Best versatile speaker within budget £100

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Speakers' started by aoaaron, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. aoaaron

    aoaaron
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    hey I'm after a decent set of speakers. I'm willing to:

    1) stretch budget a bit, preferably lower the better though
    2) don't mind going second hand via the forum's classifields

    I want to use them as:
    1) plug into my PC/HTPC to get the music going from them
    2) plug into my TV to blast some music
    3) airplay from my iphone etc.



    Any suggestions? Do I need an amp? What does that do? how does it work? I'm certain I won't get a good surround sound in budget (lol) but i'd be satisifed with a 2 speaker combo which can go pretty loud for a party and still allow me to appreciate music better than my laptop/TV speakers and work with a projector/TV.
     
  2. dogfonos

    dogfonos
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    True. A stereo set of speakers makes more sense at this price point.

    Do you want all your audio sources to be permanently connected to the speakers so that you can switch between them or will you accept plugging and unplugging sources as required?

    Speakers always need an amp - it provides the power to drive the speakers. Some speakers have built-in amps (these are called powered or active speakers), some don't (these are called passive speakers). Passive speakers need a separate, stand alone, amp to drive them. A separate amp (called an 'integrated' amplifier) will provide the necessary input sockets for you to connect your audio sources and it will allow switching between them. An integrated amp will also have a volume control. Powered and active speakers sometimes have more than one input with switching between inputs, and a volume control.
     
  3. aoaaron

    aoaaron
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    I would love to have multiple inputs.

    It would make life a lot easier.

    e.g. my TV and music docking system or whatever permanently plugged in.
     
  4. PSM1

    PSM1
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    If you want a stereo amp and pair of speakers for your budget then you are going to have to look secondhand. If you want new then you are going to need a little more for something like the basic Cambridge Audio amp and pair of Wharfedale 9.0 speakers (both can be bought from Richer Sounds so look online for latest price). This will give a reasonable sound but not sure how well they are going to stand up in a party situation (but will depend on what you mean by a party-how many people, how big the room is and how loud you want the music).
    If you are happy with secondhand then look on the classifieds on here for soemthing in budget. To be honest with your budget you can not afford to be too picky on brands etc, so as long as it is in good condition and within budget then you will not go far wrong.
     
  5. dogfonos

    dogfonos
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    Agree with PSM1's suggestion about going down the used gear route. There is another option though:

    Overclock3D :: Review :: Microlab Solo 7C Review :: 2.0 > 2.1? Microlab Solo 7C Review

    This speaker is the bigger brother of the also well-reviewed Microlab Solo 6C. The Solo 7C in particular should have enough welly for parties although, bass quantity apart, I'd expect both speakers to sound very similar. Both these speakers contain built-in amps (55 Watts per channel) and have two inputs which you can switch between. I think the included remote allows this and also controls volume but check it out in case I'm wrong.

    If you want more inputs, something like this could be added:

    Maplin CN47B Four-Way Stereo Audio Switch Box

    Cheaper, alternative switch boxes are readily available.

    Instead of the analogue audio switchbox above, you could purchase a cheap DAC with switchable inputs, like the FiiO D3, and make use of digital outputs from your audio sources. This may well give the best sound quality for your budget but you would need to investigate connection compatibility and also operation may not be particularly convenient because the FiiO D3 only provides two digital inputs (one coax, one optical) and you probably want three. Could use the analogue output from one of your audio sources and feed this into the second speaker input but, operationally speaking, it's getting messy. Convenience or sound quality - it's likely to be a compromise.

    If you go down the used gear route and buy a separate amp and speakers, don't discount old AV receivers instead of an amp. They may have facilities you don't currently require but can offer cheap power with reasonable audio quality at this price point. Buying second hand is a bit of a lottery but if you're lucky, patient and careful you'll end up with a great system.
     
  6. push

    push
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    If you have to go new, then you could try something like this...

    Behringer: DIGITAL MONITOR SPEAKERS MS40

    I suspect they could be summed up as cheep, capable and on budget but don't expect the world. These ones are active so no separate amp is required. They also appear to have a few inputs and useful features.

    A handful of places seem to have them in stock but a lot of places have them on back order according to a google shopping result.

    For traditional setups (amp and speakers), as everyone says you will have to go 2nd hand. If you are looking 2nd hand, then you could also look for a bargain on a used mini system. Sony and Denon's are generally pretty good. Actually, I suggested on another thread earlier that a used Denon UD-M31 might work well - you'd just need to add some speakers then. :)
     
  7. kp278

    kp278
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    Last edited: Aug 8, 2012
  8. push

    push
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