Inexperienced user looking for cheap surround sound set up

JBond 007

Standard Member
Having bought a PS3, a 32-inch Sony EX403 32" TV and now getting fully accustomed to blu-ray and HD, I've decided it might be time to get a surround sound set up in my room. However, I don't know what is the best set of speakers to go for.

I don't have a great amount to spend (£120-£140 max), and my room isn't huge, so I don't need an amazing system, just something to improve on the TV speakers and increase my blu-ray viewing pleasure! I don't require another DVD player, but if there is a recommended set of speakers in my price range that includes one, then I don't mind.

Some questions first of all: Which is the best connection to use, HDMI or Optical? Also, generally (I know this will vary with each speaker set), how long are the cables, so I know how much I have to work with for the rear speakers? Are the individual speakers wall mountable?

When I get a speaker set, is it possible to connect more than one thing to the subwoofer ie. TV and PC? My TV is in the center of the room, with my PC to the right. I transfer videos on my PC to the TV via extended desktop, so my PC speakers (a cheaper 2.1 set) are located by the TV, so the sound comes from the TV direction when watching the videos. It would be nice to use one set of speakers for both, but the 2.1 set can stay in place if needs be!

I have found these speakers, but are these intended only for use with PCs and consoles:
Logitech X-540 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers - 70W RMS | Ebuyer.com
Logitech Z506 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers - 75W RMS | Ebuyer.com

I also found these on Richer Sounds:
LG HT305SU Black | 5.1 DVD Package System with HDMI inc. Speakers | Richer Sounds
LG HT304SU | 5.1 DVD Package System with HDMI inc. Speakers | Richer Sounds
Philips HTS3510 Black | 5.1 DVD Package System with HDMI inc. Speakers | Richer Sounds
Pioneer SHS100 Black | 5.1 Speaker Package | Richer Sounds
Onkyo SKSHT528 Black | 5.1 Speaker Package | Richer Sounds
Samsung HT-C450N 5.1 ch - 500W Home Theatre System: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

Sorry for the mass of questions and links, but I really am a novice at this. I've always cared about picture quality, but never really worried too much about sound.

Thanks in advance for anyone who can assist.
 

dadoc2001

Standard Member
A fellow Newbie!

I am certainly no AV genius so if I get this wrong dont hold it against me! If you look at my 1st post it might help to answer your queries a little?

http://www.avforums.com/forums/av-amplifiers-receivers/1366661-inexpensive-5-1-reciever-advice.html

In effect what you are looking for doesnt exist? The Logitechs might work with your PC but not the TV/Blu Ray etc. Furthermore the alternatives from Richer Sounds are DVD surround players (wont work with your Blu Ray etc - only the hooked up DVD) or the speaker packages that require an AV receiver to power the speakers! You will prob have to look at older speaker packages 2nd hand on Ebay etc for your needs buy be wary they will not support the HDMI quality sounds from your Blu Ray player.

Hope this helps. Please be aware I may be very wrong but at least its a post that bumps you back to the top for a more knowledgeable dude to bring you up to speed:hiya:
 

RichB14

Novice Member
For what you want to achive you need some thing along the lines of this, Onkyo HT-S5305B 3D Ready 5.1 AV Receiver and Speaker: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics

I'm in no way saying that this is a good system.
To get HD audio from your blu ray player you'll need hardware capable of decoding it over an hdmi connection, optical or digital coax was the choice of audio connection from a dvd source, but bluray requires hdmi to get HD audio.

That samsung system you linked to only has one optical input, something to look out for
 

JBond 007

Standard Member
Thanks for the replies so far. Looks like I was a bit naive in thinking I could do this on the cheap for what I want to acheive.

I use my PS3 as my blu ray player. If I were to just buy one of those cheaper systems, and connect them to my TV by normal connections (not HDMI) would I get some noticeable improvement in sound and some form of surround sound (although obviously not the quality of sound I'd expect to get with HDMI)? At the moment, I don't think I'd be able to afford to buy both speakers and a receiver, but I want to hitch up something. I guess I could then buy a receiver separately when I can afford to do so.
 

RichB14

Novice Member
Yes you can, i untill recently refreshing our av kit was running a £30 LG system comprising of a sub which powered 5 sat speakers, this had optical input a coax in put and also analog inputs. It can decode DTS 5.1 and DD 5.1.

And to be honest it was a cracking little stop gap while the kids we're young.

I'll see if they are still around
 

JBond 007

Standard Member
Change of plan. Having plugged by 2.1 speakers into my TV via the headphone socket, I was impressed by the sound quality I got, but still desired surround of some sort. This led me to believe that for the sound quality I require (which does not require expensive products) I could buy one of the Logitech speaker sets I linked to, namely this one: Logitech X-540 5.1 Surround Sound Speakers - 70W RMS | Ebuyer.com.

Am I right in thinking, from the specifications on that site, that I will receive one of these: Google Image Result for http://images.discoazul.com/images/3441original.jpeg. If so, then I'm assuming I can plug the 3 3.5mm jacks into that from the speakers, that plug the phono plugs into the red and white sockets in my TV (A rear view of my TV is on this page: Sony KDL32EX403/KDL32EX403U/KDL40EX403/KDL40EX403U Review).

People on forums have said that simulated surround sound does them fine, and I'm sure I'd be one not to notice too much of a difference. Your thoughts?
 

eaglemmoomin

Novice Member
Hmmmm, not worth the bother imho. I'd just save the cash and wait or slowly build up gear second hand. You used to be able to purchase a yamaha 5.1 speaker set for around 120 notes (not great but as a stop gap) and then get an older Dolby digital/DTS avr second hand for around 50 to 100 notes. The thing with the cheapy systems is that they have no resale value, don't tend to work with proper kit due to being designed to hit a price and not be compatible and you always want to improve/replace them. Save a few quid to spend more in the long term basically. I always think its better to hold off and exercise some restraint and save a little more cash. I'd also say that they tend to be pretty crappy and if you are going to go that route you want something that at least runs Dolby Prologic IIx and understands Dolby Surround. Generally a proper AVR will do this and people buying the latest and greatest HD avr will be keen to shift on that five or six year old AVR for relatively little. Have a look in the classified section on here. Or just try putting a wanted ad and see what you get offered.
 
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