You may be looking to upgrade your speakers in order to improve your gaming experience, or you may need high quality audio for a large space – regardless of what your requirements are, you will find that choosing from the wide range of computer speakers on the market can prove to be an overwhelming task. However, with the right information, you will be able to make the process easier, simpler and more successful. From two simple speakers that have limited functionality to a seven speaker system that is all-encompassing, here are a few key pointers in choosing the best sound system for your needs.[toc]
There are several points to take into consideration when you are comparing the different speaker systems available; and the following advice will help you to make the most of these.
Understanding Speaker Specs
Deciding on the specifications of the speakers you need, and making a list of them, will help you to more easily compare the specs of different types of speakers, making the process easier.
What Is Frequency Response?
Each speaker can produce a specific range of frequency; the frequency response (measured in Hertz) tells you the range of that particular speaker. The volume a speaker is able to produce is determined by the frequency and the audio signal it is given. A flat frequency response occurs when a speaker’s volume is able to remain the same even when the frequency is changed.
It’s helpful to bear in mind that maximum frequency range that is detectable by the ear of the average human is 20Hz to 20KHz. Choosing a speaker that is able to produce as much of that range as possible will give you the most flexibility. Since there is no standard for measuring this, it is important to consider the other features of speakers when comparing them.
What Is Impedance?
Impedance is the way of describing the amount of electrical resistance that will occur for an amplifier as it tries to drive that particular speaker. Impedance is measured in ohms. A good guide is that the majority speakers come with an impedance of 8-ohm, which is adequate for most home audio equipment. It is important to make sure that all of your speakers have the same impedance level in order to maintain consistent response.
The sensitivity measurement of a speaker denotes how loud the audio will be per watt of power. In other words, the higher the sensitivity number, the less power the speaker will require in order to produce a higher volume. High sensitivity is 100 decibels per watt, and low sensitivity is 88 decibels per watt.
Comparing Power Handling
The power handling capacity of a speaker is measured in watts, and gives you the maximum sound signal that particular speaker is able to receive. While a higher level of power than the speaker can handle can damage it, many speakers that have a high capacity for power need a more powerful amplifier in order to sound optimum. A good guide is to use speakers that will be able to handle the maximum output of the receiver you are using. Since there is no standard for measuring this, it is important to consider the other features of speakers when comparing them.
Key Points To Consider When Choosing Computer Speakers
- Dedicated volume and bass controls – allowing you to control the amount of bass when needed
- Bluetooth connectivity that allows you to play music wirelessly from your tablet or smartphone
- Multiple audio input interfaces that allow you to use your speakers with as many different devices as possible
Consider Adaptability and portability
Adaptability and portability – allowing you to be more flexible should you wish to move things around in the future
More speakers is not always better
Before making the decision to go for more speakers (5.1 speakers system), it is worth considering whether or not you really need them. Having more speakers is not always equal to better quality. While surround sound can be good, it does require optimal speaker placement and distance. Depending on the room, a subwoofer and quality 2.1 left and right may be a better option than surround sound, and it is far easier and simpler to set up.
For most people surround sound is not necessary, and considering the complex set up, it can be far more effective to use fewer speakers of higher quality placed correctly.
For the same cost, a 2.1 system is much better than a 5.1 system. Stereo speakers are more than sufficient unless you are completely sure that you will be streaming or downloading surround movies. If this is the case, then you will need to buy quality surround speakers and be prepared to connect up more than just the stereo green jack.
While the majority of accessories and extras you get with PC speakers do not have anything to do with the quality of their sound, it can be convenient to have certain extras such as a remote control for the speakers.
Due to the wide versatility of computers today, you may find that you are using your PC speakers for gaming, watching movies online, Netflix and listening to music. For this reason, while you may want surround sound while watching a movie, you may not need it for a YouTube clip. Selecting a speaker setup that is versatile will give you more options.
There are 4 main types of PC speaker systems on the market:
2.0 PC Speaker system
This type of system (comprises of double channels with no subwoofer) generally contains a compact, left and right speakers, while the amplifier is kept inside one out of those speakers. When the left and right channels is separated, a better stereo separation and imaging is provided by the 2.0 system than a one-piece system which limit the left and right speakers into just a single domain. Most of it only takes a little space on your desk. To keep their footprints small, a small speaker driver is used. Most 2.0 speaker systems hardly match up with a good 2.1 system (details below) when we talks of bass response.
Studio Monitors. These are powered bookshelf speakers and are a variant of the 2.0 systems. Since they are significantly larger than the majority of 2.0 systems and have larger low-frequency drivers, they can often provide a better bass response, and can include better amplification. In fact, for sound quality that is close to the quality of a traditional home stereo system, these studio monitors are your best bet. Having said that, they can take up a lot more room, and often sound better from a distance than close up. While professional studio monitors that are frequently used in recording studios are often priced over $1,000, there are deals for more reasonable prices if you have the space for them. Recommendations:
M – Audio’s Studiophile AV 40
A professional studio monitors price can be more than $1,000, while the M – Audio’s Studiophile AV 40 which gives a glimpse of studio-monitor performance and features only goes for $200. Do you have enough space on your desk? Do you want to shop for computer speakers soon? Then you need to consider the M – Audio Studiophile AV 40.
The AV 40 is a good package that was built mainly on construction, features and accessories. Appreciatively, the audio that comes out from it is also good; the best sound of 2.0 speaker systems we recently enjoys now comes only from the AV 40. When we talks about a warmer, richer tone that sounds more natural and accurate AV 40 can be giving an edge when compare to creative excellent GigaWorks T40 Series ıı. For example, drums, upright bass and vocals, all sound more real on the AV 40.
A bass extension and kick happens in AV 40 than the T40 without the thumpy or boomy sounds when it’s place at a normal listening levels. The bass start to roll off at about 90Hz, it still looks good at about 75Hz, and the audibleness – though very low – is good at 60Hz. (The features, Bass Boost doesn’t improve bass extension; what it does is to increase the level of lower frequencies.) Don’t forget that we are discussing about 4 – inch drivers here, so if you desire a low- frequency performance, all you need is a 2.1 system.
For some users, what might serve as the biggest ‘’flaw’’ of AV 40 – which is the size – might be the thing that makes it works so well. But if there is abundant space on your desk (or wall or bookshelf), the AV 40 is a superb speaker system which performs well than the normal 2.0 computer speakers that we have been used before, AV 40 is even good than many 2.1 systems when we are talking of overall sound quality (although it can’t contend with the best 2.1 system that have a lower frequencies). An impressive flexibility is being provided by the AV 40 this is due to the availability of three inputs, an easy headphone jack, using a standard speaker cables, and the excellent build quality makes it distinguished among most ‘’computer’’ speakers. This AV 40 is a perfect package that has a good price of $150 on the street while this price may prompt you to change the set on your desk.
2.1 Computer speakers:
The 2.1 system (two channels including a subwoofer) mostly uses a smaller left and right speakers than a 2.0 system. A higher frequencies is being produced by these speakers called satellites, while the bigger speaker/amplifier component that is build in a way to sit under your desk do produce lower frequencies. The two most advance benefits of 2.1 system over the 2.0 system is that the bass response is always superb — both the compact and the ability to adjust down to lower frequencies – kudos to the devoted subwoofer and the left and right speakers which only consumes small room on your table (although your subwoofer/amplifier unit can consume a volume of space under your desk).
5.1 computer speakers
When it comes to higher degree of sound quality and volume, 5.1 computer speaker setups can do this. Optimum quality audio is always achieved with five different speakers, subwoofers and surround sounds. It creates an impressive experience when used for gaming and it’s also good in revamping the experience of home theatre.