Audio Era: Because Sound Matters

Oct 28, 2017
2,295
Considering the praise the JBL 3-series has received, I'm surprised they don't offer a passive model, or that someone else hasn't designed an upgraded amplifier for it as a mod.
The reason why both haven’t happened is because the JBL 3 series are proper active speakers with active crossovers. A passive speaker version would be pretty mediocre and upgrading the amps are pointless when the cabinets and drivers aren’t that great. Just buy a better active speaker.

The relative cheapness of the overall package (the cabinets are without a doubt the worst part of the 3 series, actual dogshit in the 8” models) doesn’t matter because the electrical design does all the heavy lifting. It’s like why IK’s iLoud micro monitors sound pretty damn good with some notable low end despite being the size of Logitech desktop speakers. Active speakers, when designed properly, can compensate for a huge amount of deficiencies.
 

MickZan

Member
Oct 28, 2017
1,081
So I think I have tried everything, but no matter what I do, my ps4 pro has audio crackling/cutout through anything but HDMI. I have a soundbar connected to my TV which works perfectly. I also have an arctis pro wireless with gamedac which has audio skipping a second every minute or so. Before I head the Platinum ps4 headset with the same issue. A wired headset to the controller, same issue. My friend brought his ps4 with headset to my house a few weeks ago. Headset works perfectly on his ps4 but cuts out on mine. When I use psvr with my wired headset it doesn't have this issue. I guess this has something to do with the setup box? Which also works through HDMI. There is something in my ps4 pro that I causing this issue and I'm fairly certain it's a defect. Anyone have similar issues or any idea?
 

Iris

Member
Oct 28, 2017
85
So I think I have tried everything, but no matter what I do, my ps4 pro has audio crackling/cutout through anything but HDMI. I have a soundbar connected to my TV which works perfectly. I also have an arctis pro wireless with gamedac which has audio skipping a second every minute or so. Before I head the Platinum ps4 headset with the same issue. A wired headset to the controller, same issue. My friend brought his ps4 with headset to my house a few weeks ago. Headset works perfectly on his ps4 but cuts out on mine. When I use psvr with my wired headset it doesn't have this issue. I guess this has something to do with the setup box? Which also works through HDMI. There is something in my ps4 pro that I causing this issue and I'm fairly certain it's a defect. Anyone have similar issues or any idea?
Try a new optical cable
 

GetDigitized

Member
Oct 25, 2017
467
So I have Sony h.ear on 2 (WH-900N) for movies etc. But the mic doesn't work with the PS4 because Sony are obtuse.
I've been using the Sony Playstation Gold headset with the ps4 , but I need something better.

I'm not in a rush , so I'd like to know if there's any point in waiting for the ps5 to release since i read it'll be doing some innovative stuff with sound , or if I should just buy some headphones or a soundbar/speakers now. I watch media and play games(mainly emulators,ffxiv & older stuff on xbox game pass) on my pc, but most of my gaming is on my playstation.
So,I'm looking for the best audio for £100-£300 in that case.
My dad recommended a soundbar , but I'm sitting right next to my desk so not sure if its worth it.
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,087
The reason why both haven’t happened is because the JBL 3 series are proper active speakers with active crossovers. A passive speaker version would be pretty mediocre and upgrading the amps are pointless when the cabinets and drivers aren’t that great. Just buy a better active speaker.

The relative cheapness of the overall package (the cabinets are without a doubt the worst part of the 3 series, actual dogshit in the 8” models) doesn’t matter because the electrical design does all the heavy lifting. It’s like why IK’s iLoud micro monitors sound pretty damn good with some notable low end despite being the size of Logitech desktop speakers. Active speakers, when designed properly, can compensate for a huge amount of deficiencies.
I was thinking along the lines of them being analog without DSP correction, so it wouldn't be difficult to make a passive version; whereas something like the iLoud Micro Monitor is able to achieve what it does via DSP. But you're probably right about the active crossover doing a lot of work.
I suppose what I'm really hoping for would be something in-between the 305p and 705p (which is a bit much at 10x the price).

And yeah; they feel like speakers built with a focus on audio performance, perhaps at the expense of things like cabinet construction and amplifier quality.
But they do sound remarkable at the price. I've spent a lot more money on higher-end speakers in the past which didn't sound nearly as good.

In fact I just got finished setting up the speakers properly on stands at this desk, and measuring them with Sonarworks.
Provided that the HF/LF trim controls are set correctly, it's doing very little work at all. The in-room response was already flat within ±3dB without any corrections, outside of room interactions in the lower frequencies (which Sonarworks has done a good job correcting).

So I have Sony h.ear on 2 (WH-900N) for movies etc. But the mic doesn't work with the PS4 because Sony are obtuse.
I've been using the Sony Playstation Gold headset with the ps4 , but I need something better.

I'm not in a rush , so I'd like to know if there's any point in waiting for the ps5 to release since i read it'll be doing some innovative stuff with sound , or if I should just buy some headphones or a soundbar/speakers now. I watch media and play games(mainly emulators,ffxiv & older stuff on xbox game pass) on my pc, but most of my gaming is on my playstation.
So,I'm looking for the best audio for £100-£300 in that case.
My dad recommended a soundbar , but I'm sitting right next to my desk so not sure if its worth it.
The 3D audio next-gen consoles do will probably sound best on headphones.
Though Sony say they are trying to make it work with stereo speakers, I expect it will be far less effective.
It's possible they will release some "optimized for tempest" audio products, but there's nothing announced yet.

Headphones and speakers are very different, and so are the types of headphone you can get for that kind of money.
I used to prioritize high-end, open-back, high-fidelity headphones, but now I try to use headphones less, and features like active noise cancellation are a priority when I do use them; so I'm more likely to reach for my Bose QC20 or QC35 than anything else.

If you're wanting speakers, well I promise that I have no affiliation with JBL even though I've been talking about them a lot in my recent posts, but check out the JBL 3-series (305p/306p/308p).
I'd recommend the smaller 305p if you're at a desk, and that should be right in the middle of your budget. They'll sound far better than any sound bar; but do check what you're getting since they're professional active monitors.
That means they are sold individually (not a pair), and you may have to spend a bit on cables/adapters to get them set up, depending on what you are connecting them to. They have a volume control on the back, but that should generally be set once and then controlled by your source; e.g. connected to the RCA outputs of a television with it controlling the volume, or connected to a passive monitor controller.
They feel like a "low tech" option compared to speakers with smart assistants, Bluetooth/AirPlay, HDMI/TOSLINK, and all other kinds of input options in that price range these days… but what you're paying for is how they sound.
 

Stewarto

Member
Oct 27, 2017
423
Hi guys, I’m looking for a set of headphones that don’t creak every time I move my head or open my mouth to speak... I have a pair of Sony MDRs at the Moment and they are terrible for it... any suggestions please?
 

Hasney

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,028
Hi guys, I’m looking for a set of headphones that don’t creak every time I move my head or open my mouth to speak...
I love the Sony MD...

I have a pair of Sony MDRs at the Moment and they are terrible for it... any suggestions please?
Oh. How curious. I've got the original bluetooth 1000's and absolutley no creaking. Looking at it, they can cover a wide range of headphones. Which is the exact model you have?
 

Raxious

Member
Oct 27, 2017
291
Aight, so I've been looking around at buying audio equipment to go with my TV (Samsung QLED 2018 model). Now, I'm living in a terraced house so going for a full out 7.1 set is extremely overkill, as I not only don't have the space for it nor do I wish to piss off my neighbors. I've recently started to use Google Home and I've been considering getting myself a Sonos Beam. It looks nice, according to the reviews the sound is good and it has Google Assistant. One of the major advantages is that the Sonos stuff uses wifi primarily so I won't have to deal with covering up cables. This would be nice if I were to upgrade at some point.

Is there a reason not to go for this, or are there better options? I'd be willing to spend anywhere between 300 - 400 euros max. I do like to point out that I basically have 0 understanding of sound, so what matters most to me is that it's got good audio. As I'm dealing with the audio through my TV at the moment, I honestly wouldn't notice the difference with comments such as "Don't buy x because it's got very low bass". Hell, I don't even if I'd recognise it to begin with ^^'

If appreciated I could add a pic to show the place where the audio stuff would be placed :)
Hoping someone can help me out ;)


I was also wondering if anyone has experiences with the Nintendo Switch and a Soundbar. Reading some stories that the Switch doesn't seem to like audio setups like a Soundbar and such.
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,087
Hi guys, I’m looking for a set of headphones that don’t creak every time I move my head or open my mouth to speak... I have a pair of Sony MDRs at the Moment and they are terrible for it... any suggestions please?
Sony headphones are quite notorious for this.
I fixed it on my MDR-7520 by opening them up and applying lithium grease (which should be plastic-safe) to the gimbals seven or eight years ago, and they haven't creaked since.

I was also wondering if anyone has experiences with the Nintendo Switch and a Soundbar. Reading some stories that the Switch doesn't seem to like audio setups like a Soundbar and such.
The issue is that the Switch only outputs LPCM - and most sound bars only accept S/PDIF or HDMI-ARC inputs, which limits them to Dolby Digital or DTS for 5.1 surround.
How much of an issue that actually is really depends on whether the sound bar comes with real rear speakers or if it only uses virtual surround.
Personally I think the money is better spent on a nice pair of bookshelf speakers than a sound bar, but that doesn't seem to be a popular option these days.
 

Stewarto

Member
Oct 27, 2017
423
Oh. How curious. I've got the original bluetooth 1000's and absolutley no creaking. Looking at it, they can cover a wide range of headphones. Which is the exact model you have?
I have the MDR-ZX770BN, the sound is great but the creaking is so grating.

Sony headphones are quite notorious for this.
I fixed it on my MDR-7520 by opening them up and applying lithium grease (which should be plastic-safe) to the gimbals seven or eight years ago, and they haven't creaked since.
Ah thanks, I’ll give this a go.
 

GetDigitized

Member
Oct 25, 2017
467
The 3D audio next-gen consoles do will probably sound best on headphones.
Though Sony say they are trying to make it work with stereo speakers, I expect it will be far less effective.
It's possible they will release some "optimized for tempest" audio products, but there's nothing announced yet.

Headphones and speakers are very different, and so are the types of headphone you can get for that kind of money.
I used to prioritize high-end, open-back, high-fidelity headphones, but now I try to use headphones less, and features like active noise cancellation are a priority when I do use them; so I'm more likely to reach for my Bose QC20 or QC35 than anything else.

If you're wanting speakers, well I promise that I have no affiliation with JBL even though I've been talking about them a lot in my recent posts, but check out the JBL 3-series (305p/306p/308p).
I'd recommend the smaller 305p if you're at a desk, and that should be right in the middle of your budget. They'll sound far better than any sound bar; but do check what you're getting since they're professional active monitors.
That means they are sold individually (not a pair), and you may have to spend a bit on cables/adapters to get them set up, depending on what you are connecting them to. They have a volume control on the back, but that should generally be set once and then controlled by your source; e.g. connected to the RCA outputs of a television with it controlling the volume, or connected to a passive monitor controller.
They feel like a "low tech" option compared to speakers with smart assistants, Bluetooth/AirPlay, HDMI/TOSLINK, and all other kinds of input options in that price range these days… but what you're paying for is how they sound.
Thanks for the info.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Aight, so I've been looking around at buying audio equipment to go with my TV (Samsung QLED 2018 model). Now, I'm living in a terraced house so going for a full out 7.1 set is extremely overkill, as I not only don't have the space for it nor do I wish to piss off my neighbors. I've recently started to use Google Home and I've been considering getting myself a Sonos Beam. It looks nice, according to the reviews the sound is good and it has Google Assistant. One of the major advantages is that the Sonos stuff uses wifi primarily so I won't have to deal with covering up cables. This would be nice if I were to upgrade at some point.

Is there a reason not to go for this, or are there better options? I'd be willing to spend anywhere between 300 - 400 euros max. I do like to point out that I basically have 0 understanding of sound, so what matters most to me is that it's got good audio. As I'm dealing with the audio through my TV at the moment, I honestly wouldn't notice the difference with comments such as "Don't buy x because it's got very low bass". Hell, I don't even if I'd recognise it to begin with ^^'

If appreciated I could add a pic to show the place where the audio stuff would be placed :)
Hoping someone can help me out ;)

I was also wondering if anyone has experiences with the Nintendo Switch and a Soundbar. Reading some stories that the Switch doesn't seem to like audio setups like a Soundbar and such.
Soundbars are a convenient and easily setup solution that are cheap to manufacture and distribute, but are not the best in terms of audio quality. You would get much better sound out of a good pair of bookshelf or tower speakers. Ideally you would want the tweeter (the small top circle) to be even with your seated ear height, and forming as close to an equilateral triangle with your seat as possible. That is only the ideal, any setup with the speakers flanking the display works fine. Whether your space and setup is conducive to this, or whether you care enough to mess with a receiver and cable management, only you can answer. Setting up a receiver and wiring the speakers is actually very simple, but may seem incredibly daunting at first glance if you genuinely don't know anything about it. Some people find soundbars "good enough" for the simplicity and lack of clutter. It just depends on which you value more, ease/simplicity or quality.
 
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Raxious

Member
Oct 27, 2017
291
Soundbars are a convenient and easily setup solution that are cheap to manufacture and distribute, but are not the best in terms of audio quality. You would get much better sound out of a good pair of bookshelf or tower speakers. Ideally you would want the tweeter (the small top circle) to be even with your seated ear height, and forming as close to an equilateral triangle with your seat as possible. That is only the ideal, any setup with the speakers flanking the display works fine. Whether your space and setup is conducive to this, or whether you care enough to mess with a receiver and cable management, only you can answer. Setting up a receiver and wiring the speakers is actually very simple, but may seem incredibly daunting at first glance if you genuinely don't know anything about it. Some people find soundbars "good enough" for the simplicity and lack of clutter.
Sony headphones are quite notorious for this.
I fixed it on my MDR-7520 by opening them up and applying lithium grease (which should be plastic-safe) to the gimbals seven or eight years ago, and they haven't creaked since.


The issue is that the Switch only outputs LPCM - and most sound bars only accept S/PDIF or HDMI-ARC inputs, which limits them to Dolby Digital or DTS for 5.1 surround.
How much of an issue that actually is really depends on whether the sound bar comes with real rear speakers or if it only uses virtual surround.
Personally I think the money is better spent on a nice pair of bookshelf speakers than a sound bar, but that doesn't seem to be a popular option these days.
Cheers. My Main issue is that I just don't have a lot of room in my appartment so having speakers like that on a stand is a bit to much. Then there's also the price, as the combination of two of those bookshelf speakers + a receiver tends to be more expensive than a soundbar. This is basically the space I'm working with:

As you can see my kitchen basically starts right next to my couch.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Cheers. My Main issue is that I just don't have a lot of room in my appartment so having speakers like that on a stand is a bit to much. Then there's also the price, as the combination of two of those bookshelf speakers + a receiver tends to be more expensive than a soundbar. This is basically the space I'm working with:

As you can see my kitchen basically starts right next to my couch.

That's a wide and reasonably high TV stand so you should be fine putting bookshelf speakers on it if you wanted to go that route. Ideally the far front left and far front right corners. Unfortunately I have no sense of pricing and options in EU though to make suggestions. Often speakers that are good value in the US are expensive in EU and vice versa. For example the UK can buy Q acoustic Bookshelves and Towers for $150-$300/pr respectively but the same models may be $400-$800/pr in the US.
 

piratepwnsninja

Lead Game Designer
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
2,261
Hi everyone. I'm looking to swap out my overly expensive but full of problems Samsung Doly Atmos soundbar and get back to having a receiver with speakers. It's been a very, very long time since I've looked into receivers and speakers, so I'm a tiny bit lost and could use some suggestions. I'd like to keep my budget reasonable.

A couple of "must-haves" for the receiver would be:
  • Needs to have at least 5 HDMI in ports that do 4k60 HDR10/DV passthrough
  • Would like for it to have Dolby Atmos/DTS:X. Height virtualization would be nice
I found a Denon in my price range, but I've never owned a Denon before and don't know much about their quality.

In terms of speakers, I have no clue. I know I can't afford reference speakers but would like something of at least "good" quality, as well as have Atmos support, since my current house and space is actually set up well for it.

Any help would be great. I'm pretty out of my element when it comes to this stuff.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Hi everyone. I'm looking to swap out my overly expensive but full of problems Samsung Doly Atmos soundbar and get back to having a receiver with speakers. It's been a very, very long time since I've looked into receivers and speakers, so I'm a tiny bit lost and could use some suggestions. I'd like to keep my budget reasonable.

A couple of "must-haves" for the receiver would be:
  • Needs to have at least 5 HDMI in ports that do 4k60 HDR10/DV passthrough
  • Would like for it to have Dolby Atmos/DTS:X. Height virtualization would be nice
I found a Denon in my price range, but I've never owned a Denon before and don't know much about their quality.

In terms of speakers, I have no clue. I know I can't afford reference speakers but would like something of at least "good" quality, as well as have Atmos support, since my current house and space is actually set up well for it.

Any help would be great. I'm pretty out of my element when it comes to this stuff.
Denon is going to be the overwhelming recommendation among mainstream AVR's because Audyssey is widely accepted to be pretty far ahead of their competitor's proprietary correction suites (i.e. YPAO, MCACC, AccuEQ, etc...). It has to be pointed out though that no current models (of any brand) currently features HDMI 2.1, and will of course not support next-gen features like >60Hz 4K, VRR, or Freesync/Gsync. If you care about that you can wait/hope for 2020 models (still unannounced AFAIK) or hook your premium consoles/PC directly to the TV and deal with Optical, ARC, or eARC to get audio.

Not sure if you're aware, but Atmos Virtualization is redundant if you plan to use physical Atmos speakers. All Atmos AVR's will upmix Stereo, 5.1, and 7.1 signals to include physical height channels, that functionality is included in the regular Dolby upmixer. Atmos Virtualization is for simulating height channels using only the standard ground plane 2 - 7 speakers. Recommendations will depend on a ball park all-in budget (AVR included) and which/how many speakers you want. Were you planning on in-ceiling Atmos speaker or the upfiring ones that reflect sound off the ceiling?
 

piratepwnsninja

Lead Game Designer
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
2,261
Denon is going to be the overwhelming recommendation among mainstream AVR's because Audyssey is widely accepted to be pretty far ahead of their competitor's proprietary correction suites (i.e. YPAO, MCACC, AccuEQ, etc...). It has to be pointed out though that no current models (of any brand) currently features HDMI 2.1, and will of course not support next-gen features like >60Hz 4K, VRR, or Freesync/Gsync. If you care about that you can wait/hope for 2020 models (still unannounced AFAIK) or hook your premium consoles/PC directly to the TV and deal with Optical, ARC, or eARC to get audio.

Not sure if you're aware, but Atmos Virtualization is redundant if you plan to use physical Atmos speakers. All Atmos AVR's will upmix Stereo, 5.1, and 7.1 signals to include physical height channels, that functionality is included in the regular Dolby upmixer. Atmos Virtualization is for simulating height channels using only the standard ground plane 2 - 7 speakers. Recommendations will depend on a ball park all-in budget (AVR included) and which/how many speakers you want. Were you planning on in-ceiling Atmos speaker or the upfiring ones that reflect sound off the ceiling?

$1200-1500 is my budget. Oddly, my rental house has two ceiling speakers already installed in decent positions, but I'd probably end up getting the upfiring ones anyway, so that I can have it wherever I go.
 

What-ok

Member
Dec 13, 2017
2,018
PDX OR
Hoping someone can help me out ;)


I was also wondering if anyone has experiences with the Nintendo Switch and a Soundbar. Reading some stories that the Switch doesn't seem to like audio setups like a Soundbar and such.
Been using a Sonos play bar and a couple ones behind us for surround. We love them for all our systems and movies. They are a little expensive but work great for us.
 

vivftp

Member
Oct 29, 2017
4,814
Was browsing general headphone stuff when I came across a link to these apparently legendary headphones:


I've never had the pleasure of using headphones even remotely on this level, but reading this and a couple of other reviews of them I experienced immediate headphone penis envy. I don't suppose anyone here has ever had a chance to use them? Wonder if Sony could ever be convinced to make 'em again or something nearly on their level and sell them at a more reasonable price.

Ah well, back to browsing potential audio and heaphone setups to use with the PS5...
 

Raxious

Member
Oct 27, 2017
291
That's a wide and reasonably high TV stand so you should be fine putting bookshelf speakers on it if you wanted to go that route. Ideally the far front left and far front right corners. Unfortunately I have no sense of pricing and options in EU though to make suggestions. Often speakers that are good value in the US are expensive in EU and vice versa. For example the UK can buy Q acoustic Bookshelves and Towers for $150-$300/pr respectively but the same models may be $400-$800/pr in the US.
Yea, I've looked at the Q acoustic bookshelves (3020i to be exact). They're about 250 euros, but then I gotta pay for a receiver as well which ups the price again to well over 400 unfortunately. And if I were to upgrade I'd be dealing with a bunch of cables, something I'd like to avoid if possible. Hence the reason I'm considering picking up a Sonos Beam, as it's easy to set up and of course there's the advantage that if I were to upgrade (been looking at those Ikea Symfonisks) it would mostly be wireless.
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,087
Cheers. My Main issue is that I just don't have a lot of room in my appartment so having speakers like that on a stand is a bit to much. Then there's also the price, as the combination of two of those bookshelf speakers + a receiver tends to be more expensive than a soundbar. This is basically the space I'm working with:

As you can see my kitchen basically starts right next to my couch.
Bookshelf speakers can be small. It looks like your setup has a Switch, so here's a quick comparison with a dock on my JBL 305p:


Since they're active monitors, there is no receiver required. The only need power and then you connect them to the RCA outs on your TV (note: they will need an RCA to TS cable or adapter; but that costs anywhere from $4 to $6).
Obviously check the cabinet dimensions to see if they fit, and they would ideally be at least 7cm from the wall (⌀ 3.5cm port on the back) but they should work in your setup without any trouble.

Yea, I've looked at the Q acoustic bookshelves (3020i to be exact). They're about 250 euros, but then I gotta pay for a receiver as well which ups the price again to well over 400 unfortunately. And if I were to upgrade I'd be dealing with a bunch of cables, something I'd like to avoid if possible. Hence the reason I'm considering picking up a Sonos Beam, as it's easy to set up and of course there's the advantage that if I were to upgrade (been looking at those Ikea Symfonisks) it would mostly be wireless.
EDIT: Thomann.de says the 305p is €119 each in black, or €129 in white (sold individually).

A couple of "must-haves" for the receiver would be:
  • Needs to have at least 5 HDMI in ports that do 4k60 HDR10/DV passthrough
Do you have a recent TV, or plan to upgrade it soon?
eARC largely eliminates the need for this. Since it's a full bandwidth Audio Return Channel, you would connect input devices to the display and an "audio cable" to the AVR. Then you no longer have to worry about what video format the AVR does or doesn't support; e.g. 4K120, HDMI-VRR.

Was browsing general headphone stuff when I came across a link to these apparently legendary headphones:


I've never had the pleasure of using headphones even remotely on this level, but reading this and a couple of other reviews of them I experienced immediate headphone penis envy. I don't suppose anyone here has ever had a chance to use them? Wonder if Sony could ever be convinced to make 'em again or something nearly on their level and sell them at a more reasonable price.

Ah well, back to browsing potential audio and heaphone setups to use with the PS5...
Honestly, there are a lot of "mythical" headphones that earned their reputation before headphone reviews were anything but subjective.
It's no surprise that a lot of people with high-end gear at places like Head-Fi have multiple pairs of high-end headphones, because they like certain pairs for different genres of music… since none of the headphones have a flat response.
I'm not saying that the R10s are bad, just that Sony headphones used to be very highly regarded, largely because they were one of the few companies making "prestige" headphones.
The Qualia 010 were the "HD800s" of their day:


Again: not saying that they are bad, just that a lot of the reputation is because they were exclusive and had effective marketing.
That said, objective measurements are not everything. Some of the more objective-focused reviews of Sony headphones in particular have said things to the effect of "they sound far better than they measure".
 
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Raxious

Member
Oct 27, 2017
291
Bookshelf speakers can be small. It looks like your setup has a Switch, so here's a quick comparison with a dock on my JBL 305p:


Since they're active monitors, there is no receiver required. The only need power and then you connect them to the RCA outs on your TV (note: they will need an RCA to TS cable or adapter; but that costs anywhere from $4 to $6).
Obviously check the cabinet dimensions to see if they fit, and they would ideally be at least 7cm from the wall (⌀ 3.5cm port on the back) but they should work in your setup without any trouble.

EDIT: Thomann.de says the 305p is €119 each in black, or €129 in white (sold individually).
I've been looking at active speakers, but my main issue is with the whole upgradeability of such a setup. The moment I decide I want to add expand the system it might become an issue. Then I'd be better off going for the Sonos Beam + eventual speakers or something like those Q Accoustics + amp (and all the cables).
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,087
I've been looking at active speakers, but my main issue is with the whole upgradeability of such a setup. The moment I decide I want to add expand the system it might become an issue. Then I'd be better off going for the Sonos Beam + eventual speakers or something like those Q Accoustics + amp (and all the cables).
I suppose if you're thinking of potentially upgrading to a 5.1 setup at a later date it could be limiting, since getting analog 5.1 out of anything other than a PC these days is probably quite rare.

●  If you build up a Sonos 5.1 setup piecemeal, you're paying:
  • Beam: €450
  • 2x One SL €400
  • Sonos Sub: €800
That is a lot of money for what you end up with, and you'll get audio lag since the surrounds and subwoofer are wireless - not great for gaming.​
I would certainly recommend a passive 5.1 setup in place of that, since you can choose the components you want and don't have to spend nearly as much.​

●  Passive speakers can be more flexible if you want to upgrade from 2.0 to 5.1 later, but may have a higher up-front cost if you don't already have an amplifier.
  • Do you buy a smaller and less expensive stereo amplifier now, or do you buy a bigger and more expensive HDMI 2.1 AVR?
  • Will matching speakers still be available by the time you want to upgrade?
I've known a lot of people that buy a passive stereo setup thinking they want to upgrade it to 5.1, but end up buying a whole new set of speakers when that time eventually comes a year or two later - often because it was cheaper to get a kit than buying individually.​
Depending on the speakers you're looking at though, an AVR with a pair of passive speakers could end up in the same price range as the Sonos Beam to start with, and should cost far less to upgrade to 5.1; e.g. €250 AVR and a pair of €100 speakers, then three more €100 speakers and a subwoofer.​
You do also have the option of being able to make your current stereo speakers the rear surrounds, if you feel that you want to upgrade them when you go 5.1 rather than adding more of the same speaker. €1650 can go a long way.​
●  To put it in perspective: if you look for deals, you can probably get a pair of JBL 305p for close to the price of a single Sonos One SL.
The reason that I like active monitors is because they are flexible; since there's no need to hook them up to an amplifier.​
If I had a pair of active monitors in my living room and wanted to upgrade that to an all-new 5.1 setup, the monitors can be repurposed anywhere there's a power outlet; e.g. in a bedroom. A €40 AirPort Express v2 off eBay and a €10 cable later, and those monitors are now an AirPlay 2 zone. Or you could use a Chromecast/Bluetooth receiver if that's what you prefer.​
That still leaves you with €1350 or so to spend on a 5.1 setup, compared to the Sonos Beam, One SL, and Sub.​
Of course that doesn't get you into the Sonos ecosystem, where everything costs 10x as much and you have to buy the Sonos Port at €450.​
If you're locked into Sonos already for multi-room audio, it probably is cheaper to buy their own speakers so long as you are happy with how they sound.​

Active speakers are certainly not ideal for every setup, and as I've said before, they are "dumb" devices in the age of smart speakers. But that also means your money goes a lot further as far as sound quality is concerned.
At the same time, if you already have an amplifier, or are getting one anyway, you're paying for an amplifier inside every active speaker - so in theory your money goes even further with passive speakers. In practice though, I don't find that to be true until you start looking at higher-priced speakers. There are a lot of passives in that price range which aren't very good at all.
 

Raxious

Member
Oct 27, 2017
291
I suppose if you're thinking of potentially upgrading to a 5.1 setup at a later date it could be limiting, since getting analog 5.1 out of anything other than a PC these days is probably quite rare.

●  If you build up a Sonos 5.1 setup piecemeal, you're paying:
  • Beam: €450
  • 2x One SL €400
  • Sonos Sub: €800
That is a lot of money for what you end up with, and you'll get audio lag since the surrounds and subwoofer are wireless - not great for gaming.​
I would certainly recommend a passive 5.1 setup in place of that, since you can choose the components you want and don't have to spend nearly as much.​

●  Passive speakers can be more flexible if you want to upgrade from 2.0 to 5.1 later, but may have a higher up-front cost if you don't already have an amplifier.
  • Do you buy a smaller and less expensive stereo amplifier now, or do you buy a bigger and more expensive HDMI 2.1 AVR?
  • Will matching speakers still be available by the time you want to upgrade?
I've known a lot of people that buy a passive stereo setup thinking they want to upgrade it to 5.1, but end up buying a whole new set of speakers when that time eventually comes a year or two later - often because it was cheaper to get a kit than buying individually.​
Depending on the speakers you're looking at though, an AVR with a pair of passive speakers could end up in the same price range as the Sonos Beam to start with, and should cost far less to upgrade to 5.1; e.g. €250 AVR and a pair of €100 speakers, then three more €100 speakers and a subwoofer.​
You do also have the option of being able to make your current stereo speakers the rear surrounds, if you feel that you want to upgrade them when you go 5.1 rather than adding more of the same speaker. €1650 can go a long way.​
●  To put it in perspective: if you look for deals, you can probably get a pair of JBL 305p for close to the price of a single Sonos One SL.
The reason that I like active monitors is because they are flexible; since there's no need to hook them up to an amplifier.​
If I had a pair of active monitors in my living room and wanted to upgrade that to an all-new 5.1 setup, the monitors can be repurposed anywhere there's a power outlet; e.g. in a bedroom. A €40 AirPort Express v2 off eBay and a €10 cable later, and those monitors are now an AirPlay 2 zone. Or you could use a Chromecast/Bluetooth receiver if that's what you prefer.​
That still leaves you with €1350 or so to spend on a 5.1 setup, compared to the Sonos Beam, One SL, and Sub.​
Of course that doesn't get you into the Sonos ecosystem, where everything costs 10x as much and you have to buy the Sonos Port at €450.​
If you're locked into Sonos already for multi-room audio, it probably is cheaper to buy their own speakers so long as you are happy with how they sound.​

Active speakers are certainly not ideal for every setup, and as I've said before, they are "dumb" devices in the age of smart speakers. But that also means your money goes a lot further as far as sound quality is concerned.
At the same time, if you already have an amplifier, or are getting one anyway, you're paying for an amplifier inside every active speaker - so in theory your money goes even further with passive speakers. In practice though, I don't find that to be true until you start looking at higher-priced speakers. There are a lot of passives in that price range which aren't very good at all.
My original plaan would be going for the following setup:
  • Sonos Beam (378 euro's)
  • 2x Ikea Symphonisk (198 euro)

I wouldn't necessarily go for the sub because A, it's freaking expensive and B, the walls are quite thin so I wouldn't want to bother my neighbours to much. I already know they have their couch set up to the wall on which my TV is placed. It's a real damn struggle to figure out what I should be going for :')
 

Pargon

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,087
My original plaan would be going for the following setup:
  • Sonos Beam (378 euro's)
  • 2x Ikea Symphonisk (198 euro)
I wouldn't necessarily go for the sub because A, it's freaking expensive and B, the walls are quite thin so I wouldn't want to bother my neighbours to much. I already know they have their couch set up to the wall on which my TV is placed. It's a real damn struggle to figure out what I should be going for :')
Well that does seem like a more reasonable option; though you do still have the problem of limited format support (no LPCM for the Switch) and latency if you're adding wireless surrounds.
Ultimately I can't tell you what's right for your own setup, as you know what you want out of it better than anyone else.
It could certainly be a more convenient setup if that does all that you need, but I'd have concerns about using it for gaming.
 

piratepwnsninja

Lead Game Designer
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
2,261
Do you have a recent TV, or plan to upgrade it soon?
eARC largely eliminates the need for this. Since it's a full bandwidth Audio Return Channel, you would connect input devices to the display and an "audio cable" to the AVR. Then you no longer have to worry about what video format the AVR does or doesn't support; e.g. 4K120, HDMI-VRR.
I have an LG B7A, but it's one HDMI port short already from all the devices I need to hook up.
 

piratepwnsninja

Lead Game Designer
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
2,261
In that price tier I'd suggest a Denon x1600h (refurb with the full 3yr warranty), Pioneer FS52 fronts (or BS22 if you'd prefer bookshelves), C22 center, BS22 surrounds, T22 Atmos module, and RSL Speedwoofer 10S or SVS PB1000 for subwoofer.
Thanks!

Yesterday my friend told me he is selling his setup, and he is offering all of this to me for $500, and I wondered if it was a good deal?
  • 2 Klipsch RF-52 II floor speakers (Black with mesh coverings or copper cones) - 400W peak
  • 2 Klipsch R-14M bookshelf speakers (Black with mesh coverings or copper cones) - 200W peak
  • Polk Audio Signature Series S35 Slim Center Channel (Black walnut with mesh coverings or silver cones) - 150W peak
I know I'd have to get Atmos top firing units with this setup, but looking, these seem to be pretty good for that price?
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,038
Soundbar bad. What is your budget
I thought so

Well, budget is a bit....rough, i got some redundancy pay and ive put most of it away for savings but ive wanted to get a proper sound system for ages so the budget COULD be a bit flexible, but im looking at about....2kusd ish? of course, cheaper better, i prefer value for money of course!
 

Iris

Member
Oct 28, 2017
85
I thought so

Well, budget is a bit....rough, i got some redundancy pay and ive put most of it away for savings but ive wanted to get a proper sound system for ages so the budget COULD be a bit flexible, but im looking at about....2kusd ish? of course, cheaper better, i prefer value for money of course!
I'm partial to JBL. I love their neutrel sound signature. I find other brands like Klipsh to be tuned upwards in the treble, and third party measurements verify this. Klipsh certainly has a house sound. Maybe you'll like it, I dont know. But I prefer neutrality. This is my advice but up your budget to $3k and get:

Two JBL Studio 590 ($500 each on sale)
Two JBL Studio 530 (on sale $150 each)
One JBL 520C ($175 each)
Emotiva XPA2 or Monolith by Monoprice 2 channel amplfier to power the Studio 590's. You may have to get used in this case to keep things under budget, should be $500-600. Possibly less if you keep an eye out.

A Denon AVR to power the surround 530's and the 520C, and it will do all the audio encoding you need, as well as power them. Price $300-500 depending if you get a B stock unit or an older one on sale.

Cables won't cost much, I use $1 interconnects and cheap speaker cables. Just buy bulk speaker wire, and UGreen XLR cables off amazon. For reference, I use cheap cables.

You'll have to buy stands, cheap $100 stands will work fine for the 530's. If you get a good deal on the amp you can possibly keep things under $2500.

I promise you, this JBL setup will destroy any Klipsh setup in terms of sound quality. You could really use a sub, but it's not really in the budget, you can pick one (preferably two) up later. Since you're upgrading from nothing, you will be simply blown away by the above setup. Trust me.
 

Haint

Member
Oct 14, 2018
485
Thanks!

Yesterday my friend told me he is selling his setup, and he is offering all of this to me for $500, and I wondered if it was a good deal?
  • 2 Klipsch RF-52 II floor speakers (Black with mesh coverings or copper cones) - 400W peak
  • 2 Klipsch R-14M bookshelf speakers (Black with mesh coverings or copper cones) - 200W peak
  • Polk Audio Signature Series S35 Slim Center Channel (Black walnut with mesh coverings or silver cones) - 150W peak
I know I'd have to get Atmos top firing units with this setup, but looking, these seem to be pretty good for that price?
They're not particularly good speakers and it's a terrible deal. If you followed sales you could buy the updated versions of that system NEW today for $500 . Not that he's trying to rip you off, it's just that second hand speaker values are significantly lower than most people expect. If he paid MSRP at Best Buy or something he probably thinks he's giving you a steal. In reality he would be incredibly lucky to get $300 on CL or FB for that system. The successor model towers are perpetually on sale for $299 somewhere, the bookshelves sub-$100, and I have seen that center at $149 (those are all New prices). What you listed are older model entry level Klipsh's. The S35 center is effectively a soundbar, a 2-way with (6) 3" woofers. It's a heavily compromised design built to cram into a small TV stand. Klipsch's entry level models are objectively and significantly inferior to the Pioneer's.

Guys

I need help, im looking to get a home theatre system-right thread?

Are soundbars garbage? Im looking for a 7.2 solution
I thought so

Well, budget is a bit....rough, i got some redundancy pay and ive put most of it away for savings but ive wanted to get a proper sound system for ages so the budget COULD be a bit flexible, but im looking at about....2kusd ish? of course, cheaper better, i prefer value for money of course!
Is that .2 denoting 2 subwoofers or 2 Atmos channels?
 
Last edited:

Iris

Member
Oct 28, 2017
85
Thanks!

Yesterday my friend told me he is selling his setup, and he is offering all of this to me for $500, and I wondered if it was a good deal?
  • 2 Klipsch RF-52 II floor speakers (Black with mesh coverings or copper cones) - 400W peak
  • 2 Klipsch R-14M bookshelf speakers (Black with mesh coverings or copper cones) - 200W peak
  • Polk Audio Signature Series S35 Slim Center Channel (Black walnut with mesh coverings or silver cones) - 150W peak
I know I'd have to get Atmos top firing units with this setup, but looking, these seem to be pretty good for that price?
For reference, about FIVE YEARS AGO you could get RF-52 II for about $300/pair when discounted, the 14M discounted for $150/pair, and the Polk Audio center channel is a really cheap center channel speaker, I personally wouldn't even bother with it. I would see if he could go lower, but I'm just saying, you aren't getting a steal of a deal. These models are almost 10 years old now.

I checked used prices and I would reckon you shouldn't be paying more than $300 for just the Klipsh stuff.

d'oh someone beat me to the punch above me.
 

piratepwnsninja

Lead Game Designer
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
2,261
They're not particularly good speakers and it's a terrible deal. If you followed sales you could buy the updated versions of that system NEW today for $500 . Not that he's trying to rip you off, it's just that second hand speaker values are significantly lower than most people expect. If he paid MSRP at Best Buy or something he probably thinks he's giving you a steal. In reality he would be incredibly lucky to get $300 on CL or FB for that system. The successor model towers are perpetually on sale for $299 somewhere, the bookshelves sub-$100, and I have seen that center at $149. What you listed are older model entry level Klipsh's. The S35 center is effectively a soundbar, a 2-way with (6) 3" woofers. It's a heavily compromised design built to cram into a small TV stand. Klipsch's entry level models are objectively and significantly inferior to the Pioneer's.
Thanks for the heads up!
 

Stewarto

Member
Oct 27, 2017
423
Sony headphones are quite notorious for this.
I fixed it on my MDR-7520 by opening them up and applying lithium grease (which should be plastic-safe) to the gimbals seven or eight years ago, and they haven't creaked since.
Just want to say thanks, put some WD40 inside the joints and it has stopped the creaking completely, honestly surprised how effective it was.

Saved me the cost of a new headset!
 

Kalentan

Member
Oct 25, 2017
17,568
Hey so I ordered the Sony Wireless Platinum Headset while it's on sale... All the reviews indicate it's great and I'm honestly sick of having a cable. How is the Mic quality though? And do many games support 3D audio? Or maybe will?