Surround Sound or 22" Monitor?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by SecondDealer, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. SecondDealer macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    #1
    :apple:I currently have a 15" MBP with 4GB RAM: Imagine you don't own either: Which would you buy first? (Hopefully the other one will be purchased later on.)

    #1. Surround Sound and External Sound Card:
    http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/speakers_audio/home_pc_speakers/devices/234&cl=US,EN

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16829999001

    or

    #2. HP 22" Monitor:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...-+LCD+Flat+Panel-_-Hewlett-Packard-_-24176088

    Please tell me what you think and why you feel that way, also feel free to let me know if you have surround sound or an external yourself. :apple:
     
  2. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #2
    I would buy either of those speaker/sound options, so I guess I'd go with the 22" display.
     
  3. Gleadr macrumors member

    Gleadr

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2009
    Location:
    Arizona
    #3
    I agree with Cave Man go with the monitor.
     
  4. SecondDealer thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 1, 2009
    #4
    When you say "I would buy either" do you mean "wouldn't"? And if so, what would you buy? I'm looking for good speakers for a decent price? and what surround sound card would you suggest?
     
  5. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #5
    Yes. You need to read what I mean and not what I write. :)

    If I'm going to connect a surround sound system to my Macs, it's going to be through optical port, and it will have decent-quality speakers. I wouldn't buy any sound card, I'd buy and optical cable and a cheap Onkyo or Samsung HTIB.
     
  6. Gleadr macrumors member

    Gleadr

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    Jan 26, 2009
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    Arizona
    #6
    i tihnk those speakers are ugly.. that D: is why i agreed with you...
     
  7. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    A Monitor will improve your productivity, unless your using the MacBook Pro as a serious games or movie machine, you will see no difference with the Surround Sound, and lets face it, who uses a MBP as a Serious Gaming or Movie machine with the built in screen?

    I Would also get Real Surround Sound, and purchase a better monitor.
     
  8. JoeG4 macrumors 68030

    JoeG4

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    Jan 11, 2002
    Location:
    Bay Area, Ca.
    #8
    I have the X-540s, they're not worth $100, maybe $60 at best. If you want surround, save up for some Z5500s.

    If you want a 22" LCD, check out the dell 2209WA, I've been raving about it, if you call them and be nice, you may be able to get a pretty good deal. (I've heard very low 200s, eg $190-220-ish). AND it's an E-IPS screen! Good luck.
     
  9. SecondDealer thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2009
    #9
    :apple: Without a sound card of some sort will I be able to get 5:1 surround sound? Also how does the optical cable / mini jack connection work? Would I need an adapter? I'm not looking for a HTIB its just for my room and won't be connected to a tv or anything. :apple:
     
  10. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

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    Apr 20, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    You purchase Real Surround Sound, not PC surround sound, and a Digital Optical Cable (Make sure the Surround Sound you buy has a Digital Optical Input) this should come with a Mini Adaptor, plug the adaptor into the MBP, then the other end of the cable into the surround sound, and done.
     
  11. SecondDealer thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 1, 2009
    #11
    :apple:Thats the first bad review I've heard of the X-540's but they're only $84 from Amazon so they're good for my budget, I'm not an audiophile I'm just looking for some speakers.

    Also that screen looks great thanks for the tip! :apple:
     
  12. SecondDealer thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 1, 2009
    #12
    Real surround sound = $$$$
    :(
     
  13. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #13
    You can get up to 7.1 compressed audio (e.g., Dolby Digital AC3 or DTS) from your Mac out of the box.

    You buy this $1.61 cable. One end plugs into your Mac, the other into the receiver's optical input.

    You kids today. When I was your age I had a Nakamichi Quadrophonic 8-track/reel-to-reel/belt-drive turntable audio system in my room. Drove the parents crazy. ;)
     
  14. SecondDealer thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 1, 2009
    #14
    :apple:Thank you for all the help so far, more opinions are always welcome. :apple:
     
  15. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

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    Apr 20, 2008
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    UK
    #15
    What im saying is, save up and get something better, as you will soon find the cheap stuff to be rubbish.
     
  16. MattZani macrumors 68030

    MattZani

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    UK
    #17
  17. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

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    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #18
    How much is the Griffin Firewave or other competing external "sound card"? Seems discontinued on Newegg. I'm guessing about $50? I agree with getting something with "real surround sound", i.e. the Z-5500's. I won't go recommending any speakers in particular, but something with a built-in receiver like those might be better in the long run since you could use them with non-PC equipment and still get real digital surround. Unless you never see that happening and affording something like is just impossible for now.

    Well that's certainly true. ;) :D :D

    What would you use the monitor for? Some cheap monitors are just that, cheap, and might not be satisfactory for serious work, but if it's just casual stuff then maybe it's good.
     
  18. mgridgaway macrumors 6502

    mgridgaway

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2006
    #19
    Avoid the griffin firewave. I had it and it was pretty meh.

    I'd get the new monitor way before the new system. I did the whole 5.1 on my mac and you know what I found out? I didn't have enough desk room to fit 5 speakers. For me, a good 2.1 is the perfect setup. On the other hand, another monitor is super if you're into dual-monitorness. I found it to be a bit confusing with lots of stuff open, but it looks pretty sexy.
     
  19. SecondDealer thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 1, 2009
    #20
    Well it seems like the general opinion is the monitor before the speakers. I'm currently look at the http://accessories.us.dell.com/sna/products/Monitors/productdetail.aspx?c=us&l=en&cs=19&sku=320-7345 as the monitor. It seems affordable and high quality. If i got the 5:1 speakers I would mount them around my room not keep them all on my desk. I'll be using my set up to view pictures, watch movies, and of course listen to music. Its looking like I should wait and buy higher quality speakers. :(
     
  20. scienide09 macrumors 65816

    scienide09

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    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    Canada
    #21
    I'd totally go for the monitor. The extra screen real estate is a must for my productivity, while extra speakers are an unnecessary luxury.
     
  21. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

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    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #22
    Sounds good to me. The monitor will be more enjoyable first and however long you have to wait to get speakers, the time will probably be worth it compared to putting up with worse ones.
     
  22. SecondDealer thread starter macrumors regular

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    Feb 1, 2009
    #23
    Thanks for all the input, I'm going to call Dell tomorrow and see if they'll cut me a deal on their 24" HD monitor.
     
  23. Patriks7 macrumors 65816

    Patriks7

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    Oct 26, 2008
    #24
    Well first off, the first choices are completely unrelated goods, but it all depends on preference. I personally would get a monitor first, as the MBP speakers are good enough (and from what I read, you seem to have decided that way already).
     
  24. rhyx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    #25
    FYI for those interested in surround sound here's my setup.

    Denon AVR-1909 receiver
    Min-TOSLink to TOSlink cable (optical from MBP to Receiver)

    Works perfect for Dolby Digital tracks - on a DVD or in certain video/audio files.
     

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