Simplest possible 2.0/2.1 speakers for Sony TV

jimstag

Standard Member
Hello,

I have a Sony Bravia KDL40EX43BU 40-inch Widescreen TV with Integrated Blu-ray Player, Freeview HD and rubbish internal speakers (worse sound than any TV I’ve owned before!). I bought it so there were fewer wires for my little one to destroy, but have now decided it’s foolish to have such a nice quality screen with such poor quality sound.

My hearing is a little poor, and I find the better the system I am listening to the less volume I need to hear dialogue properly. I don't know a great deal about home audio but I guess that means I am after speakers with good clarity?

Looking around, these Creative Gigaworks T20 speakers seem like as good option as they are so simple; but would they offer any real improvement compared to the TV's internal speakers? I'm happy to spend quite a bit more for something better.

Any advice really appreciated!
 

Hifiver2

Active Member
I think you're on the right lines with the T20's. Quite expensive(though I know you can get refurbs on the net for £42) compared to other stereo pc speakers but a step up in quality compared to most.

Also, you could consider the Logitech z323 2.1 system for ~£40.

Both these setups would be a good upgrade to most built in Tv speakers.

You can of course go higher, much higher if you want the best quality.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Before you run off and buy anything, you need to determine what OUTPUTS your TV has available.

Ideally, it will have standard RCA-style analog (meaning not digital) AUDIO OUTs, and/or it will have a Headphone output.

If you are going to use some Active speakers, then you need to consider the remote volume controls. Active speakers, like computer speakers, can not be controlled remotely. In this case, the best you can do is connect to the Headphone out, and continue using the TV remote volume control.

The alternative is to use separate amps and speakers, and make sure you get an amp that has its own remote control. In this case, you would connect to the analog AUDIO OUTs, and use the Amp remote control to change the volume. In this case, it would be best to get a universal remote control, so a single device can control both the TV and the Amp.

Next, tiny computer speakers are definitely an improvement over the TV built-in speakers, and if that is enough, then fine. But they are not going to give you the high impact movie watching experience that some decent speaker and an amp will.

Next, specifically what kind of budget are we talking about here. Budget bring perspective. If you've got £25, that is very very different than if you have £250. Twenty five will give you a modest improvement over the built-in speakers, £250 will get you a good stereo or a good pair of active (built-in amps) Studio Monitors. And, if you can afford more than that, then we can look at other possibilities.

But until you give us a budget, we have little perspective to hang any recommendations on.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Hifiver2

Active Member
I think the tv has optical and 3.5mm headphone outputs.

I'd actually like to know what the OP has done or is thinking of doing on this subject because I think many people find themselves in a similar predicament. But alas, like so many others who come on here, we may never hear from him/her again.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
I specifically chose my Sony TV because it has analog AUDIO OUT connections.

If you plan to use the digital Optical Audio Out, then we run into the problem of remote volume control AND the fact that Digital still need to be converted to analog, which adds an additional £150 to the budget.

There is one series of speakers made by Behringer that have digital input capability, and a very modest price.

That would be the Behringer MS40 -

Behringer MS40 monitor - Google Search

But this doesn't solve the problem of remote volume control. These are fine for computers where you are sitting close to the speaker and can simply reach out and change the volume. But for TV, you don't want to have to get up and walk across the room each time you want to change the volume.

So, the optical digital input is of little use to you, since to get remote control, you would have to use the Headphone output anyway.

Again, give us a budget, and any other limitations or requirements you might have, and we can take it from there.

Steve/bluewizard
 
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jimstag

Standard Member
Thanks very much for all the advice, it's been very helpful.

Despite originally looking at some relatively cheap and cheerful PC speakers I think a pair of active bookshelf speakers would be worth the extra money. Getting a set with a built-in amp that can be plugged straight into the headphone socket is my preferred option now. Budget is £300ish.

Any recommendations? Thanks very much,
 

Hifiver2

Active Member
The Samson Rubicon r5a would be top of my list. Just under budget at £279(GAK.co.uk), they have won many awards and are highly rated by producers in the music industry. They utilise ribbon tweeters whose value can be adjusted to taste and which have a transparent sound which sets them apart from the competition.

I've got the r6a and wouldn't swap them for pretty much anything under £800. They really are that good.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Nothing wrong with the Samson speakers, but also consider KRK Rokit 5 or possibly KRK Rokit 6.

KRK Rokit 5 - Google Search

KRK Rokit 6 - Google Search


I answered this question before in a couple of recent posts, let me see if I can find some links -

The Behringer Truth monitors are worth investigating -

Behringer Truth - Google Search

Also, the Audioengine A5 are a very good choice, iPod interface, iPod charging, can be made wireless, big amps, 5" woofers, etc.... -

Audioengine A5 - Google Search

Audioengine 5 (A5) Premium Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Any of these are worth considering. On the Studio Monitor links, pay attention as to whether the speaker are priced as EACH or per PAIR.

Steve/bluewizard
 

Goodmane

Active Member
If you're considering the Creative T20s, also consider the T40s, their bigger brothers. Generally well reviewed as are the T20s. But I figured personally might as well just connect an old hi-fi and turn it on whenever you watch a movie, or need more oomph. It's been fine for a year or so, but I think you miss the low frequencies only a sub or big floorstanding speakers can produce.

P.s. if any regular forum members saw my current thread re: BK Gemini and Sony midis vs. 5.1 package I'd be grateful for your opinions! Cheers.
 

jinder

Active Member
Bump.

I'm also looking for some speakersor my t.v.

See my thread here - http://www.avforums.com/forums/what-speakers-should-i-buy/1493759-need-advice-what-get.html

what did the original poster end up getting?

BlueWizard, can you reccomend something for me within the price range of £100-£150. looking for clarity and bass. General movie, music and gaming.

Not really looking to get an amp, but am willing to stretch on budget if I am convinced enough.

Thanks.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
The best in that price range are probably the AudioEngine A2 -

Audioengine A2 - Google Search

But, these only have a ~3" bass driver, though as 3" bass drivers go, it is pretty good -

Audioengine A2 test - YouTube

But remember what I said about having an Audio Out on your TV. If you have a headphone out, that will usually do and will allow you to continue to use the TV remote volume control. If no headphone out, and you are limited to a standard line level AUDIO OUT, they you need an amp with a remote control.

On very rare occasions you might find a TV that has Audio Out that is both Fixed (most common) and Variable. The Variable out would again eliminate the need to a separate remote volume for the speakers.

But far better to have a small quality amp with remote and combine that with separate speakers. But that is going to run you about £250 to £300.

Pioneer A209R - Google Search

WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 9.1 SPEAKERS (PAIR) (OPENED BOX, WALNUT) - available from Superfi UK

WHARFEDALE DIAMOND 9.1 SPEAKERS (PAIR) - available from Superfi UK

For the bare minimum, I absolutely recommend that you get something better than computer speakers. For plain TV, computer speaker might be OK, but they are going to come up short on movies.

In far better speakers with built-in amp, consider the substantially better Audioengine A5, though they are pushing your budget -

Audioengine A5 - Google Search

The KRK Rokit 5 are also good speakers at about £250/pr -

KRK Rokit 5 - Google Search

It really gets down to your available outputs, and your available budget.


As a public service, here is a link the the Acoustic Energy Aego M -

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Aego+M&hl=en&tbm=shop&aq=f&oq=&aq=f

For a limited £120 complete, this is worth considering.

http://www.acoustic-energy.co.uk/Default.aspx?pagename=Aego-M-loudspeaker


Steve/bluewizard
 
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jinder

Active Member
Wow, thanks for all the help and advice BlueWizard!:thumbsup:

My t.v does have a headphone out, and in the the owners thread, (Samsung 40C580) a few people I belive have the Creative T20's and use them with the t.v remote control.

Ideally I would like to keep my budget at £150, but I think it might just have to be pushed up to £250 after some of the speakers you have just shown me.

I really don't want an amp, because all of my stuff in on a floating shelf, and I might not have enough room for it. And also doing all the wiring again could take the p***.

You mentioned some with a built in amp?

I liked the AudioEngine A5 and the Walnut effect Wharfdale < they would match my room nicely.

Mind those speakers you have linked all look "bass-ey". I'm looking for clarity and bass too.

So which out of all of them would you reccomend for my new budget? Let's hope I don't NEED a new amp to go along with it too!

thanks for all the help again btw, great stuff!;)
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
If you are considering the Creative T20, then absolutely consider the larger twin driver Creative Gigaworks T40, they still fall well within your budget.

That said, at about £150, nothing beats the Audioengine A2.

All of the speaker recommended have been active speaker, meaning they have built-in amps. That is, with the exception of the Wharfedale Diamond 9.1, then must use external amps.

I think RicherSounds.com still have the smaller Diamond 9.0 for about £60/pr. If your demands aren't too high, this is also a worth speaker, but like the Diamond 9.1, it does require an external amp.

Next keep in mind that a good Active Bookshelf speaker with a 5" bass driver will likely go as low as the Sat/Sub systems like the Aego M.

If you want both Bass and Clarity, then you need to double or triple your budget. At £150 it is more a case of take what you can get.

If you really are limited to a £150 budget, then try very hard to get an audition of the Audioengine A2. They are far and away above and beyond typical computer speakers.

Also, if you want more reviews on the Audioengine A2, then search YouTube and you will find countless videos demo'ing them and reviewing them. Just don't put to much faith in the audio quality of YouTube videos. You are hearing the microphone in the camera far more than you are hearing the speakers.

Steve/bluewizard
 

jinder

Active Member
Thanks for the reply.

I wasn't considering the T20's or T40's, I was just stating that some owners of the same t.v use that setup.

I do like the looks of the Audioengine A2, and that video is quite impressive.

I did say that I'd likely up my budget to £250, instead of the previous £150:D. I just want quality over something that just looks pretty.

Also, these mini amps you talk about, how mini are they exactly? I mean I do have limited space on my floating shelf for this kind of stuff, but just want to get a rough idea in case I do get something like the Wharfdale 9.1 system.

Thanks for your time and effort BlueWizard:thumbsup:
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
For about £250, look at the Audioengine A5, which has iPod/MP3 connections and USB charging. These are really good speakers. Again, you can search YouTube for many reviews on the Audioengine A5.

Audioengine 2 (A2) Premium Powered Desktop Speakers

Audioengine 5 (A5) Premium Powered Bookshelf Speakers

Personally, I don't recommend mini/micro-amps. The suggested Pioneer, while not huge by an means, is a standard sized amp. If you are pressed for space, then the KRK Rokit 5 or the AudioEngine A5 are probably the best bet.

If your TV has analog (meaning not digital) AUDIO OUT, then perhaps an stand alone amp with a remote control might be better. But with limited space, and no AUDIO OUT, the suggested active speaker are probably better.

Steve/bluewizard
 

jinder

Active Member
Looks like I'll be getting the A5's pretty soon then, thanks for all the help, and hopefull all this information will help someone in the future:thumbsup:.

This might be a silly question, but does the A5 have a port that I can plug my headphones into? I did go to the website an I'm pretty sure it's the one at the top next the USB, but just wanted to make sure I was right.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
It has a headphone INPUT, that is how you connect your iPod, iPod Dock, or MP3. The USB is for device charging. But on the back, it has additional inputs and outputs, and I suspect one of the outputs is enough to drive headphones, but I don't know if it specifically has a headphone output jack.

In addition to is other features, it also has the ability to connect to Apple Airport Networks so you can stream music to the speaker using iTunes (from Mac, iPad, iPhone, or iPad). Audioengine also makes it own wireless network connector.

The critics in both consumer magazines and in audiophile magazines have been raving about the sound quality of these speakers for the money.

Steve/bluewizard
 

jinder

Active Member
Thanks for that information.

If it doesn't have a port for headphones that would put me off slightly. And I know the websites gives you all the details but I'm not a specialist when it comes to this sort of stuff so I can't tell.

Anyway, to the reviews on YouTube I go.
 

jinder

Active Member
So I just took another look at their website (Audioengine A5) and noticed that there is no audio out.

Well, there is, but it's divided into L/R. So unless I can use a splitter, I don't think I can use my headphones with them. Quite a shame really, I was looking forward to buying these.
 

BlueWizard

Distinguished Member
Connect the amp to one of the outputs of the speakers, the connect a headphone adapter to the speaker terminals, then connect headphones.

The Tripath amps don't have a lot of power for speakers, but tons of power for headphones, and they are class-D (meaning digital amps) but they are universally regarded as very good amps for a tiny amount of money. Not only is the money tiny, but the amps themselves are tiny. Slightly larger than a pack of cigarettes.

But, don't by the Tripath until you are sure you need it.

Just a thought.

Steve/bluewizard
 

jinder

Active Member
Thanks for the info.

Really, that small? Yeah, I won't, but hopefully my issue can be resolved with a splitter (still do't know if that's the right word) cable.

Haven't bought them yet, do you reckon they are cheaper online? Or at a shop? Sole trader or big company.
 

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