, 2005
    #11
    For $200, you can get some rubbish speakers, or you can get some excellent headphones.
     
  12. TigerBabe macrumors 6502

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  13. darkplanets macrumors 6502a

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    Nov 6, 2009
    #13
    Klipsch Promedia 2.1

    Or something nicer if you can manage to get it cheaper/within your price range. Don't get Logitech 2.1's-- they sound horrible compared to other systems.
     
  14. jdsmoooth macrumors member

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    Oct 30, 2007
    Location:
    Pittsburgh, PA
    #14
    I actually own the "Sticks"... Our 27" iMac serves as the second TV for my wife and I. We have a 13 year old and we prefer him in the main living area when he has friends over. So I use these to watch TV/Movies, listen to music, etc... I think they sound great for the price.
     
  15. scott911, May 19, 2011
    Last edited: May 19, 2011

    scott911 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    #15
    I think the key is to NOT get internally amplified speakers.

    You can get leaps & bounds above all cheapish computer speakers by buying a small reciever off craigslist and then get a beatiful pair of monitor / book shelf speakers.

    You can get a terrific second-hand reciever/amplifier from someone who's retiring their equipment in the chase for 3D, latest HDMI processing,. etc. This gets you strong, honest amplification (more than just volume btw) and better DAC capabilities than integrated amp w/ speaker's I've seen.

    On the subject of the speakers - note that bookshelf is just a form factor - the size might be right, BUT some book shelves might sound best a dozen feet away form the source.

    Monitors on the other hand, are design to be listened to close up - which is what you want.

    Do some homework - read up on reviews, etc. I would take a look at KEF. There are some discount places selling at huge dicounts and you can just barely get into KEF for $200 if you seek them out. They feature tech similair to the world class THIEL speakers that put the tweeter and mid in the same plane - which I think would help keep the sounding great.
     
  16. imahawki macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 26, 2011
    #16
    Many monitors are self powered, saving you from having to find a spot for an A/V receiver. These aren't PC speakers per se, more designed for very small home studios.
     
  17. scott911 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    #17
    agreed hawk. There are self-power speakers that are of reasonable quality - I shouldn't have have that such a blanket statement.

    However, if the budget is $200 total, I would guess that the internal amp in units of this price range would usually be a pretty low quality component - manufacturing cost of maybe $10?

    That's why I was thinking using a better second hand reciever might be a good direction to consider.

    Here's the KEF's I was referebncing above. My only experience with the brand is with an in-ceiling unit, but all in all, the KEF's impressed me.
    http://www.accessories4less.com/mak.../4-Bookshelf-Speakers-2-way-black-pair/1.html

    and if money's a little less tight: http://vimeo.com/23029168 :p
     

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