Are high end PC speakers 5.1 viable for Hi-Fi home theatre ?

Discussion in 'PC Audio' started by Rick_Hunter, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. Rick_Hunter

    Rick_Hunter Member

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    Hi,

    Recently I've connected a new Divx player to a set of Logitech z680 5.1 speakers that I recently purchased (off ocau), mainly for some testing. To me, it actually sounds pretty good (well massive upgrade, as I was previously running off the old TV speakers). Which makes me wonder if high end PC speakers are viable for a small home theatre setup. I plan to get a new plasma, proper divx/dvd player and some proper speakers in future, and won't mind saving myself perhaps quite a bit of money if I can get my hands on some decent PC speakers for half the price of proper stereo systems/speakers.

    Just wanna know if anyone does this and perhaps compared the 2. Any inputs regarding this topic will be welcome. Thx.
     
  2. DavLe.BeRRy

    DavLe.BeRRy Member

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    i haven't any direct comparisons but i would image my Z-5500 speakers would be perfect, if not better than some of the 'small' home theatre systems currently on the market. my room is a fairly small square and with the speakers setup like a typical home theatre it sounds awesome.

    We pull up a few matresses lay on the floor and watch DVDs from the comfort of my bedroom, all i need now is a bigger LCD :lol:

    My cousin actually has a proper (fairly high end Sony) home theatre system setup in his room for DVDs, PS2 and his PC. I think my Z-5500s are easily comparable to the sound quality, dare i say.. better.

    the Z-5500D are setup for Dolby Digital Pro Logic II / THX / DTS 96/24 They pretty much ARE home theatre and have connections for a wide array of systems, the Z-680 isn't really far off from the Z-5500 are they, they're still THX right?
     
  3. skid

    skid Member

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    They can be considered as a budget home theatre system. Before I bought my z680 I shopped around for something better at that price and could not find a system that came anywhere near its specs.

    Music doesn't sound that great but for movies I found they're fine.

    Getting a proper home theatre setup will sound better than the z5500/z680's for sure - for both movies and music. I am no audiophile but I can notice the difference between a proper setup and the high-end logitech pc speakers.
     
  4. RyoSaeba

    RyoSaeba Member

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    They're perfectly fine for movies. I had a set of Z-5500 on my HT prior to my SONY HTDDW1500 upgrade. I'm taking things one step at a time. Next upgrade will be to a YAMAHA set. You can hear a difference when it comes to music. But movie wise it was pretty much the same. So yeh, it's fine. The only down side to using PC speakers is the low number of input.
     
  5. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Member

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    if your planning on a decent home theater system, then the z5500's wont cut it, i've got a set and in the bedroom they work great for 5.1 movies, but if i had more cash i'd definitely get something with a bit more power.
     
  6. power

    power Member

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    for the price definitely
     
  7. terrastrife

    terrastrife Member

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    wait a sec...more power, or more natural sound?
     
  8. cyrax83

    cyrax83 Member

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    maybe not more power, more clarity in the speakers and a deeper less boomy sub.
     
  9. sheezymaneezy

    sheezymaneezy Member

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    As said, these would be great for a very low budget 5.1 system, but that's about it.
     
  10. sunrise

    sunrise Member

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    how many ohms are the fronts on z5500's? and anyone know what db sensitivity they are?
    maybe you can replace fronts/centers with something more decent just needs to fit in with the rest, that's gonna be the tricky bit.
    cos as they are, they wont cut it... they're pc speakers, not made to sound a large room, more to give sound to you on your computer chair.. and then there's the issue of sound quality... replacing the fronts/center could get around this though
     
  11. the _rick

    the _rick Member

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    my Z5500's are fine for watching movies in my room, but they dont cut it in the lounge, not enough juice and the clarity can be questionable

    good enough for me though
     
  12. irR4tiOn4L

    irR4tiOn4L Member

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    High end PC 5.1 Speakers dont cut it for PC Audio if you ask me, much less Hi-Fi Home Theatre!! Remember - HiFi is a QUALITY STANDARD, which PC speakers DONT MATCH. So why even bother?

    I plugged up a Class-A amp and some great three-way Audiolines to service my cd player/computer, which btw, has an X-Fi in it, which sucks when compared to Hi-Fi componentry.

    As is, im already dissapointed with HOW MUCH BETTER a dedicated CD player sounds compared to a wav file playing through the X-Fi and computers in general. Heck on a proper setup you can tell a burnt CD isnt the quality of the original. Even those damn two-thousand dollar Harvey-Norman 'dedicated' 'home theatre' setups just SUCK compared to an audiophile setup consisting of a good decoder, two or three MUSIC HIFI amps powering PROPER MUSIC HIFI speakers, all of which can be had on the cheap second hand, and you want to USE COMPUTER SPEAKERS?! Man thats just nuts!

    The problem is people who have no idea what they are doing, who only know one thing - New = >Old. Stupidest principle ever - the best value audio stuff is ALL second hand (except the T-amp, but thats another story).
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
  13. TrennaHowar

    TrennaHowar Member

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    Where do you get your 2nd hand gear ? online ? Would be awsome to know where some good 2nd hand audio gear can be had from. Cheers
     
  14. Xplora

    Xplora Member

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    Yeah I agree, proper speakers just blow PC speakers of any kind out of the water. Case in point...

    I get better depth perception, better detail, and BETTER BASS, with my L/R stereo setup of Mackie 824s coming out of a reasonably low end audio recording soundcard, than I've heard with any PC speaker setup, 5.1, of any value. My speakers are studio monitors, granted, and they are nice ones, but the fact remains, sound is not something that can be skimped on.

    If you want to do things on the cheap, then do it cheap. And be satisfied with the results... if you could afford a 50 thousand dollar audio experience, you would spend 50K instead of 500 bucks. :)
     
  15. HeatVision

    HeatVision Member

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    Burnt from MP3, sure, but not a straight copy.
     
  16. stroggos2k

    stroggos2k Member

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    Burning a CD is a digital process, there's no loss.....
     
  17. irR4tiOn4L

    irR4tiOn4L Member

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    Although i am unsure of the exact method, an Audio CD relies on an analog process - recording and decoding a bunch of pits burnt into a surface, i think of various depths.

    A proffessional level burner and audio media will be more precise about how deep and how well placed those pits are, and thus result in a better sound quality.

    CD players have been around since the 80s - its not completely analogue like vinyl, but definitely not completely digital either. Theres no CRC check to pick up the wrong placement of a pit, and if you have a buffer underrun (even with underrun protection) then you get a gap in the music.

    Theres definitely SOME quality loss going on.

    Straight copy

    Im still undecided on exactly WHY this is, but why do you think there is dedicated blank 'audio CD's' which have different coatings? And why do you think a copy protection like Securom or Starforce works?
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
  18. irR4tiOn4L

    irR4tiOn4L Member

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    Ebay, Cash convertors (though harder), dad also has places he gets them. Ebay is good enough - some of the items im watching -

    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI...m=180154020745&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=008
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI...m=300147127724&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=020
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI...m=270161588473&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=017
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI...m=230165751201&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=013 (Broken)
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI...m=130143920761&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=003
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI...m=280147014967&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=018

    All very good amps, though some better than other. The home theatre reciever, if it wasnt broken, would be the most expensive, yet is probably the worst audio quality out of them. I have a better idea of what sound i want, but someone used to comp speakers would be happy with most of these.

    Speakers are also available on ebay, but i havent had a look recently. Cash convertors and other second hand stores are a good place to buy for one reason - people will generally buy the newer looking models (that are crap) and overlook the much better but 'unattractive looking' 'older' model that is actually much better. None of my audio gear (save my headphones) is younger than 12 years.


    Would you rather this, or $500 logitech speakers?
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Center-2-rea...ryZ32861QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Welling-Spea...ryZ32861QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/2-X-DSE-SPEA...ryZ32861QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/2-X-Floor-Sp...ryZ14993QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/DREAM-ACOUST...ryZ32861QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/JENSEN-QX40-...ryZ14993QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/B-W-DM-620-F...ryZ14993QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
    http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Speakers-Ric...ryZ14993QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

    Some of these are a lot better than others (those B&W's are probably the best out of them) but all of them are not even comparable to a tinny little PC setup.

    Read reviews to make sure you got a good deal.
     
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2007
  19. stroggos2k

    stroggos2k Member

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    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reed_Solomon

    Myth busted.
     
  20. dakiller

    dakiller (Oscillating & Impeding)

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    CD copy's cant sound different, they are digital and as long as you keep them bit perfect they will sound exactly the same all the way to the DAC. The only things that can effect the sound of digital based audio is lossy compression (no longer bit perfect) the clock (due to the effects of phase noise and jitter) and the DAC internals (ΔΣ, R2R, etc.). Power supplies can matter but their effects can be lumped into the last two.
    If they are to sound different, you will have loud clicks and pops throughout the music due to errors randomly in the digital stream, and you'd know about that pretty quick, otherwise media cannot sound different, its against the laws of physics.
     

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