Surround Sound On A Budget?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by xfiftyfour, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. xfiftyfour macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #1
    Okay, so I know this isn't a mac purchase, but I also know that many of ya'll have some nice home theatre setups. We're switching over to an HD projector, and as such, we're in the market for a surround sound system (never really needed anything more than the built in speakers when we had our TV).

    I know the options are basically endless, so I was hoping that some of you out there could help us narrow down our search? We don't really want to spend any more than around $200.. we don't need anything hugely fancy, obviously, but we'd like 'em to look good. :p

    Oh, and we don't want a DVD or CD player attached.. really hoping just to have a set of 5.1 speakers. Any suggestions?? :confused:

    Oh, and also, it's not completely necessary, but we're also shopping around for a video receiver to get some extra inputs (the projector only has DVI, 2xVGA, and composite).. does anyone have any suggestions for that as well (hopefully around $150?).
     
  2. Killyp macrumors 68040

    Killyp

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    #2
    @ surround sound


    Surround sound is not BETTER sound, it's just MORE sound. If you get a stereo system at $200, it will sound MIIIIIIIILES better than a surround sound system at the same cost, heck even twice the cost. I used to have £2k+ worth of surround sound set up in my room (altho I only paid about £600 for it), and I'm happier with my current set up, which is a relatively plain old stereo system with nothing fancy, just really good components.

    The same will go for budget systems. Seriously, get yourself some decent speakers, and you'll never look back.
     
  3. vniow macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2002
    Location:
    I accidentally my whole location.
  4. Erendiox macrumors 6502a

    Erendiox

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    #4
    I can recommend to you my entire setup which was awesome for the price I paid. It fits right into your price range :) After checking online, and remembering I bought these speakers nearly 2 years ago, I've come up with what should the the next incarnation of the same speakers I have.


    I myself have the JBL SCS160 set. At the time, i remember paying less than $200 for the whole set, but it doesn't seem to be for sale anywhere anymore, so I found the closest equivalent. The JBL SCS145.5 set. Got some rather good reviews, and if they're anything like mine, should sound awesome.

    To drive these speakers, I have a Yamaha receiver. I believe it's this one or something similar. The price seems higher than I remember. I got it for around 200. Either way, Yamaha's receivers are great and I totally recommend them.

    Cheers :)
     
  5. Erendiox macrumors 6502a

    Erendiox

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    #5
    Keep in mind that when you're talking music, this is very true. A nice pair of shelf speakers will sound miles better than a surround system. BUT, if you're talking movies or HDTV with 5.1 surround, you're going to appreciate having 6 independent channels of sound rather than two. :) Really depends on what you're using the speakers for.
     
  6. xfiftyfour thread starter macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #6
    We're going to be using it for movies and TV almost exclusively. Sure, sometimes we might throw some music on, but very rarely. I think we're both pretty set on getting a 5.1 system.

    In looking so far, I think our favorite choice is the Sony HT-DDW790. Good name, great price.. Anyone see anything blaringly wrong that my not-so-knowledgeable eyes are missing?

    Erendiox:
    Thanks for the advice, but those two products together are way more than we're looking to spend. Thank you for the suggestion though! :)
     
  7. wickedsteve macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    #7
    Most 5.1 systems can switch to stereo for when you listen to stereo CDs. Over the air standard TV is not 5.1, but if you get HD OTA or HD Cable TV then the surround system will be nice with that. As far as watching movies, let's say from your mac, then you need a 5.1 sound signal from your player to the reciever. Optical TOSlink is the way to go for a digital connection. Make sure whatever system you get has input for digital even if it is not optical. That Sony looks like it has both digital coaxial and digital optical. And make sure your player has digital output.
     
  8. Big-TDI-Guy macrumors 68030

    Big-TDI-Guy

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2007
    #8
    I vouch for the Logitech Z5500 Too. Had mine almost 2 years now, this thing is on par with some nice home-theater systems, let alone the fact they're "computer speakers". Thunderous bass and crisp highs.

    Digital decoding, coax, analog and fiber optic inputs makes it play nice with my Mactel, PS3 and PeeCee.

    Sound quality is great. But that is merely my opinion.

    My only gripe with it (past tense), was the jumpy digital amp, it sometimes picked up electronic noice (light switch arcs / inductive spikes). I put a power strip with an emi filter, and that went away. (cheapo strip, nothing magnificent) It wasn't that bad, but I have OCD and little things urk me.

    I picked mine up for close to 200 with rebates thru New Egg - that was a lucky find. (especially considering how long ago it got them)
     
  9. xfiftyfour thread starter macrumors 68030

    xfiftyfour

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    Location:
    Clemson, SC
    #9
    Yeah, I was all for the Logitech Z5500, but I showed them to my fiance and he was like "uhm.. ew" haha. Different tastes, I guess. Plus he's not a big fan of Logitech speakers in general, even though I tried to tell him that the higher-end stuff gets pretty good reviews around here.

    At any rate, those are not an option.
     
  10. Erendiox macrumors 6502a

    Erendiox

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2004
    Location:
    Brooklyn NY
    #10
    Hehe. Probably a little overkill for you anyways ;) . I'm a bit of an audiophile.

    Those speakers that you have picked out look decent. Sony is a good brand, and yea, you can't beat that price. 200 for the whole package. I'm sure they'll work out great for you.

    Cheers :)
     

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