Decent looking, decent sounding, decent priced low-profile speakers?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by el-John-o, Nov 10, 2016.

  1. el-John-o, Nov 10, 2016
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2016

    el-John-o macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Missouri
    #1
    Hey folks!

    With the news that Apple is out of the display business and having no interest in the LG display, I finally broke down and replaced my 1440p Apple Cinema Display setup with a pair of 4k Dell monitors.

    My home office has an old wooden desk which I love, but it doesn't leave me a ton of options. Here's a picture;

    [​IMG]

    The blank spot where the wacom stylus is (and some USB-C to DisplayPort cables are) is where my 2016 MacBook Pro will find it's home (when it gets here).

    Because of the width of the desk, I can't go to the right or to the left of the displays, there isn't room. And the desk is too far away from any wall to do any sort of wall-mounted speaker.

    I'm looking for something low-profile and small enough that'll fit under the center display but still sound kind of decent and look kind of decent (now that I'm using Dell monitors I need all the help I can get to jazz things up a bit.) I bought some Satechi speakers but they sounded beyond awful.

    Here's the thing, I'm not super picky. Previously? I just used the built in speakers in the Cinema Display. Which sounded just fine. If audio quality is really important I'll use a headset. Generally, I just need something to watch YouTube videos or listen to some music in the background without NEEDING a headset. My standards are low, but, the Satechi speakers were just awful. Like fingernails on a chalkboard.

    Any recommendations? Dell DOES make a soundbar that mounts under the displays. That may be the way I go but it is oh so ugly.
     
  2. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #2
    I have a pair of JBL Creatures 2.1 for years and they fill the room with great sound!
     
  3. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #3
    This is weird. I think we have almost the same setup. I have a Dell 4K along with a crappy Dell 1080p (games look like crap on the 4K) and an Apple Extended Keyboard with a Razer Deathadder. Right now they are connected to a hackintosh, which will be converted to a gaming PC when my MBP arrives. Also got a USB switch for my keyboard and mouse.

    I got the soundbar. It isn't that ugly, but it produces an audible hiss when no sound is playing. Apparently it is poorly insulated, and you can open it up and line it with foil to fix it, but I haven't tried it yet. I may just return it, but it sounds fine (better than my old soundbar) and I like its compactness.

    Btw, if you want to save space, you might want to try a monitor arm. I got a Loctek D5D. Haven't set it up yet though.
     
  4. el-John-o thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Missouri
    #4
    I will eventually be setting up a monitor arm. I've been doing a little bit of shopping.

    Thanks to AMD CrossFire on the Windows gaming PC; I can run a lot of games at 4k. Otherwise they don't look bad at 1440p on the 4k panels.

    The Dell panels are great. It's everything around the panels that's awful. Ugh, Apple, why did you get out of the display business! My finger was on the trigger ready to order a pair of displays when I ordered my MBP. But alas.

    Maybe the Dell soundbar is the way I'll go. Though the JBL's the other poster mentioned do look really good.
     
  5. Cougarcat macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    #5
    I wasn't expecting games to be so blurry at 1080p. But I just have one 970, so I can't quite do 4K or even 1440 on newer stuff.

    TBH I almost got fed up with the Dell. This is my third one, the previous ones had lines on the screen. They all make a weird buzzing sound when I connect the USB cable and it's in sleep mode (luckily, I don't need to use those ports.)

    I would just have gone with the LG 4K if it had thunderbolt and proper inputs. But I do like that the Dell is 24".
     
  6. el-John-o thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Missouri
    #6
    Ah. I'm using 27" panels.

    There's actually only a couple of panels out there. That's why the specs are all the same across brands for a given size (and why 27" models are IPS but 28" models are TN.. etc.). They are all using a lot of the same panels. The 27" panels are pretty good.
     
  7. jerwin macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    #7
    Have you considered speaker stands with satellite speakers? Place one on either side of the desk.
     
  8. el-John-o thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Missouri
    #8
    That kind of butts up against the "decently priced" caveat. Looking for something inexpensive.
     
  9. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #9
    What are you considering decently priced, and how much space do you have? (hard to guess from the picture)
     
  10. el-John-o thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Missouri
    #10
    Under $100. Preferably, in the $50 range.

    They basically need to fit underneath the 'gap' between the displays and the desk, since there isn't room to the left or the right.

    I ended up buying the soundbar that Dell sells with their displays. It doesn't sound great. The speakers in my MacBook Pro, or in my old Cinema Display, sound much better. But, it works... They were cheap, and they sound "okay".
     
  11. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #11
    I was going to suggest the Dayton Audio B652, but they probably wouldn't have fit anyway, except maybe behind the monitors. (roughly 11 x 7).
     
  12. jerwin macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2015
    #12
    The B652 speakers are unpowered, and sticking speakers behind monitors tends to color the sound.

    (I heartily recommend bookshelf speakers (with stands) and an amplifier, but the expense adds up-- and sometimes you can forgo extreme bass extension over a "premium" computer speaker setup.)
     

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