Speakers in 2017 are kind of awesome


#21

These Q3020 speakers are truly excellent. If you can fit the size (10.2 x 9 x 6.7 inches, 10 pounds) and budget (about $150 each) I concur with Wirecutter and I strongly recommend them. They are really off the charts in overall value, sound, build quality. You would have to spend 2x as much to do significantly better, I think, and that speaker would probably be larger to boot.

Unfortunately only the fancy shiny laquered finishes are in stock on Amazon right now, and those are $30 extra per speaker. I got the boring plain jane graphite.


#22

My 2001 Klipsch ProMedia 5.1 setup finally died. I decided not to bother with 5.1 again for the office, but instead to get a really good 2.0 setup that would work well with my PC, office Xbox One, and Bluetooth. Ended up with the Edifier R2000DB after reading a ton of reviews. They’re the upgrade choice for computer speakers on Wirecutter, and I can see why.

Sound is really clean for speakers in this range, and the detail in more complex music like Pink Floyd tunes is significantly better than the 16-year-old speakers they replaced. They’re not on par with the Klipsch RPs I have in my media room, but they sound a lot more like $500 speakers than $250 speakers.

Optical in means I can just press the remote to flip them over to my office game console. The bass is surprisingly good considering I’m not using a subwoofer. Always had to keep the Klipsch sub turned down anyway due to the proximity of my office to the family bedrooms – a clear but not room-shaking bass from the speakers actually works better for my use case.

And I can easily flip them over to Bluetooth to catch the last few minutes of a podcast or play the audio from my iPad.

I’d never heard of Edifier before (they’re a chinese company), but these look good and sound great.


#23

I was citing the CD mastering loudness wars for @Enidigm and I ran across this data point:

One of the biggest albums of 2013 was Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, with many reviews commenting on the album’s great sound. Mixing engineer Mick Guzauski deliberately chose to use less compression on the project, commenting “We never tried to make it loud and I think it sounds better for it.” In January 2014 the album won five Grammy Awards, including Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical).


#24

Nice!


#25

How large are those Edifiers, when compared to your old Klipsch fronts? They look massive.

I would be happy to replace my Klipsch’s, but they just keep on truckin’. They’re positively ancient.


#26

I am in the exact same position, except I need to replace everything. I haven’t used the subwoofer in a long time because I hates it. Terrible subwoofer. Actually it may not be that bad, and just the amp & cutover choices may be terrible but either way I just disabled it. Way too boomy.

The headphone jack is almost dead, as is the LED display which doesn’t really light up anymore.

So interesting choice in the speakers, but I also need a new amp and probably subwoofer plus I would like a quality amplified headphone jack as well. Ug. This is why I keep putting it off.


#27

I think this demo image from the amazon page for the other color for the speakers is a pretty good representation, as long as it actually lines up with real life and wasn’t just a crappy photoshop:


#28

Mine died last year too. I also went to 2.1. Still using a couple of the Klipsch satellites with a spare sub I had sitting around and this little beauty:

I kind of wanted to get a pair of Audioengine A5s, but they were too big for where I wanted to put them.


#29

Yeah, those look like full-sized bookshelf speakers. Way too big for my setup. The old klipsch speakers get extremely loud without distortion, so I see no need for something literally twice as tall and 5 times as wide even if I had the space on my desk. Which I don’t.


#30

@stusser, the Edifiers are pretty big. But I have the right one half-behind my monitor without issue (stupid 34-inch monitor is a desk hog!) and the right speaker fits fine. They’re way bigger than typical computer speakers, but still take up a quarter the space of a full-size bookshelf speaker like a Klipsch RP-150M. But yeah, sounds like they won’t work for you. This review has a shot of what they look like next to a laptop: https://heygents.com.au/2015/12/edifier-r2000db-review/

I debated just getting an amp for the Klipsch’s. I didn’t want to repair the ProMedia because (1) it was bound to fail again (I’d replaced the amp once already in 2009) and (2) removing the subwoofer, which is between two desks, would be a complex task. But I couldn’t find a small reasonably priced 5.1 amp, and if I was going 2.0 anyway, the Edifiers were a better option.


#31

Wow you have the exact same system?

I have the sub equalizer turned down to like 3 notches above the minimum, it sounds good at that level IMO still adds deep bass but not boomy. I did consider replacement but it would have to be a sub with integrated amp and 5.1 receiver, does that even exist?

This worried me too.


#32

Z-680? Very popular system. I still have one in use as well.


#33

Identical, and probably for as long come to think of it. Had it a long time. The bass is just so boomy, even at one notch above. I love bass, but it just sits so prominently out in front of the music I had to turn it off. I tried the corner, which was obviously the worst, and then right in the middle of the room which helped a tiny bit but not enough.

Now I just use it as a footrest. Be nice to have more bass, just not as much.


#34

Am in the only one with a dying headphone jack + LED display?


#35

Mine was not turned on all that much as I mostly used headphones and it was the Xbox 360 projection sound system. Yours was turned on every day for years?

You could try modding the sub to tone it down, but I find a few notches above minimum sub level works for me.

The main problem is a sub with integrated 5.1 amp and decoder is almost impossible to find?


#36

Yep. Never turned it off. I was not surprised when it started dying.


#37

Now i want to listen to this on my paltry Panasonic soundbar (which sounds, honestly, decent) and Audioengine A2s and see what i’m missing.


#38

Hah, I had that 680 kit, it was awesome for its time.

I review a lot of smaller speaker systems for HomeTheaterForum and can heartily recommend the following sets:

KEF e305
SVS prime bookshelf
Mackie CR5 BT
Pioneer Andrew Jones Atmos series
Energy Take Five series


#39

Heh, energy take 5s have been widely recommended for like 20 years. Just goes to show you, speaker technology hasn’t really improved.

I’ve used the same HK receiver and infinity speakers for like 15 years myself, but I would never buy another set of separates. If the receiver or speakers were to somehow break, I’d get a soundbar.

I’d never do surround sound either. At one point I had a 7.1 setup, then I dropped to 5.1, then 3.1, and now I’m at 2.0. As I’ve aged I realize I just don’t give a shit about that stuff and want to get rid of the clutter.


#40

Perfect for an office gaming PC setup so long as you are ok with adding a modest receiver with it. That’s the rub for most folks, receiver tech is still bewildering UI nightmare.