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Windows 7: What is the best computer speaker?

20 Mar 2016   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
What is the best computer speaker?

Hi, guys!
I need your recommendations. I don't have a good computer speaker and I want to buy it. Help me to choose it, please. My budget is about 150$. I read a nice review, but I'm not sure which to choose. What computer speaker can you recommend? Any advice would be appreciated!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2016   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit

Speakers are very much a matter of personal preference, which means you are on very shaky ground if you rely on recommendations without actually listening to them before the purchase. Even more so if you cannot listen to them in your home.

I'd try to find a local dealer that has multiple choices in stock and hope to be able to return them after a 24 hour audition at home.

Generally--it matters whether you intend to listen to music on them or just want something to make loud noises when gaming or watching movies, for instance. If your intent is to listen to music, you're more likely to be satisfied with $150 spent on 2 standard full range stereo speakers than if you spent $150 on a multiple speaker package that included woofers, subwoofers, tweeters, surround sound, Dolby this, Dolby that, and the rest of it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Mar 2016   #3
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Ignatzsonic pretty much nailed it, especially when it comes to being able to try them out in your home. The only tips I can add is, if you want good music quality (you won't get great for only $150 but, then again, I know what it's like to be on a budget), limit yourself to 2.1 systems (two satellites and an amplified sub woofer feeding the satellites). You might find some self amplified stereo monitors speakers that are to your liking in your price range to which you can later add a sub when more funds become available. Also, don't be afraid to check out used speakers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Mar 2016   #4

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Agreed, spend $150 on a 2.1 system and you`ll be rockin

Even this set will rock at $75 Boston Acoustics BA635 3-Piece Multimedia Computer Speakers: Electronics

If I want to get real serious I hook up to my Sony 700 watt 7.1 HTR

This is $100 more but very nice, maybe next on my list.

Gaming Audio Series™ SP2500 High-power 2.1 PC Speaker System

And for $99 you can`t beat these :)

Corsair Gaming H2100 Wireless Dolby® 7.1 Gaming Headset - Greyhawk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Mar 2016   #5
Lady Fitzgerald

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

The Corsair SP2500 is a crossover between music speakers and gaming speakers but, for the sound you get, they are reasonably compact, especially since they do not need an extra DAC and tuner/amplifiers cluttering up space. The sub is fairly huge but will easily fit in the knee hole of pretty much all desks, except maybe one designed for a preschooler.

Most audiophiles (the ones I call insufferable audio snobs) turn up their noses at the SP2500 because it doesn't follow the traditional rules of what most audio snobs audiophiles to consider necessary for high quality equipment. While the SP2500 does make some drastic compromises to get quality sound from a comparatively small set of speakers (such as raising the crossover between bass and midrange to compensate for the 3" midrange speakers and letting the sub take up the slack for the lower end of the midrange), the sound is surprisingly good. The speakers are actually limited to a degree to the quality of sound all but possibly the very newest, high end motherboards can produce. They usually can benefit from having a high end sound card in the computer. But, even without a good soundcard, these speakers still sound surprisingly good.

One of the two biggest disadvantages of the SP2500 is the price. I suggest trying to catch them when they are on sale. You shouldn't spend more than $220 for them, preferably around $200-$210 (I found mine around 2.5 years ago for only $190). I also suggest staying away used ones since some of the earlier ones had some problems; the current new ones will be ok.

The other big disadvantage of the SP2500 is also one of its advantages: it has a lot of settings in its control pod and onscreen in the driver. You do have to spend a lot of time fiddling with the settings to get the speakers dialed in for thee room they are used in and your personal tastes. One tip: the sub may seem to be too quiet when you first fire it up. Don't be afraid to crank the volume up to what you consider to be a reasonable level. While you can get thundering bass that is guaranteed to anger your neighbors, I don't recommend it if you want the speakers to last for a while. I keep my sub set to normal levels, the kind you have for listening to classical music and it's still in the upper end of the volume range (although cranking it all the way up would still rattle the windows and my fillings).

I've been very happy with my SP2500s. I didn't recommend them to you because they were out of your price range and they are generally a bit overkill for use with onboard computer sound. But, as AddRam said, if you can stand to up your budget (and/or can catch them on sale), you may find you will like them. Again, try to buy them locally somewhere that will allow you to return them should you not like them.

I also have an ASUS Xonar Essence STX sound card. I paid more for it locally than it would have cost me online but that gave me more time to fiddle with the settings on it and the SP2500 and still be able to return it should I find it didn't improve the sound enough to be worth the cost (it was well worth it, in my not so humble opinion, but you may or may not agree). The original STX has now been replaced with two versions of the Xonar Essence STX II. One is strictly 2.0 or 2.1 and the other includes a daughter board for 5.1 and 7.1. For music, anything more than 2.1 is overkill. for movies and gaming, 5.1 or 7.1 may be worthwhile but the price is much higher. In any event, a sound card is something you can do without or put off until you can afford it and still enjoy your speakers.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Mar 2016   #6

Windows 7 Pro x64 Windows 10 Pro x64

Ya the motherboard sound today is very good in my opinion, 2.1 is fine for a PC, need more then that just use the HTR and the PS3
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14 Apr 2016   #7

windows 7 home premium 64bit

let me be brief about something,
either the speaker has an impulse response or it doesn't.

a good way to choose a speaker is to know the impulse response of your listening location & then choose a speaker with an opposite impulse response (that will help a bunch with room reflections, but that doesn't guarantee the speaker sounds any better than that).
not an easy thing to do, getting the impulse response of the listening position, because you need a reference output device played in the room.
that is why most people simply rely on bringing the speakers home to try 'em out.

people can tell you about speakers that either sound transparent without any calibration, or they sound transparent after calibration, all day & night.
the only way for any of those recommendations to be considered the 'best' is based on their impulse response being a match for the listening position.

changing frequency levels, the phase of those frequencies, even the timing of those frequencies - all those things can change an impulse response.
then it is a matter of which speaker can be adjusted to fit your impulse response needs & then which one of them sounds the best from the group.

but umm,
calibration of the speakers using a calibrated microphone & some software can make terrible sounding speakers sound remarkably improved.
otherwise you are looking for a premium 'pay & forget' situation, and those are very hard to come by.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Apr 2016   #8

Windows 7 SP1 Home Premium 64bit [x64]

what about Altec Lansing brand computer speakers? many of them are pretty good
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 What is the best computer speaker?

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