Originally Posted by Simca
Typically you'll want to go for a 2.1 setup unless you have major
money as the 2.1 set up will be of higher quality for your dollar than a 5.1 set up.
We typically shy away from Logitech speakers as they're often not worth the money. If you REALLY REALLY want a 5.1 set up but don't have the money, I would recommend the Logitech X540s for 45 dollars and not a penny more. They can often be found refurbished for 35-45 dollars. Don't be a sucker and buy them for full retail.
That said, for 5.1
you'll want a pretty specific set up speakers, so you're better off making a thread about it. For a quick barebones set up, look at Polk Audio and a Dayton
Subwoofers. That should do you a "nice" 5.1 set up for around $500.
We here at OCN generally do not recommend 'computer or 'multimedia' speakers
because you get much better sound quality via active or passive speakers. However they tend to be smaller and cheaper, so if you have tight space issues, they could be worth considering.$50 Price Range:Creative T3130
(2.1)$100 Price Range:Klipsch ProMedia 2.1
A solid pair of computer speakers with a very powerful subwoofer. Many people buy these and in fact, if you look on craigslist, you'll often find them for sale for significantly
cheaper. Just make sure they work.
$120 Price Range:M-Audio AV40
These are the most recommended speakers at this price point. They sound really great for the money, but keep in mind they're still very much entry level. The Swan M10 subwoofer many complain is just not powerful enough and for many they opt to save up and move to a better set.From this price point on, you're better off buying the speakers and the subwoofer separately.$150 Price Range:M-Audio BX5a
For this price they're really good speakers. They don't offer the bass that Audioengine speakers do, but with a subwoofer added that won't matter much. These and a $100 dollar subwoofer (such as a Dayton subwoofer) would be a better buy than the Audioengines, but the Audioengines still serve their purpose for those that aren't looking to buy a subwoofer for whatever reason.KRK Rokit 5
Should be readily available used for 150 dollars for a pair (75 per). These are good little speakers for the price and many people enjoy the sound they deliver.. While they were good, I prefered other solutions to these.
If you live in the UK, you might be able to find a pair of Wharfedale Diamond 9.1
for under 150 used. Sadly, if you live in America these speakers are significantly more expensive.$180 Price Range:Swan D1080MkII08
While they lack a subwoofer, for speakers alone, these are a solid pair of speakers, especially if just used as computer speakers to fill a small room.Alesis M1 Active 520
These are also very popular and sort of bassy speakers. Many people are very fond of these speakers.$200 Price Range:
For those that just want 2 speakers and no subwoofer for whatever reason and want some bass in their active speakers,Audioengine A2
While they're not the highest fidelity speakers you can buy, they serve well for those wanting no hassle speakers that can be plugged in with some bass. To be honest though, the speakers have quite a bit of mid-bass that sometimes infringes upon music. Many people love their Audioengine speakers though. Has a built in tweeter to provide some bass without a subwoofer. Adding a subwoofer is always beneficial though, but if you were to, I would suggest buying other speakers.
For a little over 200, the KRK Rokit 8
began to show up used
for about 220 dollars. They're the 8" speakers rather than the 5" speaker the Rokit 5's are.Paradigm Titan
speakers can often be found for around 200 dollars as well. These are very warm sounding speakers that are quite good, but have become harder to find.$250 Price Range:Behringer B3031A$280 Price Range:Swan M50W
or the Swan M200MKII
The M200MKII will sound better, but won't have a subwoofer. The M50W will have a subwoofer and of course you see the trade off. Up to your preference which you will choose. You can always add a subwoofer later with the M200MKIIs.$300 Price Range:KRK RP5 Rokit G2
Highly recommended at this price.Mackie MR5MK2
Very good speakers.
After this price range, you should do personal research on speakers, have a receiver/DAC and create a separate thread to be catered to personally.
Don't live in the US? Consider this:
Another brand to highly consider if your region of the world has them is the brand Microlab
and their Solo
series. They have a cult following in Eastern Europe and 'Down Under' in Australia and New Zealand due to their bang for buck, particularly against bad value 'computer speaker' brands that dominate the computer part e-tailer market in these regions.
General brands and speaker series' to highly consider
*Needs a stereo amplifier for power*
BIC America Venturi seriesPolk Monitor
series$40 Price Range:Dayton B652$80 Price Range:Pioneer SP BS21$150 Price Range:Infinity Primus P153
A good pair of monitors that can be found for 75 dollars per speaker. Infinity Primus is a sub-company of Harmon Kardon and these speakers sound fabulous. I own a pair definitely recommend them.$170 Price Range:Infinity Primus P163
A step up from the P153. They can be found for 85 dollars per speaker.NHT SuperZero 2.0
They have virtually no bass without a subwoofer though so a subwoofer is highly recommended if you go with these.
$90 - $130 Price Range:Dayton SUB-800
($90), Dayton SUB-1000
($110), Dayton SUB-1200
($130)$190 Price Range:BIC America F12$250 Price Range:Polk Audio PSW505
$25 Price Range:Lepai TA2020
This amplifier can power many passive speakers. They won't make them get really loud like for a party or anything, but for casual listening it'll do the job. Just make sure your speakers sensitivity matches. I think they're good for speakers up to 90db sensitivity. The THD on this is .4% though, but still sounds nice to many, especially for the price.$40 Price Range:Dayton DTA-1$100 Price Range:Dayton DTA-100a
Any more than this and you should consider getting a receiver or looking more into amplifiers on your own. Check Craigslist for Yamaha, Denon, Harman Kardon and maybe an Onkyo receiver. I would rate those receivers in that order ftmp.Here
's another thread on speakers to look at by soloz2.