Computer Speakers

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by midorix, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. midorix macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2007
    Yes, another computer speakers thread.
    I've did a search and decided to look into the following spakers based on my <$150 budget:

    LogiTech Z-2300
    Klipsch Premedia 2.1
    Klpsch Ultra 2.0
    Harmon Kardon Soundstick II
    Swan M10
    Swan M200 (over budget by $75)
    Bose Companion 2
    Bose Companion 3 (over budget by $100)

    My priorities were 1) Music 2) Movies and 3) Games.
    My taste are pop, jazz, r&b, and rap.
    My home theaters are NHT speakers and my car has Boston Acoustics/JL Audio.

    With the above in mind, my opinion (and I emphasize opinion) as follows:

    Z-2300 - Great price. Can play loud without distortion. However, as some has mentioned, no midrange and muddy bass. Great for gaming but not so much for music.

    Klipsch 2.1 - Could not listen as not hooked up by 3 stores I visited. I'll have to find a store but I really don't like the appearance (I'm willing to live with it if the sound is great as some have posted).

    Klipsch 2.0 - Actually listened using Imac at Applestore. Lot of distortion, muddy sound. Definite No.

    Harmon Kardon - I also listened this speaker with Imac. Cool design. Price is in budget. However, no midrange and muddy bass. The satellite speaker also looked flimsy to the point that it might break (again my opinion and no fact here).

    Swan M10 - No store to demo. Read about it and it appears to be my type of speakers. Pricing is good also and beautiful looking speakers. Problem is where to put the 5" sub that needs to be at center?????? I definitely do not want to prop up my Imac higher than it is.

    Swan M200 - Because of issue with M10 center sub, this is definitely the better option. But the pricing is quite above my budget and I have no opportunity to listen. Not to mention the actual warranty and support structure has been questioned by some reviewers.

    Bose Companion 2 - I have generally are very skeptic about Bose not because they don't built good product but they overprice their product to cover their marketing costs. With that said, I was not impressed with Companion 2. Price is ok but the sound was bit muddy and no bass.

    Bose Companion 3 - Again, I'm coming from Bose skeptic but I hate to say it but this is the best speakers of this group. It provided fairly wide sound stage, natural sound, with good balance with the bass (punchy rather than loud without overpowering the satellite). If the price was in my budget, this is what I would get. I'm still debating if this is worth the $150 premium over Z-2300.

    So I haven't decided which speakers yet.
    I know some of you may say that some of the above speakers can be adjusted using equalizer/software but what I'm looking for is speakers that sounds natural with minimal adjustments.

    Is there any other speakers that I should consider in this price range?
  2. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    I haven't heard them, but the Altec Lansing FX6021 have been very positively reviewed by different web sites. It is just a bit over your budget from Amazon-

    Thanks for your feedback on all the speaker systems. I will be looking for one at some point, and was considering some of your choices (especially the Soundsticks.)

    Have you listened to the JBL 2.1 systems? They are a bit cheaper and probably inferior, but they have 3 or 4 different sets IIRC.
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Both Klipsch sets are excellent. Dunno what was wrong with hookup of the set you listened to but they are NOT distorted and muddy - we use a pair of Ultra 2.0s hooked up to the VCR for watching movies. Just scored a Klipsch 2.1 set for half price :) which will go into use for the movie system.
  4. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Dec 17, 2003
    Los Angeles, CA
    Forgot to add- I own a Klipsch iFi which has an iPod dock but also has an additional regular input as well (it might actually be 2 line-ins).

    I got it at Costco last year for $150, they were originally $400. Great system if you can find it for that price.
  5. midorix thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2007
    All the above speakers that I had a chance to listen to had proper hookups,
    as some of them required me to trouble shoot, especially at the Applestore (loose wire, volume set incorrectly, etc.)

    I was surprised about Klipsch being not so good considering the positive review so for the Klipsch Ultra 2.0, I listened to two different Imacs with two different Ultra. Both were not good.
  6. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    umm...another vote for the Altec Lansing FX6021
  7. midorix thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2007
    I take your advices seriously...

    and I put my money where my mouth is (or in this case my keyboard:))

    I have placed an order for Altec Lansing FX6021 without actually listening to it.
    I took your advice and read several other reviews.
    This speaker fits exactly with my priorities (music first).
    I happen to like the design.
    I went over only $20 above my budget as Dell Home had this on sale with free shipping (CA tax included).

    I will report back once I get this speaker and had chance to experience these speakers. I will give you guys "report card" on your recommendation:p.

    Thanks for your help.
  8. Stridder44 macrumors 68040


    Mar 24, 2003

    Good to hear! I've been looking at speaker sets similar to what you're doing (in both price and performance) for a while now, and so far the Logitech Z-2300 was what I was thinking of going for, but I want to see what you have to say about the FX6021's.
  9. midorix thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2007
    Will do.

    Like noted above, z-2300 is good speaker for gaming and movies with good pricing but it just wasn't meant for music.

    I'll post my impression once I get the speakers.

    It was shipped today so I should get it next week.
  10. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    Listening to speakers in stores (very bad conditions, but you take what you can get) I thought the FX6021 were the clear winner between said models (I sampled many of the same ones). Agreed about the Z-2300, mostly good just very lacking midrange for music (same with their Z-5500, sound GREAT with movies and games but not so much with audio CDs). Been a happy owner of the FX6021's for a while.
  11. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    I can personally comment on the M200's. They will sound great for Jazz. These are great speakers if you want nice smooth sound without having tons of bass or a sub pounding under your desk.

    The warranty issue is a little inconvenient, but if you get in contact with the good people over at the, they will replace your unit with no questions asked. They basically perform all Swan warranties in the US.

    I also believe Newegg and Audioinsider sells the M200's for $199 which is a great deal.
  12. midorix thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2007
    For those who recommended FX6021, your grade is.....


    ok...not a fair assessment.
    I got the FX6021 today but it was a DOA.
    Sub worked, remote worked, but no sound from the satellite speakers.
    Yes, I connected all correctly. My guess is the amp used for satellite is bad.

    Replacement on its way.

    Will regrade when I get the replacement speakers.......

    On a side note, it did look pretty cool next to my 24" Imac.
  13. pianoplayer1 macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2005
    New York
    Awww, I wanted to see what you thought.

    My soundsticks are coming in a little while - they are in transit.
  14. Superman07 macrumors 6502a

    Aug 28, 2007
    Of those you listed I don't think you can beat the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 set. They are fantastic speakers for the price - which was $99 at BB last week. :( Either way, I hope you enjoy whatever you went with.
  15. midorix thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2007
    I'll post my review once I receive the replacement unit.
    It should be here no later than next week.

    I do like the design of the HK Soundsticks. They are cool looking.
  16. pianoplayer1 macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2005
    New York
    Yes the soundsticks are great now that I have them... and a HUGE advantage is that since my desk has a little shelf slightly behind and above my computer, I can put the soundsticks there and angle them to point right at my ears. The extra foot of distance really helps make the soundstage more open and spacious.

    Edit: by the way I found a good site for testing speakers and their placement
  17. VespR macrumors regular

    Jun 16, 2004
    acoustic energy aego 2.1

    the best 2.1 speakers money can buy from a real hifi company :cool:
  18. Macintosh Sauce macrumors 6502

    Macintosh Sauce

    Nov 25, 2006
    Although this is a little more pricey, get these speakers because they are absolutely wonderful IMO. I just received mine yesterday - WOW!

    Logitech z5500 Digital Speakers

  19. midorix thread starter macrumors member

    Nov 23, 2007
    my review


    Dell was very quick to send the replacement speakers. So quick that they forgot to include the return label :)mad:).

    All I can say is WOW! This is exactly the speaker I was looking for.


    Neatly packed

    The sub (don't mind the wires. I was anxious to get it fired up).

    The satellite

    The control center. Notice how nicely it matches with Imac :)

    The total package (ignore the wires again....):D

    The looks was secondary but it sure looks great!

    Now the sound.

    First thing I noticed is that the satellite is well balanced with the sub. I didn't have to adjust the treble or bass much.

    Second thing I noticed is that these satellite dispurses the sound very well. So well that I can't seem to localize it, even though they're pointed right at me. Very impressive.

    Third, although some have reported sub is not the strong suit, it's strong enough. I can make my built in desk rattle if I wish:)

    Fourth, the control unit and the remote that it came with (not pictured) is a very nice touch.

    I can't be happier. The only concern I have is reliability since the first one came DOA (definitely bad amp for the satellite).

    Thanks again for your help!
  20. jota73 macrumors 6502


    Apr 19, 2006
    South America
    after lots of research I bought m-audio try apple store online, price is what you are planning to spend.

    Just great speakers!!
  21. apfhex macrumors 68030


    Aug 8, 2006
    Northern California
    I ordered a different model of Altec Lansing speakers for someone a few years ago from Newegg which arrived partially broken (one of the satellites didn't work at all). The replacement pair have been working fine ever since then. My own FX6021's have been reliable for the year+ that I've had them.

    For what it's worth, in investigating the Klipsh ProMedia 2.1's, an alarming number of reviews complained about them going bad (broken amp I think) after not too long — one of the reasons that contributed to my not buying them. Though I'm sure there are just that many more happy owners out there.
  22. mag2001 macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2007
    San Antonio, TX
  23. iMan G5 macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2007
    I have the VS2321 and they are great for me. Nice sound.
  24. dL. macrumors 6502

    Nov 5, 2007
    Anyone have Altec Lansing VS2421? I heard it at my retail store that I work at and it sounds SO GOOD. I just wanna hear your feedback. I am seriously thinking of getting that for my iMac.

  25. Edgewiser macrumors newbie

    Dec 14, 2007
    The search for best pc speakers continues...


    I was wondering how your Altec's sound a week or two later as your ears habituate to them and they wear in.

    BTW, congratulations on doing your research well enough to have come up with a reasonable list of contenders.

    If only more folks that owned the Swans or Acoustic Energy would post a detailed review.

    I am returning my z2300 to Dell. Despite their seemingly great price, the z2300s are all boom boom with almost no midrange, all woof and no tweet etc. I am amazed that so few people posting on the logitechs even notice this. Maybe we are all too immersed in Halo to care about Mozart, but all sound has a spectrum which these subwoofer bargain speakers seem to ignore. They are designed to give gamers and movie watchers "bang" for their buck at the expense of auditory accuracy and richness.

    I am even wondering if 2.1 is the answer. 2.0 speakers can often do significantly better as pc speakers.

    Anyway, I know there's a near-perfect solution, but I also know for anyone with unabused ears, neither Klipsch or Logitech cut it. I continue to believe that good speakers exist for under $200 that can handle gracefully music, movies and games. But where are they?

    Don't forget to post how your listening experience evolves with the Altecs. I might just emulate your choice.

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