Please some advice from an audiophile

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by iMaccore2, Apr 26, 2008.

  1. iMaccore2 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    Hi,

    I want to get a high end sound system for my iMac, for listening to music, watcing dvds and playing some games. Ill be spending about $400. Any suggestions as to brand, how many channels, what the imac supports would be helpful

    Thanks
     
  2. duncyboy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    #2
    Do you want surround sound? 5.1? 7.1?

    Or would 2.1 do?

    I have two sets of speakers. Attached to my iMac I have a set of white Aego M 2.1 speakers. They cost £120 so in the U.S. would approximately be about $200? Acoustic Energy are a hi-fi company and the build quality of the speakers is absolutely excellent. They have a three-way switch for the sub's bass level and a 3.5mm jack on the front for connecting an iPod etc.
    And the sound quality is superb. They're definitely the best speakers I've owned- I'm no audiophile but read reviews online- there are plenty out there who agree with me.

    My second speakers, attached to my Wii and HTPC, are the Logitech Z-5500's. These cost £230 so would be approximately $400-$450? They come with a remote, control station, the most outrageously large subwoofer ever and about 97 miles of speaker wire ;)

    The sound quality of these is very good indeed and they're very flexible and have good features. It's also worth noting they support DTS if you're watching movies. They also have connections for optical and coaxial if you want to connect other devices.
    They are incredibly powerful- these are real room shaking. But with tinkering you can very good quality sound from them.

    I would recommend either set to anyone. The Logitech's offer a little more "clutter" for just on a PC desk but obviously have the power and rear speakers. The Aego's are very minimalist and sound GREAT on my iMac.

    If I remember rightly the iMac output doubles as a TOSLink connector for optical out too, so that's an option.

    Hope this helps. If you want pictures of either, let me know- I'll dig out my camera :)
     
  3. esaleris macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2005
    #3
    Audio is one of those things that is highly subjective. Most people will agree on quality of visual equipment, but audio... Some people just are not as sensitive to audio quality. What I consider hi-fi is budget/entry-level to another, so please keep that caveat in mind.

    For $400, if you are looking for 5.1 surround sound, you're not going to be able to get anything high end. Look for Onkyo's 5.1 home-theater-in-a-box. They are sometimes on sale at circuit city and are not half bad, but they aren't great.

    If you're interested in a 2.1 stereo system, you can pick up a lower-end Onkyo or Denon receiver for around $200 - or even a reburbished Marantz at accessories4less.com - and pick up Polk's Monitor series. Consider bookshelf speakers like the Monitor 30 or 40, which you can later use as rear speakers, for $70-100 a piece. Polks subs run around $200 but are the weakest in their line of products. I found that a solid 2.1 will sound a whole lot better than the home-theater-in-the-box option when looking at the same budget.

    Other brands to consider are online direct-manufacturers. These seem to have a good reputation among budget audiophiles: www.svsound.com, www.ascendacoustics.com.

    I think once your budget hits $1000, that's where you're starting, in my opinion, to get a noticeable improvement and high bang-for-the-buck.
     
  4. iMaccore2 thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 2, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #4
  5. mperkins37 macrumors 6502a

    mperkins37

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #5
    The logitech Z-5500's are superb sounding & a great price to quality ratio.
    I have had mine for 4 months & they are astounding.
     
  6. thinkband macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2007
    #6
    I am one who agrees that Bose can be overpriced.

    They tend to be 'the best in the business' on the consumer level. I was looking for some in-ear earphones for $100 last year and said to myself "well Bose is best right... and their headphones are $100... sweet." I looked on forums and reviews and found out that those headphones were not as good as some sub$50 headphones. They are cheaply made and have very average sound quality.

    On that note, my dad has the $100 Bose companion speakers and they seem to be great computer speakers. I have a 2.1 Bose acoustimass system which costed $500 back in the day. They still sound great. I would favor the Logitech speakers mentioned if you want a big bass. They have a better bass compared to the bose. If you are not worried about that, perhaps a good 2.1 system like the couple mentioned above would be good for you.
     

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