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Old May 28, 2021, 09:59 AM   #1
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Meteor_of_War
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Default New 2.1 Speaker Recommendations for PC

I've been using these old Logitech THX Z-2300 speakers for years and years. I think I bought them all the way back in 2007 for $106 from Newegg, and they have been great all this time so I've certainly got my money's worth out of them. They even still sound amazing to me with just a basic entry level soundcard (Sound Blaster Audigy Fx) and 320kbps mp3s.

But I am finally toying with the idea of replacing them, wondering if there's something better out there now that could provide even better sound (louder and clearer?) I don't care about fancy surround sound for gaming or anything. I love cranking music loud when working so that's my main focus with speakers. Just want a high quality 2.1 speaker setup for music listening. I wouldn't call myself an audiophile or anything as evident from mainly still listening to mp3, but I do appreciate good clear loud sound.

I don't think I need to go nuts with anything more than the type of setup I have now, just want something a bit higher quality and nothing that my basic soundcard can't properly utilize. As an example something maybe in this class of quality/price range:

Edifier S350DB Bookshelf Speaker and Subwoofer 2.1 Speaker System

Or maybe if there are better bookshelf size speakers and to get a separate sub from a different brand I am not aware of that are better? I am kind of out of the loop in the PC speaker market, so I'd appreciate hearing what everyone else here uses, and/or give some recommendation of what I should look into buying. Thank you.
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Old May 28, 2021, 10:47 AM   #2
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Although I haven't really been looking in a while my sense is that nobody really makes high end computer speakers anymore. I think most of what's out there is about the same as what you've got.

I'm still using a Klipsch ProMedia Ultra 5.1 that I had to buy off of ebay sometime in the mid 2000's because they weren't being sold anymore.

Maybe look into some proper bookshelf speakers plus sub and a receiver.
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Old May 28, 2021, 11:59 AM   #3
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Dang, that's the response I was hoping not to get, but its not surprising. I was afraid I might need to look into using a receiver with good quality bookshelf speakers, or consider an external DAC which is something totally new to me (never owned one).

My limited understanding is if using a DAC I could connect my soundcard to it with a 3.5mm to coaxial cable, then connect any powered speakers and sub to the DAC, correct? So that would essentially replace needing a receiver? One problem I have is space. I may not have the room to put a receiver on or next to my desk. Anything's possible depending on motivation, but I would have to move things around quite a bit.

Need to do some researching I guess on DAC and speaker candidates.

[EDIT] OK, thinking more on it sounds like using 3.5mm out from the soundcard to the DAC is a bit redundant, as it seems essentially the soundcard is already a DAC? Would it be better quality to go USB out from the PC to a DAC that supports USB connections, therefore transferring a pure digital signal to the DAC to convert?

Looking at something like this with a USB in port:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07TW2JQNN...lig_dp_it&th=1

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Old May 28, 2021, 02:18 PM   #4
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yeah just go USB DAC to speakers
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Old May 28, 2021, 02:44 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Gandalfthewhite View Post
yeah just go USB DAC to speakers
Thanks, that is what I am thinking is the best answer as well. Just need to figure out what DAC and speakers I want now.

Also, if I got a DAC and powered speakers I can ditch my soundcard right? I don't see any reason to have it anymore then as it would be bypassed.
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Old May 28, 2021, 03:04 PM   #6
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Just get some Kanto's. My homie has a nice set of Kanto Yumi's attached to the PC I built him and they are just boomers.
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Old May 28, 2021, 03:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hapatingjaky View Post
Just get some Kanto's. My homie has a nice set of Kanto Yumi's attached to the PC I built him and they are just boomers.
I am thinking getting both new speakers and a separate external DAC for better audio quality than what my current soundcard provides. I'll look into Kanto when I start considering speaker options. Thanks for the suggestion. Right now I'm still stuck on DACs though.

Also was thinking after my last post where I asked if that solution would mean I could ditch my soundcard, but then realized with a DAC I may not be able to still use my PC 373D headphones which I do need for the mic for multiplayer gaming with friends. Unless I found a DAC I could also plug a mic into, but that seems to complicate things. So I'm thinking I would still keep the soundcard installed just for headphone use.
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Old May 28, 2021, 03:21 PM   #8
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The soundcard is the DAC, and can also double as a headphone amp.

I would buy a new discrete sound-card or get a USB sound-card. Creative is making some high quality products with great DACs, strong amps, and a great software suite all combined in one. The AE-5, AE-7, and AE-9 are all great discrete options. The USB options are a bit out of my element as I'm still running a discrete card (Creative AE-5), but you could do some research on the Creative X3/X6, or "G" series. I believe ASUS has a USB Xonar option as well.

For speakers, I see a lot of people jumping on the Edifier train. They do look great (stylish set, I must say), but being bookshelves means that desk space can be an issue. if you're running into space issues, then I would recommend the Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 setup. They're still top-notch and Klipsch is a fantastic brand.
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Old May 28, 2021, 04:02 PM   #9
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Thanks Nunz, I actually did plan to check out the options Creative and ASUS have on offer. Just did not get time yet today. I will definitely check them out before making any final decisions.

As of right now my research has lead me to Schiit's products. I am considering to go with their "Schiit stack" - the Modi 3+ DAC and Magni 3+ amp. They seem to be constantly coming up in reviews as a pretty solid solution for the price.

As for speakers, yeah I have been leaning towards Edifier. Mainly because of aesthetics. I really like how they look.
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Old May 28, 2021, 04:17 PM   #10
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Schiit products are great; I have a Schiit Magni2 Uber that is currently sitting on a bookshelf. The amp on the Creative AE-5 has done a great job of powering my Beyer DT1990 Pro's (250ohm). I actually expected it to struggle, but it's done a great job, and it's just easier to use the sound-card directly rather than additional cables and another product sitting on my desk.

The Schiit DACs are great as well. I think the reason USB or discrete (PCI/PCIE) sound-cards make so much sense for a PC that is not strictly for music, is the flexibility. Most sound-cards have every option you would need along with software that can be useful for gaming. As for running the Klipsch with an external DAC like the Modi3; yes, this would become an issue, but this is why products like the Schiit Sys exist! https://www.schiit.com/products/sys

Then you'd have a TRUE Schiit stack.

Truthfully, though, if you have space for the Edifier's, go that route! Oh, and the sub is massive with that set, so make sure you have some floor space lol
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Old May 28, 2021, 04:31 PM   #11
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Just ordered the Modi 3+/Magni 3+. I'm done researching and am going to play with these for a while and see how it goes. Never had a dedicated external DAC and amp before, always just used either onboard audio or discrete soundcards, and never had anything expensive or high quality. So maybe these will be all I need to give me the fresh wow factor I've been looking for, or maybe I'll fall down an audio rabbit hole and upgrade them to something else in short time. Either way I have been wanting some new audio to play with. Been a long time.

I'll just connect my Z-2300 speakers to them for now until I can decide on exactly which new speakers I want to go with. Who knows maybe the they will breath new life into the Z-2300's and I'll be content for now without getting new speakers.
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Old May 28, 2021, 04:35 PM   #12
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How are you planning to connect the Modi3 to the PC?
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Old May 28, 2021, 05:04 PM   #13
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How are you planning to connect the Modi3 to the PC?
PC to Modi DAC by USB.
Modi to Magni by Schiit PYST RCA cables.
Magni to Z-2300 speakers by RCA to 3.5mm female cable.

Think that will work OK. If not it will be a little project i will need to figure out.

I think i have an RCA to 3.5mm female laying around here somewhere. Need to look to make sure, if not will want to order one tonight.
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Old May 28, 2021, 05:18 PM   #14
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Cool, I do have one. Ironically it came with my Z-2300's.

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Old May 28, 2021, 05:24 PM   #15
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Cables matter a lot. I wouldn't bother for the Logitech set, but when/if you buy a new pair, invest in some gold-plated higher quality cables. There are great cables for solid prices out there--biggest thing is stay away from Monster Cables overpriced and low quality crap.

Looks good to me! Biggest thing was making sure you connect the PC to the Modi through USB or optical so that you bypass the DAC on the onboard audio.
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Old May 28, 2021, 05:36 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nunz View Post
Cables matter a lot. I wouldn't bother for the Logitech set, but when/if you buy a new pair, invest in some gold-plated higher quality cables. There are great cables for solid prices out there--biggest thing is stay away from Monster Cables overpriced and low quality crap.

Looks good to me! Biggest thing was making sure you connect the PC to the Modi through USB or optical so that you bypass the DAC on the onboard audio.
Yes, I realized early on the main point of going with a new external DAC was to be sure I was bypassing the onboard audio, and also my current soundcard. I'm so unfamiliar with this my first instinct was to go from the line out of my soundcard to the DAC! Thankfully I quickly realized the redundancy of that.

And yes, I'm sure I will be buying additional accessories like better RCA cables and adapters soon. I'm looking at this as a little project to learn from. I'm full well expecting to be ignorant about some stuff here and learn from it, and that's what I'm looking forward to. Fun!
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Old May 28, 2021, 05:44 PM   #17
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The journey into the audio world is starts off so full of excitement, and then turns into wallet burning LOL

Everything with acoustics and audio is subjective. Clarity and soundstage are the only two things that can't really be argued; it's either better or it's not. You'll read reviews and user opinions about one sound being better than the other, but always keep in mind that you have to figure out what your ears like to hear, and then chase that.

Enjoy
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Old May 28, 2021, 06:31 PM   #18
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Right, a bit more clarity at higher volumes, and wider depth of sound is what I'm hoping for. Maybe to hear little things in my favorite music that I couldn't notice before, stuff like that.

I don't think I'm too hard to please, but we'll see. I've been using the same setup for almost 15 years only now to want to explore something new.

Thanks for the advice. When I receive the "Schiit" I'll report back with my impressions.
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Old May 28, 2021, 07:56 PM   #19
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Z Reviews is by far the best speaker reviewer on Youtube, and he's freaking hilarious.

If you're looking for a nice set of monitors for your PC, check out his channel. He's reviewed pretty much all of them. If you want to learn about real acoustics and have a thing for hardware, he's your guy.

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Old May 28, 2021, 08:40 PM   #20
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Z Reviews is by far the best speaker reviewer on Youtube, and he's freaking hilarious.

If you're looking for a nice set of monitors for your PC, check out his channel. He's reviewed pretty much all of them. If you want to learn about real acoustics and have a thing for hardware, he's your guy.

Thanks for the recommendation I will definitely check him out.
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Old May 28, 2021, 08:54 PM   #21
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His headphone reviews are also allot of fun if you like his style
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Old May 28, 2021, 10:34 PM   #22
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Starting to wonder if you guys were trolliing me with suggesting Z Reviews.
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Old May 29, 2021, 10:38 AM   #23
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It just dawned on me I am not sure how to use an EQ with an external DAC. Always only used internal soundcards and onboard audio in the past which had EQ software available specifically for them. I saw Schitt has their own separate EQ device, the Loki, but not sure I want to go that route yet. But yeah, starting to see why this may be a money pit lol.

Started looking around at EQ software options that would work for a DAC and found suggestions online to use Equalizer APO + a separate GUI. But then it also dawned on me it looks like a rabbit hole. I am going to try using the Schitt DAC with no EQ and see how it goes. I am skeptical since I've always liked to tinker with EQ settings. Never liked the sound of flat EQ. Any suggestions?
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Old May 29, 2021, 01:11 PM   #24
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I guess I'm too late, but my advice would have been against the external DAC if you already have a sound card. Speakers are all either 4 or 8 ohm, so they aren't hard to drive like headphones are.

It would be worthwhile getting some good bookshelf speakers, and getting a decently sized subwoofer to go with them. You don't need that much power, but the size kind of does matter with the sub. Ensure the sub/speakers are in phase, thus not cancelling each other out at the crossover point, and you're good.

Beyond that, if the speakers are not in open space, room treatment becomes far more important than anything else.

There are IEEE defined standards for frequency vs. volume. Almost every brand's "house" sound is a modification on those. Just go as neutral as you can. You'll never need EQ-ing again.
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Old May 29, 2021, 01:52 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by metroidfox View Post
I guess I'm too late, but my advice would have been against the external DAC if you already have a sound card. Speakers are all either 4 or 8 ohm, so they aren't hard to drive like headphones are.

It would be worthwhile getting some good bookshelf speakers, and getting a decently sized subwoofer to go with them. You don't need that much power, but the size kind of does matter with the sub. Ensure the sub/speakers are in phase, thus not cancelling each other out at the crossover point, and you're good.

Beyond that, if the speakers are not in open space, room treatment becomes far more important than anything else.

There are IEEE defined standards for frequency vs. volume. Almost every brand's "house" sound is a modification on those. Just go as neutral as you can. You'll never need EQ-ing again.
Thanks for the reply metroidfox. I did consider the fact that an entry level external DAC like the Modi 3+ might not give a great improvement over my current soundcard, but the main goal here was to eventually upgrade my speakers/sub as well to something of higher quality. The DAC and amp were just a side distraction that I decided to pursue on the way.

I am mainly jumping in here for the fun of a new project to tinker with and learn about something new. Also I understand audio is super subjective depending on the person and their preferences for sound. I feel like I need to just jump in here and start learning by trying.

First step is I want to experiment with the Schitt DAC and amp with my current speakers just to get a feel for them. I also have headphones I use occasionally but they are only 50 ohm impedance so I assume my current soundcard was probably driving them well enough. Still, like mentioned I just want to play around with something new and learn about it.
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Old May 29, 2021, 02:05 PM   #26
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My brother has all kinds of Schiit. Swears by them. Admittedly his system sounds great. He about laid an egg when I bought a SBx G3 for my headphones. He recommended a stack but I don’t use external speakers, only headphones.
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Old May 29, 2021, 02:11 PM   #27
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I mainly like to use external speakers. I prefer the sound of loud music filling my room. Only use headphones for music if my kids are in the same room doing their thing, or for occasionally when playing online multiplayer that needs voice chat.
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Old May 30, 2021, 05:47 AM   #28
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i use my old denon avr 2808 output via spdif for the pc and a yamaha atmos receiver via hdmi to my home theatre. The pc side speakers are a mix and match of old hand me downs and the home theatre stuff is mostly paradigm with a couple vegas. Headphones are outlawed from my setup
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Old Jun 2, 2021, 01:44 PM   #29
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These look pretty decent.

https://www.microcenter.com/product/...-21ch-speakers

I personally use a Corsair 2.1 system that is damn near perfect as far as quality and power.
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Old Jun 2, 2021, 04:56 PM   #30
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These look pretty decent.

https://www.microcenter.com/product/...-21ch-speakers

I personally use a Corsair 2.1 system that is damn near perfect as far as quality and power.
they (the z625) are not bad, the sub is a monstrosity (weight and bass). For that price not a bad choice
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