Surround Sound Help

Discussion in 'Computer Games and General Discussion' started by Lanlan, Oct 13, 2012.

Oct 13, 2012

Surround Sound Help by Lanlan at 7:39 AM (693 Views / 0 Likes) 23 replies

  1. Lanlan
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    Member Lanlan Tits

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    So I wanna get a good sound system for my PC. I'm using basic desktop stereo speakers now, but I want more power to the sound. Not saying I want building-rattling bass or anything, I just want a good surround sound system I can plug my PC into and that sounds good and not break the bank. But the thing is, I know next to nothing about this kind of thing. Sure, I can wire something up just fine, but I don't really know any details, or really even what a "sub" is. Anyone wanna give me any tips for looking for sound systems for a PC that is mainly used for music and games? And will I need a sound card? My mobo is this, will it do for a decent system?
    Also any EQ tips would be nice, I mainly set my highs to around 60%, mids to really low, and lows to around 70%
     


  2. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Now, I'm no expert/audiophile in speaker sets, but I do know you don't need surround sound (I.e. 5.1 or 7.1 sets) to get good sound and a powerful bass. 2.1 stereo speakers can do just as well. As far as I know, surround sound only helps with a few audio tricks (directional or environmental effects) and helping to produce a more balanced sound for music. The strength of the sound always comes from te subwoofer... And I typically have to turn that right down or people in my house complain.

    Edit: also, you don't need a new sound card. Your motherboard is already equipped for 7.1 surround sound, should you actually want to go for it. I never would - it would be a pain to position all those speakers in my room.
     
  3. Lanlan
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    Member Lanlan Tits

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    Yeah I started reading and found out 2.1 is good for music. So say I just want 2.1 then (are stereo and 2.1 interchangeable terms?), what would be a good baseline? Anything I need to know other than plugging it in?
     
  4. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    Stereo refers to the speaker configuration (left and right). 2.1 means there's a subwoofer too (left, right, sub).

    It's not difficult at all to set up 2.1. Just connect all the wires together, find the light green wire, and plug that into your computer (either front panel or rear panel, I prefer rear). The hardest part is making sure your wires are all routed properly (i.e. out of the way) and then spending some quality time with the equalizer settings. Remember that the subwoofer is best placed on the floor.

    My speakers are Logitech z523 (2.1 stereo).
     
  5. Lanlan
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    Member Lanlan Tits

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    I know about wiring and stuffs, that's obvious. I'm talking about like wattage or ohms or other technical stuff like that.
     
  6. Wanderlei777

    Newcomer Wanderlei777 Advanced Member

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    Prolly better of with decent pair of headphones over cheap speakers.
     
  7. Lanlan
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    Member Lanlan Tits

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    I'm not in the market for headphones
     
  8. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    I can't answer any technical questions about speakers - I'm not an audiophile. When it got explained to me, he simply said that the higher the wattage, the louder it is. Ohms is a measure of electrical resistance, so I don't know what that has to do with speakers.

    As for headphones... I use both. I've got my speakers set up for daytime, and after 10pm I plug in my Incase Sonix headphones. However, headphones aren't for everybody since some people either get too hot-headed with them on or it just gets uncomfortable after a while. My headphones don't, thanks to memory foam, but many do.
     
  9. Wanderlei777

    Newcomer Wanderlei777 Advanced Member

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    Not gonna get this.

    Its a better option than what you are trying for.
     
  10. Celice

    Member Celice GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    What are some good headphones, though? Most of the time the sound just feels muffled, in my experience, even with expensive sets :/

    Personally, I picked this up some two years back, and I've enjoyed it.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16836121014
     
  11. Sicklyboy

    Global Moderator Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

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    Right! Headphones are the best things to get when you want your friends to listen to your music all at the same time at your party!

    If he wants a speaker system, he wants a freaking speaker system. There's a reason I got my Yamaha surround sound system for my computer instead of a pair of high end headphones.

    OP, question for you - do you have other things you need to add to your sound system? For example, the Yamaha system I mentioned, the main receiver for it has multiple inputs and outputs - 4x HDMI in, 1 out; 2x component in, 1 out; 2x composite in, 1 out; and a few other miscellaneous items. Basically acts as a giant hub/switch.

    A decent surround system can be had for ~$300. My Yamaha one was $450 + tax at Best Buy, it's pretty good, but by no means anything professional - one looking for that would piece out all of the components individually, not settle for a "Home Theater In A Box" as they're called.

    If you go the multi-channel surround experience, I'd STRONGLY recommend you invest in a basic sound card with digital audio out (I think I've seen them for as low as $20 on Newegg). Your board is only equipped for analogue out, save for that HDMI port (your stereo would need an HDMI port then to utilize that for audio). Either coaxial or optical digital out would work, I prefer optical, but they're both digital so it's not a huge deal. Buy any needed cables online off of Amazon or Monoprice or the likes.

    [member='Originality'] - Maximum Watts are basically a useless term, Watts RMS is what actually matters - the RMS rating is how many watts it can output on average continuously per channel, the Maximum rating is a "if struck by lightning" number, lol; you're basically never going to reach it unless the planets are in alignment, you're running it behind a flux capacitor, that kind of stuff.

    Keep in mind, your components need to have their RMS ratings match fairly well. If the amp is rated too many watts RMS over the speakers RMS rating, you easily risk blowing the speaker. If the speakers RMS rating is way over the amps rating, you're going to under drive the speaker, which will lead to sub-optimal sound and possible damage to the speaker as you turn it up higher to compensate for the lower wattage, thus introducing more speaker-killing distortion.

    Ohms - indicates the resistance of the speaker. Amps will be rated to run at a certain Ohm load, usually 8, 4, or 2, some going down to 1 Ohm or even .5 Ohms. The lower the Ohm rating on the speaker, the less resistance it puts on the amp, allowing the amp to push more wattage through it (more power), tradeoff being the amp can get hotter. Higher Ohm rating on the speaker, less power will go through it, but the amp will run cooler. You don't want to run, say, a 1 Ohm subwoofer on an amp rated for a maximum of a 4 Ohm load, you'll over heat the amp very quickly, possibly under drive the speaker (and damage it), and it'll just be no fun.

    I'm no expert, this is just stuff I'm learning as I go, researching as I set up my car stereo.

    [​IMG]

    Edit - for the record, I should have bought my stereo off of Amazon. It's almost $150 below list price :( http://www.amazon.com/Yamaha-YHT-495BL-Complete-5-1-Channel-Theater/dp/B004S3HRCO
     
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  12. Wanderlei777

    Newcomer Wanderlei777 Advanced Member

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    Dohohohoho thanks man, needed a good laugh.
     
  13. Joe88

    Member Joe88 [λ]

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    if you can, see if you can get a logitech z-5500 off of ebay
     
  14. Sicklyboy

    Global Moderator Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

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    And nowhere did I say audiophile grade. You're not very good at reading, are you?

    A decent consumer grade HTIB setup can run you, again, around $300 or more. You're not going to get anything with huge speakers, but I am more than happy with this Yamaha system (you know, the one I linked in the post you only read the first few lines of). It won't be audiophile grade. But for the average guy sitting in his living room (or bedroom with the computer) this is more than adequate.

    Why don't you link a good pair of headphones since you know so much about audio systems, chump?
     
  15. Lanlan
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    Member Lanlan Tits

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    Thanks. People like you are the reason I bring my technical questions to this site.
    Also, I decided to go stereo or 2.1. Anyone have any arguments for or against either?

    EDIT: also, i'm looking for relatively small speakers, bigger than the average desktop setup but not big towers with 12" speakers
     
  16. Sicklyboy

    Global Moderator Sicklyboy Resident Mechanical Keyboard Addict

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    For: They're smaller, cheaper, easier to manage, and depending on the manufacturer, still can be pretty kick ass. Edit - also, you could always hook the input cable to the speaker setup into an ipod or something if you want to bring the speakers outside for sound. Have fun doing that with a surround setup. :creep:

    Against: Surround systems do give a wider range of sound, higher powered, one with a good receiver can be used as an AV switcher.


    I think you have your mind set on a good 2.1 system that's not going to devour your wallet, and I think that's what you should go with. Just make sure you look up reviews on a bunch of sites, go with a reputable brand, and not something chintzy that'll break in three months. "Buy it good, buy it right, buy it once." as my dad says.
     
  17. Lanlan
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    Member Lanlan Tits

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    I was talking about stereo vs 2.1, basically subwoofer or no subwoofer. I realized I don't need 5.1 or 7.1 for what I mainly want a kickass sound for, music. I'm not much into movies, surround would be nice for games I guess but that's what I can use headphones for. I'm in the market for something that sounds good with music. That's my main concern.
     
  18. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    If nobody else recommends any other 2.1 systems, you can always go for the Logitech z523.
     
  19. Lanlan
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    Member Lanlan Tits

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    Is it loud? Like room-shakingly loud?
    EDIT: And i'm not saying I want BASS BASS BASS, i want a good balance of sound. I want it to be a loud, full sound.
     
  20. marcus134

    Member marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    a sub is a dedicated active (pre-amp inside the speaker itself) used to render sound below 60hz more accurately and wholly.
    the advantage of the sub is the ability to pump a lot of power on the bass without causing any distortion on the rest of the sounds reproduced by the speakers

    music is best rendered in stereo for it's registered and engineered in stereo(2.0/2.1), there are some rare case of music registered in multi-channel.
    Games and movies do take advantage of surround (5+ speakers)
    surround vs stereo when it comes to music playback, it's possible to set the music to be played in standard stereo, so you can listen to the music the way it was balanced in studio. However when it comes to hardware, it become harder to find speakers that have nice audio characteristic in the surround at low price point ( 5 quality speaker cost more than 2, doh!)

    You don't need one, but having one is nice.
    sound card do hardware decoding, while mobo integrated solution use your cpu to do it.
    I haven't tried it on recent systems, but i know that on older ones, sound quality was getting bad when the cpu was taxed by other applications.
    on top of that sound card support openAL/EAX decoding wich are ( not as much these day though) used by games for 3d to surround sound allocation and rendering.

    you should use it first to reduce harmonic amplification caused by the room you're using the speaker set in and to adjust the peaks and pits of the sound produced by your speaker set in order to get the most flat response from them.
     
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