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help me find a 5.1 speaker set or home theater for pc gaming:)

Poll Results: Which one for 5.1 gaming?

 
  • 83% (5)
    Home Theater
  • 16% (1)
    PC Speakers like Logitechs
6 Total Votes  
post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'll use a template I found earlier

State your budget: <$150 cheaper the better but I want quality bang for my buck so i'm willing to go up to 200 if it's a steal. I'm not an audiophile. Isn't it obvious? rolleyes.gif

State what perks are highly desirable: If speakers, wall mountable and some form of controller that's not located on the sub. If HT, hdmi inputs and outputs. Blu-ray player would be nice. I've seen some philips blu-ray player/receiver sets on ebay for <$130. I don't know if they're any good though

State what products you already have and are planning on using with your recommended item: Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z( SupremeFX X-Fi 2 w/ spdif)

State how you are going to use the item: My sole purpose for this set is gaming. I play a lot of FPS. COD4 promod, bf3, cs:go. And League of Legends(only uses stereo afaik. but add me. i'm not even ranked yet, we can be bad together:) @timmytumble) And it'll be nice to watch movies with too.

State where you live and offer some sites that are known for having good prices / being reputable so we can help recommend you products in your country's currency: USA. So newegg, tigerdirect, frys(lol), ebay, amazon, OCN Marketplace(w00t)

Prrrreeease help me:)
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post #2 of 10
Well ehhhh. I want to first start off giving you some other things to consider, then I will answer your question directly.

I really must protest against logitech 5.1 systems. When I had a job I picked up a couple sets of the 5.1 logitech systems for cheap (black friday sale for like 40 a piece) to test. Not only is the sound quality terrible, but they really lacked any sense of surround sound. They were so quiet, that when sound came out of a single channel, it wouldn't be noticeable until 2 or more channels started to sound off. If I were in a DEAD silent room, or had a preamp, then maybe they would have been better, but I QUICKLY returned them with a frown on my face.

To be honest, I have never been impressed with a surround system that was sold as a single kit that cost less than 1K. The issue I have is that the tiny satellites never pump out enough sound to fill the room.

The best surround sound systems that I have heard for less than 300 are when people get 4 book shelf speakers and then buy a separate center channel and sub woofer. They usually get a receiver at a garage sale or a local thrift store for like 50-70 bucks and throw it all together. My friend has done that with some old dynaco A-25 speakers (which by the way sound incredible on their own, and do NOT need a subwoofer) and a onkyo receiver and it sounds un-flipping-believable. I am dead serious when I say it sounds better than the movie theater.

What I REALLY recommend that you do is get a receiver and a good set of book shelf speakers for like 200. Then save up, scout ebay, and grab a second pair of the same speakers. Then just build up little by little. If you were to go down this road, the first thing you do is find a 5.1 receiver with HDMI. Any will do really. I like onkyo and harman Kardon receivers, but pioneer/sony/samsung will all work just as fine. Then just scout for a decent pair of either celestion 3 speakers http://www.ebay.com/itm/251278278136?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649 (please buy these otherwise I will smile.gif ) Or dynaco A-25 http://www.ebay.com/itm/221229417395?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

If none of what I said made an impact on you, then the absolute best price /performance system on the market that I have encountered is this onkyo system http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S3500-5-1-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B0077V88V8 From time to time it goes on sale which would bring it much closer to your price point. But that receiver alone with HDMI and all the other features it has is pretty darn good. The speakers just put a cherry on top.
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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

If none of what I said made an impact on you, then the absolute best price /performance system on the market that I have encountered is this onkyo system http://www.amazon.com/Onkyo-HT-S3500-5-1-Channel-Theater-Receiver/dp/B0077V88V8 From time to time it goes on sale which would bring it much closer to your price point. But that receiver alone with HDMI and all the other features it has is pretty darn good. The speakers just put a cherry on top.
Thank you Angel, I appreciate your response.
So should I be looking for that particular receiver and just any speakers to go with? Or vice versa?
I can find the Onkyo HT-S3500 speakers by themselves for $100 on ebay and all I would need is a receiver. And if I can't find the receiver on it's own, could you recommend a decent one that I could pair with those speakers?



General Question: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think i'll NEED the hdmi input for real surround. Cause if I use optical input, I'll get simulated surround, right? Keep in mind, I have a Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z that has an On-board SupremeFX X-Fi 2(just a realtek chip).
If the receiver has the DDL/DTS and whatever else encoders, I just need the hdmi input right to get true surround?
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post #4 of 10
Personally Stay away from HTIB or Computer speakers (aka logitech)

IF you wanna do it right get a pair of studio monitors or get a receiver and speakers.

Onkyo receivers sound pretty close to pioneer receivers (from the ones I have heard), and the Pioneer receiver in our basement sounds petty decent. Stay away from anything with the Sony name on it or Samsung, they don't make good audio gear are focused more on HTIB. Yamaha is the brand to get when it comes to a receiver, all the Yamaha receivers I had have a nice rich sound to them. Harman Kardon makes good receives as well, but their lower end modles really aren't any better then Yamaha's most of the time yet cost more. Denon also is about par with Yamaha, still ahead of pioneer and onkyo.

I would try and find one with HDMI, but if your looking to save money even a receiver with multichannel inputs in the back would be more then enough. I use the multichannel inputs on the back on my Yamaha receiver on my pc for audio in from my sound card. Passes it through so my sound card works as the DAC.

As for speakers a good pair of Polks never is a bad idea, though on craigslist you can always find people selling old speakers. Though I'm loving my horned Klipsch speakers, everything is just so clean and clear. Just do some research.


edit:
Onkyo HT-S3500 is a HTIB, STAY AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The receiver itself is low quality and doesn't even offer dedicated sub line out.

HDMI is the only way to get 7.1 PCM over a single cable.
Optical can only do 2.0 PCM, but can be encoded to 5.1. You need a sound card or onboard that supports DD or DTS live encoding if you want to use optical
Multichannel input is good old fashion analog in, so really you get 6 dedicated channels that way as well. (this is what I use on my rig and works great for 5.1)
Edited by DzillaXx - 5/22/13 at 11:25pm
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post #5 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajentcue View Post

Thank you Angel, I appreciate your response.
So should I be looking for that particular receiver and just any speakers to go with? Or vice versa?
I can find the Onkyo HT-S3500 speakers by themselves for $100 on ebay and all I would need is a receiver. And if I can't find the receiver on it's own, could you recommend a decent one that I could pair with those speakers?



General Question: Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think i'll NEED the hdmi input for real surround. Cause if I use optical input, I'll get simulated surround, right? Keep in mind, I have a Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z that has an On-board SupremeFX X-Fi 2(just a realtek chip).
If the receiver has the DDL/DTS and whatever else encoders, I just need the hdmi input right to get true surround?

Well I guess you are going to make me buy my second pair of celestion 3s aren't you tongue.gif

I am going to answer your question a bit backwards and say that from what I have read, the issue is the toslink does not have the bandwidth for 5.1. This means that you use something like dolby digital live or DTS on a sound card to compress the audio to send it to your receiver. The receiver then decodes the sound as 5.1. It is real 5.1, but it does not sound as good as uncompressed 5.1 audio like what you would get with HDMI. Personally, the difference really isn't that big, so if you are in a budget crunch, I would not worry too much about making sure the receiver has HDMI.

The problem with those speakers is that they are going to charge you 20 bucks in shipping so keep that in mind.

As for the receiver..... They used to have it on newegg. IDK what happened to it especially considering they only seem to be selling some more unusual onkyo receivers. Actually.....I am not seeing a lot of the receivers I know and love ohno-smiley02.gif . http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=252-226 This one is cheap but I have never heard it. Sherwood generally makes a decent product. You might want to wait a week and see what comes back to newegg. *shrug*

Again. always try thrift stores and garage sales. As long as you have a good eye for the features you need, you can walk away with some great gear for pennies on the dollar.
Edited by Tjj226 Angel - 5/22/13 at 11:40pm
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by DzillaXx View Post

Onkyo HT-S3500 is a HTIB, STAY AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Erhem....

Look at his price point. At that price a home theater in a box (HTIB) is a much better option that logitech speakers.

I don't like HTIBs either, but it is cheaper to buy a HTIB that it would be to get a receiver and a set of speakers.

Also, the difference between receivers are going to be hard to perceive with the speakers that he could afford.
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post #7 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

Erhem....

Look at his price point. At that price a home theater in a box (HTIB) is a much better option that logitech speakers.

I don't like HTIBs either, but it is cheaper to buy a HTIB that it would be to get a receiver and a set of speakers.

Also, the difference between receivers are going to be hard to perceive with the speakers that he could afford.

He could get a old high end receiver from the mid 2000s for around 75-150 bucks on ebay/craigslist if he wanted. I see good deals on higher end Yamaha receiver that have both multichannel and optical. Really from a price standpoint your not going to beat the audio quality coming from those units. I got my HTR-5640 for 50 bucks like 5 years ago on craigslist, has a vary good sound too better then the new pioneer receiver in our basement even though that has HDMI and all that neat stuff. Though the HTR-5063 on my TV does sound a little better, fuller more powerful sound and vary balanced.

As for speakers any good old speakers would do, or a pair of newer Polk speakers never disappoints. Though if going for used components might as well get a speaker that's already broken in.

HTIB would be the last resort, though even then I would recommend getting one where the receiver itself isn't tailored to the HTIB. Not having sub line out means your stuck using that stock sub.
Edited by DzillaXx - 5/22/13 at 11:56pm
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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tjj226 Angel View Post

Well I guess you are going to make me buy my second pair of celestion 3s aren't you tongue.gif

I am going to answer your question a bit backwards and say that from what I have read, the issue is the toslink does not have the bandwidth for 5.1. This means that you use something like dolby digital live or DTS on a sound card to compress the audio to send it to your receiver. The receiver then decodes the sound as 5.1. It is real 5.1, but it does not sound as good as uncompressed 5.1 audio like what you would get with HDMI. Personally, the difference really isn't that big, so if you are in a budget crunch, I would not worry too much about making sure the receiver has HDMI.
So basically what all that means is that, using multichannel inputs(DzillaXx recommended) would not get me uncompressed 5.1? Even though it probably doesn't make too much of a difference. And since I'm not using a sound card and my on board doesn't support DD/DTS, would the only way to get uncompressed 5.1 be to use hdmi?
Quote:
Originally Posted by DzillaXx View Post

HDMI is the only way to get 7.1 PCM over a single cable.
Optical can only do 2.0 PCM, but can be encoded to 5.1. You need a sound card or onboard that supports DD or DTS live encoding if you want to use optical
Multichannel input is good old fashion analog in, so really you get 6 dedicated channels that way as well. (this is what I use on my rig and works great for 5.1)
If I wanted to do multichannel input, I would just need 4 or 5 female-female rca to toslink(3.5mm?) cables? Would that get me uncompressed 5.1? As I said earlier, I'm not using a sound card or anything that supports DD/DTS.

And again guys, I know I should stay away from HTIB and computer speakers. And day by day, I'm feeling less and less inclined to get logitech/computer speakers. However, I am on a tight budget and I do not wish to get a receiver+3 speakers and then get the surround later. I would really like to get a taste of what surround gaming is like as soon as possible. Later on, when I have a better job I definitely will. But with this tight of a budget($150) and it being a birthday present from my girlfriend, I won't be able to do that. Especially if a "cheap" receiver costs around $150. So I may HAVE to get a htib for the time being.
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post #9 of 10
Thread Starter 
I'm glad you guys settled the whole budget thing on your own lol. I realize I don't have much to work with, so it really does come down to the last resort.... HTIB. So now I'm just looking for the best of the worst: the best bang for my buck HTIB thumb.gif
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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Sorry if I can off as rude or said something taboo in the audio world, I meant no offense
Thank you for your suggestions so far!
I've decided to get a HT. I'm leaning towards building piece by piece but I know it can be pricey and I have a <$200 budget :/
I have an LG LH-B335 on lay away at my brother-in-law's pawn shop for $164. The only reason why I want it is for the receiver: It has a Blu-ray player, spring clip speaker connects, and HDMI IN/OUT so I can play Blu-rays through my computer monitor(1080p 3D capable) and run my computer audio through the receiver.
But the lhb335 speakers look so cheap and not worth it frown.gif On the other hand, my bro-in-law has the Harmon Kardon AVR-247, two Affinity bookshelf speakers(don't know model, look like 5" speaker with tweeters with silver plating under the mesh covering) and a Cerwin Vega 8" sub that he's willing to sell me. There's a 50/50 chance he'll keep it all though, now that he's realizing the value of it all.

This is where YOU GUYS come in! thumb.gif
How much should I pay for his HK receiver and 2.1 speakers? It's all in good/great condition

And if he is not willing to sell them, I need help finding 2 things, all <$200, used/new doesn't matter
1. A blu-ray receiver with HDMI in/out and preferred spring clip speaker hookups or something similar(like the LG LH-B335)
or a decent non-bluray receiver with HDMI in/out and spring clip speaker hookups or something similar(like the Harmon Kardon AVR-247)
2. AND decent 5.1 speakers(package deal or piece-by-piece)

I don't mind if it's used, ebay and amazon, or even from you guys smile.gif
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My System
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OCZ Vertex R2 Plus 120GB SATA II WD 320GB  CM V8 Windows 7 64bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerMouse
ASUS VW224U 22" Microsoft Sidewinder Corsair TX650 Razer Deathadder 
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