About Me

When not at work with students, I spend my time in my room either reading, calculating something using pen and paper, or using a computer. I read almost anything: from the pornographic to the profound, although my main interests are mathematics and physics. "When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes." -Erasmus

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Buying new speakers

I just bought new 2.1 channel speakers. I had an old set, but due to a problem with the power supply, I decided to scrap it and buy a new set. I missed listening to music during the mornings, and the built-in speakers of my laptops were unsatisfactory.

I knew that the usual two-speaker systems didn't give me the right sound-- I didn't get any bass. But I didn't know what I wanted exactly. My brother was the one who liked playing with speakers-- while I lived with him, his home theater system had surround sound, and he was the one who set it up. I did know that my speakers needed a subwoofer, so I decided to get the simplest cdrking system with a subwoofer.

Looking at the available products on the net was helpful, because I learned what was available. I also learned how much speakers cost. the cheapest I could find at cdrking costs PhP 200 or around USD 4.8. The more expensive ones (which I bought), with a subwoofer, costs about PhP 700 or  USD 17. I even found 5.1 channel speakers on their catalog!

Since I planned to use the speakers in my room (it's a small room!), and the input would be from my laptop, I didn't need an expensive set, so I settled for a 2.1 channel system. I brought my netbook along to test the speakers, and was disappointed with how it sounded while I was at the store. But then, we had a noisy background, so even though the speakers didn't sound good while I was at the store, I decided to get them anyway, since I knew that the components worked. I figured that as soon as I got home and tried it, I should be able to tune it so that it would sound right to me.

Once I got home, I set-up the speakers, and played some music by Sitti Navarro.  I played with the controls, just to see what the effect of eliminating the subwoofer would be like, and having the subwoofer really makes a difference. I'm quite content with the sound right now, although I do plan to get a 5.1 channel system later... Maybe when I move to another university? :-)


Tim said...

Unless you've got a high quality audio device in your computer, you really aren't going to hear much of a difference between 2.1 and 5.1 speaker systems in an average room. The sound will seem fuller and obviously louder, but otherwise practically indistinguishable.

I know a few people who spent a considerable amount of money on a very high quality speaker set, only to realize that their computer's audio wasn't going to take full advantage of them.

A good pair of headphones is a great upgrade for music lovers. Sennheiser is quite affordable, starting at around P1500.00 for something decent and quite comfortable to wear. With an amplifier, they can come very close to simulating a proper 5.1 channel setup.

Mike said...

I thought about getting a system that works with a 5.1 setup, (my brother has a home theater system that does use 5.1 channel) but since it meant spending more, I let it go.

You're right about computers not supporting the hardware. I checked my laptop, and the built-in jacks aren't enough.

I haven't tried getting expensive headphones (and PhP 1500 is certainly expensive for a graduate student!)-- I'll keep it in mind when I get better paying work.