Best speaker setup for a college quad dorm?

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by bobfitz14, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. bobfitz14 macrumors 65816

    bobfitz14

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #1
    Hey guys, i'll be in a quad next fall in college so i was looking for a decent pair of speakers that would be able to be loud enough for like 10-15 people without distortion.

    the primary use will be music, maybe some movies on the side. i have a MBP 13" so i only have the audio in/out and USB as options as outputs.

    as for budget, i'd like to stay in the $300 or less range. i'm only a college student :eek:. i'm not necessarily looking for any specific type of setup (ex. 2 speakers vs. 2 speakers + sub), just something relatively minimal (a big surround sound system isn't necessary) with good quality so they'll be nice to party with.
    :cool:
     
  2. QuarterSwede macrumors G3

    QuarterSwede

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2005
    Location:
    Colorado Springs, CO
    #2
    A Klipsch 2.1 system would work well.

    [Slightly Off Topic]
    I was in a quad for most of my college days and it was a freaking blast. Have a great time, oh and don't piss off your neighbors by blasting the sound. If they're anything like I was and the breaker panel for the floor is at the end of the hall you'll find yourself without power quite a lot ;) (In all honesty it was only bad enough for me and others to do that once, that's after asking them to turn it down a few times as well).
     
  3. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #3
    I'd take a good look at stuff aimed at musicians. Musicians are invariably poor, and demand hardwearing gear that sounds good.

    You could pick up two Mackie powered monitors for $260. These things are solid, self contained, and should sound great at high volumes. You'd be putting more of your money into the sound than with a surround sound system (less $ spent on each speaker) or a heavily advertised brand (like Bose).

    link

    review
     
  4. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #4
    A dedicated subwoofer is overkill for a 2 speaker setup. You'd be better off investing in a 2.0 system and getting a good dac.
     
  5. bobfitz14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    bobfitz14

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #5
    i'm checking out the Klipsch products, not bad, i'll take them into consideration. and about the quad thing, one of my room mate's has a twin here so we're trying to get him the room that's next to us, other than that we're at the end of a hall :D.

    wouldn't i need an external soundcard for the Mackies?

    as for your comment on Bose, one of my friends here has the Companion 5 and they're actually pretty awesome for music...i'm no professional audiophile but they sound good to me and everyone else who has been in there on weekends.

    any suggestions?



    in general: does anyone know about the M-Audio AV40s? would those suffice for high volume listening?
     
  6. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Location:
    Green and pleasant land
    #6
    No. A lead from your headphone out split to 2 RCA jacks would work fine. You could add an external DtoA at a later point if you wanted - but it's not necessary.

    There are two complaints people have about Bose:
    1/ They spend $$$$ on advertising, and that all comes out of the money you pay them for the speakers. Consequently their speakers are poor value, they aren't worth what you're paying.
    2/ They emphasise bass and treble, which results in speakers with an immediate wow factor and good showroom appeal - but they lack in clarity and long term listenability. You're more likely to tire of them quickly.
     
  7. TMRaven, Apr 10, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011

    TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #7
    Yeah, M-Audio AV40 StudioPhiles is probably something you'll want to get. The next step up from that is their BX5A.
    Adding in a DAC like HRT Music Streamer II with them is a good idea.

    You will get the deeply extended lows, good detail in mids and highs, and good punch with the drums in music. The bass won't be overpowering/bloaty/muddy and so separated like your average lowly priced 2.1 system.

    Now as for being loud enough or having enough bass, that's something that'd be hard to
     
  8. bobfitz14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    bobfitz14

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #8
    makes sense. thanks for the info..not that i was necessarily considering Bose in the first place but now i'm definitely not getting Bose.

    do you have an experience/knowledge on the AV40s to compare them with the BX5As, and would the price bump of ~$100 show a significant difference?

    are DACs similar to USB soundcards? example. as in they enhance the quality of the audio from the run of the mill soundcard in my MBP?

    hard to...:confused:
     
  9. TMRaven, Apr 11, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011

    TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #9
    Oops! I guess I accidentally hit the finish edit button during the middle of an edit and forgot about it.

    I was saying about it being loud enough and bassy enough for your average party-hard college kid would be something that would be hard to figure, but they can get loud. It is personally something I would pick over a 2.1 system.

    I only have experience with the AV-40s, and not the higher end one. I'm sure an audiophile forum could help you out.

    The dac I linked you is very much like other sound cards. The goal is to use a higher quality digital to analogue converter than what's in your computer, one of primary enhancements being that you wont' get audio jitter when doing stuff on the computer at the same time. I'm not sure about the whole THX audio thing-- sounds more like a gimmick. HRT hardware is highly regarded among hi-fi people though.
     
  10. bobfitz14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    bobfitz14

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #10
    HRTs can be slightly more expensive too :(, i'll check out some other forums about the AV40 vs. the BX5a.
     
  11. Auszero macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    #11
    Dont buy references monitors like the mackies or M audios. Go with the Klipsch 2.1. They are relatively cheap and provide great sound and can get loud. They're also a pretty durable well built system so as you move through out college they should last.
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    That is good advice if you have a cheap generic PC. Does not apply to any recent vintage Mac. The built-in audio is quite good. Those AV40 will be the weak link for sure. The BX5a are a huge step up, night and day better.

    That said, all studio monitors are design for near field listening. The sound is good in one exact spot where your head and the two speakers make and equilateral triangle and the tweeters are even height with your ears. If the gaol is to fill up the room with sound buy conventional stereo speakers and a small receiver or amp.
     
  13. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #13
    I don't know about that. If anything, a generic pc tower would have better audio due to expansion cards. There's nothing too magical about the integrated intel audio in macs (albeit a big step up from their older AC97)

    If he were to go pure 2.0 speaker system, I'd also suggest the AudioEngine A5. A tiny bit over his budget, but another good option, granted the cheaper alternative still gives you access to any dac/amp or receiver of your choice.
     
  14. bobfitz14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    bobfitz14

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #14
    blah, way too many options out there. at the moment i'm sort of just leaning towards the AV 40s by M-Audio. relatively cheap, and nearly anything would be a nice upgrade to what i currently use and that's pretty much all that matters. as much as i would loveee to spend ~$500 or so on an awesome audio setup i just can't do that right now nor do i really need to go all out.
     
  15. TMRaven macrumors 68020

    TMRaven

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    #15
    My experience with audio is that I started spending a little bit of money on entry level stuff, but I since then caught upgraditis, and wanted the better stuff soon after. If you have a set budget, you will probably do best with getting the best you can afford, unless that extra money you save is absolutely important.
     
  16. bobfitz14 thread starter macrumors 65816

    bobfitz14

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #16
    yeah, it's like buying your first car..chances are you're first car won't be a BMW or a Benz but you can work up to it after time. :p i'm probably spending about $200 max on this setup
     

Share This Page