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USB Speakers & Monsoon vs Klipsch

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi Everyone,
This is my first post and I recently purchased my first Mac. It is a G4 533 DP and I am really liking it.

I am a musician and I want a decent set of speakers that produce good details in the playback, so I can transcribe guitar parts off cd's.

I am tempted to buy a set of Monsoon speakers and somewhat confused on the different models they offer. Remember I am a former PC user and my old PC didn't have USB ports, so all this is new to me.

The IM-700 looks like it is designed for Macs. I guess my confusion is with USB speakers in general.

1) What is the advantage of USB speakers?

2) Will any of the Monsoon speakers work with my Mac or only the IM-700 model?

3) What is the advantage of having the USB option?

4) Is the USB option only an extra cable/adapter that can be used with any of the Monsson speakers? If so, can the cord/adapter be purchased seperately and how much?

5) Do USB speakers plug into a USB port only or is there another cord needed to plug into the 1/8" mini plug sound out? If only the USB port is needed, does this bypass the internal soundcard?

Anything else that you might like to add to explain the differences is appreciated.

6) Any opinions on the sound quality of the Monsoon speakers?

TIA

[ 12-18-2001: Message edited by: macweiser ]</p>
post #2 of 13
I've got the iM-700 on my dual 800 and I find the sound quality to be excellent. It was the only Monsoon system available a couple of months ago for the USB-only Quicksilvers. The only downside is that there is a loud POP from the speakers when you boot up. I've gotten used to it.
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post #3 of 13
[quote]1) What is the advantage of USB speakers?<hr></blockquote>Actually, I haven't heard that there really are any. USB speakers eat up bandwidth that could otherwise be used for other peripherals.
[quote]2) Will any of the Monsoon speakers work with my Mac or only the IM-700 model?<hr></blockquote>Any Monsoon speakers should work. The 533 Power Mac is classified as a <a href="http://www.apple-history.com/g4da.html" target="_blank">"Digital Audio" PowerMac</a> and can use USB audio or analog through the 1/8" mini plug.
[quote]3) What is the advantage of having the USB option?<hr></blockquote>As I said before, I don't really think there is any advantage.
[quote]4) Is the USB option only an extra cable/adapter that can be used with any of the Monsson speakers? If so, can the cord/adapter be purchased seperately and how much?<hr></blockquote>Yes, I believe it is an adapter separate from the speakers themselves. See this quote from Monsoon: [quote]The renowned iM-700 is now USB enabled through an "ice" colored in-line cable attachment that converts the digital USB output to an analog 1/8" plug. This allows the iM-700s to be both digital and analog capable so the system can be connected to a sound card using a 1/8" headphone jack connector or the USB port. <hr></blockquote>
You can also buy adapters for USB-analog. I can't think of any off the top of my head, though.
[quote]5) Do USB speakers plug into a USB port only or is there another cord needed to plug into the 1/8" mini plug sound out? If only the USB port is needed, does this bypass the internal soundcard?<hr></blockquote>It can plug directly into any USB connection without using your Mac's mini plug. I don't know how/if USB overrides the mini plug.
[quote]6) Any opinions on the sound quality of the Monsoon speakers?<hr></blockquote>I have the MM-700's and everyone I know who has heard them loves them. The only downside to the Monsoons (which happens with all flat speakers) is that there is a smaller "sweet spot" than most traditional speakers, if you know what I mean. It's hard to describe without actually experiencing it.

[ 12-17-2001: Message edited by: starfleetX ]</p>
post #4 of 13
About the technical stuff, I only know that USB is not standard audio, it sure sucks, and why the hell doesn't Apple continue using 1/8 inch plugs? Or do they?

Anyway, I have the MM-700's, and they are truly some of the best speakers I have ever heard for their price. They are loud, crisp, clear, and my Mom complains about the bass when I'm playing Quake. What more can you ask for?



They're great speakers. Keep in mind that Monsoon just released new setups, including the 5.1 MM 505 set for something like $129, Monsoon MM 702 that are nearly identical to the MM 700's, and a supah-dupah MM 2000 set that will knock the plaster off the walls.
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post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your replies and the info.

I will research a little more and try to make a decision on which ones to buy.

I have narrowed it down to the Monsoon iM-700 or the newer MM-702 or the Klipsch Promedia 2.1 speakers.

Any thoughts on how the Klipsch 2.1 compares to Monsoon iM-700?
post #6 of 13
Since you're an musician, I'd like to ask:

Why not get studio monitors? They reproduce sound more accurately, albeit at a higher price...
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post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
Composer,
Eventually I hope to get some really nice studio monitors, but just trying to get an inexspensive set that I can enjoy for the time being.

Thanks
post #8 of 13
Got it. Then go with the Monsoon. They've been the best I've heard so far. Those flat-panel speakers are really good at re-constructing the fine details.
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post #9 of 13
Klipsch Promedia 5.1 sounds great!
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post #10 of 13
[quote]Originally posted by gfeier:
<strong>I've got the iM-700 on my dual 800 and I find the sound quality to be excellent. It was the only Monsoon system available a couple of months ago for the USB-only Quicksilvers. The only downside is that there is a loud POP from the speakers when you boot up. I've gotten used to it.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I've got the USB Harmon Kardon Music Sticks and I've never heard a pop at startup. You may have a individual problem
post #11 of 13
While the Klipsches are nice, they are horribly expensive, and the incredible bass is sometimes viewed as a downside. The Monsoons are said to have crisper middle and high ranges, but the Klipsch speakers can just plain drown everything out, but granted, they may cause long term risks to your health.

If you're looking at a 2.1 system, go with the Monsoons. You will not regret it.
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post #12 of 13
macweiser

FYI: Your G4 does have a headphone jack that allows you to plug in any analog based speakers.
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post #13 of 13
The difference between USB and mini-jack speakers is that (on a computer with a sound card), the USB speakers will bypass the sound card. This takes CPU power (BAD), but can bypass subpar audio hardware (GOOD).

However, on a g4, the sound is built into the motherboard anyways, so im not sure whether any hardware would be bypassed using USB.

--comments?

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