What are good car audio speakers for a home theatre?

I don’t need fancy, expensive stuff. This is just for an apartment, and I can’t really crank up the volume too loud. I’m mostly just looking for clarity of sound and decent dynamic range. It’ll be a basic 5.1 sound system: Front L & R, Rear L & R, Center, and Subwoofer. I want to get the whole shebang for under $100 if possible.

Thoughts?

You’re trying to shove a square peg in a round hole.

Car audio speakers are 4 ohm, they’re typically tuned for shorter listening distances, and their frequency output is often based on the assumption they’ll be installed tightly with little to no air in their enclosures. They’re gonna sound like ass in a home theater environment.

Also, your price point is ludicrous.

Also, which brand of motor oil is best for cooking? I can only buy items at the auto supply store, so this is important to know.

For under $100? Get a PC gaming speaker set. I’m not even sure you can get car audio speakers for <$100, not that you would want to anyway.

This is correct. Impedance is an amp killer, and echoing the comment that car audio is tuned to be listening in vehicles. You can get a load of shit gear from Bestbuy that’ll sound better than mid-end car audio stuff. FWIW, I used to build custom competition car builds, so it’s not like I’m trying to be a jerk or some such.

Fair enough on the price point. I had assumed you could get decent speakers at $20-25 per, but I guess not.

As for the installation, I probably should’ve been clearer in the OP, but I was in a rush and just gave the basics.

The gist of it is that I’m looking to build something like this

or this

and am looking for decent inexpensive speakers to use for it. They don’t have to be kickass, they just have to be decent. As far as installation, I can make the enclosures as airtight as necessary.

If car stereo speakers are a poor choice, then I’m open to any other type of speaker that I can get my hands on that’ll fit the bill.

If you want to make custom speakers, what you want is drivers and crossovers ‘n’ stuff, which you can buy easily enough (google “speaker drivers”; I don’t actually have any specific recommendations). But… you have to know what you’re doing to do that. And $100 still strikes me as awfuly cheap.

Raj - I predict this will end horribly. Just go out & buy some nice Sennheiser headphones and call it a day. You will be so much happier and your ears will thank you.

I don’t know anything about speakers right now (clearly), but I’m a quick study and if it isn’t insanely complicated I should be able to pick it up well enough to build them into my stand, right?

Looking at what I’m striving for above and knowing that I’m trying to keep my cost reasonable, what would Those Of You That Know Audio recommend?

I actually have a pair of Senns at work, and yes - they’re awesome. But you can’t really watch a movie with buddies with a single pair of headphones.

I’m not really sure why this will “end horribly.” Sure, I don’t know much about the mechanics of speakers, but I admit that up front. And I’m willing to research and study and learn what I need to learn in order to make it work. I’m not looking to become a licensed audio technician, after all. I’m just trying to find out a) what kind of speakers would work best for what I’m shooting for, and b) where I can read up on the best way to install them.

Eh, I don’t think anyone on here is going to be able to do better than some good old Google and audiophile forums research.

I also think your price point is unrealistic. I buy cheap ass 6" speakers for my car, Sony XPlode’s (don’t buy them, they suck) for $30 a pair, and I just can’t see them providing any good fidelity for a movie if they were playing in a room.

And those TV setups you linked probably offer some awful sound reproduction because… uhh… you don’t put the rear channels in front of people.

You’re going to end up paying more, and spending a lot of time and research, for an end result that will probably sound worse than just buying a pre-fab setup.

Dang. I was kinda hoping we might have a resident audio expert or two, but maybe not. I’ll go hunting for an audiophile forum and ask there.

And those TV setups you linked probably offer some awful sound reproduction because… uhh… you don’t put the rear channels in front of people.

True, but that’s how I have my rig set up now anyway. I don’t really have the freedom or patience to wire my apartment. I’m really not looking for “kickass home theater setup” because I don’t have the luxury of cranking up the volume to eleven anyway. I’m just looking for an improvement over computer speakers sitting on a tv stand.

The rig on the left offers an interesting compromise for having the speakers up front, though. Angle them so the audio bounces off a wall and comes from your sides rather than directly in front of you. Yes, it’s no substitute for actually having the speakers behind you, but I’m fine with that.

You’re going to end up paying more, and spending a lot of time and research, for an end result that will probably sound worse than just buying a pre-fab setup.

Well, the reason I’m looking into this as an option is because I was planning on building myself a new tv stand anyway and I figured if I could build something with the speakers already integrated into it, it’d be a step up from what I have now.

Mind you, I’m not looking for mind-blowing acoustics. I’m really just looking for a way to clean up what I have right now. You can see from the picture that my A/V setup is pretty basic at best. Cheapo LCD TV that was bargain bin when I bought it three years ago, basic Logitech computer speakers, and a subwoofer hidden inside of glass doors. All I’m really looking to do is improve on that while at the same time hide the speakers inside the tv stand.

http://www.yamaha.com/yec/products/productdetail.html?CNTID=556970&CTID=5001100#

$700 at Amazon. A little outside your budget, but it meets the “surround sound from a single bar of speakers” criteria.

Hahaha. It would definitely be easier to integrate into the tv stand. Just make a little shelf below the top surface and you’re done. :)

I like the wall ‘o’ photographs.

Well, I could certainly see building a 2-speaker setup, but there’s not much room to take advantage of rear speakers. It’s tough seeing any advantage of having a custom built solution with car audio speakers in this situation.

Thanks. :) One of the (many) reasons I’m looking forward to eventually replacing my Ikea desk with a hutch-less desk is that it’ll free up more wallspace for more photos.

Well, I could certainly see building a 2-speaker setup, but there’s not much room to take advantage of rear speakers.

If a good 2.1 setup would trump a mediocre 5.1 setup, I’m all for it. Especially since I figure I could get more for my money if I went the 2.1 route.

It’s tough seeing any advantage of having a custom built solution with car audio speakers in this situation.

Honestly, the only reason car audio speakers ever popped into my mind was because I assumed that’s what those were in the stands I linked above. Clearly they weren’t, however, which is good to know.

What about in-wall/in-ceiling speakers (something like these, maybe)? Would those be better, or are they designed specifically to use walls/ceilings as oversized speakerboxes?

Ahh no. As someone else posted above, those are speaker drivers. Car audio speakers are several drivers put together, forming the 2-way, 3-way, and 4-way speaker combinations in a compact space, and manufactured to be powered by a 12 volt car battery, as well as with specifications for the position of brackets and mounting holes.

Those wall speakers, like car speakers, are just regular multi-driver setups that are made to be mounted in a wall.

I think a decent 2.1 speaker setup would be two 3-way 6"x9", but unfortunately the sound quality just isn’t going to be good at the sub-$100 price range, although it will be decent. The other problem with car speakers is that I think the smallest multi-driver speakers are 5.5", which is a pretty decent amount of space to be taken up.

Dangit.

At this point I think maybe I’ll just keep my logitech speakers and build some sort of hidey-hole for them in the new tv stand.

Raj - your expectations for even a decent setup are just not within my ability to think about. I spend $250 on a single used 1970 200W amp, I have single drivers that cost $200 that are also used, nevermind the replacement diaphragm that costs another $100

A speaker setup for HT requires a minimum of 4 different types of speakers to handle the dynamic range from ~15hz to 15K. Then you need to add active crossovers to route the signal the appropriate speaker and a few amps.

Now if you came and said “I have $2K to spend”, I could help point you in a few areas, but $100??

My living room setup is still based around a Logitech z-5450 system. It is a system-in-a-box that includes wireless rear speakers (you have to plug them in to power outlets, but not run audio wires to them), multiple inputs (two toslink optical, one coax, one PC style 3 miniplug) and a very nice thumpy subwoofer. I paid just over $200 for this whole set in 2006. Soon after I bought my set, Logitech suddenly killed the product off. This is a horrible shame because I would recommend these to everyone who asked about an easy 5.1 setup if the set still existed. Oddly enough the used price for this system these days is like twice what the new price was back when it was on the market. Does anyone know why Logitech killed these?

Anyway, for ~$225 I couldn’t be happier with my setup. It certainly isn’t audiophile gear, but it still sounds fantastic to me, and I’ve had more than one friend over to watch a movie who thought I was bullshitting them when they asked about the sound system and I told them it was a set I paid just over $200 for.