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Recommend me the best 5.1 system for <$400

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm big on gaming, as well as FLAC audio, and bluray videos- just so you know what I'm going to be using the speakers for.

I'll be playing a lot of BF3 when it releases; also, Skyrim!

A lot of my music collection is FLAC, and the rest is 320kbps, nothing lower than that *shivers*

Every movie I watch is in bluray, and a lot of the anime I watch is 1080p with FLAC audio.

Hopefully that gives you guys a decent explanation of my usage scenario.

I'm willing to shell out about $400 on the best 5.1 system for that price, and it needs to have optical ports since I'm running a Titanium HD.

Come at me bro! (with your suggestions)
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post #2 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by txtsd View Post
I'm big on gaming, as well as FLAC audio, and bluray videos- just so you know what I'm going to be using the speakers for.

I'll be playing a lot of BF3 when it releases; also, Skyrim!

A lot of my music collection is FLAC, and the rest is 320kbps, nothing lower than that *shivers*

Every movie I watch is in bluray, and a lot of the anime I watch is 1080p with FLAC audio.

Hopefully that gives you guys a decent explanation of my usage scenario.

I'm willing to shell out about $400 on the best 5.1 system for that price, and it needs to have optical ports since I'm running a Titanium HD.

Come at me bro! (with your suggestions)
As you'll be watching movies a 5.1 system will be good for you but however for the small budget of $400 your going to have trouble finding good gear so the best way to go about this would be to go with a HTIB system.

In my personal opinion the best HTIB system are from Onkyo and the one in your price range that I would recommend is the HT-S3200. Very good value for money but don't expect sound quality to be amazing.

If you want better sound quality I strongly recommend you go with a good 2.1 system instead. If you can find a decent 5.1 receiver 2nd hand on CL or something and then buy a pair of bookshelves and a subwoofer this would greatly increase the sound quality compared to a HTIB. Also if you do manage to find a 5.1 receiver 2nd hand it also allows you to expand in the future when you have the money, simply hook up more speakers when you can afford them.

I personally watch my movies using a higher end 2.1 system and don't find it too lacking. As long as placement is correct and your sound card/receiver is decent you'd be surprised at how much immersion just two speakers can provide.
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post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
As you'll be watching movies a 5.1 system will be good for you but however for the small budget of $400 your going to have trouble finding good gear so the best way to go about this would be to go with a HTIB system.

In my personal opinion the best HTIB system are from Onkyo and the one in your price range that I would recommend is the HT-S3200. Very good value for money but don't expect sound quality to be amazing.

If you want better sound quality I strongly recommend you go with a good 2.1 system instead. If you can find a decent 5.1 receiver 2nd hand on CL or something and then buy a pair of bookshelves and a subwoofer this would greatly increase the sound quality compared to a HTIB. Also if you do manage to find a 5.1 receiver 2nd hand it also allows you to expand in the future when you have the money, simply hook up more speakers when you can afford them.

I personally watch my movies using a higher end 2.1 system and don't find it too lacking. As long as placement is correct and your sound card/receiver is decent you'd be surprised at how much immersion just two speakers can provide.
I'm still new to surround sound systems- what exactly is the function of a receiver? All I've ever had is 2 sats that plug into the sub, and the sub plugs into the sound card.

As long as the HT-S3200 sounds better than the Logitech Z5500 and Z906, I'll take it. That's good enough for me, for now.
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post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by txtsd View Post
I'm still new to surround sound systems- what exactly is the function of a receiver? All I've ever had is 2 sats that plug into the sub, and the sub plugs into the sound card.

As long as the HT-S3200 sounds better than the Logitech Z5500 and Z906, I'll take it. That's good enough for me, for now.
Most receivers nowadays perform multiple functions. Receivers for surround sound systems process audio to send the separate channels to the right speakers, they also process audio for different effects etcetc.

The second main function that a receiver does is amplification, in your other situations where you have the satellites plug into the sub whats happening is the subwoofer has a built in amplifier which provides power to the speakers and the sound card in your computer/ipod/phone is doing the audio processing/audio sending.

Whether or not they will sound better than the Logitech units I won't be able to comment on cause I haven't heard either of the systems but I assume that the Onkyo system will provide better sound quality and a less boomy bass response.

The Logitech systems definitely aren't slouches though. If you already own the Logitech systems I recommend you keep them and wait till you can afford a better system because as of now this purchase would be a side/upgrade at best.
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post #5 of 9
A 5.1 400$ setup will suck.
It hurts but its the truth.
Recommending a good 2.1 system
    
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post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
Most receivers nowadays perform multiple functions. Receivers for surround sound systems process audio to send the separate channels to the right speakers, they also process audio for different effects etcetc.

The second main function that a receiver does is amplification, in your other situations where you have the satellites plug into the sub whats happening is the subwoofer has a built in amplifier which provides power to the speakers and the sound card in your computer/ipod/phone is doing the audio processing/audio sending.

Whether or not they will sound better than the Logitech units I won't be able to comment on cause I haven't heard either of the systems but I assume that the Onkyo system will provide better sound quality and a less boomy bass response.

The Logitech systems definitely aren't slouches though. If you already own the Logitech systems I recommend you keep them and wait till you can afford a better system because as of now this purchase would be a side/upgrade at best.
Ok I understand the receiver now

I don't own the logitech system, I wish I did haha. I own the Altec Lansing ATP3 2.1 system. The sats fire mid-range bass, so at the time that I bought them they were pretty good for me

What do you make of the Klipsch Promedia 5.1 ssytem?
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post #7 of 9
This makes me poster #3 to say so : music is 2 channel/stereo and you can still get good low end frequencies with a sub so rather than listen to 5 pathetic satellites with god forsaken driver/tweeter design (or no tweeters!) do yourself a favor and hit a decent 2.1 With a passive + AVR set up you could build a proper 2.1 1st and later expand to 5.1 the right way
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post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by txtsd View Post
Ok I understand the receiver now

I don't own the logitech system, I wish I did haha. I own the Altec Lansing ATP3 2.1 system. The sats fire mid-range bass, so at the time that I bought them they were pretty good for me

What do you make of the Klipsch Promedia 5.1 ssytem?
Lol.. I guess whatever you buy its going to be an upgrade then.

Those Klipsch speakers are still computer speakers as they have amplification built into the sub etcetc. Although theres nothing wrong with this, a general rule of thumb is that even your most entry level home audio setups will stomp out any 'computer' speaker.

On top of this buying the HTIB from Onkyo will give you a lot more flexibility, you have the ability to replace the receiver/amplifier by itself to upgrade or alternatively you could switch out the speakers whilst keeping the same receiver.
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post #9 of 9
Like the others said, 400$ won't do it. You would be better of getting a receiver and 2.1 speakers now, and adding rears and a center that match those speakers later on. If your in the U.S. I can't recommend polk speakers enough. Go and have a look on their ebay store http://stores.ebay.com/Polk-Audio-Direct They have really good deals on here, for factory refurbished speakers that come with a good warrenty. They also have the best customer service I have ever dealt with.

It would be really hard to match or beat anything on their ebay store for price vs performance. Some of their speakers, like the ones best buy carries are not that great, but when you get into their RTiA line of speakers and better, they sound great, and look nice too. They also have some pretty decent subs, that have a very small footprint.

For a receiver there are a ton of options. But you could probably put together a 400$ system using polk speakers form the ebay store, and a refurbished or second hand reciever that would sound better then you would believe.
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