Are 5.1 speakers worth it?

  kikuta 13:10 26 Dec 2006

At the moment, I have 2.1 speakers from dell, and they seem to work relatively well to my untrained ear. However, as soon as I go downstairs and hear my dad's hi-fi speakers (there are only two of them) it sounds tinny and hollow.

Ive been thinking of upgrading to 5.1 speakers for some time now and have done some research. I dont know muh about speakers, but with my budget these are the two sets I picked out:

click here

click here

I basically want to know if its only worth upgrading if your going to spend more money than that on a pair of speakers, but if not, is it worth spending the extra ten pounds on the first option? What will the difference be, and how is the sound quailty compared to my current 2.1 configuation?

Last but not least, my sound card is an internal creative live! 24 bit 7.1

  Stuartli 13:16 26 Dec 2006

The difference between computer speakers and hi-fi equivalents is normally that between a Ford Mondeo and a Ferrari.

Most computer intended 5.1 and upwards speaker systems are comparatively modest in price because they are not really intended to reproduce sound of hi-fi quality.

If you do wish to improve your current speakers, whether in 2.1, 5.1 or 7.1, have a look at computer speaker systems manufactured by hi-fi speaker specialists such as Altec Lansing and Harmon Kardon.

  €dstowe 13:29 26 Dec 2006

You're wasting money if you have a computer that's as noisy as a 747 at take-off.

  kikuta 13:40 26 Dec 2006

Thanks - my computer is virtually silent, and thanks for the comparison stuart. I will have a look at them.

One other thing, will I need an amplifier to boost the power output levels?

  User-312386 13:44 26 Dec 2006

Do you have 5.1 sound card?

If not buy a good set of headphones

  Taff™ 13:45 26 Dec 2006

Work out how much your Dads H-Fi speakers would cost to buy, remembering that they work off a built in amplifier. Now look at Stuartli`s suggestion for a set with built in amp for the same money.

I spent about £45 on a set of 2.1 speakers and to "my untrained ears" they sound great. Excellent Bass and volume. I tend to think that you get what you pay for in this area. I went down to my local computer shop and listened to the 5 systems he had hooked up for demo - I`m afraid it`s the only way to tell.

  kikuta 13:45 26 Dec 2006

My soundcard is 7.1 24-bit. Just to check, will 7.1 soundcards suport 5.1? I assume so.

  kikuta 13:46 26 Dec 2006

Oh and taff- they have an external amplifier

  User-312386 13:47 26 Dec 2006


just read your thread

Why not buy 5.1 headphones click here

  kikuta 13:54 26 Dec 2006

Thanks, thats a real possiblity - only thing is I want them to be good for parties as it were, and I dont like not being able to hear whats going on around me all the time.

This is another set ive just looked at from stuart's suggestion, if you were me, would you buy the 2.1 altec set from below or the 5.1 set from creative (the seocnd option below)

click here

click here

  Stuartli 14:11 26 Dec 2006

have a look at the Altec Lansing website:

click here

for the various models available.

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