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Need new speakers... what to get?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I've got my G4/500 MP (and Ti 667, but this post is for the desktop). Got my dual monitors, burner, enough RAM, blah, blah, blah. What I need now is a good audio system that has great sound, is small (so it will fit in my dorm room next year), and less than $150.

I want a subwoofer and 4 or 5 satellites, but I am not willing to get a PCI soundcard unless the drivers will work in OS X.

So I was at Best Buy today and listened to a number of systems. The Creative Labs FPS-1800 was nice, but lacked midrange. Their 5300 was perfect, but it apparently won't work without a soundcard due to the inputs (needs front, rear, and middle inputs). The JBL setup there was nice, but was only 3 piece and was pretty spendy, IMO. The Altec Lansing systems sounded anemic, though the one that I wanted to see (the AVS-500) was not set up. My dad has the AVS-200 (two satellites with no sub) at work, and the speakers sound great.

So, what do you all use? Suggestions?

TIA
-Ender
If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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post #2 of 34
i've got the altec lansing ACS66i which is a version made in mac colors. not only were the speakers reasonable (around $70) but they sound great. i'm very pleased with them...especially when i crank up some MP3's.
"Mac users enjoy a love-hate relationship with Microsoft--in which love is defined as "resigned tolerance" and hate as "lava-hot rancor fueled by the fire of a thousand burning suns."

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"Mac users enjoy a love-hate relationship with Microsoft--in which love is defined as "resigned tolerance" and hate as "lava-hot rancor fueled by the fire of a thousand burning suns."

-Macworld
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post #3 of 34
I don't know which model they are, but I've got the black Altec lansing 4 piece speakers with subwoofer. Great sound. They were around $100.
post #4 of 34
I have a G4 system and I listen to MP3s nearly the entire time I'm in front of the screen (and even when I'm not sometimes!). I bought a set of Soundsticks from Harmon/kardon and I love them. The subwoofer gives out really decent bass and the two "satellite" sticks (speakers) put out a lot of sound. I've gone to just playing MP3s on my Mac using the soundsticks rather than using my stereo system. Granted, the stereo gets louder, but I never listen to music when the volume is rediculously high anyway. And the other nice part about the soundsticks is that they are definitely stylish and they compliment my G4 and monitor well. Since I bought my Mac partly because of its style (ok, I admit it!), I didn't want to "ugly" it up with boring beige (or black) speakers.

Joe
Joe
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Joe
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post #5 of 34
Thread Starter 
Is it this system:

<a href="http://www.altecmm.com/webapp/commerce/command/ProductDisplay?prrfnbr=17795&prmenbr=9490&from=" target="_blank">http://www.altecmm.com/webapp/commerce/command/ProductDisplay?prrfnbr=17795&prmenbr=9490&from=</a>

I listened to that system at Best Buy and I didn't really feel one way or another about it. I was kinda peeved because they were using a staticky radio station to demo the speakers, so I couldn't really get a good sound out of 'em.

I've been reading some more reviews, and the general consensus is that the Altec AVS-500 is nice for the money, but the bass is thumpy and the highs are only good for games, and not music (like a violin piece). I really enjoy classical music much more than "ejecting brass", so that one is pretty much out (unless I get a chance to listen to it for myself).

I came across this Logitech system:

<a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/-/electronics/B00005AUKK/reviews/ref=e_de_a_er/104-5501408-0295133" target="_blank">http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/-/electronics/B00005AUKK/reviews/ref=e_de_a_er/104-5501408-0295133</a>

Do any of you know anything about it? Logitech doesn't have it listed on their website, but there are reviews all over the place and they seem to be generally positive.

Anyway, what do the rest of you use? Pros/Cons with your current setup? I'm really kinda a newbie at the whole audio thing...

-Ender
If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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post #6 of 34
What sound cards support 4.1 or 5.1 speaker systems? I didn't think there were any. Very interesting......
post #7 of 34
At home I have a cheap pair of Logitechs (Black ones). At work I'm using a borrowed pair of Altec Lansing's bottom of the line ACS22. I can confidently report that the Logitechs sound WAAAAY better. The ALs lack any sort of high frequency response and bass has been boosted so much it sounds totally muddy.
post #8 of 34
Thread Starter 
Well the Creative Labs SoundBlaster Live! PCI card is *supposed* to do 4.1 surround, but the mac drivers (and I'm not speaking from experience, just from what I've heard) are so terrible as to make buying the card a complete waste of money.

So, since we have no good 4.1/5.1 surround card, I will just get nice speakers and use them as left/right for now, and get a nice card later.

Oh, and on the first day that I went to Best Buy, I stopped by AIS Computers and listened to the SoundSticks/iSub. I thought they looked nice, but sounded weak. Especially for the price. I'm not willing to pay $200 for a 3 piece audio system. I'm barely willing to pay $200 for a 5 piece audio system. (While I was there, I saw a salesman sell a 733 tower, 17" ASD, SoundSticks, iSub, with an iPod; I was shocked.)

And thanks for all this advice, I appreciate it.

-Ender
If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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post #9 of 34
Thread Starter 
I feel that quality is always better than getting a cheap system that will either break or will be limiting in the future.

So, after having reading reviews and such for much of the day, I think I'm going to go with a Klipsch ProMedia system. I cannot decide between the v.2-400 and the 4.1 model though. They both have pretty much the same specs, but the 4.1 is a refined version of the v.2-400, has a headphone jack, and a MP3 player input. The big question is whether it's worth an extra $100.

Right now, I'm thinking "fook it, go for it! You'll regret it if you don't." But I really am not sure.

I found a site that is doing free shipping on the 4.1 model for $300. I might do that, the v.2-400 is not free shipping and so then the difference is only $75...

Have any of you heard this system in action before?

-Ender
If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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post #10 of 34
Don't forget the Monsoons!

I have the 1000 (about $150 6 months ago), and I love it.
If yer gonna bother with thinking different, swing for the fences.
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If yer gonna bother with thinking different, swing for the fences.
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post #11 of 34
Can't macs now handle 5.1 surround without the need for a sound card? If so, promedia makes a nice 5.1 set-up too.
IBL!
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IBL!
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post #12 of 34
[quote]Originally posted by Ender:
<strong>I feel that quality is always better than getting a cheap system that will either break or will be limiting in the future.

So, after having reading reviews and such for much of the day, I think I'm going to go with a Klipsch ProMedia system. I cannot decide between the v.2-400 and the 4.1 model though. They both have pretty much the same specs, but the 4.1 is a refined version of the v.2-400, has a headphone jack, and a MP3 player input. The big question is whether it's worth an extra $100.

Right now, I'm thinking "fook it, go for it! You'll regret it if you don't." But I really am not sure.

I found a site that is doing free shipping on the 4.1 model for $300. I might do that, the v.2-400 is not free shipping and so then the difference is only $75...

Have any of you heard this system in action before?

-Ender</strong><hr></blockquote>

Go for it. You get what you pay for (except on Powermacs right now).
post #13 of 34
Pioneer SE-M870 Stereo Headphones. Great for small areas, and $ for $ produce better sound.
"What makes a man turn... neutral?" -Futurama
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post #14 of 34
Thread Starter 
FAIK, while Mac OS X can handle 5.1 surround in software, the current towers do not have the outputs to send the signal to speakers. All we have is a stereo miniplug (left and right channels, not left/right & front/back).

Matsu, I considered getting the 5.1 system in case my tower can handle 5.1 surround in the future, but lots of reviews said that the middle channel (the difference between the 4.1 and 5.1 setup) is way overbearing, and only really works well for DVDs, where the voice is the primary thing that is going on. I think that for $100 less, I can do without the fifth satellite.

Falcon, those headphones look cool, but I'm not really a headphone kind of guy. I only use headphones when I'm on my Ti PB on an airplane or something, and then I want really small headphones that fit in my case easily.

shaman, I have heard the monsoons, but I want a 4 satellite setup, and I would rather go with the Creative Labs FPS-1800 over the monsoon 2000 series. They just didn't sound right to me (and the FPS-1800s had such weak midrange and that wouldn't sound good in anything but games, IMO).

I think that I will order the Klipsch ProMedia 4.1 system sometime this week maybe. The more I think about it, the more I want them. Now I'm even getting to the point where I notice every hiss and pop of my current setup and for the first time ever I *hear* the flaws. Damnit! If we humans could just be content with what we have!

Thanks again,
-Ender
If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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post #15 of 34
A few years ago I bougth a nice stereo, later on I got my G4 tower, eventually I got to copy all of my CD to iTunes and now i have the perfect solution: The ease of iTunes (all my CD's rigth there) and the sound from my stereo.
So my advice buy a stereo and hook your mac up to it, or if you already have a stereo all you need is a cable
Even if the stereo is more expensive I think it'll be worth it.
post #16 of 34
Thread Starter 
That's what I do now, but it's a very old stereo, and the amp produces mucho distortion and pops and other noises. I would just replace the amp, except I am looking to the near future (next fall) and I see myself in a dorm room with very little space. I will be taking my tower, but I don't think I'll be able to fit my full stereo in there.

That's why I'm going with the much smaller satellites with sub. If I had all the space in the world, yeah, I'd go get a Bose stereo and ($2000 later...) have a wonderful setup far above the Klipsch. Unfortunately, this will be the best I can do.

-Ender
If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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post #17 of 34
[quote]Originally posted by Ender:
<strong>...I see myself in a dorm room with very little space. I will be taking my tower, but I don't think I'll be able to fit my full stereo in there.
-Ender</strong><hr></blockquote>

Well, I live in a dorm...
post #18 of 34
Thread Starter 
Well, I don't know about the dorms in Denmark, but the ones here in Georgia are SMALL! I'm taking my G4/500 MP tower with dual 17" monitors and external burner, AND my Ti PB 667, AND my sound system, and it looks like that will be about half of my side of the dorm room.

Most people even vault their beds to make room for their stuff (like a bunk bed without the lower bunk).

Anyway, I broke down and bought the Klipsch ProMedia 4.1 system today for $300 (free shipping! woo ha!) from vanns.com. I could not find a review that said anything derogatory about it except when comparing it to the Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 system (that is $100 more for one more speaker). The 4.1 system has everything I could want and more (headphone jack accessible on the front of the speaker, volume & bass control, etc.), so I just figured "what the heck, I'll blow my roomies away."

Anyway, I'll let y'all know how they perform when I get 'em. Don't know how long UPS Ground will take though, so this thread might be long buried before they show up.

Thanks again for all of your responses.
-Ender
If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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post #19 of 34
You should be VERY excited!! I've got the Pro Media 2.1 solution, and I think they are GREEEEAT!!! I even sold my stereo, because I figured I didn't need it!! Anyway, I'm not a sound expert, and anything with a little subwoofer can excite me (!?), but I'm pretty sure that these speakers are hi-end when it comes to computer speakers... so look forward to your new speakers... I bet you won't regret it...
post #20 of 34
Thread Starter 
Awesome, I'm glad to hear yet another glowing (semi-)review. They are scheduled for delivery on next Friday (UPS Ground shipping was free, 2nd day air was like $50).

-Ender
If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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post #21 of 34
Klipsch makes great speakers. I don't care too much for a 4/5 channel system. Unless the signals are discreet and mixed correctly I think the effect is hokey. On my home system , an Onkyo with Definitive Technology speakers it's Awesome, but then again, Definitive technology speakers rock. On a computer system...well never been impressed. I get better imaging of sound for my MP3's from 2 speakers and a sub. I'm getting the Harmon Kardon sound sticks with the iSub. they sound great and will look great next to my new flat pannel iMac (when it comes in). Either way, Klipsch makes great speakers. I'm sure you won't be disapointed. The best advice I was ever given was to splurge on the speakers for my home theatre system Even though my wallet is $1300 lighter, I haven't regretted it.
huh?
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huh?
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post #22 of 34
was going to buy the Monsoon MM702 but they dont sell any products in Europe yet. Dammit.

I just bought Hercules XPS 210, 2.1 system. So far, for 65$ I am very impressed. Very good sound and the bass is nice and deep... muahaha.
I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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I'm having deja-vu and amnesia at the same time. I think I've forgotten this before.
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post #23 of 34
Thread Starter 
Well, the UPS man gave me a visit today after school.

I had to run to Radio Shack and pick up a stereo miniplug 'Y' cable so I could distribute my single output to both front and rear channels, but now I've got everything set up and I'm amazed. <img src="graemlins/surprised.gif" border="0" alt="[Surprised]" />

The Klipsch ProMedia 4.1 setup that I got today is the best sounding computer speaker setup that I've ever heard. And it's so SMALL! The satellites are normal sized (and they have these great metal stands), and the sub pumps great solid bass, but isn't thumpy like many other systems.

Also, they seem to have a blowout prevention system that cuts power to the speaker if it gets overloaded. Pretty great. (oh, and if you are sitting in front of your computer, you won't be able to tolerate the volume at which it starts to cut out. Unless you are deaf.)

Great buy, I'd recommend it to anyone looking for high quality audio.

-Ender
If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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post #24 of 34
Sorry about bringing this one back, but....


Is a "two-channel soundplug minicard" input compatible with a Rev B iBook (no Firewire)? Is that just a headphone plug?

I want to get those Klipsch 2.1 speakers, but need to make sure they work with my computer.

Thanks.

- Pook
In a fast German car I'm amazed that I survived. An airbag saved my life. - Radiohead
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In a fast German car I'm amazed that I survived. An airbag saved my life. - Radiohead
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post #25 of 34
Boston Acoustics...anything by Boston Acoustics
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What are you man? I'm YakMan
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post #26 of 34
Ok, but what about my MiniPlug question?
In a fast German car I'm amazed that I survived. An airbag saved my life. - Radiohead
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In a fast German car I'm amazed that I survived. An airbag saved my life. - Radiohead
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post #27 of 34
Congratulations on your speaker purchase! Sounds like you are very happy with them. Great to hear.

I just purchased a set of Harman Kardon SoundSticks to go with my LCD iMac. I drooled over them enough at a friend's place, and finally decided to get them.

While they probably don't have the power yours do, I think they're fine for most people. I assume no one really has delusions that they could replace a home stereo system - but for computer speakers, they are more than adequate. I wouldn't want to sit in front of my iMac with music blasting any louder than the SoundSticks could handle anyhow - I would like to be able to hear when I'm older...
post #28 of 34
Ender,

Have they arrived yet?

And anyone else feel like chiming in? I'm still in the market for new speakers, as I couldn't quite justify the Klipsch 2.1s.
In a fast German car I'm amazed that I survived. An airbag saved my life. - Radiohead
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In a fast German car I'm amazed that I survived. An airbag saved my life. - Radiohead
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post #29 of 34
Thread Starter 
Yeah, my replacement speakers arrived on Monday. The sub was bad on the old set and this sub is WAY better. No part of this system will distort at any volume (including volumes way too painful to listen at).

To answer your question about the miniplug: yes, the headphone jack is what you need to use for 2 channel sound. That is what I am using for my 4.1 system and I am just splitting the left/right signals to both front and rear speakers. Kind of too bad, but until Macs get a decent 4 channel soundcard, that's all we can do. I plan on getting the first adequately supported 4.1 channel soundcard available for OS X.

You will not go wrong with the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 system. It uses the same technology as the 4.1 system, but with 2 less satellites and less power in the sub (to compensate for not having the extra sound in the satellites).

Anything else?
-Ender
If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
Reply
If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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post #30 of 34
How about a link to these speaker companies. I'm looking for a nice, portable, light-weight set for my iBook that has universal mains.
post #31 of 34
Thread Starter 
Well, I went through <a href="http://www.vanns.com" target="_blank">www.vanns.com</a> (free shipping on all Klipsch models, which is otherwise about $20-$40). I don't remember the links off-hand for Klipsch itself, but a quick google search would dig that up.

Vanns has all the info on the Klipsch models that you need to make an informed decision, I can't speak for any other speaker brands though. My experience with the others is a brief trial at Best Buy (and AIS Computers for the SoundSticks/iSub). I still say that the Klipsch has the best, fullest, and most accurate sound of all of them (really, I'm quite serious... you've got to hear these speakers if you can get the chance).

-Ender
If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
Reply
If you find yourself sided with the majority, it is time to change your thinking.

-Mark Twain
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post #32 of 34
No, the bazaar cannot satisfy users. Neither can the cathedral. Nothing can satisfy users, because software is written to enable rather than satisfy, and because most users are mewling malcontents...
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No, the bazaar cannot satisfy users. Neither can the cathedral. Nothing can satisfy users, because software is written to enable rather than satisfy, and because most users are mewling malcontents...
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post #33 of 34
i use <a href="http://www.cambridgesoundworks.com/multimedia/detail/swdigital_blk_detail.htm" target="_blank">these ones</a>.
only two satellites (and a subwoofer), but the music really sounds great and the system costs just 80$.
"Seid unbequem, seid Sand, nicht das Öl im Getriebe der Welt!"
- Günter Eich
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"Seid unbequem, seid Sand, nicht das Öl im Getriebe der Welt!"
- Günter Eich
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post #34 of 34
whoa. have a look at <a href="http://www.cambridgesoundworks.com/subwoofers/detail/newton_p1000_slt_detail.htm" target="_blank">this baby</a>! rock tha house! <img src="graemlins/smokin.gif" border="0" alt="[Chilling]" />

[ 02-07-2002: Message edited by: freeman ]</p>
"Seid unbequem, seid Sand, nicht das Öl im Getriebe der Welt!"
- Günter Eich
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"Seid unbequem, seid Sand, nicht das Öl im Getriebe der Welt!"
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