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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there. My audio volume controller just went on my old Cambridge Soundworks 2.1 system. Bought two different sets from my local Micro Center to test out, Creative A250, and the Sound Blaster Kratos S3. I've been using an old 5.1 Creative surround system on my gaming rig and was wondering if the Kratos S3 speakers would offer more quality even though they are a 2.1 system vs a 5.1 I know speakers have a frequency range but there is no data with those specifications for either set. Aside from just opening up the box and testing them has anyone had or know a little bit about something like this that they could give some input on?

Appreciate it, thanks
 

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So lets back up a bit and outline some basic information.

Most of the audio you experience on your computer is stereo audio (2 channel or 2.1 if you prefer). Gaming and movies is where you normally see multichannel audio (5.1 or 7.1 audio).

Lets assume that audio quality is a matter of getting the most realistic representation of real life audio as possible.

No lets assume we have 3 different systems. We have 1 2 channel system with no subwoofer, a 2.1 channel system with a subwoofer, and a 5.1 audio system. If all 3 systems cost the same price, the 2 channel system ideally should sound the best because more of your money went towards the quality of 2 speakers vs a subwoofer or extra channels.

However... unless you are buying a fairly pricey 2 channel system, you will generally lack bass which is where a subwoofer comes in, and you will generally won't have the same sound stage a 5.1 system would give you, so you can't hear footsteps behind you while in a game.

So its a system of trade offs.

The real question is, is gaming that important that you are willing to forfeit a bit of sound quality? If you spend more of your time gaming than you do listening to music or movies, then I would stick with 5.1 audio.

If you do go with 5.1, I would try to snag a used home theater setup. If you are patient, you can find a really nice harman kardon 5.1 home theater system for like 50 bucks. Just check ebay or goodwill. People even give away entire home theater setups for free and it will sound miles better than a lot of the pc gaming audio crap out there.

If you decide that audio quality is more important, then I would again buy used, but I would try to spend a bit more. Maybe even 150 bucks. You can usually find a nice name brand receiver on craigslist, ebay, or goodwill for 50 bucks and then you could pick up a pair of good 2 channel bookshelf speakers for 50-100 bucks.

Hell you or someone you might be fairly handy with wood working and you could build a really kick butt pair of speakers for 50-60 bucks that will easily go toe to toe with speakers that cost 500 bucks.

You have a lot of options, you just need to decide what your goals are and what you are looking for in an audio system.
 

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Recent Googwill purchase:


Kenwood 150 watt receiver - $14
Advent AV5 speakers - $6
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Just to clarify my main rig was using the Cambridge speaker set (broken volume control), and my game rig is using a Creative 5.1 system. I was also wrong about info on the frequency range, Creative does list details like that and I found them just now. The Kratos S3 satellite speakers have a range from 60Hz to 20k-Hz, while the A250 satellinte speakers have a range from 40Hz to 20k-Hz, and if it's just these particular specs differences, then the added low end frequency range on the A250 set is making the low end difference I'm hearing. I have a 2x15" road ready cab with a 40-4000Hz, and a 60-6000Hz set of speakers, and it was noticable when I changed out the bottom 60-6k-Hz speaker and replaced with with a 40-4k-Hz speaker. I think they are ElectroVoice. I think the the Kratos S3 speakers have more output volume before distortion than the A250 set does.

Comparing the mid range Kratos S3 2.1 speaker set-up vs the old Creative 5.1 system on my game rig, the 5.1 surround system still holds more of an appeal over the possibilities of the Kratos S3 2.1 System. I'm going to further investigate things with the software that is offered for the S3. The BlasterX Acoustic Engine. I'll reply back after.
 
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